Community members supporting the Black Lives Matter movement blocked the Georgia Viaduct to motor vehicle traffic for several days in June.
The demonstration was supported by Vancouver’s Black Lives Matter chapter. Organizers say the location was chosen to honour Hogan’s Alley, a Black community in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood that was razed when the city constructed the viaducts.
While the protesters reflected sentiments shared by thousands of demonstrators around the world, the Vancouver blockade had more immediate, and local goals. With the viaducts scheduled to be dismantled within the next few years, the Hogan’s Alley Society has been in negotiations with the city to turn the land into a land trust to be stewarded by the Black community.
The area around the viaducts was once the heart of a thriving Black community established in the early 1900s known as Hogan’s Alley.
Centred between Prior and Union and Main and Jackson streets, the area was a cultural hub for Vancouver’s Black community, which became ghettoized and neglected by the city. Over time, residents were pushed out as industry and infrastructure — including the viaducts — moved in, dispersing the community.
In 2018 the City of Vancouver passed a plan for Northeast False Creek that included specific plans for the Hogan’s Alley area, with the city calling it “a significant opportunity to re-establish a focal point for the Black community in Vancouver.”
- CBC News, Why the Vancouver viaducts are a symbolically important place for an anti-Black racism protest 2020-06-16
- City of Vancouver, The future of Northeast False Creek, 2020
CTV News, Black community calls for reconciliation over Vancouver’s historic Hogan’s Alley, Melanie Nagy, Vancouver Bureau Chief 2020-06-19
- DailyHive Vancouver, Black Lives Matter protest continues for second day on Georgia Viaduct, Megan Devlin 2020-06-14
- Instragram, BLM_Van, 2020-06-13
- Instagram, hogans.alley, 2020-06-14
Prepared by: VCPC Chronology Committee
Last Updated: December 14, 2020