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W2 Media Centre Visited by Police and Border Services

Departments try to access media space without a warrant

by Isaac Oommen

David Eby of BCCLA - photo credit nofutureface
David Eby of BCCLA - photo credit nofutureface

BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) issued a press release on Monday February 15 that uniformed members of the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) accompanied by Vancouver Police Department (VPD) tried to access the independent media centre at W2.

"They visited the art installation under the pretext of looking at art," said BCCLA Policy Director Michael Vonn. "They tried to access the space used by journalists, which you can respect is on the same floor as the office of the BCCLA legal observers."

The officers were asked to leave after they tried to access the upper floors that host the legal observer program.

BCCLA's observers have been at several of the demonstrations held during the Olympics in order to check on both protesters and police for unlawful behaviour.

"The CBSA has been out in force during demonstrations," said Michael. "We have longstanding concerns about the department's function of reviewing people's political views. Our concern with border issues came far before the Amy Goodman detainment, as far back as when British MP George Galloway was disallowed from coming here."

The BCCLA has asked the VPD for a full explanation.

"We welcome a clarification from them," ended Michael. "But we are also reviewing our security. The entire incident is troubling."

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