Occupy Vancouver tents & porta potties could become election issue

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

60 comments

occupy vancouver
City of Vancouver tweet raises questions as to whether by-laws will be enforced

UPDATE @ 9:00 pm: The Vancouver Sun is reporting this evening that Mayor Gregor Robertson has declared the tents and other structures can stay on the front lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery indefinitely. Here is a link to the Jeff Lee story to be published in the newspaper on Tuesday.

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It was a beautiful sunny day in Edmonton on Saturday morning as I boarded the plane to head back home to Vancouver. At precisely 10am my Airbus 300 flew directly above the Vancouver Art Gallery on its way to the airport in Richmond. Although it was difficult to make out the finer details, I could definitely tell that Occupy Vancouver was underway.

Let me first say that I support the right of people to protest in Canada. I am also sympathetic to what I thought was the core message of the Occupy Wall Street protestors - namely that the 0.1% of our population are making exorbitant salaries and paying disproportionately less tax, while the gap between the rich and poor continues to grow wider.

Unfortunately, what I saw yesterday on the front lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery was far from what we all anticipated. At times it was merely a gathering of disparate groups and individuals who have concerns about one issue or another.

Don't like the war in Iraq? Participate in Occupy Vancouver. Don't like pasteurized milk? Participate in Occupy Vancouver. Don't like genetically modified food? You get the picture. Needless to say, the core message was lost amongst competing voices that all wanted to make the six o'clock news.

As an urban affairs columnist, what's most interesting to me is how silent Mayor Gregor Robertson and his Vision team have been regarding the Occupy Vancouver movement. Despite numerous efforts via Twitter over the last several days, not a single Vision Vancouver operative would confirm they endorse the Occupy Vancouver encampment. There has been complete radio silence.

Contrast that to the NPA and COPE who have both been very open regarding their seemingly opposing positions. Based on her comments, I suspect the NPA's Suzanne Anton is supportive of the right to protest, but not in the breaking of city by-laws or in the setting up of a permanent camping facility.

Anton states:

First and foremost, we want people to be safe. We don’t want this protest to turn into a long term disruption. It impacts peoples’ lives, it stops people from coming downtown and it hurts the economy. So what is the Mayor’s position on this demonstration. Where is Gregor on this?

The Mayor's coalition partner COPE has also been very open about their public support. Several of their candidates were seen in the crowd supporting Occupy Vancouver. I think Globe and Mail reporter Rod Mickelburgh summed it up best when he tweeted:

Mayor Mike Harcourt used to address large peace marches...so far, no sign of Mayor Robertson at #occupyvancouver #citycaucus #spy

I doubt you will see Mayor Gregor anywhere near the protest until well after the election – yes, it could last that long. The last thing Gregor wants on the eve of an election is to be associated with a law-breaking event that could go sideways at a moment's notice. You can chalk that up to the Mayor's mishandling of Robertson's Riot.

After a few weeks of tents, bongos, dancing, meditation and overflowing porta-potties on the front lawn of the Art Gallery, I suspect the general public might get a tad frustrated that City Hall is not enforcing its own by-laws.

tenter

Which brings me to a key issue regarding City Hall and the Occupy Vancouver encampment. Why are City officials treating them differently than Falun Gong? Why are they being treated differently than 2010 anti-Olympic protestors?

In the case of both groups the Mayor did everything he could to ensure by-laws relating to overnight encampments were rigidly enforced. If you were thinking of setting up a tent city in Vancouver prior to the Olympics...think again.

Mayor Robertson introduced what some left-wing activists refer to as the "anti-protest bylaw". It essentially prohibits camping in public spaces. According to the left-wing blog the Mainlander:

The bylaw states that any “structure, object, or substance” – including tents – placed on public space without permission of the City Engineer can receive a minimum $1,000 fine.

Yet despite passing this bylaw and enforcing it for both Falun Gong and anti-Olympic protestors, the City now appears ready to lend a blind eye to all the tents popping up in front of the Art Gallery. Amazingly, the City of Vancouver even went so far as to send out this tweet on Saturday evening:

#occupyvancouver rumour you will be kicked out at 10pm false, but pls allow others nearby to sleep tonight by lowering PA volume!

