March 15, 2003 – Seventh International Day Against Police Brutality

 

  March 15, 2003 – Seventh International Day Against Police Brutality

 


March 15, 2003, marks the seventh year of this international day of protest and solidarity against police brutality. It first began in 1997 as an initiative of the Black Flag collective in Switzerland along with the help of ‘le Collective Opposé à la Brutalité Policière’ (COBP-Montreal).

Since its first year, the International Day Against Police Brutality (IDAPB) has been a success. This date was chosen because on March 15th, two children, aged 11 and 12, were beaten by the Swiss police.

This day is also an opportunity to create and strengthen an indispensable international solidarity against the ever-increasing collaboration amongst global police forces. The IDAPB is one step in ending the isolation of groups and individuals who, engaged in this struggle, are subjected to daily repression.

The police, the right arm of the State, abuse their power on a daily basis and exercise violence with total impunity. Within the police brotherhood, the complicity of silence eradicates the possibility of one police officer’s innocence. Everywhere they continuously violate the very laws that they are supposed to uphold. The police check I.D. without reason, ticket, harass, steal, spy, beat, deport, arrest, imprison, torture and kill. Their primary targets are “the undesirables of society”: the poor, the homeless, Indigenous peoples, people of colour, immigrants and persons with irregular status (“illegal immigrants” and people working under-the-table), sex workers, activists and student activists, the marginalised, organised workers, queer, gender-based and feminist activists and people who question and don’t accept the legitimacy of the authorities.

In response to the breadth and depth of anti-capitalist globalization demonstrations opposing the fortress of capitalism, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, the deepening of poverty, the generalised misery and deterioration of living conditions, governments invest in their police forces, in order to maintain, at whatever cost, law and order for ‘social peace’.

The reactionary security craze following the September 11 events in the U.S. gave free reign to world governments to create new fascist anti-terrorist and racist anti-immigration laws. Systematic surveillance of all means of communication, tougher border controls (if not their closure) and total discretionary powers to all police forces directly affect all “undesirables” (the ‘dangerous’ class).

Facing a global police state, we have the responsibility to act and support all victims of State force. We urgently invite you to participate in the International Day Against Police Brutality (IDAPB). Until now, this event has taken place in several forms: street theatre, murals, publications, demonstrations, conferences, postering, workshops, exhibitions, radio and television shows and other cultural events. Some groups have organised more than one activity while others have formed coalitions. All collectives or individuals decide on what type of action, depending on the political climate of their country, the energy and willingness of people to organise an event, the resources available, etc. The key thing is the imagination and the creativity of the people involved.

POLICE = LEGAL TERROR!
DOWN WITH POLICE STATES EVERYWHERE!
ORGANISE THE INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY!

Some suggestions and needs:
* If you can’t organise for March 15th, try to organise as close to the date as possible.
* If you can’t or don’t want to participate, please spread and forward this message.
* We need more languages, so any translation of the message is very much appreciated. Could you please send the translations to the below email addresses, so that we can publish them on our websites.
* If you organise anything, can you please let us know, in order to strengthen solidarity and to be able to build a publication about this worldwide event.
* For questions, commentaries, or to find out more about COBP-Montréal and COPB-Vancouver please contact us and visit our websites.

Contacts:
Snail mail:
c/o The Alternative Bookshop
2035 St-Laurent, 2nd floor
Montreal, Quebec
H2X 2T3 E-mail: idapb2003 [at] yahoo [dot] ca Websites:
COBP-Montréal:http://www.tao.ca/~cobp/index.html COPB-Vancouver:http://resist.ca/~copb-van

COBP-Montréal and COPB-Van

 


Vancouver (Canada): Wood Squat has its own website!

Friends of the Woodwards Squat is pleased to announce a text-only info clearinghouse for the current housing action in Vancouver.

