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Vancouver Report from International Day Against Police Brutality

March 15th, 2005, was the ninth annual International Day Against Police Brutality (IDAPB).
Vancouver Report from International Day Against Police Brutality

March 15th, 2005, was the ninth annual International Day Against Police Brutality (IDAPB). This day of action began in 1997, as an initiative of the Black Flag collective in Switzerland, with the help of the Montreal Collective Opposed to Police Brutality. The date was chosen because on March 15th, two children, aged 11 and 12, were beaten by Swiss police.

In Vancouver, this year's IDAPB started off with a hot food serving at the former Woodwards squat (a large department building in Canada's poorest neighbourhood, occupied in 2002 and evicted by riot police). Along with the food, leaflets and newsletters were also distributed, containing information on the IDAPB march scheduled for that night and profiles of Vancouver Police in-custody deaths and RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) involvement in the military occupations of Haiti, Iraq, and indigenous nations in Canada.

At 7:00 pm, about 100 people gathered in Victory Square. Some flew black flags and wore masks to avoid police identification (including video surveillance and plain clothes officers). After a few short speeches, the crowd began to march down Hastings Street, led by a banner with the words: "Resist Police Control - Fight For Freedom". Another banner read: "Stolen Lives", listing some of the people who have been killed by Vancouver cops in the past few years (Gerald Chenery, Robert Bagnell, Roman Andreichikov, Christopher Ecklund, Benny Matson, Jeff Berg, and Frank Paul). A stereo pumped out anti-cop hip hop, heavy metal, and punk songs.

Police kept their distance from the crowd throughout the march. As soon as the crowd arrived at the Main and Hastings police station, eggs, paint, and fireworks were tossed at police vehicles and the station itself. Police cars were hit with the wooden poles with black flags attached.

The march then continued up Hastings and more fireworks were thrown around. A private security car, unmarked police vehicle, and corporate TV news van were egged.

After the march dispersed, at least two people were arrested. Another four or five people were seen being handcuffed, but it was not clear whether they were released or taken to jail. Only one person used the lawyer's phone number distributed at the beginning of the march.

The night's events were a distinct break from the everyday routine of submission to police control and murder.

IDAPB marches also took place in Calgary, Montreal, and Phoenix (Arizona). The Montreal Gazette (corporate press) reported five arrests at the Montreal event after a scuffle with riot police.

- Excerpt from the Vancouver callout by the Independent IDAPB Organizing Group:

"We are not calling for a protest or a demonstration. Our purpose is not to whine to the media about how awful the police are. Instead, we want to open up space for people that are directly affected by police brutality to express their anger and take action. We are not a charity, religious, or legal group trying to save the poor.

We are individuals who do not want to live under the clubs and watchful eyes of the cops, and we want to fight alongside those who feel the same way. We choose to organize independently from all political activist groups and parties, and encourage others to form affinity groups and initiate actions against police control.

In every society the police are the frontline soldiers and occupying army in service of the rich. Vancouver itself is the product of the violent displacements, imprisonment and forced religious indoctrination of the indigenous peoples of the Sto:lo, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations. The Vancouver police murder of Frank Paul (a Mi'kmaq man) in 1998, the non-investigation of the missing women cases, and the escalated police occupation of the Downtown Eastside since April 2003 are only the most recent examples of this ongoing legacy of colonialism. The police brutality and killing that make the headlines are only the tip of the iceberg. The root of the problem is the parasitic economic system that the cops are paid to defend.

The Vancouver Police Department is fighting a war for control of the city. With the Safe Streets Act and the ongoing yuppification of Vancouver neighbourhoods, this war can only escalate. IDAPB is a step towards building effective resistance to the police at a practical level.

With respect to the memory of Vancouver residents killed by the police (Gerald Chenery, Robert Bagnell, Roman Andreichikov, Christopher Ecklund, Benny Matson, Jeff Berg, Frank Paul, and others), let's take the streets on March 15th."

police brut 23.Mar.2005 05:54

karl roenfanz ( rosey ) k_rosey48@hotmail.com

back on or about (nice military term) feb.24 two cops came to my house allegedly about gunfire, after they left i called 911, the dispatchers at 911 told me no police were dispatched. huh?