Post-riot committee advised City to prevent illegal encampment

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

26 comments

riot1.jpg
A committee formed after the riot had their Occupy Vancouver recommendations ignored

On the eve of city officials shutting down the illegal Occupy Vancouver encampment, I've received a copy of a very important email. It was sent out by Charles Gauthier, Executive Director for the Downtown Improvement Association [note: the email I received did not come from him] to a number of his members just days before Occupy Vancouver started camping at the Art Gallery.

Gauthier happens to be an official observer of the City's new Large Events Oversight Committee (LEOC) which was established in the aftermath of Robertson's Riot [see page 8]. The committee is tasked with providing the City Manager and Mayor with advice on how to prevent future riots and public mayhem on Vancouver's streets. The committee is chaired by Vision Vancouver's hand-picked Deputy City Manager Sadhu Johnson.

On Oct 11th Gauthier wrote an "in confidence" email to a few of his members telling them that LEOC had provided a series of recommendations to the City Manager & Mayor. As you can see from the email, four days prior to the encampment getting set-up, members of the LEOC were led to believe an encampment would not be permitted. That is until their decision was overruled by the City Manager at the last minute. Here is Gauthier's email (emphasis ours):

From: Charles Gauthier [mailto:charles@downtownvancouver.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 6:30 PM
To: charles@downtownvancouver.net
Cc: jsibc@telus.net
Subject: Occupy Vancouver

IN CONFIDENCE

I attended a meeting this afternoon organized by the City of Vancouver to discuss how it will deal with Occupy Vancouver.

In short, the City will not allow an encampment to set up on the north lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG). It will not allow cooking facilities to set up. It will not allow porta potties to be installed.

It will remove free-standing news boxes within a 4-block radius of the VAG and other potential target businesses of the protesters (ie department stores, financial institutions). The DVBIA will be submitting a map of potential target businesses to the City tomorrow (Wednesday) so that these news boxes can be removed by end of business on Friday.

On-street parking will also be removed within a one-block radius of the VAG and other potential target businesses.

There will also be a visible police presence and a stand-by response unit.

Police will remove protesters from private property if requested to do so by the owner or agent (ie security), however, response times will vary and may be slower than expected. More details on this to follow in the ensuing days.

I understand that you may need to share this with your personnel and security contractor. Please do so discreetly.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Charles


Charles Gauthier
Executive Director
Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association

Amazingly Occupy Vancouver was the FIRST major event whereby the LEOC could swing into action after the riot, yet their recommendations were ignored.

LEOC recommended the encampment not be permitted to start in the first place. My source tells me "the Vancouver police never wanted to allow this encampment to get set up in the first place. But they were overruled at the last minute by a political decision. The Mayor obviously didn't support the committee's recommendations."

In this morning's Globe and Mail, Frances Bula does a good job of asking a series of questions regarding why the encampment was allowed to stay up as long as it has. She states (emphasis ours):

The best way to end a protest camp is not to let one start in the first place – that was the lesson the city learned earlier this decade.

After dealing with a four-month squat in and outside the empty Woodward’s department store in 2002, along with homeless camps in several parks in 2003, the city’s legal department concluded that quick action is crucial.

That’s why the city has busted up protest camps with great alacrity in the past two years. One, during the Olympics, was taken down after two weeks. For a planned protest camp earlier this year at the Olympic Village, the city got an injunction in a single day to prevent a camp from being set up on private land near the village.

But police and city officials didn’t follow that same approach when the Occupy Vancouver protest got under way on Oct. 15 and tents started going up.

Police did nothing that day or the next. City managers started negotiations with protesters about leaving, but didn’t set an ultimatum.

And it wasn’t until Monday that city managers issued the first written request for the protesters to evacuate.

City staff and the mayor have said one reason they didn’t prevent tents from going up immediately was because of the massive crowd. With 4,000 people at the initial Saturday rally, police couldn’t go in and start fighting with people to take down tents.

But clearly, Mayor Gregor Robertson was also swept up by the sentiments of the day that viewed this crowd of camping protesters and their cause as being on a higher plane.

“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 on the Monday after it started, indicating he was prepared to let the camp stay.