I must admit I did a double take when I read that tweet written by some anonymous bureaucrat at City Hall. Then again, Mayor Gregor used to regularly attend and support "Critical Mass" anti-car protests before he took office. So maybe his staff are just reading the tea leaves?

In addition, it was also reported by the media that there were a lot of traffic jams downtown due to protestors taking over the streets. Here is what the city's street by-laws say about that type of activity:

CROWDS OR GROUPS OBSTRUCTING TRAFFIC

No person shall form part of a group of persons congregated on a street in such a manner as to obstruct the free passage of pedestrians or vehicles, except with the written permission of the Council.

(2) No person shall do anything which will attract the attention of persons and cause them to congregate in a group upon any street in such manner as to obstruct the free passage of pedestrians or vehicles, or in such manner that the persons so congregated might themselves be in danger of injury from traffic, except with the written permission of the Council.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall not apply to religious street meetings permissions for which has been given in writing by the City Engineer.

It would appear the Occupy Vancouver encampment is breaking numerous sections of the Street and Traffic by-law. Yet the City appears either unwilling or unable to do anything about it.

I can only imagine what the good folks running the Art Gallery must be thinking right about now as they face the prospect of campers outside their front door for months. Only a few weeks ago it was reported that attendance was way down and the arts facility was bleeding cash. The current protest will do little to help their bottom-line.

That's precisely why I asked Vision councillor Heather Deal (self-proclaimed Arts Minister in Vancouver) whether she supported protest at the Art Gallery. However, to date she has failed to respond to my tweet. Truth be told, Deal never responds to any of my tweets.

If the protestors don't want to lose public support in the coming weeks, they would be smart to pack up their tents and keep to the daily vigils. At a minimum, if they want to continue breaking city by-laws, they should at least do so on the grounds of City Hall where they won't impact local businesses and one of our premiere arts facilities. The added benefit is they would have an organic community garden close by if they were to get the munchies in the late evening!

Sometimes in an election campaign that has no issues...an issue comes out of the blue and captures the media attention. Time will tell whether Gregor's silence regarding Occupy Vancouver and his staff's encouragement of the overnight camping was the strategic thing to do. Something tells me it won't be.

- Post by Daniel

60 Comments

Daniel, don't feel too upset that "The Real Deal" doesn't respond to your tweets. She's very busy eating lobster on the taxpayer dime. She doesn't have time to respond to these types of silly questions.

Gregor was spotted down at the site talking with first responders..it was tweeted..and blogged.

Walking by this VAG this morning it was evident that a significant number of extension cords were plugged into the VAG's outdoor sockets and connected to the protesters' various electrical appliances. Moreover, the majority of tents had stakes in the ground, and the signage placed by the City indicating that stakes were not permitted was covered in graffiti. I also noticed that from Saturday onwards an inordinate number of Vancouver City workers were on site, generally standing about. It looked as if they had nothing to do, or rather, were either without orders to do anything, or were being ordered to do nothing. I wonder how much this is costing? To me, it is starting to look like the City is covertly providing support to the encampment.

After reading this, I'm part of the 99% of taxpayers who are beginning to fume. How much is this all going to cost us? Why do we even have bylaws if the mayor can decide when they are enforced and when they are not. He and his staff are making a mockery of our civil society. Luckily we only have a few more weeks of him in office!!!!!

Guys, help Falun Gong occupy the communist consulate, to see the city hall's reactions.:)

Here is my comment to a post done by AGT this week end...

George says:
October 16, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Don F
“This post to me looks like a ship of fools, people who like to label and look down upon, a sinking ship”.

I take great offense to your name calling Don..I don’t consider myself a fool. I strongly suggest you go to the live web feed for this protest you would be very surprised..this morning they were discussing online where to get more blankets and tents. They decided that Mountain Equipment Coop could/should donate.. and get a tax receipt for their donation… they talk of how they are getting free water and hydro from the VAG..your tax dollar.

Last night over the microphone they were asking for rolling papers, and then there was a discussion with police about their open pot smoking.. they protested the police being able to look inside their tents…. what are you hiding? after all you aren’t at home you are on public property …

Then we have the obvious violation of the horribly unjust behavior of our Mayor and Council that imposed a by- law on peaceful protesting Falun Gong practitioners…but the same by-law doesn’t apply to pot smoking kids on public property causing damage that will come out of our taxes.

I also had a little chuckle when the port-a-potties that were donated were very quickly filled.. these protesters expect us the taxpayer to come and empty it..

I am one of the 99% Don, with a disability, I deal with rising prices .. do I feel entitled to more.. no. I qualify to live in the disabled low income housing at the Olympic Village, do I think I deserve to live there… no.

It is totally different in the States, my Father rest his soul, had to cut his epilepsy medication in half so he could afford his cancer medication and his wife’s heart medication… he had great reason to complain.. but funny enough he never did, and we didn’t find out until after his death..

You see Don the young people today think they are owed something.. without the effort and hard work our parents put into this country..
Our society is in big trouble because this generation doesn’t understand that everything in life we need to work for…am I saying the system is perfect…no, but is trashing the VAG and taking over a large part of the city, keeping hard working people from work, going to help ..

It is wrong and will cost us great amounts of tax dollars that we just don’t have right now especially after the riots..for what? another party?

I don’t think I’m a fool Don, I have my eyes wide open right now…
Labels..no..reality, perhaps?


Mayor Robertson made a long and detailed statement about the protest which was comprehensively reported by most media outlets on Saturday. Too bad both you and Susanne Anton missed that.

By the way, it's no secret that the VAG is supplying water and electricity to the protest. Again, are you the only person that missed that detail?

Also the current protest is about 50 or 60 people. All your huffing and puffing about how something needs to be done is pretty comical. Two days of rain and it'll be over as any fool realises.

Robertson - the Mr. Fake is trying to get some attention and grab some votes from the #occupy crowd. LOL!
Who is he going to trick? Did any of those tent dwellers know what MR. Fake's background is? How much he makes for his pathetic stunt as mayor? What a bunch of suckers they are...if they even listen to him. That's Vision's strategy, pretend for a little while, even if it's painful to mingle with the real people, and who knows they'll get to do their shtick for another three years. Ha, hi, hy...hypocrites!

This is probably pointless as your moniker says it all...Mr. Right...eyes rolling

What is interesting is the fact that you choose to overlook two BLATANTLY obvious problems here...first you assume the general public misses things...please don't assume anything..

Second point, why are the by-laws different for one group and yet non existent for another... and here lies the hypocrisy...is it race, votes, agenda.. what makes it different...

Democracy cubed......

I would like to hear all politicians respond to this situation..not just the Visionistas that are paid to monitor this site...

My vote goes to the politician willing to put their name to their opinion.

Until then, shame on the Mayor and Council... everyone of them.

I saw that 'detailed' report - twice.

It lasted about 15 seconds and was far from 'detailed'.

I take it these 50 or 60 campers don't work or are sciving off of work to hang out for the cause dejour...

So, if you are on IE, you are expected to look for work and attest to such when completing your EI form.

Welfare - well, if this is the case, these folks need to have their welfare apps re-evaluated because if you have the means to hang out at the VAG indefinitely, then you don't need our tax dollars to 'live' off of.

There are jobs out there, but you have to have motivation and drive to look - you can't be a pot smoking lay about....doesn't work that way and potential employers pick up on it real fast.


Posted by Max:

Location: 'Occupying' my desk

Oh unfortunately Gregor is caught between a rock and hard place just prior to election day. On the one hand, at his request the VPD refuse to deal with the monthly bylaw violations(for example, shutting down access to the Lions Gate bridge) purposely committed by Critical Mass bike thugs and has even ridden with them in violation of bylaws himself. On the other hand, this peaceful demonstration could easily blow up and create another Robertson's Riot and the City will be equally unprepared in that unfortunate event. So he, rightly, thinks it is better for him to just let it sizzle or fizzle quietly and keep a good distance away.