The site includes updates, links to audio, video, and photographic documentation of squat activities and the police violence & property destruction on 22 September & 03 October, as well as:

– The Demands from the Coalition of Woodwards Squatters and Supporters
– Information on how to support the squat and legal defense fund
– Information on the eviction of 21 September and arrest of the Woodwards 58
– Contact information for affiliated groups involved in the squat
– Interviews and writing from squat residents
– A chronology since 14 September with links to documents
– A bibliography of commercial print media coverage
– An index to the W.O.O.D.S.Q.U.A.T. newsletter with on-line reprints
– A list of upcoming events

Note: Woodsquat.net is not an official site of the Woodwards Squat nor any of the organizations or individuals involved in the housing action. It is not a subsidiary of any media outlet, commercial or otherwise, nor does it receive any form of state funding, directly or indirectly. Friends of the Woodwards Squat publishes the W.O.O.D.S.Q.U.A.T. newsletter and does not represent the Squat. FWS is a support group that helped with supplies and garbage removal during the occupation & now assists with legal support for the Woodwards 58, the people who were subsequently attacked by police on 22 Sept, and the people who lost their possessions in the garbage trucks after the Sunday night attack. Please direct questions about demands or specific support actions to the Woodwards Coalition or another of the many groups and individuals involved in defense activity.

http://www.woodsquat.net

“Friends of the Woodwards Squat” <violetta_sera [at] hotmail [dot] com>

Vancouver (Canada): Woodwards Squat Requests Support

  Canada, Vancouver, Woodwards Squat Requests Support


Coalition of Woodwards Squatters and Supporters
Corner of Abbott and Hastings St. Vancouver, BC
Phone (604) 682-2726 FAX (604) 687-4347

September 30th 2002

Dear Friends,

We the Woodwards Squatters are struggling to sustain our presence outside the Woodwards Building in our fight for social housing and we need your help.

Last night our security team counted 125 squatters, homeless, and their supporters, sleeping around the building. Everyday our numbers grow which is both exciting, but also increases our need for more resources.

We need your support in the form of donations (see list below). In return for your help, we will add your name to the list of our endorsers and supporters in our upcoming poster campaign, press conference and website. Anonymous donations are also respected.

Any resources you can contribute would greatly benefit the cause and society as a whole. Join the supporters in your community by supporting the Woodwards Squat.

How to help: There are two ways you can contribute: 1. Bring down your donations, or 2. Items can be picked up.

1. Bring down your donations:
Donations can be brought down directly to the squat at the corners of Abbott and Hastings, or to the office at #42 Blood Alley PH (604)682-2726

2. Items can be picked up:
If you need help getting your donation down to us, just call us (604)682-2726 and we will co-ordinate a pick up.

Things we need (ongoing):

Food and Spices
Blankets, sleeping bags, etc.
Water, Juice, Coffee
Pillows, Quilts
Large cooking pots
Warm jackets, sweaters, socks
Disposable dishes and cutlery
Mattresses, foam pads and tents
Fuel-Fed Cooking Stoves and Fuel
Tarps and Rope
Cleaning supplies
Rolls of Plastic
Art materials (paint, markers, large rolls of paper etc.)
Hammers, pliers, nails etc.
Money for cooking materials and security (radios etc.)
Staple guns
8 1/2 x 11 and 11x 17 paper
Computer, printer
Ongoing photocopying access
Toilet paper, tampons and napkins
Soap, towels and toiletries

We appreciate your support towards the fight for social housing.

In Solidarity,

The Woodwards Squatters

Name of Business / Non-Profit Organization
___________________________________________

Address
___________________________________________

Phone, Email, Fax
___________________________________________

Items Donated
___________________________________________

Date
___________________________________________

“Friends of the Woodwards Squat” <violetta_sera [at] hotmail [dot] com>


Canada, Vancouver, Legal fund for ‘Woodward’s 58’

  Canada, Vancouver, Legal fund for ‘Woodward’s 58’


THE “WOODWARD’S 58” NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

In the early morning hours of Saturday, September 22, 2002, the Vancouver Police Department Riot Squad stormed into the Woodward’s squat which homeless people and their supporters had been occupying since the previous Saturday. 58 people were arrested and charged with violating a Supreme Court injunction.

The squatters and their supporters have to return to court November 7, 2002 to face civil contempt charges. The two lawyers who have so far represented us cannot possibly handle all of our cases themselves. THEREFORE, IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT WE RAISE SUFFICIENT FUNDS FOR OUR LEGAL DEFENCE. PLEASE DONATE WHATEVER YOU CAN TO THE “WOODWARD’S 58 LEGAL DEFENCE FUND” AND ASK YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CO-WORKERS, UNION, HOUSING CO-OP, CHURCH OR COMMUNITY GROUP TO DO THE SAME.

