News / Vancouver

New Save On Meats sign teases ‘anarchist’, gives food to Downtown Eastside hotel

Pose like an anarchist, donate a sandwich to a Downtown Eastside women’s centre.

In a cheeky response to an apparent “anarchist” that stole the sign outside Save On Meats last month to contest gentrification of the low-income area, the Vancouver restaurant came back with a campaign to donate sandwich tokens to the Rainier Hotel, a women-only housing and treatment centre.

The new sign features a cutout of the anarchist’s face, letting passersby snap photos posing with their faces in the sign.

 A self-described anarchist poses with the original Save On Meats sign.

A self-described anarchist poses with the original Save On Meats sign.

For every picture posted on Twitter or Facebook, Save On Meats will donate a token for one sandwich to the Rainier, according to the restaurant’s Twitter feed.

Its goal is to donate 3,600 tokens, which patrons can purchase at the diner for $2.25.

“One of the things we pride ourselves on is turning a negative situation into a positive,” diner owner Mark Brand said on Instagram, before thanking the “anarchists” for the food campaign.

The new sign is a lighthearted response in a neighbourhood where anti-gentrification activists have grabbed headlines in the past months with protests at a trendy restaurant, Pidgin.

The debate centres on whether gentrification displaces poor residents or improves the welfare of everyone in the community.

“The act was meant to let the gentrifiers know that they have entered an area with a long history of class warfare,” according to the “anarchist” website that took responsibility for stealing the sign as well as smashing windows at a pizza place on Commercial Drive.

As the Downtown Eastside grapples with change – it’s working on an extensive neighbourhood plan to be completed later this year – businesses are trying to integrate with the community with programs such as Save On Meats sandwich tokens.

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