Archive for September, 2008

B.C. maximum-security prison remains under lockdown after prisoner protest

Canadian Press, September 27, 2008

AGASSIZ, B.C. — A maximum-security prison in Agassiz, B.C. is locked down today after a prisoner protest that began Friday morning.

Kent Institution spokeswoman Whitney Mullin says prisoners refused to return to their cells to protest a prison program.

Mullin says negotiators were brought in with prisoners eventually returning to cells early today.

An emergency response team was called to the prison and remains on-scene.

Mullin says the lockdown will continue until management determines the situation is safe.

No one was injured in the incident at the institution that houses 247 inmates at the facility 120 kilometres east of Vancouver.


Kent Institution still under lockdown

Saturday, September 27 – 03:06:00 PM Katharine Sawchuk

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A maximum-security prison in Agassiz is still locked down after a prisoner protest that began Friday morning.

Whitney Mullin with Kent Institution says prisoners of H block refused to return to their cells because they were protesting the ‘Enhanced Structure Program’ – meant for those with behavioral issues.

Mullin says even though things have cooled off – talks are still underway with some of the other inmates who protested in support of H block.

“Negotiators are still down speaking with them, and once they get more information we will probably do an update.”

Mullin says the lockdown will continue until management determines the situation is safe. Cells were damaged in the protest – no one was injured in the incident.

The Institution houses up to 247 inmates.

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2010 Olympic Sign Vandalized
Chainsaw used to cut down VANOC/MOT sign; police probe weekend incident

September 25, 2008
David Burke, The Question

[British Columbia]

In what appears to be the first instance of anti-Olympic vandalism in Whistler, a highway sign marking the location of the Creekside alpine venues for the 2010 Olympics and Paralympics was cut down with a chainsaw on the weekend.

Whistler RCMP are investigating the incident, which occurred during the early morning hours on Saturday (Sept. 20). The sign, which is held up with two, 10-inch-by-10-inch wooden posts, was left lying on the ground between the Valley Trail and Highway 99. It was repaired early Tuesday (Sept. 23).

One Creekside resident, Michel Chartrand, said he heard a chainsaw running near the highway early Saturday, but couldn’t see who it was or what was happening.

Chartrand, who works as a DJ in Whistler Village, said he was just coming home from work at around 4:15 a.m.

“It went for about 10 minutes, and then there was a break, and then another 10 minutes,” Chartrand said.

Asked whether he considered investigating further, Chartrand said, “I just kind of assumed that there were other neighbours who were a lot closer and they could see whether it was maybe someone who was drunk and just cutting down a tree, or something that maybe needed to be looked into.”

Maureen Douglas, director of community relations for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee (VANOC), said the organization is cooperating with the RCMP in its investigation of the matter. She said she doesn’t necessarily think that the perpetrator or perpetrators meant to express anti-Olympic sentiments.

“I can’t even begin to conjecture,” she said whether she was concerned about the perpetrators’ motives. “Random acts of vandalism are sometimes just that. We’ve had situations with the countdown clock (in Vancouver) as well, and at least once it was just random, and occasionally highway signs have their challenges, too.”

The sign is one of eight such signs along Highway 99, marking (both northbound and southbound) Olympic venues in the Callaghan Valley, the athletes’ village near Function Junction, the alpine venues and the Whistler Sliding Centre.

The signs were erected in April 2007 by the Ministry of Transportation, in cooperation with VANOC. In addition to marking the venues’ locations, they acknowledge the contributions the federal and provincial governments made toward the venues’ construction.

Douglas said she thinks the signs serve a useful purpose.

“They’re highly visible to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and it’s important and exciting for visitors to know where these events are going to happen,” she said.

When they were first erected, the signs raised a few hackles at municipal hall, where one official said they looked “sort of billboardish” and weren’t appropriate in a world-class resort. The signs were boarded up for a few days after municipal officials voiced their concerns. After some discussion about the signs’ size and design, MOT and VANOC agreed to make four of the eight signs — including the one that was vandalized last week — smaller. Their design, however, was unchanged.