In light of the fact that police and city staff are about to shut down the ecampment, I hope local media will dig a bit deeper into how and why we got into this mess in the first place.

- Post by Daniel. You can follow us on on Twitter @CityCaucus or you can "like" us on Facebook at facebook.com/citycaucus.

26 Comments

Listening to the City Manager's cracked voice over the past couple of days, I couldn't help but think she was feeling very uncomfortable with the situation she was having to address.

I now have a much better idea why she was so troubled.

In 2008, the NPA's handling of the OV (Olympic Village) was its downfall; in 2011, Vision's handling of the OV (Occupy Vancouver) may well be its downfall.

To paraphrase my mysterious friend Glissando Remy....with respect to both occasions...
Oy Vey!

Shortly after this past summer's riot, I was astounded by the mixed messages coming from Robertson. To national/international media he said the violence was the act of a few anarchists. To local media, he would state it's not accurate to claim anarchists were behind the vandalism and looting since anarchism is more a political movement.

I am hearing the same mixed messages in the media with this now. The city manager is saying protesters are welcome to stay and protest, use the stage, electricity, but their tents and belongings need to go. Meanwhile, Jim Chu is saying protesters must leave along with other voices, such as Bill Tieleman in today's 24Hrs and Tyee, who are denouncing OV.

What a mess top to bottom. This demonstrates again the quagmire underscoring the general lameness of what Vancouver has become and how it has been governed.

I think the "lameness" is the lack of objectivity in the City's senior management. The decisions and recommendations of the City Manager and Deputy City Manager are being made in the interest of political outcomes - to enhance opportunities for the person who hired them - not in the interest of the residents and taxpayers of Vancouver. At the last Council Meeting Penny Ballem stated there was no "legal or practical reason to remove the encampment..." I suspect the Court may be reviewing the video of that meeting and asking what has changed to now allow granting of the City's requested injunction.

It will be interesting WestEnder1 to see how the Court rules on the city's injunction and if it may effect the Falun Gong's case against the city's 'protest by-law' - it may be seen as being applied unfairly and therefore an unjust by-law.

Lack of objectivity can work the other way as well.

Speak up too much and you will get fired.

So my question is:

Who hires people and what are the qualifications needed for jobs within the City?

Even (or especially) the big ones.

Hasn't Gregor learned anything from the riot? This is not going to end well, but it should never have been allowed to start in the first place. Will our mayor ever learn? On Nov 19th, let's boot him the hell out of office.

There is no doubt that Robertson is mentally chanllenged now and should not be Mayor of Vancouver, he is out of control and needs help badly.

I am with you Michael, Oy Vey!
On both.
Also I will vote for any candidate that promises to vote for and Fire both CM Ballem and DCM Johnston on the spot, the moment they are confirmed winners!
Period.
And hell yeah, I often read Glissando's tweets...hilariously witty, I admit!

Do any of you pay attention to what happens in the rest of the world, or even the rest of Canada, or even in Victoria? Do you seriously believe that the City could have prevented Occupy Vancouver? To pretend that Ms. Anton could or would have prevented it if she had been mayor is political posturing.

Trying to shut down dissent drives it underground and leads to even more negatives.

And there is a great deal wrong with our current system.

Ballem could be let go for multiple
violations of her own code of conduct. Sadhu's situation might be a bit stickier but he would likely leave soon for a cushy spot in one of Solomon's houses.

No no no Steven, Vancouver is different. It's far far more important and far far more complicated. It doesn't matter that this is happening all over North America, often with worse outcomes. This one is the worst, and gregor is the worst.

Seriously though, this is a lose lose.

Prevent the protestors? You hate democracy and are acting like a dictator.
Allow the protestors? You're soft and lack leadership.

"Prevent the protestors? You hate democracy and are acting like a dictator.

Allow the protestors? You're soft and lack leadership."

Back up the clock to 2008 civic campaign:

"Prevent the Olympic Village from being constructed. Your political opponents criticize you for wasting tax dollars.

Allow the Village development to collapse. You're accused of derailing the olympic games."

Interesting how the shoo is now on the other foot and vision is crying foul. That's politics I guess.

has anyone considered the idea of asking the First Nations to reclaim the VAG with the support of the VPD as a jurisdictional solution. Once cleared, it could be returned to the city for its current use.

