Hundreds of protesters demand Dick Cheney's arrest during Vancouver appearance

Long-time media commentator Charles Boylan speculated around 300 protesters were at the Vancouver Club on Monday night (September 26) "at its peak" as locals voiced their opposition to the downtown presence of Dick Cheney.

Poll

Do you think Vancouver police failed to uphold the law by not arresting Dick Cheney?

Yes 76%
383 votes
No 20%
103 votes
Not sure 4%
18 votes

The former U.S. vice-president, whom one local lawyer has labelled a "mass murderer", was scheduled to speak at the Vancouver Club on West Hastings Street at a $500-a-head dinner to promote his memoirs. Dozens of police sealed off the two entrances to the club, while others used force to push back protesters as delegates struggled to get inside and catch Cheney's speech.

But outside everybody was united in their disgust that Cheney, whom they called a war criminal, was not arrested by Vancouver police. Gail Davidson, founder of Lawyers Against the War, was present and continued to insist Cheney should be arrested and tried for war crimes and torture.

"I like the fact that so many people from different walks of life have taken time out of their work and their personal lives to come and voice their opposition to the [Canadian federal] government refusing to enforce the law," Davidson told the Straight.

Davidson said she also has no problem that protesters linked arms and made a determined effort (ultimately unsuccessful) to keep out those wanting to catch a glimpse of Cheney.

"I feel just fine about it," Davidson said. "I think that if you wanted to come to the Vancouver Club tonight, when you were a member, and you knew that Mr. Cheney—an unindicted war criminal and a person who's admitted on many occasions to using even the most horrific kinds of torture like simulated drowning—then I'm afraid that, if you get to the Vancouver Club and you can't get in, then it should come as no surprise."


Derrick O'Keefe says Dick Cheney should go to prison.

One local resident and Vancouver Club member waiting outside admitted he was going for dinner with his wife, but was not going in to see Cheney. His view was different from that of Davidson, as he witnessed firsthand attempts to physically bar delegates, many subject to verbal abuse and even some physical contact as they made their way through the crowds.

"To be fair I totally agree that what he has done is wrong, but you know, at the end of the day, don't harass innocent members of the general public," Richard Cottell said. "If you want to have a peaceful protest, that's fine, but they're intimidating people, which is not fair. At the end of the day, everybody's got a right, they can speak, and say whatever they like, but at the end of the day, they shouldn't harass people."

Protesters included former COPE councillor Anne Roberts, long-time Green Party activist Doug Gook, Eric Doherty of organization Stop the Pave, long-time anti-war activist Derrick O'Keefe, and others.

After two hours, the crowd thinned out noticeably.


Vancouver police ignore calls to arrest Dick Cheney.


Police shove protesters blocking the entrance.

Comments (13) Add New Comment
Alby
Today I am proud of some of my fellow citizens. Our grandparents would not have allowed Himmler to give a profitable little "speech", would they? Not a chance. The people who paid to listen to this criminal should be ashamed of themselves. Dick Cheney, if allowed to remain free, makes a mockery of the law, human rights, and democracy.
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Rosario
no man above the law
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JohnD
Dick Cheney is a profiteer and a criminal.
we ban people that speak for justice,equaliy and peace and let criminals speak for free.
what is this country coming to? very disappointed to say the least
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edoherty
Cheney is a war criminal, a climate criminal, and played a big role in the corporate crimes that have left so many former home owners homeless in the US.

So what is it with the creme de la creme in Vancouver that they pay $500 to go see him? Perhaps their moral compasses all point towards emulating his example?
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parallellines
No arrest warrant has been issued as of yet, and it's really not fair to blame the police for this one. If you want to blame someone, blame the spineless politicians we keep putting in to office that refuse to stand up to our bully neighbour to the south - I know I do.
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Acemeister
Love it! Only on the nutball coast of Canada could a crowd gather to demand the arrest of a world leader who followed his mandate to protect his country against radicals and terrorists. Probably more like 30 people who either live off the avails of taxpayers or have actual jobs that are attuned to crazy left causes. Cheney for President 2012 !!!
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greggron
These violent protesters deserved a face full of pepper spray and a jail cell. Why does the left hate freedom of expression so much. Thank god you animals lost the election.
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d s
Looks like the usual gang of losers and malcontents gathered to protest. Douche bag Davies and his gang of rabble rousers fail again.
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CarlaT
Freedom of expression on the line? Squeeze me? At 500 bux a pop? If this Reich throwback wanted to peddle his wares for free on the corner of Hastings and Granville, then fine, but his commercial book promotion tour is not a free speech issue.

I must say it's odd to read a couple of the comments that suggest that protesting torture and illegal wars is a losers game. How strange. Are you in favour of torture and illegal wars, then?
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miles
"Why does the left hate freedom of expression".

What the hell. What do you think these people are doing?

Jesus, I don't think I've seen any conservatives to date who have more than a brain cell to rub together.
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JohnnyCanuckFan
The event organizer is a Conservative hack. Totally disgusting Canada becoming a laughing stock globally.
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TheParadigmShift
The government and law enforcement in this country are sending the message to the children that:

- killing a million people is ok if you call it war and wear a suit.

-arresting people who are responsible for fabricating excuses to go to war to kill innocent people and profit from it is ok if you are rich.

-torturing innocent men into confessing to crimes they didn't commit (like they did to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) is ok and encouraged

-mailing anthrax to terrorize a nation and try to blame it on
Muslims and then when the truth comes out that it came from Ft. Detrick army bioweapons lab, blaming it on Bruce Ivins and killing him while claiming it was a suicide is fine

-laws don't apply to the class of "haves", only to the "have nots".

-police officers are really revenue officers and only write tickets to pay for things like the Olympics and get hired to protect war criminals
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cuz
Dick Cheney is scum. And the people who pushed, slapped, and generally roughed up people who came to hear him speak are A**holes.
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