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Native protesters stop building
Installation of police facility delayed ‘until further notice’

Posted Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A group of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory women set up this blockade at the site where a new police building was to arrive this week. Intelligencer photo by Stephen Petrick

The installation of a new police building here has been delayed “until further notice,” after a group of band members set up a blockade Tuesday to protest its arrival.

Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte officials were preparing to have a 4,635-square-foot building shipped from a Hamilton-area manufacturer this week and put together on a gravel pit on York Road, just west of Quinte Mohawk School.

But a group of about 50 people were at the site Tuesday afternoon, vowing to block officials from placing a prefab building they feel the community was not consulted about.

“Our people never sanctified it, ratified it or condoned it,” Bryan Isaacs told The Intelligencer from just outside the protest site. “There’s no one in favour in our group because we were never consulted.”

Inside the site, several women were sitting in lawn chairs. They said they were upset the band council made plans for a roughly $1.9-million facility when the money could have been spent to address the lack of safe water in the territory and poor housing conditions.

“You have kids in the school out there without water,” said Evelyn Turcotte, pointing to Quinte Mohawk School. “There are housing issues and mold issues.”

Another woman, who did not give her name, said, “I’ve been buying water for 30 years.”

The group, which identified themselves as the Kanyen’kehaka women of Tyendinaga, also issued a press release calling on Prince Edward-Hastings incumbent Daryl Kramp as well as Minister of Indian Affairs Chuck Strahl and Prime Minister Stephen Harper to listen to their needs.

“Canadians overwhelmingly support clean water efforts, funding for education and safe housing for Native people, and yet, while all of those concerns remain ignored, this multi-million dollar investment proves only to ‘fix’ an otherwise unwarranted problem.”

The comments came as the Mohawk band council gathered for a special meeting to discuss what to do with the facility.

The building has already been put together by NRB, a modular building company in Grimsby, Ont.

The band was expecting it to arrive Monday, but found out Tuesday the trip had been delayed as the company still needed to obtain some Ministry of Transportation permits to make the drive.

Armed with that knowledge, the band requested the company to hold onto the building until the conflict is resolved.

“The council made a decision that it would remain there in storage until further notice,” Maracle said, moments after the meeting.

He also scoffed at comments that band leaders are not making clean water a priority or holding enough consultation on the building.

Had the building arrived Monday, he said, a “community ratification process” would have taken place to determine whether the building meets the approval of band members. It would have sat on the site “unhooked” until at least Oct. 31, Maracle said.

That ratification process, he added, would have followed a series of public meetings on the issue earlier this year.

He also said he agrees with protesters that water quality on the territory needs to improve.

“That’s why I started a water study many years ago — to document the condition of the water so we could make a case to the government for some funding for water,” he said.

He added that Indian Affairs has committed money for a new water treatment plant and project workers are now deciding what technology needs to be used before construction can begin.

The new police building is intended to allow Tyendinaga Mohawk Police Services to expand from eight to 11 officers.

The band is contributing close to $980,000 toward its costs, with the final $900,000 coming from the provincial and federal government.

Despite the commitment, the department will be operated solely by Mohawk people, Maracle said.

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Port Moody, BC

Pt. Moody Pig Car Paintbombed, Sept 21/08, Port Moody BC

A more complete reportback is forthcoming, however some basic news,updates, and photos are compiled below.

Olympics Resistance Network
News Release to Mainstream Media:


* For photos please visit:

Police line

Monday September 22 2008- Amidst pots, pans, sirens, and chants of “No Olympics on Stolen Native Land”, Olympics Resistance Network (ORN) activists- including families with children- successfully shutdown yesterday’s Canadian Pacific’s Olympics Spirit Train launch in Port Moody as intended.

