No Repression Without Response! (2010)

No Repression Without Response!

Report from Vancouver March in Solidarity with G20 Arrestees

by Annie Elation

July 5, 2010

No Repression Without Response!
No Repression Without Response!
No Repression Without Response!
No Repression Without Response!
No Repression Without Response!
No Repression Without Response!
No Repression Without Response!
No Repression Without Response!
No Repression Without Response!
No Repression Without Response!

A rally began from Vancouver’s China Creek Park yesterday, July 4th, in solidarity with the over 900 people arrested at the G20 summits earlier this week. Before the rally began four police officers attempted to enter the rally and speak with the organizers. Clearly the treatment of organizers in Toronto could make any organizer shy of speaking with police.

A group of masked people quickly amassed in front of them yelling “No cops in the demo!”, an effective and common phrase at demos here over the last year. The police left and did not attempt to interact again with the demo in a formal way.

Banners in the demo read: “We are all the Black Block!” “Solidarity is our Weapon,” “Solidarity against Police Repression,” “Free the Toronto 900,” “Freedom to Assemble,” and “People Before Profit.”

A main goal of the demonstration was to encourage solidarity with all elements and tactics of protest used at the G20. Black masks were distributed at the beginning of the demonstration and people donned them in solidarity with the black block arrestees. The majority of the demo was masked.

It has been said that masking, rather than just concealing ones identity, reveals who we are. In Vancouver, since the Olympics, it is more generalized amongst activists and radicals to take a position against the condemnation of certain protesters and tactics in order to give support to the ‘good’ protesters. Instead many people are arguing that you cannot separate the militants from the community builders. This is not so much an argument to take up with the legal system, as a valuable understanding to come to within our movements.

The demonstration held an intersection that was blocked for 3 hours in April 2008 in an indigenous led solidarity action. At that time, Mohawks from Tyendenaga re-occupying their land against resource extraction in Desronto were facing the threat of an armed police assault. As part of a nation-wide variety of actions, that solidarity demo blocked truck traffic from the Port of Vancouver all the way to the US Border. Likewise, this G20 solidarity demo aimed to disrupt trucking traffic, tossing a wrench into the economic gears. A 2010 Olympics and a Canadian flag were burnt amidst cheers. A speaker made the point that while

The state is trying to rip out the heart of our resistance by brutalizing and arresting us, we should respond by ripping out the heart of Capitalism “– lifeline of the State. And so solidarity really does become a weapon.

As stated by author Bineshii, “This march was an example of … direct action strategies that community based resistance movements can take.” Soidarity march report by Bineshii at:… The march then turned back down Clark Dr. pausing again at a few intersections. Some organizers from Toronto spoke about the folks in prison there, police brutality and calls for an inquiry into the police violence. Proceeding over the 1st Ave. viaduct the march made it to Main St. Destination: Cop Shop (police station). Throughout the demo, the banner holders maintained a perimeter, making it difficult for police to come close to people. It is especially important at demonstrations where people are vulnerable to police targeting to stay tight and use back and front banners so the police cannot enter in a group. At the cop shop, another speaker stated,

“I am going to use some harsh words right now, just to warn you. In Toronto, the cops brutalized, intimidated and arrested people. As reported by independent journalists, young women were threatened with gang rape by the police. However, we have to remember that this is not exceptional. This is what the police do everyday: arrests, deportations, beatings, disrupting people’ s entire lives. And this is Democracy. This is what democracy looks like, and this is what we are up against”

The march shouted, “No Justice, No Peace, Fuck the Police!,” “Drop all Charges,” “Police cars up in smoke. Anarchy it ain’t no joke!” and just simply “Fuck the police!” Some people from the neighbourhood joined in the demo and many people grinned and put their fists in the air.

Of course if this was an “objective” article I might also point out that a few people, like one or two, expressed negative sentiments, but we can expect that from a society that brainwashes it’s citizen’s into believing that this is freedom. At one point a man on the sidewalk, unassociated with the demonstration was being agressively hassled by police. The march stopped and surrounded the cops. The man said that police punched him. I found it odd that, at one point, a police officer told me emphatically, almost imploringly that he did not strike the man.

I don’t usually talk to cops, but I gave it a whirl, “Maybe not today, maybe it was yesterday a cop fucked him up. You beat on people in this neighbourhood.” In a surreal twist he agreed with me. Whatever, diplomacy I guess. Seriously, a cop agreed that people in the downtown eastside face frequent beatings by police. What the hey, aren’t they supposed at least lie about shit like that? The demo continued down Hastings to Andy Livingstone park where people worked together to block cameras as the black block changed back into street clothes. While leaving, two people were surrounded by cops just out of sight. As one cop reached for something on his belt he said “You’re not so tough now, huh?”

The two managed to run back to the demo. Everyone then left in larger groups. The demo lasted for 4 hours covering a total of 12 kilometers. The sentiment of those in the streets was, “What’s four hours compared to the 200 and counting for the current G20 prisoners.”

No repression without response! Drop all Charges! Free All Prisoners! Link to “straight talk” article explaining “Why Solidarity with the Black Bloc?”:

Vancouver Anti-G20/G8 Protest: Cops Stay Liars, Media Remain Complicit (2010)

Vancouver Anti-G20/G8 Protest: Cops Stay Liars, Media Remain Complicit

by Oshipeya
June 27, 2010
Coast Salish Territory, Vancouver

Vancouver demonstration photo by Stephen Hui
Vancouver demonstration photo by Stephen Hui

Video of Vancouver demonstration at The Georgia Straight website:…

Photos of Vancouver demonstration at The Georgia Straight website:…

About 75 people attended yesterday’s anti-G20/G8 demonstration in Vancouver, taking the streets in opposition to the extremes of global corporate and government control, and in the case of most demonstrators, the entire capitalist system. The three-hour-long march went along Commercial Drive, Hastings Street and to the Clark Drive overpass leading to the Port of Vancouver along the city’s main trucking route, and then back again.

It was also an explicit show of solidarity with the G20/G8 protests in Toronto, including the rioters there, as the small crowd in Vancouver loudly cheered upon hearing of the rebellion on the streets of Canada’s financial capital.

The Vancouver march circled back on itself after trying to cross the Port of Vancouver overpass at Clark Drive because a line of crowd-control police blocked the way. A banner against the tar sands was hung across the overpass for a while as speeches were made.

Translink said they had to redirect four major bus routes during the march and many of the backed up buses could be seen from the demonstration.

The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) deployed several vans full of riot police along with cops on bikes and on foot who followed alongside, behind and in front of the march. A police helicopter also hovered overhead throughout.

Contrary to the lies of the VPD, simply parroted as usual by the corporate media, it was the police who initiated the minor shoving matches with the small black bloc present and tried to steal banners and flags. The cops said, “while there were no arrests today, the right to protest doesn’t include the right to commit criminal acts that place the public’s safety at risk.”

Except there were no criminal acts unless you include the unpermitted march itself, or some light shoving in response to the cops shoving, or the attempt to block the trucking route to the port, which the cops didn’t mention. And if there were crimes, why didn’t the cops make any arrests? Maybe because they’re lying about it and trying to imply criminality where there is none or to exaggerate it.

Cops repeatedly closed in on the sides of the march, only to be met with chants of “No pigs in the demo” each time, not just from the black bloc, but from most of the demonstrators. The crowd also joined in chants of “What’s the solution, revolution, what’s the direction, insurrection,” and, “1,2,3,4, this is f#cking class war!”

One of the black bloc’s main activities was attempting to block the cops surveillance camera with their black flags, which was welcomed by other protesters, some joining in with their placards and banner.

In the media, the cops tried to portray the black bloc as taking over and distracting from the “legitimate” protest, despite the fact that the black bloc did not initiate conflict and was supported by the other protesters. The cops also failed to mention that the march as a whole attempted to block access to the port, that it had at least the intention of some form of direct action and that the black bloc was there in support of that.

The cops focused on and exaggerated the black bloc’s activities while concealing the intent of the “legitimate” protesters to do more than just peacefully and lawfully protest.

The police are desperate to divide people and to portray the black bloc tactic as marginal, in part because they know its strength comes as much from its supporters, passive and active, as from those who use the tactic themselves.

