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Grandview Park party against redevelopment was a smash

Blog posts are the work of individual contributors, reflecting their thoughts, opinions and research.
Corrections made to the probation office (Photo: schemamag.ca)
Corrections made to the probation office (Photo: schemamag.ca)

Grandview Park party against redevelopment was a smash

By Oshipeya
Coast Salish Territory, Vancouver
May 16, 2010

Last night's anti-redevelopment party at Grandview Park in Vancouver went from 8:30 at night until almost 3:00 in the morning, coming to an end not long after the cops pushed people off the street in response to some masked marauders who smashed-up and paint-bombed the front door and windows of the nearby probation office.

Hundreds attended the party in the park, dancing to bands and deejays, listening to short speeches about the redevelopment and eventually flooding into the street. Banners, a dumpster, newspaper boxes and pieces of wood were used to block off Commercial Drive at the front of the park. A thrown paint-bomb caused the cops to back off at one end of the street when they tried to approach the barricade.

At the other end, two plain-clothes cops were yelled at and chased away. A Canadian flag was burned by Native and non-Native party-goers after some patriots tried to grab the flag and were pushed back. Fires were then set at both ends of the street. A masked group dressed in all black who had been defending the barricades then ran out and made some "community corrections" of their own as they attacked the probation office, which of course is an extension of the police and prison system.

The cops then ran in along the sidewalk, chasing the masked-mischief-makers, but were blocked by people from the crowd. After a short while, the cops pushed everybody off the street and stood on the sidewalk with dumb looks on their faces as a few stragglers milled-about in the park.

As part of the redevelopment plan, the city government plans to shut down the entire park for a year starting July 1st, at least in part to appease a group of paranoid and control-freak-type citizens who might piss their pants when they smell marijuana or see scruffy-looking people hanging around.

Some people would like to see parts of the park maintained or fixed-up one way or another without having the entire park shut down for a year. Some people don't want to push the poor out of the park and might be more worried about hard drugs than weed. And a lot of people like to party with music and a fire, outdoors on a nice night in the park and in the street.

Here's a link to another person's story about last night:

http://www.schemamag.ca/archive2/2010/05/grandview_park_commercial_driv.php

And here's the website of the Defend Grandview Park campaign:

http://defendgrandview.wordpress.com

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Comments

In Addition...

Also targeted during the street occupation were two surveillance cameras mounted on restaurant facades and giant "circle A's" were spray-painted in the street alongside the words "Total Freedom!"

The park-house, recently covered in a mural by the local Community Policing Centre, was again, covered in anti-cop graffiti.

Banners blocking the street read: "Deconstruction of the Street," (to the best of our memory) and "Defend Grandview, The Peoples Park!"

- Commercial Drive Barricade Inception Association (the other BIA)

great article-- i was hoping

great article-- i was hoping the info would get out!  we kept the pigs out of the mobilization thru the barricades and confronting the plains clothes 'undercover' pigs.  also, one of the most critical aspects of the Grandview park redevelopment is that it will be closed to the people for an entire year!  The city did the same thing with Oppenheimer: it's been closed for over a year--what bullsh#t!  It is the petit bourgeois middle class and their 'business improvement asses' that lead these gentrification campaigns. 

Yeah. It rocked. I especially

Yeah. It rocked. I especially love how the "partiers" said "FUCK YOU" to everyone who lived their, and got to do whatever they wanted because the Black Bloc kids were there to ensure that a riot would occur in a sleeping residential neighbourhood if they didn't get their way. I got 4 hours sleep that night before my kids finally woke up after a fitful night's sleep. Super positive way to build community.

Also love how I and a bunch of other people had to clean up the park after you twits left piles of garbage everywhere, and broke equipment in the playground, and set a fire in the middle of the Drive. Way to "defend" Grandview.

This isn't about driving the poor out. Nobody gives a flying fuck about the dudes who drink behind the washroom so long as they keep it chill. Nobody cares if you smoke dope in the park. All we want is less asphalt, more grass, better seating, and a new playground. That's it.

As the city has pointed out before on park renovations, it's much simpler and cheaper to do it all at once, than in pieces.

the picture is not a good summary of the event

Your last two paragraphs get to the point, but the picture that you chose to go with this story sends the wrong message. This is a picture I would expect to see in Metro or 24. It diverts attention from the real issues that the protest was about. The window has been smashed many times over the years. It is not a message to the friends of grandview, or people in charge of parks. It is a broader anarchist statement that somehow occured (I dont know exactly). A more worthy picture would be the banners or the awesome music that was going on. Thats what people were there for.

Thirty is the new fifteen ...

Spoiled rich Canadian kids acting out their anti-authoritarian fantasies.  Boring.  Tedious, self riighteous, stupid boring.

