Homelessness as Structural Violence Conference
NEW SITE COMING SOON...
October 14, 2005
We are going to be putting up a new site in the coming weeks.
4 MORE YEARS, HELL NO!
4 MORE YEARS, HELL NO!
Saturday July 9th @ 2pm
Victory Square (Cambie & Hastings)
During four years of Liberal rule, the people of BC mobilized to fight back and defend our communities. We must challenge the Liberals second term head-on, intensify our struggle, strengthen the collective movement to defeat the Liberals, and work towards real, lasting justice and economic equality that only the people can create!
Join this march of various grassroots organizations that have been fighting from the front lines.
CELEBRATE OUR VICTORIES!
WITNESS CALL-OUT: Safe Streets Act Demo, April 9th
May 2, 2005
On April 9, 2005, at a demonstration against the Safe Streets Act and at the jail solidarity vigil that followed, participants, witnesses and passers-by were harassed, assaulted and arrested by the VPD.
Police charged into the crowd with horses and motorcycles; several people were brutally attacked and injured by police. The outcome of this disgusting spectacle of police intimidation and violence is that three of our comrades are facing criminal charges ranging from mischief to assault police, while several others received tickets. All intend to vigorously defend the charges against them.
If you were a witness to any of the events of April 9th, we urgently need you to come forward and help defend our comrades against this escalating campaign of brutality by the VPD. We ask anyone who might be able to provide witness statements, or
photographic or video evidence, to please contact the Anti-Poverty Committee at (604) 682-2726 or at apc(at)resist(dot)ca.
on behalf of the APC Legal Defence Committee
Interview with APC Member on Seven Oaks Magazine
SEVEN QUESTIONS with Jill Chettiar
April 12, 2005
1) At your April 2 protest four activists were arrested. What message were you trying to bring to Gordon Campbell and the BC school board trustees?
The message we were bringing to Gordon Campbell and the school board trustees is one that we have dogged the Liberals with throughout their term - the attacks on poor and working people will not go unmet. We wanted to convey to the trustees that meeting with Gordon Campbell is not acceptable - as has been proven over and over again, any notion of working 'with' this government to create positive change is completely ridiculous. The only partnerships that the Liberals are working to foster are within the private sector.
More at Seven Oaks Magazine
Four Arrested at Class War Demo
April 3, 2005
At about 6pm on Saturday, April 2nd a small but loud and militant crowd of protesters arrived at the Westin Bayshore to demonstrate at a meeting of the BC School Trustees at which Gordon Campbell was scheduled to speak. Upon arriving, we were greeted by at least 20 VPD officers and hotel management.
We set up our speakers on a walkway adjacent to the hotel parking, in clear view of the doors, to make our demands and hear some speakers. No sooner did we begin before the VPD began fulfilling their role as the protectorate of the ruling classes and told protesters to move back to the sidewalk or they would be arrested.
We refused to move - poor people in this province have been making room for the Liberals and their cronies for too long! We are sick and tired of being beaten back from what is righfully ours and we were prepared to fight!
The first speaker was Claudio Eckdahl, an APC member and a member of BCGEU Local 603. Immediately after our brother had finished, the police grabbed David Cunningham, threw him to the ground and arrested him. We surrounded him, demanding that he be released immediately, but he was picked up and carried into the hotel, out of sight.
Three of our members, Lily Loncar, Kim Kerr and Anton Pilipa, sat down and militantly refused to move until David was released. The rest of the demonstration created a moving picket around the front of the hotel, screaming our demands that Dave be released. One by one Lily, Kim and Anton were arrested and carried away.
WE REFUSE TO BE SILENCED!
Infuriated protesters remained on the scene, demanding the release of their comrades and calling shame on the BC School Trustees who sat inside. Their complicity and cooperation with this government's drive to harass, criminalize and brutalize the people of BC is disgusting, but not surprising. The people on the front lines of the struggle - poor and working people, women, children, seniors, indigenous people, immigrants, refugees, people of colour, people with disabilities - are all too familiar with the disdain of those who have escaped the brunt of the Liberal cuts, and especially those who have been instrumental in implementing those cuts.
Our sister and brothers have been held overnight, as they refused to sign release papers that contained 'no-contact' orders with one another. No-contacts are one of a set of tactics the cops and judicial system use to try to intimidate and divide organizers. Another APC organizer, Jagdeep Mangat, was recently picked up by the VPD and is currently facing trumped-up charges that date back to May, 2004. His bail conditions include a restriction on participating at public demonstrations.
We will not be intimidated! We will continue to fight back, stronger than ever in our resolve and conviction that united we will win!
Lily, Dave, Kim and Anton are scheduled to see a Justice of the Peace today who will make the decision regarding the no-contact order. We will continue to use these lists to keep people updated.
SOLIDARITY IS NEEDED NOW! More than ever, the APC needs your support. To contact us, e-mail email@example.com or call 604-682-2726. If you are able to donate financially to our legal defense fund and on-going campaigns, please send a cheque or money order made out to the Anti-Poverty Committee,
P.O. Box 1, 12 East Hastings Street, V6A 1N1.
APC Demo's the Legislature!
February 15th Report Back
February 17, 2005
“What’s the solution?…REVOLUTION!!!” screamed over 200 pissed off poor people as they pushed passed Victoria police officers and stormed the front steps of the BC Legislature. As the cops stood by powerless, the front of the Legislature was occupied by militant demonstrators. Meanwhile, the Liberals were locked down inside, while Finance Minister Colin Hansen delivered the budget speech.
The demonstration was called by Vancouver’s Anti-Poverty Committee (APC) and the Victoria-based Communities Solidarity Coalition (CSC). From the Downtown Eastside (DTES), where the Liberals campaign of social cleansing is most pronounced, 3 buses holding 150 welfare recipients, homeless persons, students, immigrants, sisters and brothers ferried across the Georgia Strait and onto the Liberals’ home turf.
There the APC was greeted by our comrades, who have been waging their struggle under the shadow of the Legislature. Met by food and friends we soon took to the streets. The police, who thought we would just take a stroll directly to the Legislature, were caught off guard when the loud and angry march veered in the opposite direction and snaked through the streets of downtown Victoria.
The angry mob stopped only to paste our demands onto government buildings. Throughout the march it was made clear time and time again that we were not the shock troops of the NDP and by no means are we asking for more progressive rulers. We have forgotten neither Gustafsen Lake nor the NDP’s welfare cuts. When we demand justice it is not their justice we want to die by.
We are well aware that under this colonial system no government will ever be able to provide justice or dignity for poor people. We mobilize because we understand we will only get what we organize to take! When we demand an immediate increase of welfare it is so our sisters and brothers can survive day-to-day struggles. Demanding food and shelter is not conceding to our government; it is addressing the economic inequality that sustains the system. If we cannot take shelter and food from the government who refuses to provide, then our struggle is not strengthening our communities. If we are not strong then we cannot defend one another. To fight in solidarity, in order to win, we must be strong.
With this united strength we began the final stretch of the march, heading directly toward the looming legislature. While chanting “raise the rates now!” we made our way to the police lines that had formed along the front steps. Wasting no time we pushed past the police and took over the front of the building. With the Liberals cowering behind the locked gates of the colonial fortress that is the BC Legislature, we held our ground and were not intimidated by police.
The success of this demo was not in its economic or political disruption, but in the increased ability of poor people to fight back. When the Liberals replaced the NDP 4 years ago, most poor people felt “if its not a kick to the teeth when you’re down, it’s a kick to the teeth when you’re down” but in the long run the Liberals have succeeded in trumping the NDP in ruthlessness.
For the first year of the Liberals reign, organized labour launched what their leaders called a ‘fight back.’ After 3 years of backing down, the fight back that had initially mobilized tens of thousands of people is now known as the ‘sell out’. But not everyone has chosen the cowardly route of throwing their chips in with the NDP. Groups like the APC and Communities Solidarity Coalition, working in solidarity with other grassroots organizations, have refused to retreat! The budget day was for us a declaration of our strength and commitment to continued struggle. We will not be bought off or sold out. We will fight by all means and united we will win!
More photos on Victoria Indymedia ==>
March 2005 Newsletter