Date: 1990, Country: Canada, City:Vancouver, Language: EN, Length: 48mins, Size: 750mb Type: AvI
The Frances Street squats were a set of six squatted houses, including one women-only squat, that existed between February and November 27, 1990 in Vancouver on Coast Salish Territory in one of the most successful public squats in Canada.
An early press release by the squatters stated: “We are some of the many squatters in Vancouver who are occupying several of the hundreds of habitable houses left vacant by developers. These houses have been slated for demolition and gentrification. In the face of unregulated rent increases, and out of necessity, we have chosen to squat as one of many viable means of protesting this atrocity. Housing is not a luxury, it is a right, and these houses are available now. New developments must be kept within an affordable price range for all people presently affected by the housing crisis. We are currently organizing various neighbourhood inclusive community events (potluck barbecues, daycare facilities, community gardening and recycling) in an effort to open up communication between squatters and paying tenants. We intend to defend these houses. We have been forced to go public at this time because we are in danger of losing our homes.”
A 48-minute documentary, The Beat of Frances Street: Squatting in East Vancouver, was produced during the late and final stages of the squats. The first half of the film contains footage of everyday life in the houses and presents responses to the question “why do you squat?” by fourteen residents. The second half of the film focuses on internal arguments over the use of barricades against imminent police assault and documentation of the assault itself (including commercial news footage) and community response.