Vancouver police search for woman connected to Pidgin protests

A 25-year-old Vancouver woman is wanted by police in connection with protests at the Pidgin restaurant.

Robyn Claire Pickell allegedly attempted to chain and lock the restaurant’s front doors on March 15, Vancouver police said in a news release today (May 3).

Police said Pickell is wanted for mischief and faces charges.

Pidgin has been targeted by anti-gentrification activists who have staged pickets outside the trendy eatery in the Downtown Eastside.

In April, police warned some protesters they could face charges if they commit acts defined as mischief under the Criminal Code.

Anyone with information about Pickell’s whereabouts is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Comments (22) Add New Comment
Gastown Goose
Maybe if they didn't charge six dollars a pickell they wouldn't be protesting.
Rating: -21
Vancouver Vole
Sounds a lot like the VPD and Vision Vancouver are using illegal tactics to incarcerate people. Vancouver is so much more safe with their interpretation of the Criminal Code.
Rating: -30
The VPD has lost all credibility with this announcement of the world's first ever pickle hunt. "No one is free until we are all free" - the People's Pickle, quoting MLK
Rating: -36
Okay, Vancouver Vole, I'll bite: What, exactly, is “illegal” about charging someone with mischief for trespassing on private property and attempting to disrupt a business?
Rating: +26
Trendy well dressed well fed diners chomp on $5 pickles at PiDGiN with the hungry and homeless outside.
People evicted so the rich can have yet another restaurant to go to.
This is what is called legal.

What is just, humane & right have nothing to do with the law and those who enforce it.
Rating: -38
I think I read somewhere that tenancy has increased in the DTES and that no one was living in the space this restaurant now occupies? Why not channel protests toward the dealers who suck the life out of the residents on a daily basis?
Rating: +31

People like Makoto Ono, and Sean Heather, and Mark Brand have given a hell of a lot to the community. Why should they be punished for their efforts? Who in their right mind thinks that protesting much-needed investment and jobs and a strong financial commitment to the DTES is anything but shameless self-promotion? Do you honestly think that the area is worse off now than it was, say, fifteen years ago? Do you think that keeping people out will somehow magically make all of its problems go away? Because I don't.

On one hand you've got people investing their time and their sweat to try to turn the DTES around. On the other, you've got people protesting their efforts for no apparent reason other than the fact that they've been left out. It seems to me that what's “just, humane and right” is, in this case, perfectly aligned with the law and with those who enforce it.
Rating: +32
You can't "turn the DTES around" by pushing low-income people out. That's the problem and doesn't solve anything. Low-income families were evicted from the housing above PIDGIN to make way for higher paying tenants. Gentrification is not the answer to the problems of the neighbourhood, and pushing people out of their community only amplifies the problems faced by a community that already has all the problems it can handle.
Rating: -1
Dear Protesters,
Here is some shocking news for you. All the social programs you demand to feed and provide free shelter for you are funded by tax payers. People who WORK i.e. owners of Pidgin and the people who can afford to eat there.

This country is STARVING for skilled workers and has an abundance of jobs. Have you ever considered to get one of those jobs as an option to demanding something while giving nothing in return?

Seems like an awful lot of wasted energy to protest a small restaurant when you could be contributing to the society that provides for you?

I know logic isnt your thing, but you need to hear it regardless.

BTW I would never have thought of going to Pidgin, but since reading about the protests I have gone 3 times ;)

Rating: +14
Can someone please site the law which says says the government must provide housing to people that refuse to afford it on their own?
Rating: +9
@Radio get your facts straight. That building was empty for almost 15 years.
Rating: +6
legal observer
A "manhunt" for attempted mischief?

VPD's choice to publicize a "manhunt" is not unlawful, but it is an effort to demonstrate that it is prepared to deploy a disproportionate level of resources in what amounts to a social contest.

To my mind, sustained protest is a little more "edgy" than Pidgin anticipated.

Customers who can pay the fare at Pidgin can support the rent on Robson or Hornby. Pidgin's cache derives from its proximity to poverty - by raising material disparity to the level of consciousness in a comfortable environment. Pidgin reminds its patrons of how good they have it by means of an indirect confrontation with people who "suffer" from a lower level of customer service, decor and food quality.

For some this likely doesn't register. For others this will enhance the conscious experience of excellent food. For others there will be the thrill of being on top.

Sustained protest will affect patrons who are otherwise on autopilot and don't think about food or class. Protest will also affect aesthetes who want to concentrate on their food. Amusingly, protest by those who claim to represent the poor will enhance the thrill of those who want to feel on top.

I'm betting that the net result is a decrease in the number of patrons, with the reduced number containing a smaller proportion of fashionistas and aesthetes, and a higher proportion of money-oriented types.

On balance, sustained protest - more direct social confrontation - robs Pidgin of some its cache by reducing the level of comfort. If you miss that point, you miss the point of eating there, the point of the protests and the point of the "manhunt".
Rating: -3
Has anybody cross-checked the so-called Pidgin Protestors against the images of Stanley Cup rioters?

They are of a "type". Under 25, nothing better to do, desperate to find a "cause", not very bright ... that "type".
Rating: +5
I love the above comment that says people 'refuse' to afford housing. How nice to know I'm not cripplingly poor, I'm just stubborn.
Rating: -5
Doc Butch
Reducing the complexity of social issues in the area to the price of a plate of pickled vegetables. Projecting the need for more social housing onto a food establishment that didn't actually displace anyone (yes, there was social housing above it years ago - why not protest that rather than an adjacent restaurant?). I'm sorry, you've lost a lot of potential supporters by bullying one restaurant when there are dozens of new upmarket venues within a block. It's a process, so adress the process, not one business over and over. It has clearly become a personal vendetta for a small spiteful mob, rather than legitimate concern for the cause. And that's why it has failed to galvanize more local support.
Rating: +7
Yeah, keeping people living in poverty, despair, and addiction is so much more preferable to lifting up a dying neighborhood. And don't dare tell me the people who work and pay for social programs are the cause of the problems. If the "protesters" had any ethical or moral backbone they would work to drive out all the drug dealers who help create the situation. But then groups like Vandu actually encourage drug use therefore adding to the poverty, despair, and addiction. What a bunch of clueless, self absorbed, psuedo-intellectuals. "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."
Rating: +8
Yes, it's up to the DTES residents to chase away dealers, not the cops or the city who allow a wide open international port where drugs flow in freely. I wonder how that happens. There's a big criminal racket going and the DTES is just collateral damage, acceptable loss. I'm not saying that Vandu and the like are really helping, but who really helped the DTES turn into a nightmare? Poor people?
Rating: -1
@ counterpoint
yes, you are stubborn.

There are jobs, and jobs provide money for housing and food. There are people who refuse to take those jobs to support themselves.

By sheer definition: Stubborn

Dont act like the people protesting are all incapable of working. Don't act like all the people on the DTES demanding something they are not entitled too can do something to contribute to society.

Rating: -8
Fact check
The building was not empty, but had low-income tenants until 2008/9, when the building was bought, the tenants evicted, and the building sold to Robert Fung to build the new condos.
Rating: -2
Do we know for a fact that ALL of the protesters are unemployed? I've known actual people with actual jobs who have been known to take part in protests aimed at social inequalities. Amazing, isn't it? What's your fallback sneery dismissal when you can't use "lazy" or "hippy" in your simplistic, knee-jerk statements?
Rating: -9


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