According to Gord Hill, member of the Olympics Resistance Network, “With protesters nearly outnumbering spectators, the most spirited part of today was the spirit of resistance against the Olympics. We are confident that the forced cancellation of the Spirit Train launch ceremonies will inspire others as the train travels across Canada.”

The action in Port Moody was the first in a series of actions against the Olympic Spirit Train planned across the country including in Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, and Toronto over the next month.

Activists further state that they are outraged by the unjustified and unprovoked arrests of two people, including one elderly woman. The two have since been released.

According to protester Peter Haywood “At no point during this protest did we threaten, provoke, or assault anyone. However, some members of the public as well as identified and undercover police officers aggressively shoved and assaulted protesters, escalating the situation.”

For example, a woman with two children entered into the crowd and very aggressively confronted protesters. Although protesters made space for her to leave, she – despite having two young crying children with her – decided to remain and hurl abuses at protesters. During this time, one young male protester was shoved by a photographer into a police officer, who promptly arrested him for no apparent reason. An elderly woman who, along with other concerned people, was following the police to question them about the arrest was violently pushed against the hood of a vehicle and arrested.

“The police refused to read the arrested people their rights or explain their charges. These arbitrary arrests are an expression of police fascism, who make freedom of expression expendable in order to protect Olympic interests”, according to Alissa Westergard-Thorpe, a witness to the arrests.

According to the Olympics Resistance Network, “Far from being simply about ‘sport’, the history of the Olympics is one rooted in displacement, corporate greed, repression, and violence. In Canada, the effects of the upcoming Winter Games are already apparent – expansion of sport tourism on Indigenous lands; increasing homelessness across the province; ballooning public spending; unprecedented destruction of the environment; and unparalleled police and security spending.”

* For more information or if you are interested in actively organizing or coordinating anti-2010 Olympics resistance efforts, please visit
http://www.no2010.com or email olympicresistance@riseup.net. A previous ORN
communique is posted at: http://no2010.com/node/295

* Take action against the Spirit Train in your city! For Spirit train schedule and stops, please visit: http://www.no2010.com/node/295


* Dominion article “Protesters Disrupt “Spirit Train” Sendoff”:

* CKUT Audio:

* 24 hours “Train buoys the spirits – of protesters” by Bob Mackin

* Additional Mainstream news coverage:

Canadian Press:

Vancouver Sun:

Vanocuver Province:

CTV BC (includes video footage):

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10 Businesses Toilets Cemented, 6 September – Vancouver (Coast Salish Territories)

[Posted September 9, 2008, by Anonymous to no2010.com]

On Saturday September 6, nine Mcdonald’s and a Future Shop’s toilets were cemented shut.

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Arsonists set police van ablaze

September 08, 2008
Guelph Mercury staff [Ontario]


A police vehicle parked at the downtown headquarters was destroyed by arsonists early Saturday morning, police said. Surveillance cameras picked up the flames around 2 a.m. The fire department was called to extinguish the fire. The vehicle was towed away early Saturday morning, but a charred spot remained on the pavement. An adjacent vehicle was singed, but likely remains usable. Anyone with information can call Sergeant Paul Crowe at [stop snitchin’].

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School vandalism hits record high

Maria Rantanen, The Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows Times [British Columbia]
Published: Friday, September 05, 2008

The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district spent more than a half-million dollars on repairs in the 2007/08 school year resulting from a record year of vandalism in the school district.

“Vandalism is a community problem,” said Kathie Ward, who is on the anti-vandalism task force. “Hardening the building is one measure — we need that community involvement.”

By the end of the school year, there were 1,248 vandalism incidents, up from 903 last year. In the 2001/02 school year when statistics were first being collected, there were 566 incidents, which cost the district just over $288,000.

Maple Ridge Secondary had the highest number with 159 incidents, Garibaldi was second with 88 incidents and Eric Langton Elementary had 85 incidents — the third highest number of incidents.