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!!!

To the sarcastic one,

It was a S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!!! Not a weak/week night.

Shutting down the park for year is a big fuck you, so you're lucky nobody actually even said fuck you to you and instead just had a street party, because that's the least your kind deserves, to suffer a minor annoyance for one night when another sector of society is suffering the major annoyance of not having their park for a year, on top of other problems they have to deal with already.

At least one party-goer took the time to clean up garbage afterwards, so you're either ignorant of this or a liar.

If somebody did break playground equipment, that's unfortunate, but then again, guilt-by-association is a long-established refuge of fools like you.

Oh, but wait a minute, isn't the park funded by tax money? And why is the city not maintaining the park right now (letting the grass go, for instance)? To make a flimsy excuse to shut the park for a year?

You may not care about poor people or people drinking or smoking pot in the park. Many people don't. But you're obviously willfully ignorant of the Friends of Grandview Park group who do, since you could easily have read the Defend Grandview information or even the city information on it or the media stories about it.

Whether it's cheaper to do it all at once or in pieces is irrelevant, since they city has plenty of tax money to waste on condo bailouts, the police and parks in Point Grey, and money isn't the reason for the year-long route anyway. It's to exert control over the park and change the design in a particular way for one group of people over another. Why don't they cut back on some of their big tax loopholes for corporations if they're hurting for cash?

To the perfect picture seeker,

It was the only good picture available at the time and not a distraction, I don't think, from the rest of the party. There's no need to compare and contrast, in a negative way, the different aspects of what went down. The media often covers-up such actions as much they sometimes sensationalize them and there's no principle against using the same images the media might if it's to our benefit. The action might or might not have been intended to send any message to anyone, but either way, it did send one to everybody. Repressive government institutions are more prone to being attacked in that area and especially when the government tried to implement plans such as the one to shut down the park for a year. This is an anti-incentive for the government and their citizen-backers to proceed with their plan.

Here's a decent photo of a banner at the party:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/charenton_/4615646721/sizes/l/

 

 

Losers

These Black Bloc types are Nazi bullies -- no discussion, no consultation, no tolerance of anything but their own POV. They're a pack of impotent whiners who are still angry over the fact that they accomplished nothing in years of trying to stop the Olympics. And now they lose again. Pathetic!

Okay, once again, you guys

Okay, once again, you guys kept that party going through threat of violence. That's bullshit, and it has nothing to do with community. Try it again, and maybe some people will take it into their own hands to shut it down. That would be stupid wouldn't it? So basically, we have to act like adults while you twats run around acting like fucking kids just so nobody gets hurt. That's not anarchy, that's fucking kindergarden.

As for the closure, the park will be shut down from July to March. Check the city's website. That's 8 months. Quick refresher, there are 12 months in a year. And as for Oppenheimer Park... it was closed from July till February. That would be 7 months. Not a year. Jesus pantysniffing Christ... at least try to get some shit straight if you're going to report on things.

http://www.straight.com/article-238653/neighbours-decry-oppenheimer-park...

Want proof of trash and the broken swing? Here is a link to a few photos:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=108118892563471&v=wall&story_fbid=114023355306358#!/photo.php?pid=4691098&o=all&op=1&view=all&subj=108118892563471&aid=-1&id=605590825

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=108118892563471&v=wall&story_fbid=114023355306358#!/photo.php?pid=4691099&o=all&op=1&view=all&subj=108118892563471&aid=-1&id=605590825

There was actually shit all over the park. And yeah, I was there... I saw a woman picking up trash, and that is admirable, but when you claim to be a defender of Grandview, it looks bad when as a group you actually trash the fucking joint. It means you're kind of a fucking joke, and that nobody should take you seriously.

And to suggest that it's a coincidence that the swing was broken on this night is so fucking laughable I have to ask you... where do you buy your crack? You clearly are getting the good shit. Maybe the garbage cans that were stolen walked off on their own too?

As for the Friends of Grandview... find me information on them that comes directly from them... not from the Defend Grandview folk who can't even get shit like the length of the park closure, or the fact that no... bike polo people will not be excluded because they are getting an area that is practically designed specifically for their needs.

If you google "Friends of Grandview" you get nothing. They barely exist. They're probably just a few home owners who live near the drive who've made some comments, but they hardly dictate policy. But guess what? They're the ones who always end up calling the fucking ambulence when somebody gets the shit kicked out of them. And believe it or not... it happens, and it isn't the yuppies doing it.  This is the shit we want to prevent, which has nothing to do with keeping the poor out of the park.

And as for the Black Bloc kids... I tried talking to them. I asked them if they lived in the neighbourhood, or if they could explained how new grass and some benches and shit could be a bad idea. They basically just gawked at me. Yeah... they're worth listening too alright. if they didn't live in a country like Canada, they'd starve to death inside of a month.

