Despite early word that tomorrow’s Vancouver Art Gallery 4/20 event had been shut down by city construction, organizer Robert Moore said an agreement has been reached that will allow the peaceful assembly to continue at the site.
“We made a deal with the city,” said Moore. “They said they’re doing legitimate construction and that we can have the the whole front and that they would stop and block Howe Street for us.”
Moore said, originally, the city was planning to block off the entire site but has reduced the fencing to just the north side of the plaza.
“Part of me is kind of sad that we lost the north side,” said Moore. “But we have the city’s approval and we have the full south side and it’s still a nice, big area.”
Art Gallery communications specialist Debra Zhou directed to the city’s development page for more information on the renovations, that will completely take over the area in July. The first-phase of construction, being prepared currently, is tree removal.
“The trees on the site are reaching the end of their life expectancy and will be replaced by a greater number of new trees to provide shade and visually complete the avenue of maple trees along Hornby Street,” the city’s site explained.
“There will be a few police as the crowd grows,” said Moore. “All they’re concerned about is people vending to anyone that looks under the age of 25. But, of course, we’re not there to vend, we’re there to protest.”
Community support for the art gallery event has been strong, according to Moore.
“We’ve got lots of people saying they’re coming out more and more,” he said. “There’s been lot of infighting, but we’ve got a lot of people sticking up for us and it actually seems like we’re getting more support from them.”
Moore said he has no issue if people would rather attend the event at the beach and hopes that there is room in the city for both events.
“If we want to free the weed we need to be public, I don’t see how preaching to the choir is really effective,” said Moore. “Every other major city across Canada is doing these protests in the city centre, no one else is going down to the beach.”
Moore said the event will begin in the afternoon, with a stage arriving at 3:30 pm for performances at 4:20 pm.