Vandalism incidents have increased dramatically at Yennadon Elementary, and Ward said the school district is trying to figure out what’s happening there.

There were 48 vandalism incidents at the school last year, whereas in the 2006/07 school year there were only 18. The summer was quiet at Yennadon, but Ward said on the second day of school there was once again an attempted break and enter.

“We really need the public’s help,” Ward said about rectifying the problem. She added schools need to get involved and in turn the school needs to engage the community around them. The neighbours are the “eyes and ears” when the school is not occupied.

The school district has put in various devices to deter vandals, for example, sprinklers, magnetic locks, shutters, sound devices, trip wires and cameras.

The fewest incidents — three — occurred at the district maintenance office, and only five occurred at the district office on Brown Avenue.

Vandalism is also up in the community at large in both Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. In the first six months of 2007, there were 552 reported incidents of vandalism in Maple Ridge, and 139 in Pitt Meadows — in 2008, there were 623 in Maple Ridge between January and June, and 176 in Pitt Meadows in the equivalent time period.

The most common type of vandalism is graffiti, according to the RCMP. The police have tried to encourage reporting of vandalism even if it doesn’t result in any action in order for them to accurately track the numbers.

The school district established the anti-vandalism community task force seven years ago to combat increasing vandalism. It includes members of the RCMP, the fire department, principals and vice-principals and the business community.

The SD42 anti-vandalism hotline is [stop snitchin’].

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Protest blocks Hanlon

Burning branches, tires in southbound lanes stall commuter traffic

September 03, 2008
Scott Tracey
Guelph Mercury Staff

GUELPH [Ontario]

Luisa Martins, submitted photo

Luisa Martins, submitted photo

Commuters were temporarily frustrated yesterday after the southbound lanes of the Hanlon Expressway were blocked with burning debris.

Tree branches and tires were placed on the Hanlon just south of Paisley Road about 7:50 a.m. The debris was then set on fire before the suspects fled on foot.

Luisa Martins of Cambridge was driving to her job at a local Linamar plant “and I saw all these people moving around really quickly.”

Martins said the group was throwing branches on the fire and then running up an embankment onto the railway tracks that cross the Hanlon near the intersection.

“They looked like ninjas,” Martins said, describing about 10 people as young adults dressed in black with hooded sweatshirts and their faces covered.

A banner including the words “Six Nations” was hung from the railway overpass, Martins said.

“We’re treating it as an act of mischief and it would be irresponsible of us to assume it’s connected to native issues,” Wellington County OPP spokesperson Constable Mark Cloes said, adding he was “not aware” of the wording on the banner.

The Guelph Fire Department extinguished the flames and officers had the debris cleared within about 30 minutes.

The fire was in the same spot as a similar protest just over four months ago. In late April, about 20 young people briefly blocked the same two lanes with flaming tree limbs.

On that occasion, a large banner was hung expressing support for natives involved in a land dispute with the federal government near Desoronto, Ont.

“I’m not sure if these two incidents are related or not,” Cloes said. “It’s a shame anyone would resort to closing down one of our main roadways.”

It is also not known if the blockade is related to the arrests Monday morning of a prominent Six Nations spokesperson and two others in Caledonia, where natives have been involved in a land dispute with the provincial government for more than two years.

Martins said some cars were able to squeeze past the blockade on the shoulder, but traffic was backed up a long way as officers pulled the debris off the road.

An OPP canine unit searched the area but was unsuccessful in locating the suspects.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the OPP’s Rockwood office at [stop snitching] or Crime Stoppers at [stop snitching].



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Arrests spark tension in Caledonia

Natives, residents take turns erecting blockades

September 02, 2008
Dana Brown
The Hamilton Spectator [Ontario]
With files from Elisabeth Johns
CALEDONIA (Sep 2, 2008)

The arrest of a prominent Six Nations spokesperson and two others in Brantford triggered a chain reaction of events yesterday that led to parts of Caledonia being shut down for hours.

The event is the latest in a series flareups since the occupation of the former Douglas estates 2 1/12 Years ago.

The blockades started yesterday around 9 a.m. when Six Nations protesters set up barricades on Argyle Street South and blocked the Highway 6 bypass.

After the barricades were removed, angry Caledonia residents refused to let traffic resume on Argyle Street South. The bypass was open sometime during the afternoon, but Argyle was not fully open to traffic until nearly 6 p.m., after a brief standoff between residents and about 50 OPP officers.

“I cannot stress enough our priority is to preserve the peace and maintain order, not to resolve land claims issues,” OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino said in a statement.

Yesterday morning, Stephen Powless, 43, and two teens were arrested in Brantford for allegedly being on the construction site at the Hampton Inn on Fen Ridge Court, next to the Kingspan Insulated Panels development site from which they are barred.

Kingspan, the Ireland-based company, is building its North American head office and a factory on the property.

Powless has been the spokesperson for the Brantford actions.

Police said the trio are under a court order to stay away from the land and were all charged with breach of a court order and mischief.

Clyde Powless, a spokesperson for Six Nations, said the arrests were a “catalyst” for the blockades, but that the community is also frustrated by the slow pace of land claim negations with the provincial and federal governments.

“Our fight is not with this town, (nor) is it with Brantford or any other town within our (Haldimand) Tract,” he said of the 10 kilometres on either side of the Grand River to which the natives lay claim.

“Our fight is with the government and that is where it will remain, with the government at the negotiating table.”

Powless said Six Nations leaders were working hard to keep the community calm.

In response to the Six Nations blockades, frustrated Caledonia residents gathered on Argyle about a half kilometre from the former DCE site.

“Something happen(ed) in another town and we get held hostage again,” shouted William Romberg, a resident for 12 years.

Residents were separated from the rest of the street by a single line of OPP officers spaced across the road.

In addition to the blockades, traffic was also slowed because of ongoing work on the town’s main bridge.

Progressive Conservative MPP Toby Barrett said Caledonia seems to have become “a whipping boy” for issues that have nothing to do with the town.

At one point, OPP met privately with Romberg and Caledonia resident Dana Chatwell, whose home abuts the DCE land.

Shortly after, police asked residents to leave the road. That was followed later with another request, an ultimatum and a stronger show of force by officers.

Residents complained police were being heavy-handed with their blockade, while not showing the same force to native actions.

Eventually, police and residents agreed to leave the road, with officers exiting first and residents following.

A young man from the residents’ side was arrested and has been charged with mischief and resisting arrest.

It’s alleged he ripped a native flag from the antenna of a car trying to cross the residents’ blockade.

Six Nations spokesperson Hazel Hill said a tentative date of Sept. 11 had been set to resume negotiations with the provincial and federal governments, but she had not received word if the meeting would go ahead.

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Vandals paint Port McNeill

By Teresa Bird – North Island Gazette [British Columbia]
Published: August 26, 2008
Updated: August 27, 2008

PORT McNEILL [Kwakwaka’wakw Nation territory] – A spray painting spree has led to charges against three youth.

Sometime during the night of Aug. 19, more than 20 vehicles and a dozen downtown businesses were sprayed with racist and personal comments directed primarily at local RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police].

The vehicles, many of them newer model trucks, were parked in a long-term parking lot across from the marina on Beach Drive. Racist slurs as well as other markings were painted in bright blue on nearly every vehicle parked in the lot.

Storefronts, windows and the sides of larger buildings at the Pioneer Plaza, Peoples Drug Mart, Sundown Market and the Gallery were also scrawled with bright blue paint and comments against police.

The exact cost of the damage is unknown but the three youths have been arrested for mischief over $5,000 and charges have been recommended, says an RCMP press release. The youth have been released. Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the names of the youth cannot be released as they are all under the age of 18.

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