CTV reporter Mi Jung Lee is confronted and shouted at by Occupy protestor
Could Mayor Gregor’s dithering regarding Occupy Vancouver result in anything worse for him as we head into the final few days of this election campaign? You bet it can.
Exhibit A is short video clip of intrepid CTV BC news reporter Mi Jung Lee who did a live hit from the illegal encampment on the lawn of the Art Gallery. Within seconds of the broadcast starting she gets confronted by one of the "protesters" who says she’s not welcome in Occupy Vancouver’s new “autonomous zone”.
Let me first say how composed I thought Lee was under pressure. I know I wouldn’t have the patience she had if some nutbar was shouting in my ear while I was trying to talk to hundreds of thousands of viewers. She demonstrated a real sense of grace under pressure.
Mayor Gregor should review this tape a few hundred times between now and the weekend. That’s because he could see first hand what a bit of toughness and bravery actually looks like. Rather than pandering to the crowd, Lee stood her ground and defended the public’s right to get information. How refreshing! Too bad Lee isn’t Vision's candidate for mayor...cause she’d be topping the polls after that performance.
I also hope the 28% of people who told pollsters last week they are still supportive of Occupy Vancouver have a chance to view this video. Do you still agree with the Mayor that these bullies should be getting free power, water, garbage pickup, recycling services after that kind of behaviour? I certainly hope not.
CTV also reported that a couple of food carts are also hurting for business big time now that they can’t “occupy” the public space they were permitted to use by the city. You read that correctly. Small business owners who invested hundreds of thousands of their own money…can’t make money because the Mayor hasn’t cleared out the encampment.
When I saw this story (in conjunction with all the negative anti-NPA ads Vision is now running) it confirmed to me that Mayor Gregor’s campaign has gone completely sideways. For Heaven's sake, even Vision's popular food cart program is now generating bad press for them. Councillor Heather Deal must be pulling her hair out. Yikes!
Considering the Occupy Vancouver encampment may be going on for months yet, I’d encourage all of our readers to visit Mangal Kiss Mid East BBQ and Re-Up BBQ if you are downtown and need some lunch. Please note that they've had to move from their regular spot near the Art Gallery...to Burrard/Georgia and Robson/Howe.
Just a reminder that our Occupy Vancouver for Dummies guide is still being updated regularly. So be sure to check it out and send it around. It’s a great overview of exactly how we got into this mess in less than a few short weeks.
PS: Be sure to check out my column in 24 Hours tomorrow for a list of endorsed mayoral candidates throughout Metro Vancouver. A complete list of endorsed council, school and park board candidates will also be published here tomorrow.