The premier treaded familiar territory in her remarks when she claimed that encampments contain “organized crime and gang-run drug-use centres and drug-dealing centres,” but took the embellishment in a new direction when she alleged that these gangs were using extortion, arson and sexual assault as a means of exerting control over encampment residents.

“They’re dangerous dudes. They’re threatening people. They’re making them pay protection money. If they don’t pay protection money, they burn them out. There are people who have been burned to death in these tents because they won’t pay protection money to the gangs,” Smith claimed.

Smith’s office didn’t respond to an inquiry into where she got any of this information from. The fire department referred any questions about suspected arson to the Edmonton Police Service, which didn’t respond to inquiries about the specific crimes the premier alleged.

  • Funderpants
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    212 months ago

    The exploitation of people in precarious housing situations, and/or people with drug addictions, and/or the combination of both is certainly a concern. I have some idea how the encampment sweeps work, how they begin by infiltrating the camps, working with people to try and help them. But I’m not sure how breaking the camps up and sending people out into the weather and more uncertainty helps.

    The guy in this story says he lost both his legs due to a sweep like this in the past: https://livewirecalgary.com/2023/08/29/photos-calgary-police-social-agencies-sweep-long-term-encampment-in-the-southeast/

    Anyway, Smith goes to a fancy private club to boast about how many homeless people she pushes around to the richest people in town. This is classic conservatism, working for the wealthy against the poor, guaranteeing the rich the lowest taxes nessecary to persecute the unhoused, perpetuating the class hierarchy and gloating about it.

  • @Rodeo
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    92 months ago

    Can we stop calling rich assholes “elite”?

    They’re not elite, they’re clearly just a bunch of cunts.