Anti-Olympics activists to police: Stop harassing us or we'll sue

Anti-Olympics activists are threatening to take legal action if police officers don’t stop harassing people critical of the impact of Vancouver’s 2010 Games.

The Olympic Resistance Network will release this morning (June 24) a copy of a letter that 12 of its members have sent to RCMP assistant commissioner and Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit chief Bud Mercer demanding a stop to the harassment.

“This type of conspicuous policing creates a chilly climate for dissent,” ORN’s Garth Mullins said in a media advisory.

“Several of us spoke at City Hall against a bylaw amendment restricting anti-Olympics signs,” Mullins continued. “VISU police sat in the public gallery and ambushed us on the steps of City Hall. Earlier this month, VISU police went to my home and workplace. These police state tactics say to people that if you have concerns and speak out, VISU has your number.”

Civil liberties lawyer Jason Gratl said that “court action would be merited” if VISU members don’t lay off.

The media advisory noted that during the past 10 months, over two dozen Olympics critics, members of ORN, and indigenous activists have been accosted by VISU officers in public, at home, at work, and at City Hall.

It claimed that VISU has sat in on various community meetings as a way to monitor and intimidate activists and the public.

“Officers have harassed the neighbours, friends and even parents of Olympic critics,” the advisory stated. “Their message is clear: We know who you are and we know where you live. Police tactics like this attempt to intimidate lawful political organising and freedom of expression.”

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5 Comments

Mike Hansen

Jun 24, 2009 at 3:55pm

A 'class action' suit might be the best way to go. Against the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver police, the RCMp and any American counterpart in this "breach of trust"!

Hey Mike

Jun 25, 2009 at 8:12am

Just because you string a bit of legalese together doesn't mean you or the (at this point) four people who agree with you have a clue what you're talking about. A class action needs both an identifiable class and actual resulting harm you can point to.

What they can and should do is seek a court order against VISU for these actions essentially restraining them from continuing; but what do I know I have a law degree.

rollguy

Jun 25, 2009 at 5:50pm

That is so unfair. Freedom of Speech is our right. They should know better than to do illegal activities but you know large corporations pay for them to do what they want and the Police are getting alot of money and so they will do anything they want them to do. So like robots they say yes IOC whatever you want we will do as you are master and we have no free will as police we must obey the new laws of the Olympics Gods. For corporation is right and you are wrong, there is nothing wrong with the Olympics just ask all the bums when they are in jail for this month long event.

taxpayer

Jul 17, 2009 at 8:07am

good! . They should round up these unemployed Commercial Drive welfare bum degenerate protesters and ship them off to a Serbia prison camp.

Kudos to the RCMP, CSIS, IOC, VISU!

soldierboy

Nov 12, 2009 at 11:25pm

i agree with taxpayer. people should get off their asses and stop blaming everyone for their problems. the RCMP and the rest of us are simply trying to secure a potentially dangerous event. ever heard of munich 1972? or the attempted bombing in the atlanta olympics? with people from all over the world, security has to be tight to prevent bloodshed on our soil. so temporarily, we clamp down. don't start crying now, canada is a far cry away from being some fascist state