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Rally in support of Victoria/Weber encampment set for next week

Organizers hope regional government acknowledges seriousness of housing crisis
Victoria encampment June 6 2022
The Victoria encampment the morning of June 6, 2022

It's been almost two weeks since the region placed an eviction notice at the corner of Weber and Victoria in Kitchener.

That notice told encamped residents they had until June 30 to leave the area, or work with the region to be transferred into alternative housing. 

In response to the eviction notice, a rally is set to take place at the corner of King and Benton on June 22 at 5:30 p.m. in support of residents. 

Kamil Ahmed, one of the community organizers with the rally, told CityNews 570 why this rally is important.  

"The tent city is not the first in our region and probably won't be the last. This is a call to action to bear witness to the realities of our region so we can get regional council to a place where they can admit that they need help, because right now regional council doesn't seem to want to admit there is a [housing] crisis and that we don't have a plan around it," said Ahmed. 

Many local business owners that operate around the encampment have pressured the region to have the area cleared for sometime but, in response to owners' concerns, Ahmed said this rally presents an opportunity for owners to get involved, "Participate in these conversations, so that you can discover that there is in fact a way to co-exist, no one at the encampment wants to stay there, they want housing." 

Ahmed added, "organizers of the rally aren't asking business owners or neighbours to endorse the encampment as a permanent solution, we're asking them to join the conversation against eviction so then we can find out what's the alternate." 

So far in terms of response, Ahmed said on social media people have been positive, but noted social media can act like an echo chamber, "We know that we're getting to people that are interested in this conversation, but maybe not so much the folks that are on the other side of it." 

Ahmed said the hope of the rally is that the region acknowledges the seriousness of the housing crisis and asks the provincial government for help, if needed. 

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