Tag Archives: vancouver

Pacific Blue Drum and Bugle Corps Parade in Bridgeview, Surrey, BC

pac blue parade

recently shot clips of 23 marching bands at Victoria Day parade in Victoria (natch) and was flashing back to hauling bass drum or marimba through Bridgeview for parades with no audience. they were marching bands and now drum bugle corps per se but made me think of the hijinks with all the Pacific Blue weirdos, circa 1983-4.

anyhow, curiously wondered how our drum line would stack up (better than all i am sure!) and enjoyed some flashbacks to the many parades (enjoyed memories more than hauling mallets or bass drum) and sure enough, found a photo… of the lamest parade ever… an early morning in Bridgeview with almost no one on the streets. We were yelled at by woken up residents, and joined in the parade mostly by kids with wagons and dogs.

Behold, evidence including rare snaps of legendary Rob Loewen and the witty Bill Odribege + more renegades.

Revolutions, Punks & Poets: Vancouver’s Forgotten Stories

Storymaker Dave uncleweed Olson shares an eclectic variety of stories from Vancouver’s counter-culture history on a stage adorned with a record player, campfire & cub scout blanket, art easel, flowers and an Expo 86 mug – plus pulls artifacts from an old-timey suitcase to illustrate forgotten past of a city which is/was much cooler than most realize.

Presented at Northern Voice, June 2013 in Vancouver, Canada, his 11th presentation to this noted personal expression conference (and his last talk before a medical “retirement”).

Filmed by Bruce Sharpe and Andrew Lavigne
Edited, Directed, Produced by Andrew Lavigne (also: With Glowing Hearts and Generation Social).

Music: Derek K Miller (RIP) “(You’re the) Big Sky”

Dave uncleweed Olson shares Forgotten Vancouver Stories
Dave uncleweed Olson shares Forgotten Vancouver Stories

 Topics:

  • Frederick Varley – Group of 7 painter who lived in Vancouver for 10 years
  • Grateful Dead – (tried to) play free shows at Second Beach and Kits Beach in 1966
  • Bob Masse psychedelic poster artist
  • Gastown Riots, March on Blaine, Rock Against Racism
  • bev. davies – rock n roll photographer, community chronicler, punk rock mom
  • Blues in Vancouver – Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee at the Bunkhouse
  • Vancouver punk rock glory days DIY spirit and fanzines (+ final days of The Clash and importance of ephemera)
  • Clayoquot Sound logging blockades
  • Jake Milford and the Canucks recruiting Swedish players in the 1970s
  • United Empire Loyalists + Burner Boys bringing jam band culture
  • Venues of note: Afterthought, Retinal Circus, York Theatre, the Cave, the Bunkhouse
  • Cubscout campfire blankets
  • Howard Hughes, Errol Flynn
  • ++ bits of Kris Krug, Bob Kronbauer, Rebecca Bollwitt, Dan Mangan, Jason Vanderhill and campfire helpers: Mark Blevis, Kemp Edmonds, John Biehler, James Lester, Ariane Colenbrander, Nicholas Demers

Continue reading Revolutions, Punks & Poets: Vancouver’s Forgotten Stories

“Return to the Scene of the Crime” Punk Rock Photos at Smilin’ Buddha with bev. davies

At the iconic Smilin Buddha Cabaret and Restaurant in Vancouver’s downtown Eastside, legendary punk rock photographer bev. davies (sic) shows the photos in her recent “(Return to the) Scene of the Crime” exhibit featuring photos taken at his landmark venue between 1979 and 1983.

Bev Daviesbev. davies by Kris Krug

Dave uncleweed Olson — with attorney Lindsay Lazlo Bailey — asks about her process, the stories behind photos, anecdotes about the subjects and flashbacks about the shows.

Plus, they discuss:

* various parenting tips and stories with heavy metal warlords (Bruce Dickinson, Lemmy Killmister, Dee Snider)
* ideas for a book of bev’s photos (form, cost, etc)
* the history of her remarkable calendars with Nardwuar
* some friends who’ve died (RIP Dave Gregg, Brain Goble)
* hollandaise sauce and skateboards ramps

Note: As a fan and supporter of bev’s work, i’ve also interviewed her (along with new-school photographer and activist Kris Krug) at Northern Voice in a talk called “Building a Scene — Rock n Rock Photos” and another interview to appear soon.

Links:

* Smiling Buddha Cabaret Restaurant
* bev smilin buddha photoset
* Rock n Roll Photo talk video
+ videographer’s notes
* Rock n Roll photo recap
* Rock n Roll Photo talk slides
* Bev on Twitter
* Miss 604 annotations from talk
* DaveO photos from 144 punk photos

++

More bev. davies articles:

BEV DAVIES AND DOA in the Skinny Magazine

Bev Davies and D.O.A.: Returning to the scene of the crime in Beatroute magazine

SKULL SKATES PRESENTS RETURN TO THE SCENE OF THE CRIME WITH D.O.A.

Nepal Relief Dinner and Discussion at Gurkha with Raju and DaveO

NOTE: Recorded the evening before the 7.3 earthquake on 5/11/15.
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us20002ejl#general_summary

Nepali restauranteur Raju Bhanttari and enthusiast DaveO talk about the challenges and successes of the relief efforts in Nepal and offer ideas to help at a grassroots level.

Topics include:

* Nepal Relief Dinners at Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen on Davie. St.
* Sandeep Giri’s and Gham Power’s “Rebuild with Solar” campaign
* Importance of maintaining awareness and outreach
* Reaching villages where aid is most needed
* Staying positive and optimistic and compassionate
* Also, Yak Tea and mo-mos.

Tiny Steps, Daily. Note links in annotations.

https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/nepal-rebuild-with-sun–2
http://nepalquake.ghampower.com/request-map
http://gurkha.ca/
http://www.yakyeti.ca/

Nepal Thoughts and Blessing from a Porch

From a porch, I share a few rambling thoughts about the situation in Nepal, annotations about disasters and social media, and a few ways to help including: attending a Nepal relief dinner at Gurkha Restaurant on Davie Street; and, helping with a unique solar panel project with donations and or geek help.

The HempenRoad (1997) ~ Documentary about industrial cannabis and medical marijuana

The HempenRoad

A travel documentary about commercial hemp industry in the Pacific NW in 1996-7

hr-poster-

Available in full length (83 minutes) online on Youtube and Vimeo.

With legalization in Washington and Oregon, and an ever-changing landscape in BC, this film shows the roots of a movement going from society’s fringes towards mainstream acceptance by exploring economic and environmental benefits.

ian_dave

Produced, written and narrated by DaveO, directed by Eiji Masuda, the HempenRoad is an experimental, multi-media roadtrip exploring commercial hemp businesses and conferences in the Pacific northwest. The film explores many uses of cannabis including fiber, paper, fuel, food, beer, medicine, as well as delving into the political and environmental issues around legalization.

sign

Beginning in the clearcut Olympic peninsula, the film follows narrator Dave “Uncle Weed” Olson as he visits a variety of colourful personalities and interesting businesses.

mary_dave

Stops include: Victoria, BC; Eugene and Portland Oregon; and, Olympia and Seattle Washington, before finishing with exclusive footage of the groundbreaking Commercial Industrial Hemp Symposium in Vancouver, B.C.

map

Note: made in 1996 using footage captured by 16mm, Super 8, Hi8 tape, scans, 35mm stills, web video and editing with Adobe Premiere 1.0 on a 200Mhz Mac-clone and a 9Gb harddrive.

woody

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The HempenRoad features:

ecosource

Victoria, British Columbia
* Ian Hunter (RiP), Sacred Herb & Victoria Mayoral candidate
ianbike
* Sarah Hannah Bedard, Sacred Herbsarah
* Odette Kalman, Ecosource
* Padra Almadi, Earthenware
padra
* Eric Hughes, Zima foods
* Alice Bracegirdle, Zima foodsalice

Eugene, Oregon
* Todd Dalotto, Hungry Bear
hbear
* Rose, Hairy Truth
* Carolyn Moran, Living Tree Paper
* Bruce Mullican, So Much Hemp
*
Diedre Mullican, So Much Hemp

Portland, Oregon
* D. Paul Stanford, CRRHpaul_s
* Cheryl Kolander, Aurora Dye Works
* Chris Iverson, HempWiezen beer

Olympia, Washington
* Charles Tomala, Jay Stewart, Scott Orr, OlyWa.net
* Bob Owen, WHEN
* Dennis Peron, Prop 215 (California) activist etc

Seattle, Washington
* David Edwards, Earthgoods
* S. David Stunda, Earthgoods
* Cory Brown, Fremont Hemp Co.
* Rob Jungman, Manastashmanasnow
* Khamphy S., Panther Manufacturing
* Tom Cluck, Belltown Hempery
* Fred Martin, Belltown Hempery
* Jill Etherington, Belltown Hempery
* Kristina Lynch, Belltown Hempery
* Aloha, Macrame

Vancouver, British Columbia
* Mari Kane, Hempworld
* Mosse Mellish, Greenman paper
* Geof Kime
* Jace Callaway
* Mark Parent
* Ryszard Kozlowski
* John Stahl
* Brian McClay
* Brian McLay
* Alexander Sumach
* Jean Peart
* David Watson
* Brian Taylor
* Sotos Petrides, Wiseman Noble
* and other speakers and audience members at the Commercial Industrial Hemp Symposium

marc&sumach

HempenRoad Soundtrack includes:

* Phat Sidy Smokehouse
* JahWah
* Elemental
* Chris Sullivan
* Bread Mountain
* 420 Love
* Chris Jacobsen
* Old Time Relijun
* Collective Shoe
* J. Williamson Ensemble
* Systolie Diastolie
* and more . . .

posters

Digitalized for the web by Bread 420.

newtracks

Vancouver CIHS: HempenRoad Production Journal

Wandering pilgrim friend Richard Ziff and partner Helene Bisnaire futonwere there with Of the Earth. They are making a line for kids, women, men and some packs and have turned into one of Canada’s biggest hemp concerns. Also had a big fatty futon stuffed with organic cotton.

Richard Ziff of Of The Earth

Richard was involved in studying about natural foods which led into organic foods which led to cotton and into combining that with hemp.

Richard Ziff of Of The Earth Hemp and Organic Cotton Futon

 

Hemp Pedaler is three guys from Issaquah, WA who are making some super tenacious bike lube for chains, bearings and cables. Now your chain won’t spray petroleum oil onto the dirt. Works good and and doesn’t gunk up. Bikes are a miracle of invention and worthy of highest praise. These enterprising folks are also making Resin Surf Wax that is hemp oil mixed with bees wax and is super sticky.
We’ll be filming these guys making the stuff and doing some intense BMXing and mountain biking soon.

Hemp Pedalar booth

 

Ohio Hempery had a nice display of traditional midwestern hemp handicrafts, bed sheets, dresses and other icons from an earlier year. Also a great new catalog and prints of old photos of hemp farmers. Ohio hempery is one of the original hemp vendors and carry a distinctive, rural American flavor. The boss-man, Don, is quite a character and we’ll make it out there to Ohio one of these months to see his homestead and check out some wild stands of hemp.

Ohio Hempery's Traditional Hemp Cloth Display

 

Kitsalano Hemp Co. had a vast array of handmade hemp food in a variety of incarnations. Chickpea / hempseed hummus, bread, roasted seeds, butter, brownies (no, not those brownies) and tons of tasty stuff. Also had a exercise bike hooked up to a blender to make hemp smoothies.

Hemp Food of many varieties

Zima Foods Eric and Alice, who we met in Victoria, wandered the crowd with trays of seeds snacks and new crispy carob bar. Real good idea and they kept me fortified with good vibes and healthy grinds throughout the day.

Two women were spinning and weaving on traditional loom and spinning wheel. I didn’t get a chance to chat but it looked neat to show the crafts that live on.Two Women and a LoomSpinning hemp

 

 

 

 

 

Another super cool thing I saw that wasn’t hemp. Wiseman Noble were selling ball point pens made shells from vegetable cellulose, corn, i think. That shows some potential about what carbohydrates can do.

Special regards to the exhibitors who journeyed from Germany, Poland and Taiwan to set up booths of fine new textiles that show the versatility of hemp.

interesting hemp cloth German exhibitors in trade show
Hemp from Taiwan Polish hemp at CIHS

The next day we filmed from the mountains, bridges and parks of Vancouver, a city that is emerging as a world leader in trade and culture. If the energy is right, it will continue to be a Capital in the Hempen World.

Vancouver Scene

Vancouver: HempenRoad Production Journal

Commercial Industrial Hemp, Vancouver B.C. March 97

Canada Place Convention CenterThe Commercial Industrial Hemp Symposium was promoted by Wiseman Noble sales and marketing, and their experience at this sort of work showed. They had a delicate balance to maintain and did that very well.

The Hempen Road was contracted to be the official, exclusive filmakers for the symposium which was a great chance for them and us.

The event was a mix of science, commerce, industry, agriculture, policy and controversy. Basically two parts to this event, the trade show and lecture series.

Wiseman Noble's CIHS signThe main disadvantage was, it is difficult to be two places at once (though I often imagine I am). Most hemp business people were in the trade show tending to their business and weren’t able to see the lectures. Wiseman Noble took care of this by having transcripts available minutes after the final speaker as well as a RealAudio cyber-cast of the whole event.

Cybercast and Transcript  desk

The video footage we shot may be available at some point from Wiseman Noble but visually, it’s not very interesting. Information wise, it’s great but maybe a bit like watching church on TV, the spirit just ain’t as strong. We’ll be using plenty tasty bits from the lectures and discussions in the Vancouver segment of the Hempen Road film so look out for that.

This guy gave an entertaining talk on paper production

Certainly some landmark speeches with researchers from around the world sharing their findings. Wiseman Noble did a great job of finding people coming from all sorts of industries and involvements and views on hemp. Especially noteworthy was the reports by the Canadian hemp farmers who were sharing their firsthand, dirty knuckle research findings with the world. Also speakers from Germany, Finland and UK who are growing hempen crops as well. It’s starting to seem that more countries than not are hopping on this hemp rocketship to sustainble industry.

It got a little intense for some speakers and the question and answer microphone became a powerful weapon as public servants were held to task. Yet the moderator kept it under control and maintained that delicate balance,
allowing people to have their say but sheltering the speakers from time to time.

Moderator of Symposium, Health Canada Rep looks on

Yeah, there is still a lot of different opinions and a lot of folks want to organize and regulate and register and create frameworks etc. I’m somewhat leery of groups as organizations seem to spend more time of organizing and maintaining the business of the group itself, and often the real work takes a back seat. Direct action speaks louder than words.

Another highlight was meeting the newly-elected Mayor of Grand Forks, BC and hemp farmer Brian Taylor. Here is a guy that stood up for his values and planted HEMP NOW or something on the side of the highway after being messed around about a government sanctioned license. He was arrested but challenged the case saying no 12 people in his community of underemployed former tobacco farmers and Russian hempfarmers would convict him for growing fiber.

The symposium audience and MicrophoneSoon thereafter, Mr Taylor was elected mayor by a margin of 3:1 over a two decade incumbent. The town is encouraging hemp business and industry and is poised to launch into the legends of hemp farming and global change.

 

The trade show was packed full of goodies and folks. A lot of friends we’ve made along the Hempen Road were in attendance, showing their wares and having a good time. We showed off a clip of our Victoria Journey turning our subjects into instant celebrities, mobbed by fans. Well not quite, but we had a chance to show what it is that we are trying to pull off with our film.

Ecosource Paper's Booth

The Hempen Road film/video is about showing the processes to take hemp from raw material to consumer. Including envisioning, developing, making, producing, distributing, marketing, retailing and using. It is also about the people who are doing this and the places where they are doing it and how those areas would change with hemp as a possible crop.

folks watching the Hempen Road
Making this film, we see a lot of wild new ideas and products. Clothes still seem to be the backbone of the industry which is a bit intense because it is the most labor intensive process you can put hemp through. The results are certainly worth it but there are dozens of steps to the process and hundreds of competitors in relating industries. Fortunately most people in the world wear clothes so a vast potential market remains.

Hemptown's Booth

The multiple tasks of production and textile shipping distances make hemp clothes still quite spendy (especially for me who shops 2nd hand) but if it will last forever, the cash is surely well spent.

The problem with some hemp and hemp/blend clothing and bags is the often mediocre quality of sewing and finishing. Sure the hemp cloth is strong, but the thread and sewing won’t hold up to a season of raging hard on the road. This make the sturdy hemp cloth into very nice patches and rags. Perhaps the price points to compete are so tight that corners are cut in sewing and hardware that are a bit sketchy. This consistent quality will come in time and the makers who quickly implement standards of durability that are as tough as the hemp, will carry on.

some nice shirts

Mendicino Hemp shirts

Backpacks and bags especially have to compete head to head with cordura nylon and national, experienced pack makers for market. If a synthetic bag stays out of the landfill longer, is it better? A well made hemp bag will last as long and perform as well as any pack but the garment has gotta be constructed tough, not just tough cloth. Lifetime guarantee is the only option worthy of hemp.

Greenman Mosse and Dave Making Paper

Well if your pack does blow out, grind it up and make it into paper like Mosse Mellish and Mark Bologna of Greenman Paper. These guys had a whole paper making process set up and going indoors at Canada Place. This was too cool. We filmed Mosse taking raw hemp fiber, hemp paper scraps and whatever else of hemp that was laying around, pulp it, lay it, dry it, decorate it, finish it and sell it in a 10’X10″ space. He is doing it with a mix of old-school technology and efficient process, using a set-up that would make (Canadian legend) MacGyver jealous.

Greenman is the original Canadian hemp paper maker and is turning out nice notebooks, journals, cards, stationary etc. Mosse is a laugh riot too, like Mr. Rogers after enlightenment. I’ve been reading Mark Bologna’s words and works in Cannabis Canada for a while and this guy gets a lot done.

 Hemp World's Mari Kane

Now if you can make 100% hemp paper in a 10 foot square space using a bunch of hardware store odds and ends, what’s stopping hemp from become large scale?

I talked with Mari Kane editor /publisher of Hemp World about this and other topics as we strolled outside in a bit of sunshine. In order to get from here to the next level of hemp as a normal part of everyday consumerism, the answer to be: money for capital and real substantial infastructure investment.

To ship a container of seeds across the ocean or refit a mill takes dollars. So does using the mainstream media to support and publicize hemp as a regular choice, not just a poor misunderstood cousin or a novelty. The thinking of people is starting to change fast, as the US saw in Nov. with medical Marijuana initiatives passing in two states, but dollars are neccessary to bring the products to every market niche.

Mari was a photographer and designer in San Francisco when she got into hemp scene. Her first idea was to make a video. Ms. Kane wisely chose to make a magazine instead. Hemp World is a quarterly magazine printed with a hemp cover (from CIHS sponsor Ecosource who we visited in Victoria).

HempWorld is really a trade journal with great articles to educate on the tricky points of business start-up, new product development and technical info on processing hemp to marketable product.

Another key point to Mari’s publishing endeavor is Hemp Pages which is like a yellow (actually beige) pages directory of hemp business worldwide. Hemp business people love this and use it as it is much easier then checking all you pockets for that phone number written on the back of a receipt or something.

In three years, Mari has watched the industry grow something like 6 fold and has no signs of slowing down at all. The question isn’t if it will happen or even when. The question is which country is going to take the lead and show the potential of large-scale hemp industry. Canada is poised if the sluggish government can figure the self-imposed paperwork maze out.

Stanley Park in the background, floating seaplane gas stations, flags, skyscrapers, buildings and trees. On to the Trade Show Floor. . .

Van's Burrard inlet

Simon, Stolen, Shame

Simon was all of us #Surrey

“Simon” he exclaimed
in the Mac’s Convenience Store
I stopped after paper route
to buy a 7-up.
No i said.

He meant the stolen boy
from Senator Reid
The posters were unneeded
We all knew the fear.

Blonde mop, skinny boy
rosy freckled cheeks
They’ve gone away
Faded, scarred to haunt us.

He shared my family name
and was charming to most all involved
It’s not my shame, but the scars are
i walked the same road yet it wasn’t me.

Negotiating, capitalizing, scheming
Selling secrets, wrench the wound
the discovery reveals more pain
Until sometime a page 3 day this year.

He left. Cancer like my Dad i think.
72 as well, i think. I didn’t read close.
I didn’t need the fear again
he brought to 92nd and Scott.

Cedar Hills, Whalley Exchange,
Guildford Mews and King George Boulevard
These were ours, closest to a neighbourhood
Now faded into condo shopping schemes
Only we notice the changes
since we were all 12 years old.

The paper told us he was dead
the neighbours never knew
His wife flabbergasted
And i never cried so hard
as i did for Simon in 82.

Anti-Olympic Protests and Activism – Article roundup

NOTE: When possible, articles are shared in full for historical record and annotated with original link when source is broken and/or accessed from Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine or Google cache etc. during Feb. 2017.

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Media coverage about homelessness and Olympics:

Stop the War on the Poor, says DTES Protestors
24 Hours, March 15, 2009

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Downtown Eastside residents angry at police crackdown via Wayback Machine – original
Canadian Press > CBC News, March 15, 2009

About 100 people gathered in wet weather to protest the Vancouver police crackdown.
About 100 people gathered in wet weather to protest the Vancouver police crackdown. (CBC)

Residents of Vancouver’s poverty-stricken Downtown Eastside protested Sunday against what they see as a pre-Olympic police strategy to drive them off the streets through petty ticketing and random identification checks.

About 100 people showed up outside a police station on Main Street — formerly the department’s headquarters — in the heart of the gritty neighbourhood.

Pelted by wet snow flurries, speakers angrily rejected the police business plan that calls for more tickets to be issued for bylaw infractions such as jaywalking and street vending — laws they say aren’t enforced in Vancouver’s nicer neighbourhoods.

Clyde Wright of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users said members “have been ticketed for offences such as stepping off the curb unsafely, riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, having no helmet, having no bell on their bike.”

The police plan calls for more summons to be issued to enforce the fines, which Wright said are a hardship on residents living on social assistance.

“This is targeted harassment of poor people,” he told the rally.

Protesters set up a sidewalk sale hoping to attract police attention, but officers stayed clear, instead blocking the street to traffic as the rally spilled off the sidewalk.

Crackdown aims to make streets safer: police

The police business plan, released in January, outlines various tactics it says is aimed at curbing street disorder in what is perhaps the poorest neighbourhood in Canada.

It sets targets for charges under the provincial Safe Streets Act and Trespass Act and requires each police Beat Enforcement Team shift to conduct a minimum number of identification checks in the neighbourhood.

Another tactic involves not laying charges for simple drug possession, instead seizing the drugs to avoid lengthy paperwork that keeps officers off the street for hours at a time.

David Eby of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association says the crackdown seems to be an attempt to clean up the Downtown Eastside before the Olympics.
David Eby of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association says the crackdown seems to be an attempt to clean up the Downtown Eastside before the Olympics. (CBC)

No one from the Vancouver Police Department was available Sunday to comment on the protesters’ complaints, but spokespeople in the past have said police are trying to crack down on street disorder because residents want to feel safe.

But David Eby, president of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, who attended the rally, said he believes the 2010 Winter Games have a lot to do with the plan.

“It’s hard for me to imagine this isn’t related to the Olympics,” he said. “It’s an entirely new initiative. More tickets than have ever been given out in a very short period of time.

“The goal is to harass the people who are living on the street down here, who are addicted to drugs or mentally ill or just too poor to even survive anywhere else. To harass them into other neighbourhoods and spread the problem out over the city.”

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Alternate Version:

Downtown Eastside residents protest police ‘street sweeps’
CBC > The Canadian Press, Mar 15, 2009

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Police cracking down on poor: Activists
Metro Vancouver News, March 16, 2009

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Police accused of harassing the poor with nuisance tickets – via Internet Archive Wayback machine – original 
The Province News, March 15, 2009, Ian Austin

VANCOUVER — Downtown Eastside activists took their protests of police harassment to the steps of the Vancouver police station Sunday.