As far as I can see, though, the 1 percent in BC is Translink and its endless grab for more of my earned cash.

Lee L
I agree with some of your comment, but I'd be interested to know.. do you think Transit should be free?...

"not just the Visionistas that are paid to monitor this site..."

Uh oh George, what was it you said about making accusations without proof?

Boohoo the problem is that I do know that Vision pays..

Hey boo I just had a thought,

If there is a paying gig at the NPA or Vision could you put in a good word for me. Christmas is coming... actually I could use a good paying job after the election.. ;-)

I started last week thumping the drums over this Falun Gong issue, because I immediately saw the injustice...I'd love to get paid for some of my ideas..

Can you hook a brother up. ;-)

Ok--who? who here is being paid by vision?

Again George, put up or shut up. Your accusations (which I'm sure you'll mask as 'oh relax it's a joke') are getting tiresome.

Your friend Alex has published that the NPA is paying for blog articles to be published here. Seems everyone is paying, or accusing others of paying.

Given that, anonymous charges of unknown people getting paid are baseless. How about publishing proof of people getting paid on both sides. Then all we would need is a 'block' button on the comment sections on the various blogs so that we could filter.

To set the record straight, Critical Mass rides have been going on for over a decade under NPA, COPE and Vision councils. Councillors from all three have been on rides at one point or another. Anton was even on at least one of the rides a few years ago.

@Boohoo
" put up or shut up"?... are you kidding me, did you just threaten me boo?



For the record, the NPA is not "paying for blog articles to be published here." Nor is any other civic party in Vancouver.

The NPA, Burnaby Citizens Association, COPE, Voice New Westminster, Vision or any political party can advertise on CityCaucus.com if they wish to do so. However, the fact a political party may chose to advertise here does not influence the content of our blog posts.

In the coming weeks you will see all political parties advertise in a number of mainstream media outlets throughout the province. Despite this fact, I assume they too will not be influenced by the fact they are receiving funds from political campaigns/parties.

Editor

I think I missed that post .. I don't know you might have misinterpreted the article, I honestly can't answer as I don't know what he posted..nor can I speak for him.. you'll have to ask him.

I'm not sure what you mean about the comment button.. are you suggesting we are to censor someone's voice, or opinion?

After all my comments about the Falun Gong do you really think I'd be ok with that...

So Jeff L and boohoo are trying to derail this post right now.. are they working together..?

I am still waiting for the Mayor and Council to come forward and explain why there are two sets of rules in Vancouver.. why are the Occupy Vancouver protesters not being fined for breaking the law...

Falun Gong protesters broke no laws..they were clean they did not smoke pot on the premises(public property), they did not block traffic, they did not expect taxpayers to pay for their water and hydro, or empty their porta potties.. why are they being treated differently?

Why is there blatant discrimination of peaceful protesters..

Oh give me a break George--it's saying.

Put up or shut up.
Shit or get off the pot.
Put your money where your mouth is.

Take your pick. The point is you need to either give proof for your accusations, or stop making them.

Took a tour by the VAG.

Would love to know what the police budget for this 'protest' is - aside from fire & rescue.

Granville at Robson was shut down - drumming circle, which I am guessing is for the Missing Women's Equiry.

One benefit - located a new food truck. Mom's Grilled Cheese...looked very good.

see how that works boo..

I say "just joking" and you jump on me.. but when you do it, it's "just a saying" not a threat..

@ thanks editor..understood..
I only speak for myself..


I apologize to the readers for my petty back and forth sniping..and for allowing this thread to be derailed..

Ok George,

You continue to throw out vague accusations and insinuations without a single iota of evidence to back them up. And when asked to provide that evidence you cry bully. Pathetic.

I agree. There is enough content in this post for us to debate for hours. Let's not get derailed by another red herring.

I think the city should be enforcing their own bylaws. Ok, how is that for getting us back on track!

Boohoo
can you explain to me why the Vision Council and Mayors are discriminating against the Falun Gong?

now to me, that is pathetic..

