No One Is Illegal-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories presents an excerpt of our interview with Jean Swanson.
This interview with Jean was conducted as part of NOII’s “Inheriting Resistance: A Community History Project” to document the untold stories of people in our communities who have been involved in and who have shaped a diversity of social justice struggles on unceded Coast Salish Territories over the past 20-40 years. We are committed to honouring the legacy of those who have struggled before us – and in many cases, who still continue to struggle alongside us – for social, economic, political, and environmental justice.
Jean Swanson organizes with the Carnegie Community Action Project for more and better housing, higher incomes, and to stop gentrification in the Downtown Eastside. Previously she helped found and worked at a provincial anti-poverty coalition, End Legislated Poverty, and in the 1970s, at the Downtown Eastside Residents’ Association. Jean has also worked to stop free trade deals, and to help organise Vancouver’s big peace marches in the 1980s. She wrote a book called “Poor Bashing: The politics of exclusion”. For many of these years Jean was a single parent living in poverty with her two children. In 1985 she met her partner, Sandy Cameron, who worked with her in these struggles for social justice.
For more information on the Inheriting Resistance Project: