Black bloc tactics not welcome at upcoming G20 protest in Vancouver, organizer says
A protest to demand a public inquiry into the G20 summit is being planned for July 17 in Vancouver.
In contrast to a G20 solidarity march held in Vancouver on July 4, black bloc tactics won’t be welcome at this demonstration.
Ashley Fehr, who’s organizing the upcoming rally and march, told the Straight that the protest will likely feature speakers from the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and the StopWar.ca coalition.
“We’ve asked the Vancouver Police Department to do a statement as well, just to show that it’s a separate issue and that we don’t necessarily blame the police,” Fehr said via cellphone. “We are asking for the inquiry into what’s happening overall.”
According to Fehr—a 21-year-old political-science student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and a member of Canadians Advocating Political Participation—the protest will also demand that, at all times, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms be upheld and civil liberties be recognized.
Fehr said she was compelled to create a Facebook group and plan the rally by the “terrible and very upsetting” reports on TV and YouTube that showed how police responded to the G20 protests in Toronto.
“There was no consistency, which created confusion, which created a lot of fear,” she said. “The conditions of the people who were arrested and detained were just deplorable. Forty people in a cell that should have fit maybe 10, if that? All sorts of human rights were just violated. That’s my main motivation behind this is just we have human rights for a reason.”
Over the weekend of the G20 summit, police in Toronto arrested more than 1,000 people—the largest mass arrests in Canadian history.
Amnesty International, the Ontario New Democratic Party, the Council of Canadians, and Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May are among those calling for a public inquiry to examine the G20 summit.
The July 17 protest will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Demonstrators will gather at the Vancouver Public Library's central branch and march to Victory Square.
Fehr did not attend the July 4 march, which was held in solidarity with G20 detainees and block bloc activists, and saw protesters burn a Canadian flag and call police officers “pigs”. She noted that she is not comfortable with “black bloc sympathizing” and disagrees with the use of property damage as a protest tactic.
“We’re going to have marshallers, in accordance with police, to make sure if anyone shows up wearing a black bloc mask that they’re asked to remove the mask,” Fehr said. “Or, if they are unwilling to do that, we would ask that they leave. If they don’t, obviously we can’t force them to leave, but we’ll be making sure that it remains peaceful.”
According to Fehr, the march on July 17 is intended to be a demonstration of how peaceful protest is done.
“We’ve taken a very strong stance that violent protesting is not okay, and creating destruction in any way does not help further the democratic process,” Fehr said. “It just scares away anyone who would be sitting on the fence on an issue, and it doesn’t help people get involved.”
You can follow Stephen Hui on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenhui.
Jul 8, 2010 at 3:07pm
guess you can't show up then stephen, dont worry though, you'll still be able to sit in starbucks with that pretencious smug look of yours feeling like you contribute something to society.
Jul 8, 2010 at 4:02pm
If they show up, just hug them into submission. I'd love to see the cowardly little blocheads running to the police crying "help me help me they're trying to hug me!"
Jul 8, 2010 at 4:13pm
Ashley Fehr are you being paid for your work on behalf of the VPD? or are you just a summer intern?
In any case, congratulations on forming a neo-colonial coalition of the schilling. CAPP + StopWar + BCCLA + VPD. Incredible work.
The Toronto G20 collateral damage, young minds warped by the ill-logic of Derrick O'Keefe, Judy Rebick & Murray Dobbin et al, are now hard at work doing advocacy on behalf of the police and state. This is Anti-Democracy in action.
BC is Occupied Territory & the RCMP / VPD enforce the occupation.
G20: They Were Doing Their G-D Jobs: On Policing
Jul 8, 2010 at 4:46pm
So, you're going to demand your charter rights, but what if I want to walk around wearing black? What if I like wearing a mask? What if I have friends who all want to wear masks as well?? Part of the Charter is Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Association, and it sounds to me that the hypocracy of this group to become the fashion police is ridiculous. Like what Nancy said, this is very much a Coalition of the Shilling with known snitches and sellouts like Derrick O'Keefe and David Eby, both of which are very comfortable with the Police Action against their political opponents.