There is so much hoopla about who owns the land... it seems to me Occupy Vancouver would have to peacefully abide by the request... no?

Turnabout is fairplay boys and girls.

Does anyone think that the OV debt/financing deals pre-last election were really avoidable? Or that Louie and the now Visionistas were not complicit or willing participants in every step leading up to it?
No one said this thing had to be fair.

Just because Vision thinks they are walking on moral highwater....doesn't mean they get a free pass on everything.

We'll know Vision is really in trouble when they start attacking themselves on this one.

Interesting idea, but in all likely hood the First Nations would be happy to take possession but less interested in relinquishing it.

So you agree, all this is empty political posturing on the part of Ms. Anton and the NPA?

Update...the judge has ordered the VPD to stand down for now...

Meggs, Ballem and I often de-stress by playing the classics in our garage band. Can you tell who is on lead vocals? You might be surprised! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOtvcC6XQmE

WAKE UP AMERICA.... WE MUST.....WAKE UP OR THE FUTURE WILL NOT BE VERY ROSY THIS CENTURY.....!!!!!!

Or else we will loose everything we built up after WWII....

Are we really afraid of being protectionists....or should we STOP IMPORTS....or slow it down a lot so our decimated industries can get back in the game and compete against Asia and other foreign countries........

After 45 years of offering Exports to Asia it is no wonder we have no jobs at home in America......plus our richest companies now are Importers but do not have jobs for Americans at home...as we have finally hit the Wall...finally...I am not surprised as everything now is going up in price...it is called inflation for sure....that will be the final blow to America....


How about picketing all the US Malls who carry 95% of Imports like in my 2 industries....Manufacturers who are hanging on still and who are still in business but have been decimated or many others have gone out of business for the last 45 years because they could not compete with Foreign countries or American Importers either...........so "America" .... and at any store that sells Imports...Picket them...they will eventually get the message and sell American products eventually .......and say in your picket signs that WE WILL NOT BUY IMPORTS ANYMORE...and...SELL ONLY MADE IN THE USA PRODUCTS....those IMPORTS benefits all the Special Interest Folks who eliminated our Manufacturing bases over the last 45 years...with the help of our Government and with campaign financing which they offered to legislators to pass just the right bills for them in exchange........I have seen it happen with my own eyes....IMPORTS are our long lost jobs mostly transferred in Asia.....picketing with signs will raise the ears of those Buyers who put Imports in our Retail Stores and who sell them willingly to naive consumers......consumers who have zero ideas that they are eliminating American Jobs....so.....!!!!!!

Also wondering why we have a 2% of rich folks who have as much money as the rest of the 98%...IMPORTS are full of benefits and profits...that is why our Retailers don't buy American made products....as there less profits in buying or selling American products for sure....this issue Imports has contributed to our demise economically for a very long time....

Many of us are already Liberals....but Liberals & Conservatives and folks in the middle have all created this economic problem over the last 45 years........and it has not helped in this century or the last one to have 2 parties that can't work together in Washington or in our 50 States.........as they don't have common senses on how to fix America....how many times more am I going to vote out legislators and replace them with another while the problems get worse after I voted.......!!!!!

What do we have to be and do to overcome our present situation....???? START OVER...!!!
Here is one of my ideas to fix our economy first and get our jobs back.......STOP IMPORTS...!!!...and stop trading Boeing Airplanes for Sweat shirts with China......it won't work well for us to Trade this stupid way........Imports are Imports that have eliminated our jobs sources at home....!!!!

And is becoming protectionist necessary.....!!! YES

And can we overcome the world order that we impose on many countries...!!! YES if we don't get involved unless someone attacks us....

And so on....and on.....and on.....!!!!


So... Stop Imports and slow down Asia or they will control all of our best markets....and Asia will have the jobs for their People and we won't....it's that simple.

