Ignoring orders by the City of Vancouver not to setup their annual event cannabis protesters defiantly setup shop on the grounds of the art gallery (the location where Occupy Vancouver was held) today. Protesters setup speakers on the art gallery’s stairs, vendors sold pot and related paraphernalia. The “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery was seen walking around with a giant joint he claimed was made from an ounce of marijuana.
Part way through the day protesters and police got into a violent confrontation. It’s unknown at this stage what prompted the conflict, but a video shows an angry group of protesters who outnumbered the police struggling against the cops as they were trying to make an arrest. The crowd was shouting at the cops as they tried to hold back the crowd, news reports indicate that at least four people were arrested.
Two of the people arrested today are familiar to long-term readers of this website- the first was an outspoken cannibals activist who owns a dispensary, the second was widely acclaimed by the media in 2011 as the “hero” of Vancouver’s Stanley Cup hockey riot- he was also arrested as part of a similar clash during Occupy Vancouver…
The most visible person in the video is Bert Easterbrook, who can be seen pushing his way into the police, and apparently throwing his body on-top of a man the police were trying to arrest. As Easterbrook is doing this you can hear a man in the crowd yelling “just let him go, Bert, Bert, dude, just let him go Bert”. Ignoring his friend’s calls, Easterbrook continued battling the police until the cops eventually pulled-out their pepper spray. Less than a minute later Easterbrook was put into handcuffs and taken away.
Easterbrook was labelled a hero during the 2011 Stanley Cup riot when he punched a protester in the face to stop him and others from lighting a truck on fire. Later that year Easterbrook was arrested while a group of protesters with Occupy Vancouver got into a clash with police during a protest at the port. In 2013 Easterbrook was arrested for refusing to fill out the census.
Also reported arrested in the kerfuffle was dispensary and long time pot activist David Malmo-Levine, an outspoken critic of the city’s recently passed dispensary rules.
Stay-tuned for more updates as information becomes available, until then, there’s a video of today’s violence: