Category Archives: Police

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: http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/story/%E2%80%9Cdrop-all-charges-free-all-p… 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?”: http://www.straight.com/article-332050/vancouver/vancouver-protest-planned-show-solidarity-g20-detainees-black-bloc-activists

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:

http://www.straight.com/article-331218/vancouver/video-vancouver-protest…

Photos of Vancouver demonstration at The Georgia Straight website:

http://www.straight.com/article-331215/vancouver/photos-g8-and-g20-prote…

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.

Darren Thurston – Vancouver’s most notorious activist turned police informant since Robert Gosden

Update:

Vancouver lawyer Peter Edelmann (who sometimes works for activists) confirmed in early 2010 that FBI/police informant Darren Thurston has been working for him in his legal office since sometime not long after Thurston’s return to Vancouver in late 2008. This opens the possibility of breaches of lawyer-client confidentiality, given Thurston’s signed and sealed agreement to give information on other activists to the FBI.

For information on Vancouver’s previously most notorious anarchist/activist turned police informant, Robert Gosdsen, see Mark Leier’s informative book “Rebel Life“.

Darren Thurston is a former Vancouver activist turned FBI/police informant who currently (as of January 2010) lives and works in Vancouver.

Ironically, he apparently works in computer security according to his twitter account and website Hard Mac and he was previously a member of the activist security group resist.ca who publicly denounced activists opposed to Thurston’s snitching (although resist.ca neglected to mention Thurston’s signed and sealed agreement with the FBI to provide information about other activists, which Thurston himself has decided to keep sealed, and despite the fact that Thurston himself admits to being an informant, saying it set a bad example) .

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From wikipedia:

Darren Todd Thurston (born circa 1970) is a Canadian anarchist and animal rights activist.

In July 2006, Thurston pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy and related arson charges that occurred from 1996 through 2001 in Oregon and four other U.S. states, and which were claimed in the name of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). The FBI arrested Thurston and 10 other members of a west coast-based animal rights and environmentalist organization that the FBI and media called “The Family.” The arrests were made as part of the FBI’s Operation Backfire.

Thurston was sentenced in May 2007 to 37 months in prison in exchange for his cooperation with the investigation.

Early activism

As a teenager Thurston began work with the Edmonton- based Citizens Organized for Animal Liberation as an organizer and spokesperson against animal exploitation and abuse. Through the years he has worked with a number of organizations including TAO Communications, BearWatch, Anti-Racist Action, Friends of the Elaho and the BC Compassion Club.

Charges and convictions

In 1992, Thurston was convicted for his part in an Animal Liberation Front action at a University of Alberta laboratory and liberating 29 cats slated for medical experimentation. For this act and another earlier action, he served two and a half years in a Canadian prison and was released in 1994.

In 1998, Thurston was charged along with former ALF spokesman David Barbarash relating to a series of threatening letters that were booby-trapped with razor blades and sent to hunting-guide outfitters across British Columbia. In late 2000, charges against Thurston were stayed by the Crown following a refusal by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to give details on informants used in the case.

On December 7, 2005, Thurston was arrested in Portland, Oregon in the company of Chelsea Gerlach. Although he was initially told he would receive a speedy deportation, he was later indicted in a case involving 16 individuals alleged to have been involved in 17 Earth Liberation Front, Animal Liberation Front and other unclaimed actions that took place between 1996 and 2001. These arrests took place as part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Operation Backfire, referred to in the activist community as part of an ongoing trend known as the Green Scare.

Thurston was facing five federal charges including of arson with and incendiary device and conspiracy in addition to two federal charges for the possession of fraudulent identification. The actual accusation of criminal wrongdoing levied against Thurston stems from an allegation that he was involved in an Earth Liberation Front incident at Litchtfield, California in 2001 during which wild horses rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management were freed and a barn burned to the ground.

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On Darren Thurston’s Statement, “Fired Back”

posted at crimethinc.com
December 22, 2007

It is never acceptable to give information about any other person without his or her express consent. It cannot be emphasized enough that informing to the government is always a serious matter, whether it is a question of a high profile defendant snitching on his comrades or an acquaintance of law-abiding activists answering a seemingly harmless question. The primary goal of the government in any political case is not to put any one defendant in prison but to obtain information with which to map radical communities, with the ultimate goal of repressing and controlling those communities. The most minor piece of trivia may serve to jeopardize a person’s life, whether or not they have ever broken any law.

