It’s clear that Edmonton’s Crime Report has gone too far this time. The social media page is known for its clever and dark humor on crime and criminal behavior but Edmonton’s homeless populations aren’t criminals.

Their only crime is being poor. Edmonton has a growing class system and Covid-19 has highlighted what many have known for some time of a clear class system. Many are being left behind and we need more supports in place.

Alberta’s top advocates and everyday Albertans have collectively shown disdain for what they say is a lack of empathy by the Edmonton Crime Report social media post and are asking for the social site to show compassion toward the poor and less fortunate.

Snap shot photo of Edmontonians upset over post.

Barbra Dumigan, well-known poverty, and homeless advocate say ” I find it insulting and insensitive when others joke about our homeless brothers and sisters and their current situations.

and ” Somehow we need to come together and find a way to support each other spirituality, physically and emotionally through difficult times. No one chooses to struggle or live a life full of challenges.

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and that ” It’s important we take care of and uplift one another throughout this pandemic and find positive approaches to overcome homelessness in our inner city.”

Many are asking for the individuals who manage the site to spend a few days at the camp and educate themselves on the underlying issues of class, racism, and the effects of poverty such as Ashlieg Cardinal, a local community advocate and student at Yellowhead Tribal College.

Ashleigh Cardinal says “I have been reporting this every day. The Edmonton Crime Report post is now pinned on facebook which means they have doubled down on it “ and “They lack any empathy. It’s not how its being portrayed to be. I volunteered some time down t and I feel that social media post is so dehumanizing and just so unaccepting.”

She also says, “Laughing at them at their struggles is dehumanizing. Edmonton’s privilege is showing. It’s so much easier to make judgments behind a screen rather than actually going out there and seeing for yourself.and she challenges the Edmonton Crimes Report to spend a few days down there and get to know the challenges of Edmonton’s poor and offers to educate them if they reach out.

Manwar Khan, Edmonton 2016 TOP 40 UNDER 40 recipient by Avenue Magazine, and a prominent anti-bullying activist founder, DO NOT BE A BYSTANDER says, “Being homeless or being an addict in most case this is not a choice. Making fun of this situation is not right. This post is literally belittling people when they are deserving of compassion and support. Never look down on someone unless you are helping them up.

A local Edmonton photographer was so appalled by the social media post that she reported the site.

Darlene Hilderbrandt says “I have reported this post to Facebook six times, for six different violations (hate speech, false information, unauthorized sales, Other – bullying, Other – mocking victims, and harassment). I have yet to get a reply or report back from Facebook on any of them” and call on Facebook to, “Do better Facebook, do the right thing and take the post and page down if they do not comply.”

It’s important that we choose to be compassionate and give back. Edmontons Second Annual Gift of Warmth: Homeless Blanket Drive is partnering with Edmonton’s Mustard Seed and other not for profits in Edmonton. Last year, the group partnered with Aboriginal Women’s Professional Association and City Councilor Mike Nickle.

Terina Umax Lokhorst, Georgina Lightning, Jacquiline Buffalo, and others were successful in collecting 143 new winter coats for Edmonton Homeless Population. Details will roll out in November and will be posted on the “Gift of Warmth” Facebook page and if you have questions folxs are asked to message the group on their social media page.

Here is the link to the controversial social media post Edmonton Crime Report

Thank you for reading my article. I hope you found it informative.

Chevi Rabbitt, Human Rights Advocate

Email: rabbit@ualberta.ca

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