Archive for June, 2008

Victoria heists may be linked to Alberta arrests
Exotically clad group that was stopped in Hinton raises suspicions of theft ring

Special to the Globe and Mail
June 20, 2008

VICTORIA — The arrest last week in Hinton, Alta., of eight adults travelling in three vehicles stuffed with stolen merchandise may be linked to two incidents committed by exotically clad women and their male entourage six days earlier in the Victoria area.

On June 5, “what appeared to be a band of Gypsies,” made off with $556 from the Brentwood Bay Salvation Army Thrift Store, said Constable Ondine Easson of the Central Saanich Police Service.

“When I saw them coming, I said, ‘What the heck is this?,” said store manager Valerie Noakes of the five women’s flamboyant appearance. “Are they coming from a rehearsal or are they a religious group?”

It was near closing time and she was about to lock the door, but she saw one of the five women was carrying a baby, about four months old.

“That was the diversion, the bait,” she said.

The women, decked out in flowing black dresses, wearing head scarves and speaking with accents, were led by a “very glamorous lady wearing glitzy black clothing,” Ms. Noakes said.

“These people knew what they were doing. It was like they rehearsed,” she said.

Four of the women distracted Ms. Noakes and her co-worker while the fifth found the cash in an office, all within a few minutes, Ms. Noakes said.

“I don’t know how they disappeared so fast,” said Ms. Noakes, who has worked for the Salvation Army for 15 years.

Thirty minutes later, about 10 kilometres away, a group who “matched the Gypsy description,” struck again, said Sidney/North Saanich RCMP Corporal Chris Swain.

Several men and women entered a convenience store, distracted the lone clerk and made off with more than $2,000 worth of cigarettes.

And three hours earlier, a total of seven men and women dressed in “Gypsy clothing” entered Victoria Food and Florist store, said Victoria Police Department spokesperson Sergeant Grant Hamilton.

Some distracted the owner while others tried to enter the owner’s residence, which is attached to the store, police say.

They were foiled when the owner’s Chihuahua raised an alarm.

In the Hinton case, eight men and women were charged with possession of stolen property and are in jail in Edmonton, awaiting court appearances in Hinton, 270 kilometres west of Edmonton, said Sergeant Brenda Burns of the Hinton RCMP.

It can’t be confirmed that the Hinton and Victoria incidents are related, Sgt. Burns said.

But two women and one man from the Hinton group will be returning to Ontario where there are warrants for their arrests, Sgt. Burns said.

The group, totalling nine adults and eight children, aged one to eight, who spoke Romanian, had stopped illegally for the night on the road in Jasper National Park, Sgt. Burns said.

During the night, the Jasper RCMP “kicked them out.”

“They were a suspicious group of travellers,” Sgt. Burns said.

The Jasper RCMP alerted the Hinton RCMP, who intercepted the three vehicles on the morning of June 11.

Inside the two Dodge vans and 2005 Ford Mustang, all three with B.C. licence plates and possibly rental vehicles, police discovered more than $5,000 worth of clothing, shoes and electronics, including new and used cellphones and computers, Sgt. Burns said.

“It was an abundance of property,” she said.

While eight of the adults are in jail, the ninth, a male, is looking after the eight children.

Names of the charged have not been released.

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Vandalism upsets local politicians

North Island Gazette [British Columbia]
June 17, 2008

Vandals who destroyed the sign outside the regional district office, which is in the centre of Port McNeill, have discouraged local politicians.

“Vandalism has been a problem on the RDMW office property, with our entry sign targeted twice in the last month,” said administrator Greg Fletcher.

“Parks staff repaired the sign after the first attack, but the second attack has left us with a more generic ‘regional district’ sign. A new complete replacement sign will have to wait until the fall,” Fletcher continued.

Port Alice rep Larry Pepper said vandals there used a power saw to destroy an $8,000 sign promoting tourism.

Regional chair Rod Sherrell summed up the frustration. “This is certainly a sad comment,” he said. “I did not know about the Port Alice sign, but these are handsome pieces of work being destroyed.”

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RCMP look into three school fires
Blacklock Elementary has seen two fires in a week, but damage has been slight.

Matthew Claxton, Langley Advance [British Columbia]
Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Blacklock Elementary has been the target of apparent arson twice in the past week, with a dumpster and a portable classroom set afire by unknown vandals.

Just before midnight on Sunday, firefighters were called to the school again after a passerby spotted a fire, said City fire chief Bruce Dundas.

Dundas said the outer wall of a portable had been torched. The firefighters managed to contain the damage to the exterior siding and a wooden ramp.

According to school district spokesperson Craig Spence, the damage wasn’t significant enough to disrupt classes at Blacklock on Monday.

“Incidents do occur,” said Spence.

Maintenance crews have not yet assessed the damage to the building fully. Once they do that over the next few days, the district will make an insurance claim.

The cause of the blaze has not yet been determined, but the RCMP is investigating, said Dundas.

The fire at Blacklock was the second in less than a week.

On June 12 at 11:20 p.m., City firefighters were called to Blacklock, located at 51B Avenue and 207th Street, to put out a fire in a large garbage bin. There was no damage to the school, said Dundas.

That same night, just an hour earlier, firefighters had also dealt with a construction bin on fire at Simonds Elementary, located in the 20100 block of 48th Ave.

Both of those fires were also investigated by the RCMP. No arrests have been announced.

Spence noted security guards make routine patrols of all district schools.

Last year, Phil Lacasse of Integra Security noticed an arson fire burning inside Peterson Road Elementary and contained the flames with fire extinguishers. He was honoured for his bravery by the board of education.

Police are asking anyone who knows about the latest spate of fires to call the RCMP at [number removed] or CrimeStoppers at [number removed].

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Solidarity Without Borders! Vancouver Action

[Posted by Break this Prison Society to friendsofgrassynarrows.com on June 18, 2008]

In Vancouver, Canada, on the night of June 16th, 2008 two surveillance cameras on Commercial Drive were visibly obscured by paint and the roof top and front doors of the “Ministry of Public Safety” (probation) building, also on Commercial Drive, were tagged with “Fuck Probation,” “Break the Prisons Now!” and “Solidarity Across Borders – Freedom is Our Crime!” In Vancouver, Canada, on the night of June 16th, 2008 two surveillance cameras on Commercial Drive were visibly obscured by paint and the roof top and front doors of the “Ministry of Public Safety” (probation) building, also on Commercial Drive, were tagged with “Fuck Probation,” “Break the Prisons Now!” and “Solidarity Across Borders – Freedom is Our Crime!”

This act was done as part of a week of “Solidarity Without Borders,” called for because of the arrest and imprisonment of 5 people in France on charges ranging from conspiracy to attack a juvenile detention centre, trying to sabotage a police vehicle, and possession of explosives. Of the four who were imprisoned for four months, now one, Isa, still remains in prison under “preventative detention” under anti-terror measures.

It was reported in the news, that when a bus was burned and tagged “Riot Now” on Commercial Drive last Halloween, investigators said the footage from the surveillance cameras across the street did not reach far enough to capture the perpetrators. The cameras targeted with paint must be these very cameras.

The “Ministry of Public Safety” is where people report for probation, the monitoring and restriction of life outside of prison walls. This same office was graffitied and it’s locks glued on the night that indigenous warrior John Graham was deported to South Dakota, in December 2007. He remains in prison awaiting trail, framed-up for the 1970’s murder of his friend and comrade Anna Mae Aquash.

This act is a negation and an embrace. Denying the control of the camera and the law over our possibilities, this act embraces solidarity with all the others who fight for freedom in the destruction of prisons and this prison society.

– We can break this prison society. Solidarity is our Weapon!

For information on other actions during the week of solidarity, or to read an English translation of the inspiring words of Bruno and Ivan, 2 of the arrested in France for carrying smoke bombs (what the police are calling, explosives) on the way to a demonstration at an immigrant detention centre…
go to:

French: http://cettesemaine.free.fr/spip/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=68

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School vandalism down but still a problem

By Gary McKenna – The Tri-City News [British Columbia] – June 15, 2008

Smashed windows and graffiti continue to frustrate school district cleanup crews but the number of incidents of vandalism is down from last year.

While vandalism continues to be a problem, Jim Dueck, SD43’s manager of minor renovations, said the district has made strides in combating the problem.

“We are 200 windows below last year’s level since January,” he said. “Graffiti is about the same as last year, with maybe a slight increase.”

Those numbers could change as the end of the school year approaches, with the grad and summer party scene in full-swing — and warm weather coming.

“Right now we are into the grad pranks,” he said. “Some of the schools that have been hit have been hit pretty bad.”

He mentioned Dr. Charles Best secondary and Terry Fox secondary as examples of schools that had been recently vandalized.

Tim Kelly, executive director of Vandal Watch, said when buildings are left vacant, they can invite trouble. Since Lincoln elementary closed 11 months ago, 14 windows have been broken on the property.

As schools empty out for the summer, Kelly fears incidents of vandalism could spike. “When a school shuts down, it certainly changes the neighbourhood dynamics,” Kelly said.

But increases in the number of broken windows or sprayed walls do not always rise in July and August, Dueck said. He points out that after the graduation period ends, the number of vandalism incidents can often level off for the duration of the summer.

Once September rolls around, however, some students may show their displeasure with going back to school by smashing a window or spray-painting a wall.

And all it takes is one major act of vandalism to send the statistics skyrocketing upwards.

“There are some times when we will get 20 windows broken at one place, so it spikes a bit,” he said. “But it rarely ever happens at the same school twice.”

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Molotov cocktail fizzles before causing damage at Linamar site

June 11, 2008
Scott Tracey
Guelph Record news services [Ontario]


Police are investigating after an unexploded Molotov cocktail was found under a piece of equipment at a local Linamar plant earlier this week.

“It was set to ignite but it never did, which is good,” Guelph Police Sgt. Doug Pflug said. “Luckily there was no damage.”

A Molotov cocktail is a crude incendiary device made up of a bottle of flammable liquid and a wick. Pflug said the wick in this case had been lit “but it burned itself out.”

Pflug said the explosive was found under a boom lift at a business on Campbell Road.

It was found by the lift operator about 7:30 a.m. Monday.

Police have not revealed which company was targeted, but Linamar spokesperson Crystal Roberts confirmed the Molotov cocktail was found at Linergy, one of more than two dozen Linamar facilities in Guelph.

“Obviously we’re concerned that someone would vandalize our property,” Roberts said, refusing to speak in detail about the incident.

The company will focus on “ramping up security,” including installing security cameras and other measures.

Linamar has recently been the target of vandals.

In February, vandals attacked the company’s Eston, LPP and Comtech manufacturing plants. Last November, an anti-Linamar message was spray-painted on a downtown water tower and on the front gates of company founder Frank Hasenfratz’s home.

Roberts said following the February incidents security would be stepped up at the home and at Linamar’s facilities.

A posting on an anarchist website suggested the actions were in reaction to Linamar’s involvement in the Security and Prosperity Partnership fair trade dialogue.

Anyone with information about the Molotov cocktail, or who saw anything suspicious in the area of Campbell Road late Sunday or early Monday, is asked to call Constable Jim Finoro at [number removed] or Crime Stoppers at [number removed].

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Anarchists attack Bank of Montreal in Halifax

{Posted to 325collective.com]

16 June, Halifax, Nova Scotia – Anarchists attack Bank of Montreal. Claim : “During the early morning hours of Monday, June 16 we comemmorated last years resistance to Atlantica as well as added to the current momentum against the G8, SPP and Olympics in the year 2010 by attacking the Bank of Montreal on Quinpool road. Two locks were sabotaged by inserting super glue and pins into the key holes. The walls were redecorated with positive messages for today’s youth: “Class war Now”, “Fuck Atlantica”, and “Attack Capital”.

This target was chosen because it’s a bank and thus complicit in the capitalist plunder of our planet. As well BMO is a major sponsor of “Atlantica” a proposed free trade zone encapsulating the Maritime provinces, New England and parts of New York and Quebec. In solidarity & Resistance. -The Unarrestables”

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BCTC continues surveillance even as privacy probe launched

The Globe and Mail
June 13, 2008

VANCOUVER — The B.C. Transmission Corporation is still recording Delta residents’ opposition to a controversial power-line project even as the B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner investigates whether the Crown corporation has already violated people’s privacy.

Residents say that affidavits, e-mails, photo and video describing them and their actions opposing the project violate their privacy and are being used by the BCTC to intimidate them. The corporation says it was just gathering evidence for a request for an injunction that would guarantee them access to the properties, and is still gathering evidence in case it needs another injunction.

A thick package was dropped off at Tina Ryan’s door last Friday. In addition to a summons to appear in court, it contained hundreds of pages of affidavits describing the actions of protesting residents, e-mails from people opposed to the power-line project and two DVDs with photographs and video footage of Delta residents protesting against construction. All of these were filed as evidence in the transmission corporation’s injunction request, which the B.C. Supreme Court granted Wednesday.