We need to be a little less civil and have a little more liberty
Jul 8, 2010 at 4:55pm
Fundraiser and Reportback on July 9 at Rhizome:
Vancouver Solidarity page:
Ban the Blockheads
Jul 8, 2010 at 5:05pm
very good news. If the Vancouver Black Bloc and other officers want to have a march, they can have their own march on different day and location.
we don't want them to take over our marches calling for a public inquiry, with stupid destructive behaviors.
as others have said, what if after the toronto riots, some crooks want to create a little riot in Vancouver, and then pull a bank heist or rob a jewellery store in those black masks, during the confusion?
the press releases should go out immediately to all the major news outlets in Vancouver, to let the public know that the black bloc is not welcome. that will help to repair some of the damage done recently.
this is about standing up for the charter rights of all canadians.
don't be intimidated by the bloc
Jul 8, 2010 at 5:30pm
those who are calling for the Van Black Bloc to stand-down and take a walk...don't be intimidated by their tactics.
one of their tactics, is to try and use intimidation to monopolize situations. they know most people are passive, and use that as their main tactic.
standing up to the black bloc is a right as a citizen, and there is nothing they can do about it.
they will try smear tactics, and other ugly stunts, as that is how they do their business.
luckily, this is still canada, for now, and the police since they have been notified of this, will have to act accordingly. that was very intelligent to contact local police and press, to make everything perfectly clear.
the black bloc will now try a number of different responses, as this is probably one of the few times they have ever been called out and exposed liked this.
without the paramilitary mask, there is no black bloc.
they will probably try to push their way into the group, with their yuppie signs and Walmart purchased black flags, but they have had their fair notice, and the police and media have been notified.
the black bloc functions as a parasite to real activists who work hard to make positive change. they try to take over events, and then destroy them, for their own purposes.
its very cowardly to hide behind paramilitary masks, using civilians as shields.
its also very dangerous as others have said, no one knows who is behind each mask, they could be anyone from a random jerk, to a violent offender looking for an excuse to do something crazy and get away with it.
banning the black bloc is the only solution.
Jul 8, 2010 at 5:52pm
you can see the black bloc already at work. immediately moving to name-calling and personal attacks.
no, you and your Black Bloc supposed friends cannot walk around in paramilitary face masks concealing every aspect of your face, anytime you choose to.
try walking into a building wearing your black paramilitary masks as a group then and find out. why is the black bloc so cowardly?
if you think you can wear your paramilitary masks anytime you want as a large group, then go and do it right now? why not?
its very cowardly to always hide behind civilians.
its very lame to try to now hide behind the Charter when in fact the supposed black bloc despises the charter. get your story straight. or is this not in your script?
its a cowardly act to want to hide behind civilians.
there is enormous evidence the black bloc was designed to destroy the ability of the people having proper protests, by poisoning the process and creating violence.
since Vancouver has has black bloc violence, and black block rioters trashed toronto, the police are obligated to keep the bloc away.
otherwise some of the black bloc might have a hissy fit.
there is no question that a chunk of the black bloc are disaffected people who just want to act out and make trouble, or amuse themselves and insult other people, and make a mockery of them.
in larger protests it gets a lot more serious.
most people don't know what happening, and the bloc takes advantage of that.
the BS from the black bloc is legion, and the sooner they are uninvited and banned from all protests in canada by the organizers, the better.
off-duty black bloc love Starbucks
Jul 8, 2010 at 5:56pm
You can be sure that the off-duty Black Bloc love sitting in Starbucks with their WiFi leeching off the system.
Hell, maybe a bunch of them work for Starbucks, and just want to work out their rage at their employer.
black bloc McDeal
Jul 8, 2010 at 6:15pm
hopefully the black bloccers got the message, and stay home playing video games, since (for once) the police have been notified to not allow the bloccers to act out.
perhaps instead they will go to McDonalds and have the daily McDeal.
but worst case if a bunch show up and try to push their way into the crowd, or push their way to the front of the march to take it over, and burn canadian flags, and the other ugly crap.
that can be stopped.
its no different than during some events in the Ottawa area, like a royal visit, where some english and french people would love to have a smackdown.
the police just have to create a line of separation and maintain that.
once the black bloc are isolated, and unmasked, there is nothing there. just hot air.