No More Warehousing: The Nova Scotia Association for Inclusive Homes and Supports strongly condemns the brutal actions taken by the Halifax Regional Police on August 18th. We also condemn the demonstrably untrue responses made by Halifax Mayor Mike Savage, Police Chief Dan Kinsella, and members of the HRM Municipal Council.
During the protest, several of our board members were intimidated, pushed to the ground, and pepper-sprayed by police without provocation. We are extremely concerned about the assault of a minor, the sexual assault of demonstrators—whose breasts were grabbed by officers—the purposeful removal of police identification tags, officers wearing “thin blue line” badges, and inappropriate harassment of media.
We are horrified that HRM Municipal Council pursued police-led, forcible removal of shelter inhabitants and destroyed the only housing options available—all of which contradicts promises made by council last month. Many unhoused persons reported being woken early on August 18th by police dragging them from their tents.
Disability remains one of the leading causes of homelessness. Chronically ill and disabled folks continue to be overrepresented among those without homes. Estimates suggest that over 50% of people experiencing homelessness live with a serious health condition.
The actions taken by the Halifax government and Halifax Regional Police has shown that it continues to criminalize those who are poor and those who are less able-bodied. The excessive force taken on August 18th by police have further traumatized our community, many of whom have endured decades of negligence and abuse at the hand of the government and the police.
No More Warehousing reiterates the call we have been making for years: immediately provide sustainable, affordable housing options for all. This will only be accomplished with interdisciplinary, multi-level government cooperation.
No More Warehousing calls for the immediate instatement of permanent rent control policies, immediate long-term housing for those evicted during Wednesday’s raid, and to clear all fines given to shelter inhabitants. We echo the calls made by partner organizations Wellness Within and the NS Policing Policy Working Group, which includes calls for resignation and an independent inquiry into Wednesdays events.
No More Warehousing: The Nova Scotia Association for Inclusive Homes and Supports is a not-for-profit organization advocating for affordable, accessible, community-based housing for people with disabilities in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia). Email firstname.lastname@example.org for comment.