Update: The people of Vancouver-Point Grey have now elected Eby into office, God help us all…
Radical activism in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) has been getting out of hand for several years now- beginning in the early 2000’s with the formation of the infamous (and now defunct) Anti-Poverty Committee. The APC was a militant anarchist organization run by many of the same people who are leading the radicalism today- Ivan Drury and Harsha Walia are two of their most notorious alumni.
David Eby arrived on the scene in 2004- a promising young Dalhousie Law student who turned down opportunities in the corporate world to instead focus on social justice (and a future career in politics). Eby quickly became a legend in the DTES- building a political base including an almost cult like following by the neighbourhood’s anarchist and radical activist community.
It was over the next few years that the DTES activist community began to gradually unravel to what we have today- a dangerous self parody that often crosses the line between peaceful protest to violence and criminality. Welcome to David Eby’s Downtown Eastside Olympic Legacy.
In addition to his work on poverty, Eby became the go-to-guy for activists facing legal troubles. Like in 2006 when the APC squatted at the North Star Hotel. In addition to legal support, Eby took the role of one of the APC’s spokesmen to the media- not only explaining their legal position, but also trying to justify the illegality of their actions.
This kind of support helped to embolden the radicals, opening their minds to bigger and better actions in the future. The 2010 Olympics was the ultimate prize- an opportunity to cause embarrassment to the government and a free-pass (in their minds) to engage in mob violence. Anarchists and other radical activists planned for the Olympics years before the games. It was their intention to protest the Olympics by shutting them down completely. Had the protesters been successful at their task they could possibly have cost the city and province tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and penalties.
By this time Eby had graduated from his work at PIVOT and was hired as the Executive Director for the BC Civil Liberties Association in 2007. Eby took a vital role in the planning of the Olympic protests- leading the development of a team of “Legal Observers” whose job it was to observe the police and record any instances where they crossed the line.
On the opening day of the Olympics it was common knowledge among the protesters that the anarchists planned to engage in a violent protest that they dubbed “Heart Attack”. Just a few hours before this protest began the anarchists made a special request that the legal observers were not present- they were concerned the observers could be used to provide evidence to the police. Eby responded by withdrawing the observers, seemingly deciding it was more important for the BCCLA to defend the rights of violent anarchists over the rights of the people of the city of Vancouver.
Defending himself from the political backlash after the violence, Eby stood out and publicly denounced what happened. He was initially lambasted by the anarchists- one even threw a ceremonial cream pie in his face. It was during this time when activist leader Harsha Walia made her famous debate about the use of violence- strongly supporting what happened during Heart Attack, and praising anarchists who took actions like “de-arresting” activists from the police. (This is a must-watch video if you haven’t seen it.)
Eby’s relationships with the radicals were quickly mended and, despite the fact many openly advocated for the use of violence, Eby continued to world closely with them and continued to support them with their legal troubles- no matter how outrageous (or dangerous) their activities became. The DTES radicals were all to enthusiastic to embrace Eby and were undoubtedly emboldened by his support. It wasn’t long before Eby was sharing a stage with Harsha Walia- now Canada’s most prominent advocate of activist violence.
When Occupy popped-up at the Vancouver Art Gallery David Eby was on the sidelines providing legal advice, and talking to the media. Eby was contacted when the risk appeared that radicals may engage in violence but it was too hot of an issue, and he declined. A few days later a cop was hit in the face by an anarchist flagpole.
In June 2012 a group of radical protesters started the “Casseroles” protests, mimicking the student fees protests taking place in Quebec. The protests became one of the worst embarrassments in the history of Vancouver activism. During the first protest an elderly security guard at City Hall was punched in the face by one of the protesters. In later protests, they brazenly attacked and tried to bait the police into making mistakes- smashing pots and pans in front of officer’s faces, screaming and swearing, and taking intentional actions to escalate the conflict.
When the protesters were arrested Eby had the audacity to speak out to the media and claim that the police were “criminalizing dissent”- this, despite the fact that all evidence showed otherwise. The protesters took Eby’s words of support and engaged in a campaign of openly lying to members of the media. Ultimately, they were called-out and their lies were exposed on CKNW’s Bill Good Show. But, even after the lies, Eby continued his support.
