Home » On The Line

Travis Lupick

14 November 2017 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The Georgia Straight’s Travis Lupick discusses his new book Fighting For Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2017), with Joseph Planta.


Fighting For Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction by Travis Lupick (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2017).

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: Fighting for Space


Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.

Travis Lupick joins me again. He’s just published his debut book, Fighting For Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction. It’s a marvelous chronicle of how in the late 1990s, a grassroots group emerged from the Downtown Eastside here in Vancouver to address drug addiction and the emergency of deaths due to drugs. In the late 1990s, overdoses spike and a number of residents including Ann Livingston, Bud Osborn, Liz Evans, Mark Townsend, and Dean Wilson, as well as many others organise. The Portland Hotel Society is founded, as is VANDU, the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users. In this book, Mr. Lupick chronicles their work over the last quarter century or so, he captures the history of the Downtown Eastside, and the responses by governments then and now, especially in light of the Fentanyl crisis that by year’s end could see over 1,500 overdose-related deaths. The book is illustrative in how drug users themselves have influenced public policy and moved intractable politicians, as well, the book is examines addiction through the work of Gabor Maté and Marc Lewis, as well as the innovative approaches elsewhere like Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, Raleigh, and Toledo. Travis Lupick is an award-winning journalist based in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. He has been at the Georgia Straight as a staff writer and editor for over a decade, and he writes about drug addiction, harm reduction, and mental health there, as well as for the Toronto Star, the Walrus, and Al Jazeera English. This new book is published by Arsenal Pulp Press. It’s a great achievement; not only necessary history, but important in our time. @tlupick is the Twitter handle. There’s an event for the book this Thursday, 16 November 2017 at the Beaumont Studios, 316 West 5th Avenue. It opens at 6.30pm. Travis will participate in a panel discussion. Visit www.fightingforspace.com for more information. Please welcome back to the Planta: On the Line program, Travis Lupick; Mr. Lupick, good morning.

Play