Archive for April, 2009

RBC and GM Attacked in Vancouver – 420

[Published by annonomous, April 24, 2009, at ottawa.indymedia.ca]

Attacks on Olympic Sponsors

RBC and GM Attacked in Vancouver – 420

April 20 (420), 2009 – Thousands of people lit and smoked the torches of their choice in the vicinity of the 2010 Countdown Clock and all around Vancouver. Later that night we smashed the windows at two official sponsors of the 2010 games. We targeted the Royal Bank of Canada location on 1st and Commercial and the General Motors location just west of the 1st St. bridge as one more very small contrubution to the ongoing resistance against the Olympics and the nightmares the rich have in store for us.

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They won’t say sorry

South Asian Post [British Columbia]
Wed, April 22 2009

During the long hours he drives a Chilliwack cab to support his three young children, Jagjeet Sidhu has a lot of time to reflect upon the life that would have been had his young wife not died needlessly in a freeway crash two years ago.

Today, all the struggling father wants is safer transport for farm workers like his wife, and an apology from the couple he believes was complicit in her death.

Read the rest of the article here…

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Gateway Day of Action: Minister Falcon’s Office Declared “Crime Scene”

Saturday April 11 SURREY — Activists South of the Fraser marked the riding office of provincial Highways Minister Kevin Falcon a “Global Warming Crime Scene” this morning, and piled sand used by Ministry contractors for highway construction in front of the door.

Gateway blockade

In March 2009, concerned citizens blockaded the demolition of a house in Surrey, BC, Canada that stood in the way of freeway construction.

Farmers protest overpasses in Langley

On March 20, 2009 farmers and concerned citizens in Langley, BC, Canada protested a heavy rail overpass plan that would destroy many acres of local farmland. It was the third such protest in as many weeks.

More info:


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Surrey RCMP officer injured in Canucks street celebration

Wednesday, April 22, 2009
CBC News [British Columbia]

An RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] officer was injured as an estimated 1,500 Vancouver Canucks fans gathered on the streets of Surrey, B.C., to celebrate the team’s victory over the St. Louis Blues Tuesday night in Missouri.

Sgt. Roger Morrow said most of the crowd that gathered around 72nd Avenue and Scott Road on the Surrey-Delta border southeast of Vancouver was peaceful, but not everyone.

“It appears that one of the people, an intoxicated man, in the crowd was trying to incite the crowd. Ultimately he ended up pushing one of our police officers. He was arrested for that assault. In the process of that he fell on top of one of our members as well as a number of other people resulting in a leg fracture,” said Morrow.

Morrow could not confirm reports that some people were jumping on cars and breaking windows.

Meanwhile in Vancouver, police said fans were boisterous and noisy following the overtime victory, but there were no major problems.

The Canucks defeated the Blues 3-2 in overtime to win their first round in the Stanley Cup playoffs in four straight games. It is not yet clear who the Canucks will face in the second round of the playoffs.

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Gunman attacks B.C. RCMP detachment

Friday, April 17, 2009
CBC News [British Columbia]

An armed man was arrested and charged after breaking into the RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] detachment in Princeton, B.C., allegedly intending to shoot any officers inside, police said Friday.

Benjamin Coan, 18, has been charged with two counts of uttering threats of death to members of the RCMP and the public; breaking and entering; and theft of RCMP property, Sgt. Mike Savage said in a release.

The arrest of the Princeton man was made after a standoff with an RCMP emergency response team, Const. Steve Holmes said earlier Friday.

The man had shattered some windows to enter the detachment overnight Thursday, Holmes said. No one was in the building at the time.

“The man was armed with a 9-mm semi-automatic pistol as he broke into the detachment with the purpose of damaging the building and shooting any police officers he believed were inside,” Holmes said in a release Friday afternoon.

An emergency response team was called out and secured an area around the building.

“The man injured himself while damaging parked police cruisers and the detachment windows,” Holmes said.