What you're missing

You have failed to mention this article the vandalism that was done to the park itself including the graffiti on a brand new mural on the washroom building,a broken kid's swing, and the ridiculous amount of garbage strewn around the park. Great support for the park that is. Lets remember that this park is mostly used by children under the age of 5 and their parents.  

The correlation between park redevelopment  and pushing scruffy folks', weed smokers and others' is a bunk argument.  As is the idea that this redevelopment is only about gentrification (as is often asserted).  Do not the less wealthy areas deserve nice parks too? The park as it is now is in shambles and the upgrade will be nice.  Why can't these people return when the park is redone? We will.

And we welcome everyone to the park - parks are for loitering.  But clean up after yourselves folks.  It s the mess that pisses people off - not the lovely smell of weed filling the air.

 

I had a great time at the

I had a great time at the block party, and see that folks decided to express their anger towards the police and take a militant defensive stance while other peeps danced away the night as a sign that there is an active, committed, diverse group of people working towards the objective of keeping this neighborhood awesome!
The black bloc is nothing new, and has been used in an array of situations for tactical defense of positions and groups of people, as well as offensives against strategic targets and tools of state repression such as riot squads. I've never once heard of a civilian being hurt by the block, but i've known many bystanders to be tear-gassed, peppersprayed and beaten in protest scenarios. And this doesn't account for the every day violence perpetrated on this world by corporate criminals who are largely immune to the law, and the eco-cide that results from their endeavors.. the Gulf of Mexico being a prime example of the moment. This paradox does not go unnoticed by those who engage in tactics like the one seen on saturday night. I think that people here just aren't used to seeing those folks around, but I can gaurantee that they are not going away any time soon. Initiatives like the development of grandview park tie in intimately to broken promises that are the olympic legacy, the dtes, the criminalization of poverty, constantly increasing security, and more and more cops on the streets. These things are not separate, but are interlocking parts of a repressive system that encroaches by degrees, not leaps. Militants are wililng to expose these creeping changes masked as "progress" for what they are: insidious. Remember that these people are part of our community too.
Because I have taken the time to understand what motivates these individuals and what they are striving for, I personally feel safer with the folks in black around.

Who is "my kind" anyway? A

Who is "my kind" anyway? A local who actually uses the park every day? A person who supports the park being used by everyone so long as they are respectful of others in a public space? Do you imagine that I'm your mortal enemy... a dreaded yuppie?

And where is my comment that addresses your argument? You guys actually moderate them before posting? WTF? I thought  you were anarchists? How exactly does this jive with needing to approve people's comments before they go live? You guys could learn a thing or two from the radicals at the Globe and Mail.

bEEp

Hah, just great! *psst* Cops hate it when you fling bags of poo at them ;D

Hey there "I had a great

Hey there "I had a great time",

You didn't just express your anger at the cops. You did so to everyone within a 500 meter radius of the park. That includes families, seniors, mental health group homes, and housing co-ops. So thanks for that. And thanks for doing it under the protection of people who were prepared to riot in our community. Totally fucking awesome way to build community.

Try to stay focused here. We're not talking about the corporate eco nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico. We're talking about putting in some new washrooms, grass and benches in the park, and replaceing cancer-causing preasure-treated wood playground equipment with something new.

Somebody please, (pleasepleasepleaseplease) tell me how exactly this marinalizes the poor.

My bet is that you can't, because this isn't about legitimate dissent, it's just blind unfocused anger. I get that you're pissed over broken promises, but that doesn't mean that everything the city does is bad.

Again, tell us why this hurts the poor. We the reasonable residents of Grandview are interested to hear what you have to say.

Park

 I see, the children of the oppressors, who were fed, taught, and housed by the oppressors, are leading us into the light.  Why are they always the leaders of the movements.  Our eastside kids deserve a place where they can get strong and start the revolution.  Yeah I hope that sport court they are building has a basketball hoop - that's the game of the streets, the city, not some lousy tennis court or that game the children of the occupiers play on bikes!

Of Course

You whine about the spending of dollars on the park - sure a waste, but at least when it is done people can do what they want in the park.  You just want the money to go the institutions you love - schools, hospitals, group homes - all controlled by the elite - and where probably you all will be working once you leave the neighbourhood and get government jobs and join the power structure.  All this is just a detour by the the you the leaders, the whites, lots of male whites, who by their very nature are opressors but say they speak for the oppressed. In a few years you will leave get a grant or a job funded by the occupier (government) and put your kids in alternate schools - full of white kids. Shame on you - why not join the flotilla in Gaza and do something meaningful!

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