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Police Crack Down on Activists as Olympics Continue

Interview with UBC student who was arrested Saturday, and had his possessions seized by VPD

by lucho 2010 Olympics

» Download file 'interview.mp3' (9.1MB)

Ed Durgan in a video still of his arrest
Ed Durgan in a video still of his arrest

 Police have been targeting activists by seizing property, issuing tickets and making arrests using the flimsiest of excuses. Local police assisted by the ISU and Canadian Border Services made a series of repressive arrests starting Friday, when a march from the Vancouver Art Gallery saw three people arrested, and one charged with assault from this completely peaceful protest. The next day, 13 were arrested during a demonstration, three held overnight, and another US citizen may face deportation. As usual, mainstream media made a big story about the "violent nature" of the protest where a few windows were smashed, and mentioned nothing of the destruction to the environment caused by the games.

Above is an audio recording of Ed Durgan, explaining his arrest to the Vancouver Media Co-op.

 Most disturbing is the sweep of arrests that have taken place in the days following the large street protests of Friday & Saturday. Activists and independent media have been harassed in the streets, some given tickets for petty offenses such as swearing in public, and one journalist volunteering with the the Vancouver Media Co-op was detained at the border and questioned by the FBI as he returned home. On Sunday two more arrests were reported, one person was released without conditions or charges, while another was held overnight and charged with assault relating to a spitting incident.

On Monday ORN member Guillaume was arrested, held, and has since been released with conditions that he is not to organize protest marches. He now faces a charge of "counseling mischief", that more resembles an Orwellian thought crime, than a serious offense.

Monday marked the launch of a tent city in the Downtown East Side located on a lot rented by the Vancouver Olympic Committee. The action organized by DTES residents calls attention to the need for more affordable housing, but city officials have stated clearly that it is completely illegal to occupy land for this reason. Anti-poverty activists and the The BC Civil Liberties Association are are concerned that peoples righs may not be respected amongst this marginalized group.

 

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Comments

Define Peaceful

You chose to use the term "Peaceful Protest" let me suggest that this may not apply to the demonstration which included the Black Bloc tactic.

Peaceful is defined as "characterized by peace; free from war, strife, commotion, violence, or disorder"

You would assume that if you are to antagonize the police they would respond by following the law to the T (ie. swearing in public, etc.) - also according to the law, spitting is assault.

The journalist at the border was detained - as to be expected when stating your reasoning for entering a country was to cover a protest that made international headlines.

If a peaceful protest really happened the police have no need to arrest.

Tent City = Peaceful Protest which we all must applaud.

"Anti-poverty activists and

"Anti-poverty activists and the The BC Civil Liberties Association are are concerned that peoples righs may not be respected amongst this marginalized group."

What rights? The right to illegally occupy land that belongs to someone else? Where do you people get off??

Yes, housing is a basic right; however, housing in the downtown core of the country's most expensive city is not. There is plenty of affordable housing to be had in the surrounding suburbs.

Before you pounce on me for being unsympathetic, let me share my story:

Seven years ago I was a starving university student in Toronto, living in a mouse and roach infested SRO on a mere $800/month, which I earned by working at part-time jobs whenever I was not in class or studying.

I have been there. I have been threatened with eviction and had to beg to pay my $400/month rent in bi-weekly increments when I didn't have enough for the whole amount. I have borrowed $10 because I ran out of groceries and didn't have enough money to feed myself for the rest of the week. I have slept through classes because I worked into the wee hours of the night to earn the pittance of money that paid my way.

But instead of whining, complaining, protesting and taking what wasn't rightfully mine, I came away from the experience with a resolve to do better for myself.

Seven years later, after much hard work and shrewd financial management, I live in a luxury view condo, drive a nice car and live a generally comfortable life. I will make no apologies for the life I live, because I worked my ass off to get here and I did it all without government or parental handouts.