He then walked from the detachment toward a nearby 24-hour service station, prompting police to evacuate the workers and customers inside, Savage said.

Police made contact with the man by cellphone during the standoff and “he eventually surrendered to police,” Holmes said.

Police did not say whether any shots were fired, but no officers or members of the public were injured. Holmes said the man was known to police, but he didn’t explain further.

Princeton is 280 kilometres east of Vancouver.

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Vet Cab talks break down

Dave Battagello and Donald McArthur, The Windsor Star [Ontario]
Published: Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tempers are allegedly flaring on Windsor’s streets as the nine-day strike by 300 Veteran Cab drivers drags on with no talks scheduled through the Easter weekend.

Colin Cutler, who has been picking up passengers at the train station in his blue Windstar van since the strike began, filed a police report Friday, alleging a group of angry drivers vandalized his vehicle Thursday night.

Cutler claims he was sitting in his van in the parking lot of the Tim Horton’s near the station about 11:30 p.m. when several people kicked and spat on his van, bending the antenna and breaking the rear windshield wiper.

On Wednesday, Cutler alleges, a group prevented him for several minutes from leaving the depot parking lot with a train passenger bound for the downtown Hilton.

Cutler said he has been offering stranded passengers free rides as a “Good Samaritan,” but conceded he has pocketed some tip money.

“There’s lots of people looking for rides,” he said.

Gerry Farnham, president of CAW Local 195, which represents the drivers, said he had no knowledge of the alleged incidents involving Cutler or any incidents of violence involving his members.

He expressed concerns, though, about taxi drivers licensed in other municipalities who are picking up fares in Windsor — a contravention of a city bylaw stipulating they can only drop off fares in the city.

“That’s creating some problems on the line and rightfully so. The enforcement officers should be fining any taxi cab driver from outside the city picking up here in the city,” said Farnham.

“Just because we’re on strike doesn’t give cabs from other municipalities the right to come in and pick up fares.”

Talks with the company appeared to be headed in “the right direction” on Wednesday, said Farnham, but they were derailed when several multi-license plate owners for the company showed up and met in private with company executives, who emerged with an unacceptable contract offer.

“They did drop on some things, but it was not something our members would agree to,” Farnham said. “We knew that and let the employer know that we would not feel comfortable bringing it to our members.

“I was disappointed and frustrated. Things were going in one direction and a couple people show up and it went a different way in my opinion. That’s how it went into the ditch.”

Farnham described the rental rates for cabs paid by a majority of drivers as too high.

“The ridership has gone down about 25 per cent,” Farnham said.

“We need rates that reflect we are in a recession, that ridership is down and our members can earn an income to raise a family.”

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Fredy Villanueva, 18, killed August 8, 2008, by the Montreal Police

Fredy Villanueva, 18, killed August 9, 2008, by the Montreal Police


Graffiti Recall Police-Killings

Wed, April 15, 2009
Kathy Coulombe, CJAD News Talk Radio [Montreal]

Montreal cops are investigating after anti-police graffiti started cropping-up about 3 days ago, accusing them of killing wantonly. Those behind the graffiti have also launched a website (www.flics-assassins.net) listing the names of people killed by police in the past 20 years, their ages and the date of death (43 starting with 19-year-old antony griffin in 1987 to 18-year-old fredy villanueva last summer). The graffiti shows the Montreal PD logo with a pistol painted over it.

The website claims to be the work of an anonymous group of Montrealers which says it’s “outraged by police brutality and impunity.”

The group says it’s not affiliated with any particular organization, just “a modest part of ongoing efforts to counter the police offensive against our comunities, in support of grassroots initiatives.”

Montreal Police Inspector Paul Chablo tells CJAD News the graffiti can’t be categorized as a hate-crime because it doesn’t refer to race, colour, creed or sexual-orientation, but he says it’s definately vandalism and those responsible will be prosecuted as such.

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Corporate media report


Residents rally to get officers fired

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tempers flared during a protest against police brutality outside the Six Nations police station Tuesday morning.

The family and supporters of a man who says he was beaten by native police officers exchanged sharp words with the family of one of the officers who is accused of the beating.

The family of Elgin Butler is demanding Six Nations police fire three officers who were involved in an altercation with Butler on Saturday.

A one point, police Chief Glenn Lickers came out to address and calm the crowd in Veterans Park, adjacent to the police station.

Butler has a bruised and battered face that was featured on several placards carried during the protest. One eye was almost swollen shut and blood red. Butler’s face was covered with small cuts and abrasions from when he said it was rubbed in gravel during his arrest.

The 40-year-old man said he and an officer exchanged words on Saturday. Then he said he was beaten by one constable, while two others held him down.

Butler’s mother says the community has had enough of such incidents.

“These cops are known for beating up people on the reserve,” April Butler said. “Everybody knows it and that’s why we’re asking for their badges. Eventually, they’re going to kill someone.”

April Butler said that about 100 people attended the protest Tuesday morning. A protest was also held on Monday and she said she hopes to continue the daily reminders to police each morning.

“We need to protest. There were other mothers here this morning whose sons have been beaten by these cops.”

Police said many of the Butlers’ supporters were from the Men’s Fire, a group that has also led land rights protests in Brantford and surrounding areas.

Elgin Butler runs a construction business, several variety stores and a car repair shop. He was on his sister’s Tuscarora Road property Saturday afternoon when officers wanted to remove some stolen vehicles they found in a bush lot behind the property.

Butler asked the police to delay the process until the land had dried since he said the trucks would damage the wet property. The removal of the cars did, in fact, leave deep ruts across the land, he said.

“They said no, they had to get them out now,” said Butler. “So I said I would exercise my hunting rights and go hunt on their property with my four-wheeler.”

Butler went to the home of Deputy Chief Rocki Smith who told him to wait for the next police commission meeting.

When Butler went back to the property, he said the three officers blocked him on the road, pulled him from his car and hit him.

“The constable grabbed me and said, ‘You threatened me and my family.’ And he punched me in the side of the head. The next thing I knew I was at the bottom of a ditch with a cop on either side of me and (one) on top of me.

He said the officer said he “didn’t care about his badge.”

Butler said he was handcuffed and taken to the police station.

According to a statement from Lickers, Butler was actively resisting arrest and that resulted in a physical altercation with the arresting officer.

Butler was charged with threatening and resisting arrest.

At the police station, Butler said asked to be taken to the hospital for medical attention and was denied.

Instead, he was held for a video bail hearing.

“When I saw him on the video in court,” said his mother, “I almost passed out.”

Butler has filed an official complaint with the Six Nations police commission.

Commission chair Wellington Staats, a former elected chief of Six Nations, met with the police chief Tuesday morning to discuss the issue.

“We’re not involved yet,” said Staats as he left the station. He said the situation hadn’t upset the community much.

In a news release, Lickers said the OPP will be asked to have its criminal investigations branch examine the arrest.

“The Six Nations police service will not be actively involved in conducting any part of this investigation,” the release said.

Lickers noted that no penalty or sanction will be considered against the officers until the investigation is complete.

“As it stands,” said the release, “there are basically two versions of what transpired. While both versions are similar in some aspects, there are also significant differences.”

Butler is angry about more than just his injuries and the fact that he’s been relieved of his gun licence — which he relies on for hunting game.

In October 2007, Butler’s teenaged son, Ryan (Punky) Butler, died during a police chase.

“My son was killed by the police in Welland and the (Special Investigations Unit) covered it up,” he said.

Police said at the time that the 15- year-old Butler was driving a stolen Hummer, which was pursued by Niagara Regional Police. During the chase, the Hummer came to the Welland Canal, where the bridge was up. When the car turned and sped along the canal, it didn’t make a sharp turn and crashed into a tree, killing the young Butler.

The officers were found not responsible for the teen’s death.