Vancouver Cop Watch was established in the summer of 2012, and quickly went down the path of the the Casseroles protests. Their focus skewed off-course from an initial intent to observe and report on the police (like Eby’s legal observers) to focussing on stalking cops while they’re doing their jobs, shouting abuse, and even racist insults. When the time came that Cop Watch members were being arrested, they’d yell a familiar tune out to the cops- “we’re calling David Eby!”.
On Wednesday, PIVOT announced a plan to distribute leaflets to residents about their rights when dealing with private security guards. In an article about the plan in the Globe & Mail, they profiled Jennifer Allen of Cop Watch as an “outreach worker” in the community. This is a complete outrage- she’s the same person who prides herself in how much trouble she causes for the police, and the same person who was caught on video yelling racist insults at the cops in the above video. But, despite this behaviour, PIVOT think’s it appropriate to continue working with her.
This brings us to the action that’s happening right now. A new restaurant was opened in the DTES called Pidgin- the radicals have decided themselves that this restaurant shouldn’t be allowed to exist so they’ve been actively pestering their customers with the intention of forcing the owners to shut down. Protesters have been making noise, banging on windows, shining flashlights onto guest’s tables, and doing their best to achieve their goal of killing Pidgin’s business.
Yesterday the Vancouver Police sent a final notice to the protesters, providing a list of what they consider to be criminal activities, and threatening to make arrests. In response, PIVOT and the BCCLA have promised to work hard to challenge the legitimacy of any arrests. This is despite the fact most Vancouverites look at the Pidgin incident with a sense of distaste.
The precedent that would be set if they were to win their legal battle would open the door for others to take similar disruptive actions. If Pidgin protesters are allowed to behave this way, why couldn’t pro-life protesters do the same? What if a group of people decided to try and interrupt Eby’s campaign office- would that be okay? Of course not.
Eby’s now stepped-away from supporting the radicals, but the legacy he left behind is thriving. In the case of the Pidgin, it looks like the taxpayers will have to foot the bill of taking this through the courts. And that’s the story of David Eby’s Downtown Eastside Olympic Legacy.
Wow, they were screaming at a couple in their 70s and a young couple with an infant in a stroller:
I have said it before and I will say it again. Attacking the public will never get you anywhere.
Indeed. In this case it appears that the radicals will end up taking a few steps backwards…
Maybe Harsha Walia should visit India and experience some actual poverty.
Yeah, that would certainly wake her up!
You know, once I watched further in I have to agree with you Greg. She called that cop a “white piece of trash”… That is blatantly racist! These people cannot fight for equality if they are blinded by race or gender. They focus on women against men and on non-whites against whites. I suppose every single white man walking around in Toronto, in Ontario and in Canada is a piece of trash too, Jennifer (or whoever the camera-girl was)? If you’re going to talk like that why should anyone of the general public care what you have to say if you are wiling to call millions of people you know nothing about pieces of trash?
I am white and I am a women and I want equality. You do NOT speak equality you speak racism, sexism and division. You do NOT call people pieces of trash based on skin color or gender and then claim to be fighting for equal rights! Check yourself!!
Racism is discrimination based on race! ANY race discriminating against ANY other race! What you said was racist is a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms section 15, as well as human rights! Same with Sexism! You broke the laws of our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, you violated human rights. You cannot defend human rights until you stop violating them! Admit to yourself you did it and stop doing it! Read the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
You may not like what the cops are doing, you have every right to speak out against them – especially if what they are doing is illegal, but do not do so in a way which violates the rights and freedoms of others, including the police as individuals. Or, if you claim they are violating people’s rights, you become like them when you do the same. Two wrongs DON’T make a right! Do not break or violate anyone’s rights and you can then claim to stand on higher moral ground with integrity.
I honor the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Universal Declaration of Rights because I have read them and agree with them to be the best written expression of freedom and rights. Those rights and freedoms are broken every day by the corrupt people in the world who are trying to control society etc. Don’t break them too. Don’t be like the wolves. Your anger I think is blinding you. We need to make sure when we fight for freedom etc that we do not violate the rights and freedoms of others, otherwise we cannot offer anyone a freer society or even freedom for individuals. We would bind others under our will, demands and expectations and cause further harm. So please stop speaking such hate and contempt, it isn’t helping and it’s divisive and racist/ sexist!
Umm… most of that was directed at the camera-girl and her friends, not you, Greg. I know you’re not racist or sexist, even though they keep claiming you are. I know for a fact you aren’t.
