Brutal Repression of Homeless and Woodwards Squatters in Vancouver, Canada

  Brutal Repression of Homeless and Woodwards Squatters in Vancouver, Canada

At 6 am on the morning of Saturday September 21, 2002, Vancouver riot police broke through barricades and arrested the squatters inside the old Woodwards building. The Woodwards building had been empty for 9 years; a landmark in the poorest neighbourhood in Canada. The squat began on Saturday, September 14, 2002, lasting almost a week. 55 squatters were arrested and brutalized within the buidling by riot police. Squatters were beaten and choked and then taken out of the building through an underground tunnel. 3 squatters and supporters were arrested outside the building. They were pepper-sprayed while climbing down a ladder and attempting to leave.

58 people appeared in court Saturday afternoon for contempt of the court injunction against the squatters.

The tent city outside of the Woodwards building continued after the eviction, and on Sunday night, September 22, 2002, police blocked off all traffic and raided the area, clubbing people, and smashing one woman’s face into the ground. Numerous people were detained and pushed out of the area and at least 12 people were arrested for “obstructing the sidewalk”.

On Monday morning, September 23, 2002, a short community march made its way to the Woodwards building and food was served. The crowd spray-painted slogans all over the building and when two police officers entered the crowd they were yelled at and forced to leave. The crowd then walked over to police grouped a block away and confronted them until they left.

The struggle continues.

sabate <sabate [at] ziplip [dot] com>