On December 21, Operation Backfire cooperating defendant Darren Thurston released a lengthy statement presenting the history of Operation Backfire as he sees it and laying out what he apparently considers to be extenuating circumstances connected to his decision to inform. He insists that he does not condone snitching, but claims that he didn’t share any information that was harmful to others; unfortunately, as Thurston has chosen to withhold from the public both his plea agreement and the debrief documents that detail his cooperation with investigators, it’s impossible to verify this claim.

In contrast, non-cooperating Operation Backfire defendants have made their plea agreements public in their entirety. Thurston explains that he has not done the same because in his case the materials “were not completely indicative of my cooperation and would be easily misunderstood by the majority of those who would hear about them,” but as his cooperation is already a matter of intense controversy, it could hardly make matters worse for him to follow their example.

At the conclusion of his statement, Thurston offers “his closest comrades” a limited apology for his decision to inform, admitting it “set a bad example” but placing responsibility for his choice on others’ shoulders: others cooperated first and made the case “unwinnable,” the government divided communities by spreading rumors, activists abandoned and vilified the cooperating defendants before they’d even decided whether or not to cooperate, and so on. He also casts aspersions on non-cooperating defendants without ever specifying which ones he means, and on their legal support groups as well. If this is not a matter of passive-aggressive self-justification but of serious concerns about their conduct, he owes it to the activist community to be more explicit.

Thurston states that Operation Backfire defendants were facing “guaranteed life sentences” until they cooperated. In contrast to those who attribute the considerably shorter sentences the non-cooperating defendants received to the vigorous efforts of their defense teams, he credits his partner and fellow informant Chelsea Dawn Gerlach with helping to arrange merciful plea agreements for the non-cooperating defendants—an account that is sure to be controversial. He also mentions uncritically that by the time he and Gerlach were able to communicate after their arrests, she had already informed to the government not only about his involvement in the actions for which he was charged but also about a great deal of other illegal activity he had participated in.

No doubt Thurston experienced a more frightening period of months following his arrest than most of us can possibly imagine. But this alone cannot justify a decision to inform; the fact that other defendants did not do the same shows that other options were possible. In his statement, he talks about “healing our movements and making them stronger,” but that can only occur on the foundation of a commitment to unconditionally and transparently refusing to inform on each other; any supposed solidarity that does not proceed from this premise is a sham that will crumble beneath the first onslaught of government repression. Addressing the question of what constitutes acceptable conduct is not infighting and backstabbing, but an essential element of healing and strengthening our communities. As Thurston points out, we should not take the state at its word as to who is informing—but now that he has signed a sealed agreement to inform, the burden of proof is on him to show the limits of that informing. Those who read Thurston’s statement should not take his analysis—or any analysis, including this one—at face value, since the perspectives of everyone who comments on Operation Backfire are inevitably colored by their own motives; the question is which motives are most likely to facilitate a useful analysis.

Thurston is in a difficult place, but there is still much he can do to facilitate the healing and strengthening of which he speaks. He can start by disclosing the full texts of his plea agreement and cooperation debriefing, and accepting complete personal accountability for his decision to inform. The state can do anything to us—isolate us, threaten us with life sentences, even, in some extremes, turn our loved ones against us. The only thing it cannot take from us, upon which any anti-authoritarian struggle must be founded, is our determination to abide by our principles come what may, thus retaining our freedom and dignity. Individual heroics cannot win a revolutionary struggle—only supportive communities can do that; but we can only form such communities by personally standing by our commitments, regardless of what other individuals do.

We can commend Thurston for the actions he once took in defense of animals and the environment, but the most important round of struggle takes place not in the streets but in the interrogation chamber—it is there, when the commitments and trust that form its backbone are put to the ultimate test, that a struggle lives or dies. The courage of all who refuse to assist the state demonstrates that such a struggle can live—that, in fact, it does live.


Green Scared by crimthinc

Recent Repression in Vancouver (December 2009)

by 12thandclark
December 1, 2009

Hi All,

This week, one member of our small collective, was deported from Vancouver to the United States.  Although supposedly arrested for “overstay in Canada,” this kidnapping was clearly targeted.  This deportation is a result of increasing social control around the Olympics, as this person was recently threatened by members of Vancouver Integrated Security Unit, the overseers of Olympic security. (see article, How Much Does An Anarchist Cost?)

On October 15th, 1284 E12th hosted an anti-olympics film night.  Since then there has been a marked increase of surveillance and harassment in our lives.

The police are trying to isolate and intimidate anyone involved with anything that disturbs their social order.  This tactic can be successful unless we act to strengthen and forge ties of real solidarity.

