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Premier's Office Ransacked By Anti Poverty Committee


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This is getting ridiculous.

I bet the BC Premier is now wishing he had access to the same sort of crowd-control resources the Chinese have!

Jean was almost killed in the mid-90's at the official home of the Prime Minister. Tells you about Canadian security.

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Police review actions of TV crew at office protest

Catherine Rolfsen and Miro Cernetig, Vancouver Sun

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2007

The ransacking of the premier's Vancouver office by anti-Olympic activists has triggered a police review of Premier Gordon Campbell's security and the role a television station may have played in fuelling the fracas.

"Frankly I am concerned to see the media there, filming that, and almost directing some of the activities that took place by some of those people," Campbell told reporters Wednesday.

The television branch of Radio-Canada, CBC's French network, and anti-Olympic documentary filmmaker Conrad Schmidt were inside the premier's office during the incident. It remains unclear how -- or whether -- they were informed of what was to occur there.

CBC-TV said the network expected police to search its offices Wednesday night.

Vancouver police Const. Tim Fanning said police are reviewing Radio-Canada's involvement in the raid, during which three members of the Anti-Poverty Committee trashed the office and issued a "symbolic eviction" to Vanoc board member and Campbell adviser Ken Dobell.

"We appreciate that journalists and camera people are invisible and just there to report things," Fanning said. "But I guess there's that fine line and that debatable line that if they know a criminal act is going to take place and their presence may escalate a situation, is their responsibility to not go into that place or is it their responsibility to phone police?" he asked.

For years, all that has separated the B.C. premier's downtown office from the public has been a simple electronic lock and a receptionist, who asks who is at the door through an intercom, which is how activists posing as flower delivery people gained entry at around 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Officials in the premier's office and the RCMP, which is charged with his safety, have begun a review of security, a spokesman for the premier's office said Wednesday.

Radio-Canada confirmed its presence at Tuesday's incident, but spokesman Jeff Keay wouldn't disclose how it found out about the event.

Anti-Poverty Committee organizer David Cunningham said Wednesday he sent news agencies a fax Tuesday morning calling a press conference at the committee headquarters in the Downtown Eastside.

When about 20 reporters and camera people had gathered, Cunningham said he read out a statement that a symbolic eviction was in progress at the premier's office, giving the address. Cunningham said many reporters then left to cover the office raid.

Footage of the raid was shown by Global BC and CTV Tuesday night, but neither of the news agencies had crews in the office at the time of the raid.

Global BC news director Ian Haysom said he didn't know about the protest or the press conference, but Global later acquired the footage from Radio-Canada.

In Tuesday evening's newscast, Global said its footage was from "a local media outlet who happened to be at the premier's office on an unrelated event."

Haysom said he made sure the Radio-Canada footage was gathered with editorial integrity, and that the camera operator was not complicit in the raid.

CTV said in its Tuesday evening newscast that it purchased its footage from an anti-2010 documentary filmmaker.

That filmmaker was Schmidt, who made the documentary Five Ring Circus. Schmidt said he's not affiliated with the Anti-Poverty Committee, although he gave it a copy of his footage afterwards.

He said he received an e-mail from the Anti-Poverty Committee inviting him to the press conference. When he arrived, at 1:30 p.m., he was redirected to the premier's office.

Schmidt said he arrived shortly after the activists had entered the office. Radio-Canada was already there, he said, but wouldn't tell Schmidt how it found out about the protest.

When he finished filming, Schmidt said he offered to sell his footage for $1,000 to a CTV crew that had arrived on the scene. The crew agreed, but Schmidt said he hadn't received the money Wednesday.

CTV would not confirm Schmidt's statements on Wednesday.

Schmidt said he was shocked by what happened at the premier's office, and said he won't cover Anti-Poverty Committee events in the future if he thinks they will be violent.

"This is the first time that they have done something like this," Schmidt said. "Everything prior to this I'd say was peaceful."

There is no question the media was manipulated by the Anti-Poverty Committee, said University of B.C. journalism ethics professor Stephen Ward.

"I think it's one of those cases that puts journalists in an impossible position. They don't want to be manipulated by groups who want particular types of coverage," Ward said. "On the other hand, they want to show the public what this group is doing."

He said Tuesday's events raise a lot of ethical questions about the media's relationship with protesters and police.

If the media was tipped off about the protests, Ward said news directors should judge whether they were being invited to report on criminal activity, and consider calling police if they suspect a serious criminal act may be committed.

Ward also said the media should be transparent with its audience about how its footage was collected and why media were there before police.

"The impression could be in somebody's mind that the media was too close to this group," Ward said.

Ward said he wouldn't use coverage unless it was filmed by his own news agency, in order to maintain independence.

Recent years have seen a slow and steady ratcheting up of security around the premier and government.

The legislature, once almost wide open, has in the post-9/11 years seen installation of electronic locks triggered by passes assigned to individuals working in the legislative precincts. There are video cameras above the legislature's doorways, recording all who enter and leave.

There is also low-profile but constant security for the premier.

Campbell is usually accompanied by at least two armed RCMP officers. When he jogs in Victoria, he has two RCMP jogging partners.

crolfsen@png.canwest.com

mcernetig@png.canwest.com

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I don't know if you all had the chance to see the report on CTV News at 6. But they went to the downtown eastside looking for the thousands of people evicted by the Olympics, but they couldn't find them. They questioned an APC member as to where these people are, and she could only guess on there wearabouts. The report is right, if thousands of people are getting evicted from their homes, where are they?

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I don't know if you all had the chance to see the report on CTV News at 6. But they went to the downtown eastside looking for the thousands of people evicted by the Olympics, but they couldn't find them. They questioned an APC member as to where these people are, and she could only guess on there wearabouts. The report is right, if thousands of people are getting evicted from their homes, where are they?

damn. missed it.

Global just said that between 2001-2006, there was a decline of 501 social housing units. But from 2006-2010, there will be a gain of 568 social housing units.

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Vancouver police say charges have been laid in the incident.

Brendon Cunningham, 29, Thomas Malenfant, 23, and a 17-year-old girl have been charged with two counts of mischief and breaking and entering.

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I don't know if you all had the chance to see the report on CTV News at 6. But they went to the downtown eastside looking for the thousands of people evicted by the Olympics, but they couldn't find them. They questioned an APC member as to where these people are, and she could only guess on there wearabouts. The report is right, if thousands of people are getting evicted from their homes, where are they?

Yup, the news report is online. Click the link below, look to the left margin, click "View Streaming News", wait for the video pop-up window and then click "Thursday".

http://vancouver.ctv.ca/index.jsp

The report starts at 05:56.

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Haha, i love how that news story ends with a CTV 2010 Official Broadcaster animation with the CTV announcer saying "The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, coming to CTV".

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On May 24th, Team 1040 radio's Pratt & Taylor interviewed David Cunningham and shocking and disgusting revelations about him were made.......here is the interview if you missed it:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4RyjtdNzII

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qs3xDDs6Hek

So these were the basic points if you missed the outrageous live interview:

- David Cunningham works 2 days a week for the Downtown Eastside Residents Association

- he is both mentally and physically capable of employment

- he is reluctant to go work more than 2 days a week, as the radio hosts suggested "how about working 5 days a week instead?"

- radio hosts: you work up from the bottom to the top, you don't go from 0 to 100

- he is reluctant to go elsewhere to find employment, where available (Port Moody even to be a handymen), where housing is also more available

- he thinks he is entitled to housing and food; entitled to rely on the gov't; reluctant to work

- Pratt and Taylor got angry, talked about how they also worked from bottom to top to their positions....working for $326 a month in the interior when they were 18.

Quite a view shocking and rather disgusting revelations. Sadly, this has been the exact same thing I've been saying about people like Cunningham and the APC. I always knew they were frauds.

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Some forgotten history on previous APC events:

3 arrested as Vancouver anti-poverty protest turns violent

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 21, 2006 | 9:05 AM PT

CBC News

Police arrested three people Monday night after a clash with anti-poverty protesters at the downtown branch of the Vancouver Public Library.

The incident began when about 70 members of the Anti-Poverty Committee tried to crash a city budget consultation session.

A group of police officers was blocking the entrance and pushed back, trying to stop the protesters from going in. However, some protesters got into the room and began toppling tables and throwing chairs.

A police officer pepper-sprayed several people during the confrontation.

Police spokesman Const. Tim Fanning said one of the protesters grabbed an officer's belt and gun during the fracas.

"The police officer pushed the protester back and then had to pepper-spray him because he would not let go of her belt."

Fanning said police are recommending that an assault charge be laid against the man.

Group wants more housing for homeless

Some members of the group confronted Coun. Peter Ladner, who chairs the city's finance committee, demanding more money for affordable housing for the poor.

Ladner says the protesters crossed the line, adding that he's not prepared to take the Anti-Poverty Committee seriously as long as it uses confrontational tactics.

"We want to hear these opinions, but we can't hear them if all people want to do is come in and yell and throw chairs around," he said.

Meanwhile, Kim Kerr of the Anti-Poverty Committee blamed the police for starting the confrontation that turned violent.

"This is a public meeting. We come here to protest and people are sprayed. And we have no reason to believe that Vancouver's finest aren't here to pick people off as they're leaving. So we intend to leave as a group." (*loser*)

Earlier this fall, the Anti-Poverty Committee staged two occupations of vacant buildings — an old hotel in the Downtown Eastside and a second building near Vancouver City Hall.

The group says it is planning more protests in the coming weeks.

On Monday there was a demonstration at the Vancouver library over proposed funding for a woman's shelter during a council budget meeting. The Downtown Eastside Woman's Centre were holding a peaceful protest, and doing a fantastic job of getting their point across.

Then suddenly The Anti-Poverty Committee show up. What ensued was utter chaos, ending with arrests and pepper spray. Members of The Anti-Poverty Committee began shoving a security guard who was simply doing his job and then shoving and throwing tables and chairs inside the meeting room.

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UGH i'm tired of the APC. I feel like organizing a rally to protest the protesters haha is anyone else down?

BNC must be loving this behind the scenes. Especially the lady that publishes books about seeing the Olympics as "land and people destroyers." Yes, she had nothing to say anything good about Sydney 2000, which was the "majority" said it was "good and well-organized." If I paraphrased it right, she called for the Aborigines to "trash all of Sydney" to get their point across.

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So these were the basic points if you missed the live interview:

- David Cunningham works 2 days a week for the Downtown Eastside Residents Association

- he is both mentally and physically capable of employment

- he is reluctant to go work more than 2 days a week, as the radio hosts suggested "how about working 5 days a week instead?"

- radio hosts: you work up from the bottom to the top, you don't go from 0 to 100

- he is reluctant to go elsewhere to find employment, where available (Port Moody even to be a handymen), where housing is also more available

- he thinks he is entitled to housing and food; entitled to rely on the gov't

- Pratt and Taylor got angry, talked about how they also worked from bottom to top to their positions....working for $326 a month in the interior when they were 18.

Sadly, this has been the exact same thing I've been saying about people like Cunningham and the APC. I always knew they were frauds.

Absolutely no backbone! :angry:

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