Created on Saturday, 01 November 2008 14:05
Written by Janine Bandcroft
Victoria Police Strappado: Definitely Not Bravado
by Janine Bandcroft
y friend Don studies a
lot of history, and he told me that there were hundreds of tents
surrounding Fort Victoria when the gold rush was on. In those days
tents were a sign of prosperity, but nowadays tents are evidence of the
failure of capitalism and those proponents of an increasingly failed
economic system are too big-headed to admit it so they continue to
punish the victims.
Yesterday, while Don and I were sipping on
coffee and matcha in a warm welcoming coffee house, some brave souls
were contributing to the history of homelessness in Victoria.
They had camped the night before next to City Hall.
represent the 1500 other homeless people who have been identified. Not
surprisingly our brutish out-going mayor, Alan Lowe, had them all
arrested and later in the day I watched the corporate media's account
of the story.
The corporate media spoke of 'David Johnston's group,' in a
flagrant attempt to label and identify a single perpetrator. I know
that these are all individuals who are fighting, peacefully and
non-violently, for the rights of all homeless people everywhere.
Unfortunately, the corporate news attempts to pander to the lowest
common denominator, the thug mentality. They would prefer we celebrate
the theft of citizens' money to 'bail out' a failed economic system, at
the same time denouncing its victims as criminals.
method Victoria's police used to haul Tavis Dodds (Street Newz writer
and candidate for City Council) away was identified during the Spanish
Inquisition and it's called 'strappado.'
Basically they handcuffed
Tavis' hands behind his back (not sure if they used Oak Bay's senior
friendly cuffs or the real metal kind) while he was laying on his
stomach, then they lifted him by the cuffs. Another officer held his
legs. His back was bowed, his arms stretched unnaturally upwards
behind his back. There's information about this particular torture
method at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strappado
wincing while watching Tavis who must have been in extreme pain. If
our little local war were recognized as such, the police officers could
be charged with a war crime, in violation of the Geneva Convention, for
this tactic. And it's essentially illegal to film this, and humiliate
their victim, though if they hadn't filmed it and aired it on
television, we wouldn't have seen. Strange, too, that Alan Lowe is
speaking the very same words they're hearing from Seattle's mayor Greg
Nickels who claims that the folks living in Nickelsville, one of
Seattle's tent cities, are not actually homeless.
full of shit, Alan Lowe, and your American minded police are violating
international conventions. You're completely missing the point. There
are a small handful of your homeless community, the community you've
watched during these nine years of your development minded
administration grow from essentially nothing to now over 1500, who have
a clear understanding of why homelessness exists and who its victims
are and how evil it is for you to sit on your fat ass and laugh while
people die. Those people are in your face with it, lest you forget.
And now you've endorsed Dean Fortin to carry on with your
death-affirming policies ....)
For God's sake folks, and I
don't even believe in the patriarchal deity, but for Heaven's sake, for
the Goddess' sake, for all our sake... don't vote for more
ego-driven maniacal police inspired leadership. There's a clear choice
here - are you in favour of helping, in a small way, society's most
vulnerable? Not with more rhetoric about education and housing first
policies, but immediately, now, with the establishment of a tent city?
To any and all who would argue its merits, I say Portland's Dignity
Village and no, I don't trust you anymore.
I realize that in
recent posts I've described myself as an anarchist, mostly because I
cannot stomach the idea of endorsing politicians who vote, for example,
without asking my opinion, to appeal perhaps the first supreme court
decision that has been argued in favour of homeless peoples' rights. In light of this war we're waging, peacefully and non-violently, with
the enemy clearly defined as those who would deny people tents through
yet another Canadian winter, who would do absolutely nothing to help
people establish even the most rudimentary self-security, I'm going to
take a big risk and endorse Steve Filipovic in the November 15th
I've known Steve for many years and his values and
principles remain consistent. He is reasonable, educated,
compassionate, and I believe he can offer leadership that will bridge
the gap, whether it's illusory or as real as we've been led to believe,
between the local business community and the growing number of
Steve listened carefully on Thursday
night as lawyers Irene Faulkner and Cathie Boies Parker explained the
history of the legal suit, and the judge's verdict.
introductory information from Rose Henry, also a candidate for
councillor, and it's all unedited and online at http://relativenewz.ca
in the podcast section.
A ten minute summary is at
Last night I
wandered over to the Oak Bay fire department bonfire. I talked to the
people dressed as Fire-fighters, asked how they protected the ground
from the big bonfire. Sand, I was told. And what are we burning? Palettes, was the reply.
We can't find a little piece of
land for people to pitch tents, or build small structures for
themselves (of course not, the mayor's an architect), but we can burn
perfectly usable palettes. They cut down the forests, and they throw
them away. Kinda like what they do with people who refuse, or are
unable, to participate in their little capitalistic circus.
Steve for Mayor.