Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Caught on Tape! Security Boss Using City Powers for Personal Retaliation

Photo: Carnegie Seniors Lounge

There have long been stories from people barred from Carnegie Centre that when they didn’t grovel during their appeal process, they were instantly told that their barring had been extended. Exhibiting confidence or knowledge of one’s rights is considered insubordination in this "residential school" environment, an observation made by William Simpson who was barred from the building after getting elected to the Board. Finally, there is taped evidence that Carnegie Security boss Skip Everall and security guard Ted Chaing are engaging in such human rights abuses.

The tape capturing Everall and Chaing abusing power was made on June 22, 2008 while a woman was meeting with them to appeal her barring from the Carnegie Seniors Lounge. She had been barred for raising her voice at a notoriously abusive coffee seller, Devor, who was yelling at her. The woman believed she had a right to know the name of the Security boss who had barred her. She did not at the time know Skip Everall's surname and she couldn't be sure that "Skip" wasn't a nickname. When she asked him twice for his name, her barring from the Seniors Lounge in the Carnegie basement was extended to the entire Carnegie building.


Woman: (speaking to Everall in a soft tone, almost a whisper) What is your real name by the way? You’ve made a decision about me and you’re not telling me your name. I’m asking you your name Skip. [She remained polite.]

Chaing: We call him by Skip.

Woman to Everall: What is your name, your last name?

Everall: It doesn’t matter.

Woman: You barred me….

Skip interrupts: My name is Skip, alright?

Woman: But if I want to appeal it to the City I have to know your name….

Skip: I’m sorry, you’re going to be barred from the building. [speaking forcefully] The meeting’s over!


Woman: I’m going to be barred from the building because I asked you your name?

Skip: We’ll just discuss the matter some other time.

Woman: Am I barred from the building now?

Chaing [as Everall listens]: Yes, yes.

When Everall responded to the woman asking him his name by barring her from the entire building, Chaing added that she was also being barred for raising the issue of sexism. Chaing was referring to her earlier statements that she believed Security had been sexist not only in barring her from the Seniors Lounge for talking back to a man, but for assuming that only the man’s version of events needed to be obtained before a decision was made to bar her from the Seniors Lounge. She claims Everall saw her twice after the incident but didn't speak to her,and that she remained in the building for the remainder of the afternoon, a fact that is supported by her signature on the sign-in sheet in the 3rd floor computer room.


Woman: Am I barred from the building?

Chaing [as Everall listens]: Yes, yes. I’m sorry, I don’t want to do that. [uses broken English here] Because you’re not in an appropriate behavior to talk. All your head is sexist, male and female. And then the name; we pay him by that name. What’s the problem here; it’s you, not us.... All you’re thinking is the name and then the male and female thing....Next time, I hope you change a little.

The woman hopes Judy Rogers changes a little. Rogers, in her role as City Manager, has over the last decade allowed human rights abuses in the barring process at Carnegie Center to become an epidemic.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Motorcycle Show 'n Shine

The 3rd annual Gastown Motorcylce Show 'n Shine -- "Murdercycle" is the term one Downtown Eastside resident uses -- was held on Sunday August 20th. The bikes stretched from Richards St. through Gastown, down to Main and Powell where this photo was taken.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Woman Reportedly Tied Up and Thrown Out Window of Cobalt Hotel

A man who has for years lived on the fourth floor of the Cobalt -- his window is in the top row of windows in the photo above taken from the back of the Cobalt -- says the word is that a woman was tied up and thrown out a fourth floor window. The man, who mentioned the incident while having coffee with friends at Carnegie on Monday, says it happened just a few doors down from his room.

"There were detectives around so I knew something had happened," he said. Police came to his door and asked if he had heard "anything unusual". He had been sitting in his room wearing earphones and told them he hadn't heard anything.

Later he remembered something though. He had "heard a cat screaming like somebody was trying to kill it". So he had looked out his door and a cat came out of a room down the hall and seemed ok.

He thinks the woman who supposedly died was in her thirties with red hair. He had the impression that she hadn't been getting along with other residents of the building, although he doesn't mix much with the other residents because he is not into drugs (just beer). The residents, some of whom move into the Cobalt straight out of jail, had allegedly been fighting over drugs. The word is that the woman had "ripped somebody off" for drugs but he doubts that's true because, "she wouldn't have come back to the building."

He had seen the woman on a previous occasion lying in the hallway with the paramedics over her.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"End of the Line Cowboy", says Cop

A plain-clothed Vancouver cop in short pants was putting his gun away as he climbed off of a suspect lying on the ground at the corner of Cordova and Columbia after dark on Sunday. "End of the line cowboy", he said.

As the handcuffed male suspect was being put in the police paddy wagon, a cop opened the trunk of what a witness described as the suspect's "small compact car" and said, "Ohhhh, look's like the Easter bunny's been here." The witness couldn't remember if this plain-clothed cop was the same one who had made the "cowboy" comment. "There were so many cops there," he said. "They were taking duffle bags out of the trunk." There were both plain-clothed and uniformed cops and both marked and unmarked police car at the scene. The witness had the impression that the cops had been following the suspect as he moved north on Columbia but he wasn't certain.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ethel Whitty Abuses Woman for Eight Weeks

"Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." From Gustave Dore's illustration of Dante's Inferno, (Hell).

Remember the woman who was banned from the Carnegie Seniors' Center for daring to talk back to Devor, a notoriously abusive coffee seller? She remains banned. She said today that she has now been banned eight weeks....for daring to use her voice.

Since the Communist Bruce Erikson was influential at Carnegie, there has been a painting by Erikson of the Downtown Eastside and a wooden banner hanging on the wall in the theatre area. "To have no voice is to have no power", are the words carved in the wood of the banner. Yet there is no doubt that the City of Vancouver management at Carnegie, Director Ethel Whitty, Assistant Director Dan Tetrault, Security boss, Skip Everall, and Whitty's supervisor at the City, David McMillan, are punishing female assertiveness.

Carnegie Director Ethel Whitty does not deny that the woman was banned for using her voice. And Whitty explicitly acknowledged in a taped conversation in June that the banned woman had never posed a physical risk.

Not only have Carnegie staff banned the woman for using her voice, they continue to subject her to "mental cruelty" by evading telling her when the ban will expire. Two weeks ago, the woman dropped off a letter to Carnegie requesting written notification of when the ban would be lifted. She has not received a response to the letter. At the time she dropped off the letter to Carnegie, Tetrault and Everall even attempted to avoid giving the woman proof of receipt in the form of a signature and date stamp, but after ongoing insistence on her part and an impromptu private meeting on their part, Everall did sign for the letter, using his initials only.

This is the same pattern of mental cruelty to which Whitty, Tetrault, and Everall subjected duly elected Carnegie Board member William Simpson over the past year. It's a pattern, notes the boyfriend of Whitty's latest victim.

The woman herself describes Whitty's behaviour toward her as "sadistic". On two occasions when the woman gave Whitty detailed accounts of how the banning had stressed her, she says Whitty "smiled and she got this look in her eyes as if she was enjoying hearing about it." And then Whitty would -- the woman imitated her here -- turn down her lips and shrug her shoulders, the way people do when they're indicating they don't care about something. The woman didn't didn't know at the time that the meetings were being taped but she did find it odd that Whitty was "using gestures instead of words" to respond to things she was told.

Rumor has it that VanCity is going to be asked to cease providing grants to Carnegie until this human rights abuse case is resolved.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Health Minister Won't Back Harmageddon

Downtown Eastside residents have been known to call it Harmaggedon. Conservative Health Minister Tony Clement calls it, "harm addition." Downtown Eastside residents and Tony Clement are no longer parroting the term "harm reduction" used by activists such as Mark Townsend and his spouse Liz Evans, who for years have paid their mortgage pushing projects for addicts on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

At the World Health Organization's 17th International AIDS Conference in Mexico City this week to promote a WHO guide on fighting HIV and AIDS, Clement made UN povertarians squirm when he told reporters,
"Allowing and/or encouraging people to inject heroin into their veins is not harm reduction, it is the opposite ... We believe it is a form of harm addition."

These activists are never satisfied, Clement pointed out. "There are already people saying injection sites aren't enough, that true harm reduction is giving out heroin for free," the minister said. He could have also mentioned that activists are even calling for a safe crack cocaine smoking room inside the supervised injection site on the Downtown Eastside. "You have to draw the line somewhere....", he said.