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(en) Canada, Collectif Emma Goldman - Chicoutimi: a person immolates himself in the future digital district (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Tue, 21 Sep 2021 10:11:40 +0300

An event of nameless sadness occurred last Friday, September 10, when a person immolated himself in front of the police in a parking lot in front of the courthouse in downtown Chicoutimi. A tragedy which, in some cities, would have generated well-deserved riots against the powers that be. As a reminder that we are tired of dying in this rotten system. The person in question, whose goal here is not to make his biography and to stick intentions on his act, known to have recently frequented the Maison des sans-abri, is now in stable condition at the Chicoutimi hospital. despite the severe burns she suffered.
This tragic event reflects the reality that has reigned downtown for several years. In the most disadvantaged district of Chicoutimi, the situation is deteriorating more and more for the less well-off, causing distress that has become unbearable for many. Rooming houses that go on fire putting people already close to live there, the lack of resources and the difficulty of accessing mental health services, a very limited food supply, an ever-increasing repression with the 'increase in police patrols and the gentrification of the city center which brings in private businesses and "chic, trendy" restaurants with very expensive menus, and on top of that, the initiatives put in place to help the most disadvantaged are sorely lacking in resources and fail to effectively help all the people[1]who need it and who will seek this invaluable help (ex: Street work, Café-Jeunesse, etc. .). For local politicians, it's like nobody lived in the city center or those who live there are seen as a problem to be solved, an obstacle to the development of the district. This virgin territory is a playground that they can shape as they see fit. Shops, restaurants and parking lots, this is what is growing like mushrooms in the city center. The only time the elected officials seem to understand that people live in the neighborhood,

In 2015, shortly after the establishment of the new police station, Karine Potvin, owner of the Music School at 94 rue Jacques-Cartier Est and who at the time was administrator of the Association des centers-ville, summarized The situation (unwittingly) in Horizon Commerce, Promotion Saguenay's Commercial Bulletin: "Business people and residents of the neighborhood are just starting to take ownership of their new environment after several years of uncertainty. At first, they thought it was too good to be true! They are all the more satisfied and confident when they see that the level of security has dramatically improved with the establishment of the police station. ". The poor, we hunt him down, we hide him, because we have to clean up the unwanted quarter. But people do not disappear and the problems are transported elsewhere, as in the Saint-Paul district (not very far from the city center) where more and more poor people are taking refuge, being driven out of the city center or by repression. or the lack of affordable housing caused, among other things, by rooming houses that burned down but were not rebuilt.

However, one should not be mistaken. Politicians are well aware of the poverty issues in downtown Chicoutimi. They see their studies pass like everyone else. If they do nothing, it is what they want, it is to defend their interests and to help people of their social class, entrepreneurs, owners and investors. Remember that many local politicians, headed by Simon-Olivier Côté (city councilor in the city center), are themselves entrepreneurs and owners of businesses and homes. It is the class struggle in action. There is therefore nothing to expect from the elect, they will never really come to the aid of the poor. They will make some concessions when the situation becomes untenable, 2-3 crumbs thrown on the ground that will make them look like good Samaritans. If you still have to be convinced, just read the following ...

$ 10 million for a digital neighborhood in downtown Chicoutimi

Under the administration of Jean Tremblay, elected officials wanted to make downtown a business district . Now, with Josée Néron, it's the turn of the digital district! A new, well-selling and clean branding . "The Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation, which had already announced this $ 10 million envelope, said it was happy with this important step in the revitalization of downtown Chicoutimi.», We can read in an article in the newspaper Le Quotidien [2]. For the politicians in power (both regionally and provincially), the revitalization of the neighborhood involves the injection of millions in order to attract businesses and not through social measures that would help several hundred people who live in the neighborhood. (!!) to get out of poverty. When they announce the revitalization of the city center with a smile on their face, they assume that we live in a neighborhood that has lost its vital force and on that, they are not mistaken. But if the neighborhood needs to be revitalized, it is through social measures that it must be done. We're dying downtown. We do not die of the lack of parking or the lack of young professionals in the digital field (anyway, we lost, we can hardly afford a car or computer). We are starving we die of heat, hit by a tank, of conjugal violence, we die of overdose, we die of misery. As studies, statistics and the cries of the heart of community organizations in the neighborhood were not enough to make it clear, maintained a person immolates himself on Racine Street, can we be clearer?

In the long term, this new digital district could even become an innovation zone: "Confirmed by the Legault government at the end of autumn 2020, the innovation zones will be, in a way, new kind of industrial parks, which aims to stimulate applied research projects between large companies and start-ups. "[3]. A "new kind" industrial park, right in the middle of what poor people need!

It is obvious that the changes will come from below, that is to say from the people who live these injustices and the grassroots organizations which campaign day after day on the ground for the improvement of the living conditions of the people of the district. We have to organize ourselves among the left behind, meet, discuss and create our own alternatives that will allow us to improve our lives and meet our needs. Let us put in place a balance of power with which we will be able to fight against those who benefit from our misery; crooked politicians, landlords and contractors!

A precarious worker who has lived and worked in downtown Chicoutimi for a decade

1. Some people cannot receive food assistance due to lack of resources.

2. Patricia Rainville. $ 10 million for a digital neighborhood in Chicoutimi , Le Quotidien .

3. Ibid .

by Collectif Emma Goldman

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