And so, we continue to host events and projects self-organized resistance and invite you to do the same.  That said, “Proposal’s Night” this month is the 16th of December (7-9pm). a note re: proposals.  Also, The December Calendar will be out over the next few days, so please check back in.

Since borders are like prison walls, are we all living in some kind of prison?

Until we are all free,
12th and Clark

12thandclark@riseup.net

Repression and Resistance to the Torch Relay (November 2009)

Article re-posted from anarchistnews.org/?q=node/10132

How Much Does An Anarchist Cost? Repression and Resistance to the Torch Relay

In the week leading up to the Olympic Torch Relay kick-off in Victoria, numerous people, who oppose the Olympics, were harassed by RCMP officers of the Vancouver 2010 Joint Intelligence Group (JIG) – an arm of Olympic Security. We believe that it is likely the 2010 JIG be moving with the Torch Relay and will use much of the same tactics as were used in Vancouver and Victoria to repress Torch Relay resistance across so-called Canada.

article followed by accounts of police visits, (scroll down)

Over the last year-and-a-half people have been visited by members of the Vancouver Integrated Security Unit, security overseers of the 2010 Games, at their homes, family homes, workplaces, or in the streets. Some people choose to file these visits with BC Civil Liberties, many more go undocumented. Our information comes from word of mouth and other written statements.

In the week leading up to the October 30th 2009, Torch relay kick-off in Victoria, harassment by RCMP JIG members stepped up. From what we can name, 25 people were visited, and harassed with specific references to the Torch. The number of people visited is likely to be at least double. This is reminiscent of the 15 people in 48hrs, who were visited last June. (http://mostlywater.org/approximately_15_visu_joint_intellige…).

The intended effects of their tactics are to intimidate, isolate and interfere. Obviously what they are capable of is not limited to what follows, and will likely change based on context, like with whom and where they are dealing.

In Vancouver and Victoria, the cops used intimidation and an attack on morale as the first line of defense. This strategy is often used to avoid open public use of force. By keeping the more objectionable repression out of the public eye, the appearances of democratic protest are maintained.

The intent to create isolation was shown during harassment, when the cops named off lists of other individuals that they said were ‘up to something.’ This is probably done for a number of reasons. One that we note, is to drive a wedge between people. This is meant to encourage people to separate themselves from the individuals that the cops are naming. Implied with associating with these individuals is the threat of surveillance and criminalization.

Interference in peoples personal lives was attempted through police visits to family and workplace. The cops, visiting a persons parents can cause friction and disruption in relationships and go beyond this by playing on parental concern to extract information. The cops are known to come to family homes and spout off lies. They have also revealed criminal records to unsuspecting parents.

These tactics are used to create reactions of fear and concern, potentially causing the parent to give information about their kids life over to the cops, with the idea that it is ‘for their own good.’ Secrets held back from family or friends, but known to police, can be used as leverage; eg. if your parent (etc..) already knows the information, the cops are dis-empowered. And for parents who haven’t had much contact with the police in their lives, they should be made aware that the cops lie as a rule and not an exception.

The best solution remains: do not talk to the cops! Not because you have something to hide, but because their primary interest is to defend property and those who have it, at the expense of the natural world and people who have little to call their own.

The strength of our resistance is social. That means it depends on the strength, solidarity and relationships of many of us who are fighting along similar lines and facing common enemies. From community organizers, to indigenous land defenders, anarchists, paramedics (who were pressured back to work by VANOC), and workers coerced into signing away their right to strike, let us strengthen bonds of solidarity, as this is our greatest tool in the struggle to live with dignity and without exploitation.

__________________________________________________________________

Vancouver/ Victoria, October 2009:
A Partial Overview of “Vancouver 2010 JIG” Harassment:

INTIMIDATION

In East Vancouver, on October 28th, 2 days before a demonstration in Victoria, scheduled to coincide with the first leg of the Torch, someone was approached after leaving a house. He was on his way to a vehicle, when plain clothes RCMP officers called after him. He did not reply and continued to the vehicle. As they drew closer they began to yell at him, saying “Don’t even think about going to Victoria! We know what you are up to. We’ll be with you in a swarm the whole way there. If you do go to Victoria, don’t do anything illegal. And tell your anarchist-kid friends the same thing!”

After getting in the vehicle, RCMP followed him and a friend around for 20 minutes, disappearing then reappearing and waving, which suggests more than one cop vehicle was tailing the car.

