Rape Relief's Letter - Crossroads panel and de-platforming of Yuly Chan



Vancouver and District Labour Council (VDLC)

May 2 2018

Re: Cancellation of Crossroads panel and de-platforming of Yuly Chan of Chinatown Action Group

The collective of Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter is furious with how Yuly Chan has been treated by the VDLC and OrganizeBC. We are disappointed and disapprove of the decision to cancel the panel and de-platform a principled and local feminist activist.

We, as long-time feminist organizers in Vancouver, understand these attacks for what they are; the silencing of feminists. When campaigns to silence activists are successful, it is the dispossessed who suffer. In this instance, suppressing Yuly’s voice has the impact of quieting those who she speaks on behalf of. We cannot afford to cede further ground to the capitalist forces that have so much on their side to begin with.

The Crossroads conference posited an important question, what is the future of Vancouver? It is one that looms large in the midst of rampant poverty, displacement, and an overdose crisis. We know, it is these conditions that leave women vulnerable to violence and exploitative relationships; including the sex industry. This too must be accounted for in determining our city’s path forward. But in order to truly answer this question, there must be room at the table for dissent and dialogue.

We believe to transform our city to one where all people flourish, it is imperative that we hold fast to the principles we want to see adopted widely. It will take the entire left community to achieve this, with a variety of viewpoints and ideas in hand. In order to “help people be better organizers,” the tools of constructive criticism, debate, and mutual respect for others in resistance are paramount.

Laurel McBride
On behalf of the collective of Vancouver Rape Relief

Read about Rape Relief's work with women in prostitution here

Read/download the letter in PDF here