Greg, I wish you would start to cover a bit more of things outside these groups. Like the fact that our government is setting up a similar situation as in Cypress when they took money out of people’s personal accounts? There is so much going on that need people’s attention, like that. They government is making it so banks can just siphon money out of people’s accounts like in Cypress. That is very bad. I know it is important to keep tabs on what’s going on in the activist community, but sometimes I feel you are missing out on reporting on alot of really important things that will cause harm and trouble to Canadians. Could you please cover things like that too? I get frustrated too because you seem so focused on these guys that you’re missing out on reporting on other very important issues that need to be reported on. That could very profoundly affect everyone in Canada. Just a suggestion.
Tamara, these groups NEED to be exposed as the highly dangerous and radical groups they are . These are the very groups that pose a serious threat to your safety, my safety and the safety of every citizen in this country . Yes, there are many stories that can and will be written about many other wrong doings but for now, this is a very pressing issue that the people need to be made aware of .
“Homeless Dave” the black guy doing the so called “Hunger strike” in Vancouver was recently spotted chowing down lunch at the Carnegie center cafeteria [Subsidized food] so they
quickly threw together an excuse that he was discontinuing the strike because of “Health Reasons” before anyone posted pictures of videos of him eating.
Sadly nobody had a camera handy to get pictures or video of him eating
but he quickly packed up and left with Wendy Pedersen the poverty pimp
he was stagging this sham with,
She threatened to get the people who saw him eating banned from the Carnegie for life
when they challenged him on it, accusing him of being a fraud.
Pedersen is well known in the community for bullying residents who dare cross her.
“Homeless Dave” is in fact NOT homeless and lives in North Vancouver in subsidized housing
he refuses to answer questions as to when, where and for how long he was homeless
as he claims.
Several corporate sponsors of the Carnegie center are supposedly reviewing their
continued support because of recent accusations from whistle-blowers inside the Carnegie
that money given to them by the sponsors is being used to pay protesters to harass
local businesses like Pidgin and Save-on-Meats.
Wendy Pedersen does not live in Gastown as she claims
she has an office there but owns a house in the east end of Vancouver
and is rumored to also own a condo in Yaletown.
The good news, the residents of the DTES are getting fed up with these protesters
and poverty pimps and are actively shouting at them to leave when the media are there.
so far only CTV has had to guts to show this.
This being pinned having anything to do with the election results yesterday?
Doubtful, Eby won his riding last night – it’s a sad day for democracy. That said, I’ve got four years of great content ahead of me!
Best possible situation for Eby. He is in the legislature but not part of the party in power. So now he does not have to act on any of his crazy idea or help any of his radical friends. He can still pretend to be “resisting” instead of being the actual power and having to be accountable. I can only imagine what those nut jobs would expect of Eby. Probably expect him to push a private members bill abolishing the police. Or perhaps another bill to change the name of the province to “Turtle Island.”
i am wondering. As an elected politician , does he now have the financial means through his party to actually finance these ultra left wing radical groups through party funding ? If so, I see this as being a huge potential problem in that now, these fringe groups could be financed to buy things that would be a great danger to the public and further, finance groups or people to come for speaking engagements to promote racer hate and violence.
He may, but the NDP is a minority in the legislature- so, luckily, Eby won’t be able to get that much done during this term in office.
Belatedly, I just read this from your local paper The Province “Teacher activists should learn from Joe B.C.” by Jon Ferry.
“To say that the B.C. Teachers’ Federation faithful were disappointed by the results of the recent B.C. election would be an understatement. So when provincial labour contract bargaining resumes next Tuesday between the BCTF and the B.C. Public School Employers Association, you can expect some long faces around the table.”
“In a blog post, Ehrcke [Tara Ehrcke, the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association president]
said her greatest disappointment about the election was not its outcome, but that “not a single party stood up and spoke out for a radical re-evaluation of the massive inequity in our society.”
Ehrcke called for labour to return to its roots: “That means money into strike funds, not election funds. That means taking strike action, not canvassing.”
She said labour and social movements should work together “on the ground,” not in election campaigns: “We need more events like the ‘Battle in Seattle’ — when NGOs and organized labour worked together to fight the World Trade Organization and the inequality promoted by trade deals and the World Bank.”
The Battle in Seattle? Yes, that was the big, ugly demo in 1999 in which radical anarchists went around smashing things.
Never say we haven’t been warned.