August 19, 2021
The lawn at 5381 Spring Garden Road has, over the course of the pandemic, become a site for homes for some displaced Haligonians: Tents and squat wooden structures known as “crisis shelters,” built by volunteer organization Halifax Mutual Aid.
In June, HMA had built 13 shelters across the city, and said it had a waiting list of 20 more people. In July, mayor Mike Savage said “We’re not going to move in and force people out,” and the city’s “goal is to treat people like human beings.” But on this August day, city workers and police worked together to destroy these shelters and forcibly remove their occupants.
On-the-ground reports of mace (including a 10-year-old child being maced by officers) and police in hardback gloves and riot gear have been tweeted by journalists at the scene, many of whom were threatened with arrest by police if they neared the shelters. But the old library isn’t the only community uprooted today. Photos of tents being thrown in the garbage at Peace and Friendship Park (located at the corner of Barrington and South Streets) and of police presence at Horseshoe Park and Geary Street in Dartmouth have also been reported.