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Rather pedestrian sign of political frustration

May 9, 2015


There it was earlier this week for all to see: a sticker in the shape of a red stop sign, printed with the slogan “Stop Harper” affixed over one of the lightbox walk signs guarding the intersection of West Broadway Avenue and South Granville Street in Vancouver’s Fairview neighbourhood.

A pedestrian crossing is not where one expects to see much in the way of political discourse, beyond protesters crossing the street, but then, Broadway and Granville is a special extreme case.

A poor excuse for debate in a fairly rich place

The intersection of such a busy main arterial as West Broadway with South Granville, one of the city’s most upscale shopping strips, constantly rubs rich and poor together: blue collar tradespeople with white collar executives, minimum wage shop clerks with rich shoppers and street people with the people who own the streets. The intersection is therefore a frequent site of low-level asymmetrical class warfare.

To be honest though, a sticker applied over top of a crossing light is a poor way to get a political point across — rather, it’s discourteous vandalism at best and at its worst, dangerously obscures a safety signal. Hopefully the sticker is removed soon.

As for the message, it refers to stopping the policies of the Conservative government of Canada led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper — the government staunchly supported by many of the residents of Fairview and the nearby rich enclave of Shaughnessy.

Unless you actually live in Canada, you may not know much about this Stephen Harper person but that’s not really necessary in order for you to understand the support for and opposition to his government’s policies. You’ll probably do just as well to substitute “Cameron”, “Valls”, “Abbott”, “Peña Nieto” or whichever neoliberal politician and governing right wing political party you are familiar with.

From → Fairview

  1. Slowcrow permalink

    Yes, years ago i had to go into a very large mall. The crowds in the mall, and the very large children’s equipment store i HAD to go to, were 90% Asian. Made my purchase and when driving out of underground parking, someone had stuck a large ‘Racism’ sticker to the ‘STOP’ sign. My point? None, you just reminded me of that, that’s all i guess. Since the Depape incident, these efforts at communication regarding our esteemed leader may escalate. Just over 5 months until federal election ‘event’.

    • As you point out, this intersection sticker and the ocassional “HARPER” stickers I see added to STOP signs, all leverage the 2011 Anti-Harper Senate Protest made by “former” Parliamentary Page Brigette DePage, during the speech from the throne (probably should’ve put that in the post).

      There’s always been a rather incongruous “This is a Racism Free Zone” sticker on a shipping/receiving door in my favourite sleepy-time parkade — with the word “Free” crossed out. Very strange that it stays there.

      On top of Harper, here in Canada, the reelection of the Cameron Conservatives with a majority in the UK, where the poor seem nearly ready to eat each other, is so shocking to me and Cameron is immediately moving ahead with £12 billion of cuts to welfare — arrg!

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