The activists, who want to know why public money is spent to lay nuisance charges such as jaywalking, set up a garage sale at the entry to the station at 312 Main St.

“At a time when there is so much concern in the region about gun violence, all these police resources are being used handing out tickets to people who will never be able to afford to pay them,” said Ann Livingston, executive director of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users. “I find it unbelievable.

“It is further marginalizing people who are already struggling to survive.”

Under a portable tent structure, a group sold a variety of goods to protest tickets for unauthorized “vending.”

“The poverty in this area has been put on the police business plan as a crime issue,” said David Eby, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. “People can’t afford these tickets — it’s $100, and that’s almost one-third of the $375 they have to live on each month.”

Priscilla Mays of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre accused the police of trying to sweep the streets before the Olympics.

“It is not a coincidence that the increased ticketing is happening in the lead-up to the Olympic Games,” she said. “It is happening to ensure that residents live in a state of fear and intimidation so that the [Downtown Eastside] is cleansed of poor and homeless people in time for the tourists.”

City Coun. Kerry Jang said the ticketing is part of the Project Civil City campaign that’s a leftover from the previous city government.

“We are speaking with the police of a different approach,” said Jang. “Our solution is to create more housing.”

iaustin@theprovince.com

Downtown Eastside residents fear they’ll be jailed during Games
Canada.com > Vancouver Sun, Feb. 16, 2009 (Press Reader.com version available)

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Some people can’t afford to pay fines given during ticketing sweep for civil disorder
Canada.com > Vancouver Sun, February 16, 2009 (Pressreader.com version available)

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Police crackdown not welcome
24 HOURS News, February 16, 2009, by Matt Kieltyka

Downtown Eastside residents are feeling a little uneasy with the Olympics fast approaching and it starts with the police, protesters say.

Supporters of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre took to Pigeon Park yesterday to protest aggressive bylaw enforcement by police.

The women – backed by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, Pivot Legal Society and Carnegie Community Action Project – say a 50 per cent spike in tickets issued to DTES residents last year is criminalizing poverty.

“People are being ticketed for basically being in the street,” said organizer Harsha Walia.

Walia believes that enforcement – many for acts such as jaywalking and loitering – is being conducted “to make sure the Downtown Eastside is cleaned up for the Olympics.”

BCCLA acting director David Eby said the tickets have a knock-on effect, through court no-go orders, that prevent people from accessing essential services in the Downtown Eastside.

Pivot lawyer Douglas King says his agency is helping people dispute the infractions in court.

He has also called on city council to eradicate former mayor Sam Sullivan’s Project Civil City, an initiative King says has opened the door for aggressive ticketing.

“The city voted against Civil City when Gregor Robertson was elected,” King said.

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Downtown Eastside residents say tickets unfair
CTV News, February 15, 2009

The 2010 Olympics are being blamed for police sweeps and aggressive ticketing in Vancouver’s poorest neighbourhood.

Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside — is where addicts can openly inject drugs on the street — but jaywalking is an offense that comes with a ticket and a fine of $25 for people who can least afford to pay.

Activists say police are giving out more and more tickets to clean up the Downtown Eastside in time for the Games. And they claim the tactics are wreaking havoc for the most needy.

“I think that’s ridiculous, they wouldn’t do that on Granville, they wouldn’t do that on Robson, and people do that over there,” said local resident Paula Potter.

Vancouver police issued a flurry of tickets in the Downtown Eastside last year. Community groups say officers are targeting residents for minor infractions.

“We’re seeing things like ticketing for jaywalking, spitting, and “illegal” vending,” said Harsha Walia of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.

It’s being executed as part of the province’s Safe Streets Act, passed in 2004 to crack down on aggressive panhandling, and championed by former Mayor Sam Sullivan. The mayor came up with his “project civil city” plan in response in order to deal with public disorder.

Last year, officers issued 467 tickets for violations under the safe streets act, more than double the previous year, the majority of them in Canada’s poorest neighbourhood, the Downtown Eastside.