Kudos to Bob Mackin for this article ..I agree with most of what Bob says, but I do have a problem with the wearing of Masks...

http://2010goldrush.blogspot.com/

What seems to be getting lost in the side squabbles is the very important issue of the selective application of city bylaws. Don't want to upset China - implement and enforce the no structures bylaw against Falun Gong. Don't want to be embarrassed in front of the world at the Olympics - enforce the bylaw. Don't want to be embarrassed in front of the world on "occupy the world day" - don't enforce the bylaw.

It is fundamental to the rule of law that everyone is treated equally under the law. No problem with the protest. But when the tents went up, the bylaw should have been enforced.

@George:

I too saw a feed where the 'protesters' were going to ask MEC to donate camping equipment (wouldn't that be cool!) suggesting they get a tax receipt (after all). (Quite humorours considering these are people that don't want to pay taxes)

They were also going to hit up small grocers etc for free food.

Did I mention there was a group of them doing yoga when I passed by (got to get rid of that after protest round-up meetings stress!)

Other than that - I don't think many people (use woring folk) are paying attention. It seemed business as ususal with the exception of all the police.

I see the weather is suppose to go in the tip as of Thursday. Rain, cold, wind. Wonder how many die hards will stick it out - or what they will be trying to hit companies (those evil corporations) up for to sustain them through it - for free of course.

@Max
Yet the Falun Gong asked for nothing except to draw attention to the organ mining of jailed Falun Gong practitioners...
I realize this is a bit of a stretch, but yoga...falun gong..ti chi.... a rose by any other name...does not get the same legal rights in Vancouver...

when you look at it in the full context.. it is frightening..

@Max... didn't Gerry McGuire do a video about the Council meetings about the Falun Gong?

Why is a taxpayer-funded institution like the VAG supplying water and power to this ragtag bunch of cranks?

I was young and idealistic once.

I remember complaining loudly about something and my mother looked at me and said "you have never been in a war, never been starving, never had everything taken away from you'.

I couldn't argue about that.

Somehow we have to strike a balance.
There is nothing wrong with people working hard and making a living.It should actually be celebrated.

The real issue is a culture that tells us that the material on your kitchen counter defines how successful you are as a person.

Everyday the goal post changes :)

I bet the art gallery has been asked by city officials to give the protestors access to their facilities. It would be too obvious if the city provided toilets, water, power directly.

The gallery is losing lots of money and are probably hoping to get in mayor robertson's good books. But I agree that having a protest on thier front lawn won't help ticket sales. My family and I are definitely going to stay away until the protest is over.

Nobody can speak out here at city hall, but we've been told to stand down when it comes to the protesters.

Rumours swirling that Magee/Quinlan are still barking orders at our bosses telling them to do nothing. At least for now.

All of this is really helping morale!

law and order sometimes requires a little hesitation on the part of law enforcement so that people can exhaust themselves. That way there is a better chance of things subsiding rather than escalating.

Sort of like your little child that has far too much energy. Which is easier, trying to force them to sit still or taking them outside to run around for 15 minutes until they are all tuckered out and then tell them to sit still.

The electrical usage is not going to be significant and may be a better alternative to generators etc.

In this instance, standing back and letting the occupyvancouver self-implode is likely the least costly way to go.

Typical Vancouver smug commentary.

We'll see how you all feel once your stucco shacks drop 50% in value and the unemployment rate in Vancouver hits 30%.

I'm reminded of one of the OWS signs I saw recently:

"If you're not angry, you're not following the story"

John, if we hit 30% unemployment, all the complaining in the world (literally) won't fix it.

Even in 1982, house prices did not drop 50% and if they do, all the complaining in the world will not produce enough cash to fix that problem either.

We have no concept of how good we have it here. My North African friends who are fighting for the right to vote simply laugh at our self indulgent child's play.

The Vancouver Sun is reporting tonight that Mayor Gregor has said the Occupy Vancouver encampment can stay indefinitely, as long as they are peaceful.