Later that day, 2 individuals leaving another house were approached in a very similar manner while leaving another house in East Vancouver. This time police listed off names of other people and asked if these individuals knew what they were planning. Again the cops got no reply.

ARREST

The next day, Thursday the 29th, three people were approached in East Vancouver by plainclothes cops, also outside a residence. The cops identified themselves as “elite intelligence officers” working on Olympic security and told the three they knew they were “heading to Victoria to protest the torch.” They offered the group a ride to the ferry and when the three were unresponsive and continued the cops told them they would be on the same boat and not to think about doing anything illegal, because they would be making arrests.

The officers continued to follow for about three blocks, until the people got on a bus, at which point they called out someone’s name. No one responded.

Once on the boat the three noticed the same 2 male cops aboard. One of the three, a young woman, approached people on the ferry sitting nearby and told them that the men were cops who’d been following her since she left home. She went up to the cops and told them to stop following her. It is at this point the cops allege she threw water on them. The cops cornered her. When a bystander approached and asked why police weren’t letting the woman go, a cop pushed the man and threatened to charge him with obstruction for getting in the way of his job. Apparently harassing young women is his job description.

Other ferry passengers began to gather around the situation. One bystander was filming on his cell phone and shouted, “This is Canadian civil liberties going down the drain.”

When people began to form bonds of solidarity with each other, it was the police in turn who were cornered. Telling the woman she was free to go, they arrested her later when she was alone in the streets of Victoria for “Assault Police.” Even with the legal, moral and physical backing of the State, cops remain liars and cowards.

FLATTERY, THREATS AND BRIBES

An Anarchist in Victoria was visited by members of JIG at a house. They told him that they think he is intelligent, influential and they would like to work with him. They said they are worried if windows are broken during the demonstration, children may be injured. Emphasizing that they “…also think there are many negative aspects of the Olympics,” they offered to meet for coffee and discuss ways to solve them. And finally they said, “Anyways, you wouldn’t want to be beaten and arrested at the demo, would you?”

To which he replied, “How did you know where I am, and how do you know my name?”

“Hey, come on, we have you under surveillance,” they returned.

“If you know me so well,” he stated, “you know I’ll never talk to you.” And he shut the door.

The RCMP came to his door once more. When he opened it they told him they were very serious about wanting to talk to him and then pulled out a hundred dollar bill.

The door was immediately closed and locked.

Don’t they know it takes at least 150.00 to buy off an anarchist?

Although it might seem like a good idea to grab the bill before you slam the door, the cops could use this against you in a multitude of ways.

SURVEILLANCE

In Victoria, on Saturday, October 31st, the day after the demo, a group of people were sitting together on the beach. Shortly after some friends showed up, a man nearby began “taking pictures of the ocean,” positioning another man so he could believably take pictures in their direction.

Going on the gut feeling that this guy was a cop, about 10 people ran up the stairs to challenge them. Already the two men were walking away. The people caught up however, and demanded why they were taking photos of them and, to supply their ‘business cards.’ The men feigned ignorance and showed the digital photos to the group, revealing that indeed he had not (yet) taken photos of them. Shortly after, another friend showed up and confirmed that these were the cops who’d followed the group on the ferry and arrested a woman two days earlier.

EMPTY THREATS

The threats of the cops were mostly empty. There were no swarms of them following these people around Victoria. They obviously pretended to know more than they really do about their lives. And all the information they did flaunt is easily obtainable.

Let solidarity be our bond as we continue in our struggles and stand together against repression.

-Some vancouver anarchists

For more information on resistance to the Olympics check out:

Articles and Zines:
http://anti-politics.net/distro/#olympics

An account of dealing with a Olympic police visit by indigenous warrior Gord Hill:
http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/story/1985

Ongoing Updates:
http://no2010.com

Street Fighting Men – Rolling Stones Riot in Vancouver (1972)

Great new article on the ’72 Vancouver Rolling Stones Riot at the Past Tense blog:

http://pasttensevancouver.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/street-fighting-men/

Inspector Bud Errington on stage with the Rolling Stones at the Forum, 19 July 1966. Photo: Vancouver Police Museum

Inspector Bud Errington on stage with the Rolling Stones at the Forum, 19 July 1966. Photo: Vancouver Police Museum

Rioters outside the Pacific Coliseum during the Rolling Stones concert, Vancouver Sun, 5 June 1972

“… the time is right for violent revolution, cause where I live the game to play is compromise solution.” – Rolling Stones

Premier Gets Shut Down (2002)

Premier Gets Shut Down – Vancouver, Canada

Friday, June 14th, 2002

Gordon Campbell was set to speak at the opening of “Carr, O’Keefe, Kahlo: Places of Their Own” at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Friday, but didn’t show his face.

