Police Crack Down on Activists as Olympics Continue [Video]
Police Crack Down on Activists as Olympics Continue
Interview with UBC student who was arrested Saturday, and had his possessions seized by Vancouver Police Department
February 17, 2010
Download file 'interview.mp3' (9.1MB)
Police have been targeting activists by seizing property, issuing tickets and making arrests using the flimsiest of excuses. Local police assisted by the [Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit] 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 [Downtown Eastside] 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 concerned that peoples rights may not be respected amongst this marginalized group.
Ed Durgan in a video of his arrest: