Community and resistance in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside

So much has been written about the Downtown Eastside by the media, academics, as well as enumerable studies and even internationally. Yet it remains an enigma to those on the outside looking in, often reduced to harsh one-liners and stereotypes that fail to portray the complexity, rich history and deep sense of community that exists in what is often described as Canada's poorest urban postal code. Reading the current series in the Globe and Mail, "The Nation's Slum: Fix It," I have been both infuriated and provoked by the articles. Like many, I balk at headlines and descriptions that portray a helpless throng in deep despair waiting to be pulled out of poverty by healthy doses of middle classness and development.