Jeff Lee reports:

"Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said Monday he is content to allow the Occupy Vancouver protest to continue downtown because it is touching on important worldwide social issues.

As long as it doesn’t degenerate into violence or a public health issue the camp on the front lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery can continue indefinitely, he said.

“There are very legitimate concerns about equality, climate change and the state of the world that almost all of us share and we are willing to see what a global protest like this might precipitate,” he said.

Speaking on the third day of the protest, Robertson said city officials and police are closely monitoring conditions and won’t shut the camp down unless there is a serious problem.

“Obviously safety and cleanliness is crucial to the protest continuing, and violence won’t be tolerated,” Robertson said. “It is premature to say in terms of timelines [how long the protest will last] given the magnitude of this protest globally. I think we’re close to a thousand cities with these protests.”

The Occupy Vancouver tent city at the art gallery is unlike some of the tent cities that Vancouver has shut down in the past, including ones around the 2010 Olympics, the Athletes Village and the squat at the former Woodward’s Department store.

Robertson said those protests descended into criminality and involved significant health and safety issues. The Occupy Vancouver event is different because the protesters themselves are trying to keep it operating peacefully, he said.

“I believe this movement has a lot of support and kudos to the protesters and police for keeping it constructive and peaceful,” he said."

http://www.vancouversun.com/travel/Occupy+Vancouver+continue+remains+peaceful+Gregor+Robertson/5564181/story.html

The Falun Gong protestors were exceptionally clean and organized, why is Occupy Vancouver different...hypocrisy and discrimination...Shame..

George, the Falun Gong protest lasted over FIVE YEARS before Sam Sullivan (not Robertson) decided to make them remove the structure. Not end the protest. Just remove the hut. They can protest all they like but they can't build a structure in a residential area. Think you need to calm down a bit. I suspect you really don't give a shit about the FG protesters anyway, just trying to find some way of branding Gregor a hypocrite. Try harder.

No great loss, that Art Gallery "plaza" is a total embarassment. As Mark Huem poetically described it in todays Globe:
"..British Columbia, where about 70 tents are pitched on a patch of bark-covered dirt at the Vancouver Art Gallery."

@Julia:

"Law and order sometimes requires a little hesitation on the part of law enforcement so that people can exhaust themselves. That way there is a better chance of things subsiding rather than escalating.

.....In this instance, standing back and letting the occupy vancouver self-implode is likely the least costly way to go."

Well said.

George: You can check out the article yourself on Alex's blog, October 11, titled "More Trouble for the NPA...". I won't link it here.

And many thanks to Daniel for clarifying his position here.

What I meant about the block button, George, was that if you provided evidence of paid pot-stirrers, instead of baseless charges (as are being made on both sides), then we could all decide individually who we didn't necessarily want to read. Such a block, or ignore button doesn't stop any post, only the owner/moderator can do that. It simply lets readers filter comments by letting them add names to their 'ignore' list, saving them from having to scroll past them. It is no more censorship than a page down button is.

Mr. Right, you are Mr. Wrong on this one.

Sam Sullivan was against a giant structure that stretched out onto the public sidewalk. That was the council's beef with the structure at the time.

As for that absolving Gregor and Vision, the fact is, the appeals court gave the city 6 months to rewrite their bylaw. The current council was the council that voted the current bylaw in. This is their bylaw. Why is it good enough for the Falun Gong, but not good enough for Occupy Vancouver.

It's yet another piece of evidence that fair and equitable government is not ANYTHING Vision is capable of.

You don't make bylaws that can be ignored for a group of people simply because you believe in their cause (whatever that may be). The structures are illegal. Either repeal the bylaw or tear the tents down.

Jeff L
With all do respect Jeff L I think you have made an error..

you said:

"Your friend Alex has published that the NPA is paying for blog articles to be published here. Seems everyone is paying, or accusing others of paying."

Jeff your comment is wrong.. I have read that post and you have seriously misinterpreted what was written.. Nowhere does it say that the NPA is paying for blog articles to be published on their site..but I do remember Chris Kean "jokingly" asked how much he could get paid to do a post here.
It was around the same time Glissando Remmy did a post. Sorry I don't remember that time frame..perhaps you are confusing the two situations.

As for paid conversation mining again if you search the CC archives you will see a post Sept.9th/2010 or 11 the Blog site Civicscene.ca was outed as being paid by FD Elements on behalf of Vision..that site has since been shut down after it was exposed.

As I said you need to speak to AGT directly for any further information regarding his articles.
I personally have never met Alex, even though I consider him a very good friend.
Hope this clears things up for you.

As for the censor button sorry you'll have to scroll past just like the rest of us and decide for yourself what you do or do not want to read..
Regards,
George..

Mr. Right,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCV8OYJh8Ls

What is profound is that the comments made back in April by all that dwell here, are just as accurate today..Vision should be ashamed of what they have done.

http://www.citycaucus.com/2011/04/city-admits-to-secret-meetings-with-chinese-officials-regarding-by-law

@John:

I read the VAG was in the whole - $868,000....

Maybe the next behind closed doors bailout...

Sorry, should read 'hole' - not enough coffee and am working while commenting....

OMG! I can't believe what I'm reading. This mayor has completely lost all his senses. A permanent camp on the front lawn of the art gallery! OMG. This town is truly nuts. And to think I actually voted for him in the last election. NOT again.

For the record, the Falun Gong continues every day in the exact same place it has been for 5-6 years - posters and all. The only thing different is the little blue hut is gone and they are required to pack things up and take them away every night.

If my memory serves me right, one of the unspoken reasons for the bylaw change was to help the city deal with the Red Tent activists that wanted to camp in the parks.

Just because the bylaw is there as a tool, does not mean you have to use it.

Can we stop the 'paid poster' debate. It is getting really tedious. Almost makes me not want to come here any more.


There was quite the traffic jam on Hornby at Robson. Video here of some drivers and occupiers exchanging words: http://blazingcatfur.blogspot.com/2011/10/occupy-vancouverwinning-hearts-and.html

George, I think you are making the error. You are focusing on individual words, and not the message. If you don't like the first reference I provided, see another blog entry on the same site titled "Exclusive - The NPA Campaign..." from October 5. Read them both to get the context. For that matter, there are lots of additional posts there that are similar. Once again, I will not provide the links, even though this site has used quotes from that site from time to time.

But the point I was making isn't whether that particular blogger thinks people are getting paid to promote a brand. That is just the flip side of you accusing posters here and elsewhere of getting paid for responding to blog posts in support of their favourite civic party, or in many cases not in support of any party but not aligned with your opinions. The point is that both sides are being charged with it, often by anonymous posters without any evidence. Given that, my suggestion was to drop it, as it gets tiresome.

Do you at least agree that you have, on multiple occasions, levelled charges of people getting paid to respond to posts, without providing any evidence what so ever? The 'I was just joking' defence doesn't cut it.

My name is Jason Lamarche and I'm an NPA City Council candidate. On Saturday I attended the Occupy Vancouver protest.

Here are my thoughts from that day:
http://www.jasonlamarche.ca/archives/673

Thanks Jason - Pretty sensible comments. It will be interesting to see how long this maintains itseld and what form it takes. I suspect this movement is with us for the long-run and that some important changes will be driven by it. That it is inchoate at the beginning is a good thing. The city should allow space for this - room for protest is one reason public space is an important part of a city.

"but I do remember Chris Kean "jokingly" asked how much he could get paid to do a post here."

I wasn't joking.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money."

- Samuel Johnson

On the topic of Occupy Vancouver, I can’t help but think that at this point in time is when it either dies or takes off, but that’s really just my opinion. Although I did find a post worth sharing not too long ago, so if you’re into a bit more info/opinion, here’s an article I can recommend (linkage if you’re interested in a peek: http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=SSMFTCPJOOJ5&preview=article&linkid=5a977275-719b-42b2-9248-15610ec323e7&pdaffid=ZVFwBG5jk4Kvl9OaBJc5%2bg%3d%3d) Cheers!

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