“I think it’s a form of intimidation. I think they’re trying to say, ‘We’re watching you, we’re tracking you, people who are protesting and speaking out are being watched and their pictures are going to be taken,’ ” Ms. Ryan said.

On June 2, the BCTC started construction on the project, erecting 20 steel poles holding up 230-kilovolt power lines in the Tsawwassen area.

The people who will be living under the power lines say they pose health and safety risks.

BCTC president and CEO Jane Peverett said the company started collecting information on opponents on the instruction of their legal counsel. She said people were refusing them access to their right-of-way and they needed evidence to seek an injunction against them.

“Whenever there was a resident who said to us, ‘We will refuse you or we are refusing you access to our right-of-way,’ that’s when we had to document that they were actively refusing us access,” she said.

BCTC’s legal counsel hired Vancouver-based company Oh Boy Productions to videotape resident resistance on June 2.

Ms. Peverett said her legal counsel paid Oh Boy’s videographers, but she doesn’t know how much. Neither Oh Boy Productions nor the corporation’s legal firm, Fasken Martineau, could be reached for comment.

Ms. Peverett says the corporation did nothing wrong.

“All the evidence that we collected was submitted to the court and is a matter of public record and has been shared with the residents,” she said. “BCTC is a Crown corporation. We’re subject to all the laws of British Columbia, so we have been very careful to act legally and to do only what was required in order to get the injunction. … It certainly wasn’t an intimidation tactic; it was an attempt to get the evidence we needed. But if people felt intimidated, I’m sorry we upset them. That was never our intention.”

Ms. Peverett said they’re still documenting opposition.

“As we’ve continued on with our construction, if there have been any more refusals of access we may also have been taping at that point,” she said. “Oh Boy is still available should we need them. … If somebody is at the moment refusing us access, and I am not aware that they are, we would be required to file an injunction and in that event we would need the same evidence.”

Mary Carlson, executive director of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, said the commissioner launched a preliminary investigation yesterday after media reports about BCTC’s information-gathering.

“We need to have a look at the bigger picture and then at that point we will decide whether or not there’s merit in doing a more formal investigation.”

Ms. Carlson said there could be similarities between this case and a power-line dispute last summer in Alberta. The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board hired private investigators to spy on landowners who opposed construction of a power line between Edmonton and Calgary. A report released by Alberta’s Information and Privacy Commissioner in September found the board wasn’t authorized to collect the information and “failed to meet its obligation to protect personal information.”

Guy Gentner, NDP MLA for Delta North, said the government should stop construction on the power-line project while the investigation is going on.

“This type of intimidation and surveillance is completely unacceptable,” he said. “This is the end result of an arrogant government that denied from the beginning [of the project] proper due diligence. … It’s spy versus spy.”

Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Richard Neufeld was not available for comment.

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Anarchists hit McD’s in Victoria

Tuesday, June 10, 2008
By BOB MACKIN, 24 HOURS [Vancouver, British Columbia]

Call it a McMess and a McCrime.

Anonymous opponents of the 2010 Winter Olympics claimed on an anarchist blog that they vandalized bathrooms in three Victoria McDonald’s restaurants on May 31.

“We cemented shut the pipes, disabling the toilets in the bathroom stalls, requiring replacement at all three locations,” said the message on friendsofgrassynarrows.com. The reason given was the fast food chain’s sponsorship of the 2010 Games.

“We are working with local authorities to investigate recent acts of vandalism in our restaurants,” said McDonald’s national media relations manager Louis Payette in a prepared statement. “As this is an ongoing police matter, it would be inappropriate to comment.”

Radical Olympics foes have broken windows at several Royal Bank branches in Victoria, Vancouver and Ottawa.

On May 7, a Kiewit construction truck was destroyed by arson in Vancouver. An anonymous blog message cited Kiewit’s work on the Sea-to-Sky highway.

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Smashing action against gentrification

[Posted to 325collective.com]

7 June, Halifax, Canada – Smashing action against gentrification! here is the claim: “During the early morning hours of Saturday, June 7th we expressed our discontent by attacking the gentrifuckers invading our neighborhood. A number of windows were smashed by rocks at the Cunard st. condo development, easily constructed paint bombs (light bulbs, filled with paint and sealed with duct tape) were thrown against the building to draw attention to the attack. Fuck apathy, bring on the ruckus! -Anonymous Anarchists”

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