Toronto’s police chief was even more desperate, given his situation, in his pleas for the public to support his embarrased and ineffective police force rather than the black bloc many in the city had been supporting. Toronto’s head cop knows that rather than experiencing shock, many in his city and around the world were inspired by the street resistance.

So the cops always have to wage a propaganda war with the help of their corporate media pals to do damage control for their own image while attempting to demonize and mystify what many see as one of the clear and correct ways to respond to the violence and exploitation of capitalism and the State.

At the Vancouver demonstration, a speech on repression of indigenous fisheries in British Columbia and the necessity of a diversity of tactics and direct action received the most cheers and applause, seemingly indicating an increased radicalization, or at least a more obvious radical perspective in Vancouver since the Olympics.

The black bloc clearly does not distract from, but brings more attention to the “cause” of opposition to the G20/G8. More importantly, it also poses the question of the what good a “cause” is if people aren’t willing to fight for it and take the necessary action to make change when the ruling class have contrary interests that they’re more than willing to violently defend with their police.

The black bloc would not be much of a problem for the police if not for the many who support it, or those who would also or already have rioted against the cops, the government and the corporations in more-than-justified retaliation.

Grandview Park party against redevelopment was a smash (2010)

Grandview Park party against redevelopment was a smash

By Oshipeya
Coast Salish Territory, Vancouver
May 16, 2010

Corrections made to the probation office (Photo:

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:

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



Sun, 05/16/2010 – 19:40 — Vancouver Anonymous

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)

Comprehensive summary of resistance to the 2010 Olympics

Click here for to view the PDF:

“From 2002 to 2010, an anti-Olympic protest and resistance movement emerged in and around Vancouver, British Columbia, developing also into a national network. This time period can be divided into two distinct phases of protest & resistance. “

Anarchists and Social Struggles in Vancouver After the Olympics (2010)

Anarchists and Social Struggles in Vancouver After the Olympics

By Oshipeya
March 15, 2010

“It don’t take a professor to see the oppressor got the whole treasure.”
– One Be Lo, from the song “Axis” from the album “S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M.”

I recently attended two public events in Vancouver that got me thinking more about anarchists and their role in social struggles in the wake of the anti-olympic convergence.

The first was a talk by anarchist writers Mark Leier and Robert Graham at the Vancouver Public Library on March 11, 2010. A small room was almost full with an audience of about 50 people of different ages.

Leier, director of Labour Studies at Simon Fraser University and former union organizer, deconstructed recent anarchist thought influenced by post-modernist and post-structuralist philosophy by presenting Bakunin’s arguments against idealism in the mid-1800s. Leier’s presentation was not so academic as one might think. He plainly presented in a humorous and engaging manner the relevance of Bakunin to today, that being an insistence on the truth and reality of exploitation, the basic unchanged nature of capitalism and the division of society into opposing social classes, in contrast to the extreme relativism of post-modern philosophy.

Bakunin said that although our understanding of truth and reality is always partial it is still possible to know or understand, at least partially, some essential things, such as the fact of class exploitation.

This concept of the continued relevance of anarchist anti-capitalist analysis dovetailed nicely with part of Robert Graham’s presentation, in which he described the anarchist idea that a free society is possible at any time in history, regardless of the level of technological development.

Graham’s talk focused on the aftermath of Spanish Civil War and social revolution of 1936-1939, the site of the largest anarchist movement in history and the biggest defeat of the international anarchist movement. The federal structure of the anarchist union the CNT was discussed as well as the difficulties anarchists had in securing weapons in contrast to the Nazi-supplied Spanish fascists and the Stalin-backed Spanish communists.

Graham discussed the evolution of some anarchists’ thoughts on war, organization and sexual repression after the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War, in particular referencing Wilhelm Reich, Paul Goodman and the recently deceased Colin Ward.

A question from the audience about the anarchist position on armies brought up a discussion of the difference between the Spanish anarchist militias, their guerrilla warfare tactics and their anarchist form of organization and the structure of a traditional army. The anarchist Nestor Mahkno’s more traditional military formation in the Ukraine after the Russian Revolution of 1917 was also briefly addressed.

