UPDATE: According to the below screenshot, Ivan isn’t exactly happy about this announcement- it looks like there’s dissent within the ranks at the DNC!
The Pidgin restaurant protest was one of the most contentious protests in the history of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). A group of malcontents, many associated with the DTES Neighbourhood Council (DNC) and the Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) decided they didn’t like the presence of Brandon Grossutti’s new restaurant and that they would unilaterally shut it down. Classy.
As time went by the protests went progressively more out of hand. First, the Vancity credit union threatened to withdraw funds from CCAP- Ivan Drury and Wendy Pederson both ended up resigning. Next there was the arrest of animal rights activist Robyn Pickell for dangerously trying to chain people inside the building, and of COPE executive Kim Hearty for theft, assault & mischief. Obviously things weren’t going well for the
Yesterday, the Gastown Gazette (who’ve provided excellent coverage of the Pidgin fiasco) put out another great story digging into the organizations who’ve been funding CCAP and other DTES miscreants
protesters. CCAP not only gets money from Vancity, but from the Vancouver Foundation, the City of Vancouver, and provincial gaming grants. The Gazette’s call for CCAP’s defunding was a masterpiece.
Then, last night at 7:40pm, the DNC ceded defeat– calling for protesters to move-on:
Regardless of their statement that the Pidgin protests have “served their purpose” they most certainly haven’t. Their stated goal was to ‘shut-down’ the Pidgin, and they’ve done anything but that. In fact, it could be said that Ivan Drury, Wendy Pederson and Jean Swanson did the exact opposite. The protests have made the Pidgin restaurant into a household name across the country- there’s no way that the owners of the Pidgin could have afforded to buy their establishment the publicity the Pidgin picket brought them. In marketing terms, the protests were pure gold.
It’s now time for the people of Vancouver to call for resignations across the publicly funded DTES poverty industry. Government agencies and NGO’s sink 100’s of millions of dollars into the DTES- in many cases (like CCAP) this money was supporting individuals who are bringing lawlessness to the streets. This can’t be allowed to continue…