The Six Nations police service is no stranger to complaints.

“There are a lot of us unhappy with our police force,” said an older businesswoman in Ohsweken who asked not to be identified.

“They shouldn’t be working here because they’re all family. They should go to some other reserve and have those officers come here to work.”

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Secwepemc camp against rail and highway development

“The Secwepemcw people called for a blockade after remains of an ancestor was found during digging for a railway expansion. A decision was later made to instead set up a permanent camp at the site, which is on unceded Secwepemc Territory, between Kamloops and Chase, BC.”

– DominionPaper.ca, April 2009 in Review, Part I

Secwepemc Native Youth Movement Statement

Secwepemcw Protect Ancestors from CP Rail & Highway Expansion

(Info about the camp and supplies)

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Fire rips through controversial condos
96 units razed; Damage estimated at $10 million

By MAX HARROLD, The Montreal Gazette [Quebec]
April 11, 2009

The Montreal police arson squad is investigating a fire early yesterday that gutted six condominium buildings under construction on land sold in a controversial deal by the Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal, the city’s private real estate corporation.

The blaze near de Grosbois St. in the city’s east end destroyed 96 affordable-housing condo units. About 40 families were to move in on July 1.

The blaze was on the 38-hectare Faubourg Contrecoeur site, land sold in 2007 to the F. Catania real estate company for $4.4 million even though the land had been evaluated at $31 million. The firm is owned by developer Frank Catania.

Families had bought condo units on the site for between $120,000 and $200,000 through the Accès Condos program offered by the SHDM. The program offers a 10-per-cent purchase credit that can be used as a down payment on the purchase of a property.

“They are quite worried and they have a lot of questions,” Stéphanie Gareau, an SHDM spokesperson, said about the condo owners.

“For now, we’re waiting to see what the site owner will do with its insurer and what kind of options it will offer the families.”

André Fortin, president of Groupe Immobilier Catania, owner of the Faubourg Contrecoeur site, said the fire burned all but the four-storey buildings’ foundations.

“It’s a total loss,” he said, estimating the damage at about $10 million. The fire department ordered the shells of the buildings torn down yesterday, he added.

The six buildings sat on 72,000 square feet of land, one of the few built-up sections on the vast Faubourg Contrecoeur site, which is intended to include 1,800 housing units.

Although the company plans to start rebuilding the condos right away, the most optimistic date for move-ins is Oct. 1, Fortin said.

Families who cannot stay where they now live beyond July 1 may have to be re-housed temporarily, he said.

It has not been determined where they will stay and who will pay for their lodgings.

Fortin and the SHDM plan to meet early next week, and Fortin said, “We should have answers for the condo owners starting Tuesday.”

Catania is insured by Lloyd’s of London.

Jean Leblanc, chief of operations with the Montreal fire department, said the blaze started about 5:40 a.m. and spread quickly because the vacant buildings contained wood and other combustible materials, and had no sprinkler system. Dark smoke billowing from the fire could be seen kilometres away.

No injuries were reported. It took about 100 firefighters approximately three hours to bring the four-alarm blaze under control. Firefighters stayed for several more hours to completely douse the site.

Asked last night about developments, Montreal police Constable Yannick Ouimet would say only: “The investigation is continuing.”

The burned condo remnants are on a newly extended part of de Grosbois St. that is not paved. The site in the Mercier/Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough is next to the old Lafarge Quarry, one reason it needed to be decontaminated before construction of the condos started last fall.

Fortin rejected the idea the site’s controversial 2007 sale might have provoked someone to set the fire.

“I would be very, very surprised if that had anything to do with this fire,” he said.

The Catania company had instituted a surveillance committee with local residents to watch over the site, he added.

“There was a lot of vigilance and we never had any threats,” Fortin said.

He stressed that although the arson squad is investigating the fire, that does not mean it was deliberately set.

“We had construction workers there (Thursday),” he said. “Anything could have happened. Someone could have dropped a cigarette.”

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