I work hard and I give generously to my community. I am the first person to step in and give someone a hand-up when they're working hard to better themself. I volunteer my time to mentor the younger generation so that they can become leaders in their families and communities.

But I will not tolerate the disgusting, presumptuous, and illegal actions that seem to characterize this city's "activist" groups.

Put your efforts into something more productive - a job, some volunteer work, schooling - and I think you will start to find that life just suddenly seems to treat you better.

Be the change you wish to see.

how nice for you

I live in a luxury view condo, drive a nice car and live a generally comfortable life.

Wow, how awesome for you. so you think you deserve these things just because you worked for them? How about because you are a) white b) male or c) a recognized citizen of one of the wealthiest nations in the world? The mere fact that you were able to pull yourself out of poverty does not mean that everyone has that same option, ie. the same privileges that you exercised. doing good for your community means recognizing that that same community contains large portions of people that cannot exercise certain rights because they are unable (for whatever reason- mental health, dependents, lack of assistance, drug addiction, health, etc.)

the cruel fact is that the majority of the lower class are 1 or 2 bad months away from homelessness, already live in abject poverty and struggle with the same issues you did in your student days, but they are not situated to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" or however you want to say it. sometimes people need help, and the culture that tries to shame people for asking for it or has the mentality that "each for his own" is the way to be a good citizen has a lot to learn about what is means to be a good person.

More deets

I didn't note that I am a U.S. citizen and that CBSA was on the scene in Pigeon Park.  They confiscated my passport and I am facing the possibility of deportation now.   

Link to Video

In case anyone hasn't seen the video yet (now on page 2):

http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/video/2750

Thanks to the Media Co-op for getting the word out on Police intimidation of concerned and activists whilst the mainstream media continue to talk about the size of the ice rink at a hockey game. 

Anti poverty!

There is a tent city by the army and navy in downtown vancouver. There were windows broken at the hudson's bay, and people injured at the rock show alexis on fire.
The coffee at the vancouver tent sity rocks, and there are a lot of old street services employees at the tent city in van.

Anti poverty!

There is a tent city by the army and navy in downtown vancouver. There were windows broken at the hudson's bay, and people injured at the rock show alexis on fire.
The coffee at the vancouver tent sity rocks, and there are a lot of old street services employees at the tent city in van.

  Ed - if deportation is

  Ed - if deportation is attempted there will be one hell of a fight.

"This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man." 

It happened to me, it happened to him, it could happen to you.

 Let this be a warning for us all. 

This definitely sounds like a case of harassment and intimidation and in general an abuse of power targeting those connected by a political ideologue. This is just one example of what tactics are being employed of late by the VPD. Laying any kind of a charge, no matter how remotely applicable to anyone they deem to be connected to the anti Olympic camp. Even if receiving a spitting on the sidewalk or cussing in public charge seems laughable on its face. Or reveals more about the VPD and its members, it should still serve as a wake up call as to the possible methods and actions you could be dealing with by an organization that could be seriously harmful to your life if they ever had motive and opportunity to be. Police will not just out right lie, they will fabricate evidence against you if it serves a purpose and they will do it with the support of other members. 

For the most part, motive is already provided. Means and opportunity is what you will have to be on guard against. The best protection against this is never being caught alone. As much as possible, try to have someone with you as much as possible. The more the merrier. Its always so much harder to mount a bullshit case when there are other witnesses that can contradict a police officers statement. Cell phone cameras and video devices are also useful in this regard and the cops don't like them for obvious reasons.

I am currently having to defend myself against some serious charges that never could have been possible if it weren't for the outrageous lying by the arresting officer to which forms the legal basis for his entire case against me. I'm not just talking about a couple lies that help make an already semi tight case, I'm talking about an entire case predicated on lying. Made up witness accounts by witnesses that don't even exist. A thirty page arrest report that was more lying than truth if you can believe. If I could have had even one person there who could corroborate my word against five cops, I wouldn't be looking at the bleak situation that I am unfortunately in.

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