Joel in LA at EMAIL: jasaguide@sbcglobal.net

Assuming you are correct then Mayor Fauntelroy has shown his true colours and those colours are deep and multiple shades of yellow. Confronted with Anton's "political posturing" ( your words) , he has folded like a cheap squatters tent. He has thrown Chief Chu and the police force under the bus once agin. He has thrown Penny Ballem under the bus. He has shirked his duty to enforce the law and he now hides behind the courts. I have visited the site 4 times now. Today I was there and it reaked of pot. Is that the liberty or civil right we should be concerned about? To set up illegal squats and smoke pot? This is not about the ideals of the OWS folks. Those are important serious issues and Occupy Vancouver shames the principles of civil disobedience and those who have sacrificed to advance liberty and human rights. Mayor Fauntelroy has shown he lacks the intelligence, the integrity and the courage to at least stand by his conviction but moreover he has shown a complete lack of understanding of his role as Mayor and has not discharged his duties to protect order.

Given today's court judgement that now has Vision and our Mayor in full blown damage control with no end in sight, I thought it best to remind folks of the following...

1) This was the first government to hand the US banks a bailout. We signed a cheque for 1/2 billion dollars and gave it to a hedgefund company getting them off the hook for the village ahead of the US administration's own bailouts. Occupy Vancouver will finally put this band of snake oil salesmen to shame!!! Halleluhiah!!

2) The Mayor has NO WHERE TO GO now. Its all on him. Can't blame anyone else. He should have taken staff advice from the get go and not allowed the encampment to take hold but allow for a high profile protest to continue and be vocal. OV globally has raised some serious issues and had a great deal of support from the public.

3) The Vancouver's Left has done OV a great disservice and eroded its credibility by laying seige to the encampment and using cowardly tactics to keep the Mayor a float. Vision Vancouver seems to think its okay to sacrifice others for the sake of their own agenda. This maybe how you run a power hungry political party, however, its not how you run a City and take care of its citizens.

Lastly, I want to reiterate how the tragedies of last week at the site could have been avoided had the Mayor acted sooner and with greater leadership.

Ian Mulgrew from the Vancouver Sun writes another great column. He states:

The worst has transpired. City officials find themselves into a corner.

Any move now by police and city not precipitated by some catastrophe will raise serious questions about wasting the court’s time and respect for the process they set in motion.

That could be more damaging politically to the mayor’s administration than leaving the commune standing.

Robertson must be pulling his hair out.

“Pyrrhic” doesn’t begin to describe what has happened.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Opinion+City+Occupy+Vancouver+injunction+strategy+backfires+besieged+mayor/5684044/story.html#ixzz1dHXJsfZq

And Mark Hasiuk writes at the Courier:

"Before the protest, despite the Stanley Cup riot and his party's low public approval numbers, Mayor Gregor Robertson was cruising to reelection Nov. 19. Then a tale of two cities-Vancouver, home to 640,000 Vancouverites, and the tent city, a lawless zone of blue tarps, bongo drums and several dozen squatters-took centre stage.

In the beginning, Robertson blessed Occupy, saying protesters could remain camped outside the gallery forever. After all, Robertson's a global dude and former director of Tides Canada, an eco-activist war chest with international ties. If not for his current job title, Robertson would likely have frequented tent city during its opening days, making impromptu Al Gore-style appearances among the proletariat...

And the mayor watched from the sidelines like a six-year-old. Robertson's bungling of Occupy Vancouver reinforced his image as a man-child. At first, he was reckless. Then, as public sentiment turned and election day loomed, he sent mixed-messages before tragedy-the suspected fatal overdose Saturday of a 23-year-old women-provided the cover Robertson required. Past proclamations notwithstanding, he's now anti-tent city, albeit in a dithering way. "I have directed the city manager to expedite the appropriate steps to end the encampment as soon as possible," Robertson said Saturday, "with a safe resolution being absolutely critical to that."

http://www.vancourier.com/Mayor+Robertson+bungles+mean+spirited+Occupy+Vancouver+protest/5670743/story.html#ixzz1dHXoPP9I

I can't stand mayor moonbeam. He's the worst kind of dilettante, imo. But I can understand why he wanted to avoid this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26cJtIB08TM after the recent hockey-riot.

This clip gives a hint of what 99% Vs. 1% looks like; until the tipping point.

Geez Leon,Colin Powell the man who brought us non existent WMDs that caused the death of tens of thousands of innocent people and spread depleted uranium throughout their countries.Is there anyone you wont let in your tent.

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