Fire This Time activists return to SkyTrain stations after arrests for handing out newspapers

Uncowed and defiant, Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice activists have returned to SkyTrain stations to distribute their free newspaper.

At around 8:30 a.m. today (September 21), the Straight saw at least four members of the social-justice group handing out the Fire This Time paper at Commercial-Broadway Station in Vancouver.

It’s the first time that Fire This Time has come back to a SkyTrain location since transit police and RCMP officers arrested three of their members while distributing the newspaper at Metrotown Station on August 31.

TransLink rules provide that noncommercial papers can be distributed in transit properties other than vehicles and fare-paid zones. Because the three activists were following regulations, they were released without charges.

David Eby, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, has described the August 31 incident as a “classic civil-liberties, free-speech issue”.

Alison Bodine was one of the Fire This Time activists at Commercial-Broadway Station this morning.

Although TransLink spokesperson Drew Snider previously told the Straight that he doesn’t anticipate any further issues with Fire This Time newspaper distribution, Bodine said in a brief interview that they had been approached this morning by transit police.

According to Bodine, an officer informed them that a call would be made to a transit police supervisor.

Bodine also said that a Fire This Time team will be at Metrotown Station this afternoon.

Comments (12) Add New Comment
2nd Nation
hey - let's make another injustice! New phrase folks: manufacturing dissent.
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dave19
I saw some volunteers for Architects and Engineers for 9/11Truth handing out Info. at the Canada Line Station today. Why don't they assault and arrest them to? It's not fare.
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Gina la Cubana
Allison is a great young human who will risk her own safety and freedom to educate the masses in the process of trying to take the blinders off those who have refused to look outside the box which in retrospect, if not changed, will culminate in theirs and others freedoms being taken away and ultimate their own demise. It is her willingness to correct social injustices and constant efforts at the expense of her time and her never ending desire to make the world a better place for all to live, that which makes her a unique individual and one we are blessed to have in our lives. Blessings and love sent your way Allison, Pastors for Peace Caravanista from 2008, Gina Val-Leiva
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the masses
please wake us up from our ignorance. we really have been waiting for your messages of wisdom and enlightenment. you know so much more than us. we are ignorant and simple and all eerily need is some cheap rag stuffed into our hands on our way home from work. you're a modern day angel in a sea of us blind fools!
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mike jacobs
The people who were handing out this paper at metrotown started the fight with the police, two sides to every story! Don't pretend to be the victims in this case because you were clearly in the wrong.
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jeff rubin's favorite alt. weekly
the masses/mike jacobs

Don't know how much Translink is paying you, but try to change-up your writing style-on consecutive posts- a bit. It's too obvious you're the same person.

Judging by the quality of your propaganda, TL must be paying you at least $100k/year.
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Mike Schwartz
Gina la Cubana,

FTT has some good articles, but it's also plastered with Cuban propaganda. It would be nice if Allison could take her blinders off and take an objective look at Cuba. What she does at the sky train station would NEVER be allowed in Cuba. Period. Social justice? Sure there are many issues in Canada. But supporting the Cuban government using a "social justice" discourse? Wow...talk about some blinders.
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2nd Nation
hey Jeff - must be comforting to you to think that every post with which you disagree is written by the same evil corporate hack. hey, if you hurry you can watch some X-Files reruns. it's a conspiracy man!
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jeff rubin's favorite alt. weekly
2nd Nation/the masses/mike jacobs

1) never mentioned the article...mentioned rhetoric
2) what's an X-File?
3) obviously hit a nerve
4) how much are you being paid?
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Victor Finberg
Often, when someone mentions Cuba in a positive light, someone else will say that Cuba is politically repressive, and therefore provides no useful model of how a human society can be organized. (see Mike Schwartz, above)

This argument is a logical fallacy. Anyone who argued this way in a formal logic exam would fail immediately.

I will not refute the claim about the supposed repressive nature of Cuban society here, but I will point out two essential points of CONTEXT, which must always be considered when evaluating any situation.

1) Cuba has been under siege, up to and including direct military invasion, for 50-odd years by the most powerful empire this planet has ever seen. Their avowed intent is nothing less than the direct destruction of that tiny nation. Under these circumstances, Cuba is obliged to defend itself. For comparison, consider what happened to Japanese-Canadians during WW2.

2) In Canada, we have the right to criticize the government, (unless we do it at a Skytrain station, eh?). But large numbers of people are starving on the streets in this country. Literally. Political rights have no value whatsoever until you first have those economic rights that allow you to live with dignity.

Please understand that I have provided only the skeleton of an argument here; books could be written on the subject.
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Mike Schwartz
Victor,

I'm not trying to provide a useful social model. I'm simply making a point about the article. I agree that the paper should be allowed to be distributed.

However, I feel that it's strange that Fire This Time is concerned about free speech when many of its articles clearly favour and support the Cuban government. To be fair, when people present Cuba in a positive light, they rarely have any criticism for the government. Books could also be written about the Human Rights violations in Cuba - not just the social and educational achievements they have made.

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Victor Finberg
Mike Schwartz, your response to my comment seems reasonable, so I will say a few more words.

Since you do take the position that FTT should be allowed to distribute their literature in what is effectively a public place, and I guess the Supreme Court agrees as well, then saying anything at all about the content is a distraction in the context of this thread, as long as the content is within the bounds of what is considered protected content.

In my last post, I did not dispute the claim about human rights violations in Cuba. Now I will. There are certain historical facts that need to be explained in order to attempt to understand Cuba. First, the outcome of the Bay of Pigs invasion. Second, Cuba's survival through the Special Period. Third, the mass demonstrations that happen on a regular basis in Cuba. These material facts exist. A proper explanation of these facts cannot be made compatible with the claim of human rights violations in Cuba. However, refusal to explain these facts means that you are reduced to magical thinking: events happen by magic, or by accident; explanations are neither needed nor available.

Again, this is only a skeleton of an argument. I leave it to the reader to fill in the details.
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