Please make checks payable to the “People’s Opposition” and write “legal defence” on them. Checks can be mailed to:

Woodward’s 58 Legal Defence
c/o Anti-Poverty Committee
42 Blood Alley Square
Vancouver, BC, Canada
V6B 1C7

Gordon Flett <gflett1 [at] shaw [dot] ca>


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>


News from Vancouver

  News from Vancouver


Hi. Here’s a forwarded message about the Woodwards Squat – The Woodwards Squat in Vancouver, an insurrectionary anarchist analysis Monday, September 16, 2002 On Saturday, September 14, 2002, a group of homeless people and community members occupied a huge department building in Vancouver’s Downtown +Eastside that has been vacant for 9 years. During that time various different community groups and agitators have fought to have the building +converted into social housing, only to have the government agree, and then go back on their promise. The old ?Woodwards building? takes up an +entire city block. The Downtown Eastside is the poorest neighbourhood in Canada, and with the current Liberal government’s cuts to social services, social +housing, welfare, and the lowering of the minimum wage, poverty and homelessness are growing; class contradictions are deepening. >Out of this desperate situation, a group of people have squatted the enormous old department building and plan to stay their until it becomes +social housing. Many people have set up camp outside the building and donations of food, mattresses and other essentials have been pouring +in. Banners have been hung from the windows, the sides of the building, and the large ?W? on the rooftop. Woodwards is owned by British Columbia Housing, and the government is threatening to get an injunction to evict the squatters because of +”saftey issues”. ?We have moved into what we consider to be our building? said one of the squatters. As of Monday morning, September 16, 2002, the squatters are still occupying Woodwards. The squat is now into its third day. In our analysis, this action has become possible not only because of the growing divide between the rich and the poor in this province. The +determination of the squatters to finally take action, at risk to themselves, should not be overlooked. The Woodwards building has been +fought for year after year. A range of more conservative community groups as well as direct action organizations have struggled, using +various tactics, to force the government to convert the building into housing. After 9 long years, the building is occupied. The potential is +enormous. Hundreds of homeless people could occupy and use the building. An autonomous social centre could develop. The nature of this +action, in finally squatting this landmark building, will surely lift the morale of the community and hopefully, spread an insurgent attitude +among the exploited and excluded. Currently, security concerns, experiments in self-organization, and the instability of the situation mean that everything is still ?up in the +air?. In our view, the fact that this action was not taken exclusively by ?career activists? is very positive. At the same time, an organizational +structure must develop which is informal, egalitarian, and confrontational to the State. It remains to be seen whether this will occur. It +largely depends on the ability of different social sectors to unite around this struggle in a decentralized way. The task for anarchists, as +always, is to contribute their own methods and tactics of resistance to the larger body of the exploited. Insurrectionary Anarchists of the Coast Salish Territories (Vancouver) check for new info – http://vancouver.indymedia.org

[squat!net]


Woodwards Building Squatted in Vancouver, Canada

  Woodwards Building Squatted in Vancouver, Canada


Vancouver, Canada, September 16, 2002

On Saturday, September 14, 2002, a group of homeless people and activists occupied a huge department building in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside that has been vacant for 9 years. During that time various different community groups and activists have fought to have the building converted into social housing, only to have the government agree, and then go back on their promise.

The Downtown Eastside is the poorest neighbourhood in Canada, and with the current Liberal government’s cuts to social services, social housing, welfare, and the lowering of the minimum wage, poverty and homelessness are growing.

Out of this desperate situation, a group of people have squatted the enormous old department building and plan to stay their until it becomes social housing. Many people have set up camp outside the building and donations of food, matresses and other essentials have been pouring in. The building is owned by the British Columbia Housing, and the government is threatening to get an injuction to evict the squatters because of “saftey issues”.

As of Monday morning, September 16, 2002, the squatters are still occupying Woodwards.

For pictures and updates check – http://ontario.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=12087&group=webcast

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