Residents say it’s all about maintaining an image before the Olympics.

And there are plans to increase ticketing the area even more. According to the VPD’s draft business plan for 2009, the target is a minimum of four street checks per officer per block.

“It’s totally unfair and totally disrespectful,” said Wendy Pedersen of the Carnegie Community Action Project.

“Imagine how you would feel if you had no money and stepped off the pavement and you got a ticket for jaywalking, knowing nobody cares about your safety, that really it’s about scooping you off the streets for the Olympics.”

Not paying the ticket can mean ending up in jail or being banned from the neighbourhood.

The fight will go to court this week. Residents are being encouraged to contest their tickets on Tuesday.

With a report by CTV British Columbia’s Jina You.

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“Downtown Eastside crackdown misguided, groups say”
Globe & Mail, February 12, 2009, Frances Bula

If Doug Everitt lived anywhere besides the Downtown Eastside, he doubts he’d be getting the kinds of tickets from police he does.

The 50-year-old construction worker has had five in the past few months, some for riding his bike without a helmet, some for jaywalking on the streets near the residential hotel where he’s been living.

“I just feel like I get targeted because it’s something they can hold over my head so they can get me off the street when they need to, like the Olympics,” said Mr. Everitt, who has had his struggles with drugs and is now on methadone. “And it’s gotten a lot more aggressive lately.”

What he’s noticing is the effects of the Vancouver Police Department’s new 2009 business plan, which set new targets for ticketing and street checks in the Downtown Eastside to maintain public order.

The neighbourhood, home to a high concentration of poor, mentally ill and drug-addicted residents, is infamous for its pockets of chaos, with crowds of people selling random articles on the sidewalk or gathering in alleys to buy and sell drugs.

The police plan, which was initiated in December but made public two weeks ago, is coming under fire from the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and AIDS groups for the way it targets people like Mr. Everitt because they live in a particular neighbourhood.

They say the crackdown, which envisions banning people from the neighbourhood if they accumulate enough tickets, actually endangers people’s health, since it prevents the drug-addicted and marginalized from accessing the numerous services in the Downtown Eastside aimed specifically at their problems.

The groups sent a public letter to Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu objecting to the new plan, which set a goal of issuing 20 per cent more tickets for bylaw offences, 10 per cent more tickets under the provincial Safe Streets Act, and requiring any beat officers to do at least four random “street checks” per block every day.

“This doesn’t solve any of the underlying issues,” said David Eby, a lawyer with the civil liberties association.

His association’s letter, which was also signed by six AIDS organizations, noted that “bylaw offences identified for targeting by the Vancouver police appear to be those most closely associated with dire poverty, including sleeping outside and street vending.”

The police crackdown is also prompting concern from other social-service agencies in the area.

Mark Townsend, who runs a non-profit that operates a number of residential hotels for people who have psychiatric or addiction problems, said many of their residents are getting ticketed. One resident, who is mentally ill, is now afraid to go outside for fear of being arrested.

Mr. Eby noted that a scientific study on the effects of a previous crackdown, called Operation Torpedo, showed that more aggressive policing succeeded mainly in spreading drug and public-disorder problems to Commercial Drive, Broadway and the West End.

Operation Torpedo started in 2003 and tapered off about a year later. It increased the numbers of beat police and even saw officers on horseback going through the neighbourhood.

The police chief at the time, Jamie Graham, said the department was moving to more aggressive policing to create some order in the neighbourhood and make it more livable for residents intimidated by the level of drug-dealing and general mayhem.

But critics say that approach doesn’t really get rid of anything.

“Yes, the Downtown Eastside is chaotic but just because the chaos is spread out over a larger area doesn’t solve the problem,” Mr. Eby said.

Vancouver city Councillor George Chow said his Vision party, which dominates council, hasn’t formalized a specific response to the police plan. But he did note that he and his colleagues are pushing for other measures to try to control street disorder in the Downtown Eastside, like finding indoor places for dumpster divers to refurbish or sell what they have collected.

Special to The Globe and Mail

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‘Street sweeps’ protested Downtown Eastside groups oppose ticketing campaign
The Province Newspaper, February 16, 2009

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