A crowd of about 400 people gathered there around 6pmto demonstrate againt Campbell’s Liberal government, to disrupt his speech, and to bring attention to the rise of corporate fascism in BC and the world. His choice of venue, an opening of feminist and revolutionary women artists, was an obvious insult to everyone living under his policies. Campbell has recently cut all funding to women’s centres; another attack in a long line of cuts to social programmes in BC. These cuts are killing people and are strengthening a state that is controled by the profit margins of multi-national corporations.

Police had erected a fence on the south side of the art gallery, where Campbell was to make his public speech outside. Police also had barricades at the west side entrance where a few people stood in front of the doorway, confronting and informing the guests as they entered the building. As guests arrived they had to walk through two rows of armed police guards lining the pathway to the door. As more guests arrived police showed a more aggressive pressence and shoved, grabbed, and threatened to arrest people standing around in the entranceway. Police cleared a path for guests using bikes, ironically, making it more difficult and confusing for people to enter the showing. One of the groups who had called for the demonstration, the Anti-Poverty Committee, made speeches off to the sidelines, while several people blocked the street with banners, puppets, and street theatre. Also, artists and artist groups such as the Gorilla Girls (who had also called for the demo) and the Andy Wharhol gang handed out anti-liberal literature. Many protestors decided to enter the showing and disrupt Campbell from inside.

When the time came for Campbell to make his speech the crowd moved to the south side of the building, approached the fence and began to shout and denounce Campbell. The Anti-Poverty Committee made a few speeches while the crowd continued screaming and chanting anti-Liberal and anti-capitalist sentiments. “Campbell’s Cuts Are Class War” and “Off With His Head” were popular.

People banged fists on the fence and then started to shake it. Some tried to dismantle it. The crowd grew more agitated and the police got more aggressive. One officer showed the crowd his pepper-spray, while others attempted to strike the fence shakers’ hands. Four officers entered the crowd from behind the fence and tried to arrest a person. The crowd started to spit on the police and jeer at them, eventually forcing them to leave the area drenched and humiliated. The person the police attempted to arrest got away.

A woman dressed as Frida Kahlo took the podium but her speech was too quiet to be heard by the crowd behind the fence. A member of the Anti-Poverty Committee then took the podium and started shouting to the audience and the crowd, and was tackled and arrested by police who dragged him away by the handcuffs. A second man, a bystander, was arrested inside the art gallery. Both men were held overnight and released the next day.

As the police arrested the A.P.C. member at the podium the crowd became angrier and began to kick at the fence, jump on it, and tried to tear it down. Police continued to strike at people as they attempted to pull the fence out from underneath and continued to spit on officers. At this point police fired pepper spray, hitting three people directly in the face and others indirectly. Those who were pepper-sprayed were taken to a medical station while those still at the fence screamed in outrage at the police. The crowd was stunned by the pepper-spray, but as they recuperated they realized that Campbell was not going to show up, thus did not continue attacking the fence. Pepper sprayed people returned to the fence to demonstrate their defiance and contempt of the police and the police state. One was heard ” this art is under the gun because facism is on the rise”. and “Khalo, O’Keefe and Carr were revolutionary women, fuck you pigs” Shortly after this the demonstrators dispersed, leaving with a sense of victory, and a group headed to the police station to demand the release of those arrested. Supporters camped outside of the police station and court house most of Friday night and Saturday until both people were released.

In our analysis, the militants who attacked the fence in open rebellion, and regardless of official activists plans and speeches, were the ones who contributed the most to the disruption of the event, the cancelling of Campbell’s speech, and to strengthening the social movement of the exploited in BC as a whole. The fence was a physical barrier between classes, rich and poor, that needed to be torn down. The rich cannot be allowed to mingle and sip wine while the poor are starved and beaten.

The fence was attacked by a diverse group of people, including, men and women young and old, parents, euro-canadians, native people — all people who are deeply, and adversly, affected by the cuts Campbell’s government is making, here and now, and also by the policies of capitalist globalization. We are tired of this false democracy. When the police try to move us back by telling us we are endangering Campbell, or that we’re only going to get hurt (by the police attacking us) we know that what the Liberals are doing here, and what capitalists are doing around the world hurts more. Pepper spray is agony for half an hour, state terrorism and murder last forever.

against capital and the state,

Insurrectionary Anarchists of the Coast Salish Territories (Vancouver and Victoria)