Leier was asked about diversity of tactics and the Heart Attack demonstration of February 13, likely because of his previous supportive response to it in the Georgia Straight newspaper, but didn’t get much into it in this particular venue other than to say that it’s difficult to know the impact of such events until 10 years later. This reminded myself  and others of our previous idea that the success, support of and solidarity with the black bloc and the Heart Attack demo was partly the result of the Seattle World Trade Organization (WTO) riots 10 years ago and the efforts of anarchists and black bloc participants since then to build understanding around the tactic and work in harmony with others in social struggles.

The talk was framed around Leier’s last published book, “Bakunin”, and Graham’s volume two of “Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas”.

The second event I attended was called “In Solidarity with Resistance: Challenging Police Brutality”, which took place at the Rhizome Café on March 13.

A Native presenter talked about her experience during the Oka Crisis/Uprising of 1990 and read a statement from another Native person about the low-intensity brutality of fishing regulation and enforcement against Natives on the Fraser River.

Native women from the Power of Women group spoke on police brutality against Natives and other poor people in the Downtown Eastside (DTES), as well as the anti-olympic tent city.

A member of No One Is Illegal spoke on the role of the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and their place within the repressive framework of policing in Canada and during the Olympics.

A poet spoke of the riot police response to the Heart Attack demonstration and read out a few of her poems about the Heart Attack demonstration and the tent city.

A student activist spoke on the police reaction after the Heart Attack demo when they arrested and illegally tried to deport him to the United States for observing police harassment in the DTES and riding his bike on the sidewalk.

This event was also packed and support for the black bloc and Heart Attack demo was apparent there too, if not explicit.

These two events further confirmed for me that the black bloc, Heart Attack demo and anarchists in Vancouver in general are not so marginal or “controversial” as a very small number of socialists, social democrat activists and even other anarchists in Vancouver and Toronto have tried to portray them as on the internet or at two previous public events (at the VIVO and W2 art spaces).

The majority of the audience at the previous events vocally and through applause showed support for the black bloc anyway, demolishing attempts by a few socialist and social democrat speakers to present their own negative views on it as being more popular, reasonable or even intelligent.

The fussing of a tiny number of socialists and social democrats over the violent and confrontational tactics used in conjunction with the black bloc tactic and the public’s supposedly mostly horrified reaction, or the exaggeration of a humorous pieing as a significantly “violent” attack, instead show just how out of touch these particular activists are with the “public” they talk about, as well as the majority of the activist community of Vancouver.

Canadian popular culture loves violence, from hockey to television to movies to the internet to video games to music, in far more gratuitous and random forms than was displayed at the Heart Attack demo. During the Stanley Cup riot of 1994 in Vancouver, windows at the Hudson’s Bay Company were also broken, that time by hockey fans.

As Mark Leier pointed out in the Georgia Straight article and his three books on Vancouver’s labour history, the debate around diversity of tactics in social struggles is nothing new in Vancouver. In the early 1900s it was the working class based anarcho-syndicalist Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), the biggest union in British Columbia at the time, pushing the envelope in terms of tactics, much to the chagrin of the middle class dominated socialists.

In the 30s and the depression, ironically it was the communists like Steve Brodie pushing for more confrontational tactics in the occupation of the post office and other buildings, and the unemployed ended up breaking far more windows, at the Woodwards building for instance, in rioting after the police evicted them than were broken at the Heart Attack demo decades later.

All that being said, I believe that anarchists in Vancouver could have and could still better communicate their views to the wider public, particularly off the internet and on the streets and in other public places, using a variety of methods, especially now given the greater public attention generated by the media in reaction to the Heart Attack demonstration.

Links –

Short documentary on the Stanley Cup Riot with footage of broken windows at the Hudson’s Bay Company at 9:00 minutes (thanks for the tip bineshii):

Mark Leier’s interview in the media about the black bloc at the Heart Attack demo:

No action is sufficient in itself, black bloc or otherwise, by Oshipeya:

Team Anarchy Wins Three Games Against Team Olympics (on hockey the black bloc and violence in Canada):

Mark Leier’s bio at Simon Fraser University:

Robert Graham’s anarchism blog:

One Be Lo’s song “Axis” from the album “S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M.”: