Am Johal is joined by Eris Nyx, an artist and community organizer in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside who advocates for tenants' rights and an end to the war on drugs. She and Am discuss the impact of COVID-19 on drug users and residents of Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels, and how restricting visitors in SROs and reducing access to services during the pandemic has heightened safety concerns around a volatile supply of drugs. Eris shares how the Downtown Eastside community has been organizing to respond to the several and intersecting systems of oppression they are facing.Eris Nyx is a queer multidisciplinary artist and community organizer living on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish people. Currently working with the Coalition of Peers Dismantling the Drug War, the Downtown Eastside SRO-Collaborative, and the Black Lab Arts Society, Nyx advocates for police and prison abolition; new models of antipsychiatry to replace the current regime of psychiatric theory and practice; ending the war on drug, and fighting against the intersectional harms wrought by colonization, capitalism, and other system of oppression. Most recently she helped to produce and publish a record of Downtown Eastside musicians entitled 100 Block Rock – which showcases a compilation of Vancouver BC's most marginalized community of artists.
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