Thursday, August 16, 2007

Another Questionable Barring at Carnegie

On Saturday, I was sitting in a coffee shop near Main & Broadway with a few people from the Downtown Eastside. Bill Simpson, the homeless Carnegie Center Board member who has become notorious for being barred from the entire Carnegie building, walked in to say hi. Then another guy walked in and waved. Bill said, "I know that guy; he's an artist."


"I got barred from Carnegie," the artist said when he approached our table, laughing a little nervously.

The tall, caucasian, twenty-something artist, wearing knee-lengthy grey shorts and a white t-shirt, explained that he had been barred when he walked into Carnegie "the Friday before the strike" with his small two-wheel pull cart (the type people used to bring home groceries or books from the library.) Security guards stopped him and told him that he could not enter the building with the cart. "I told them they were being unreasonable," he said. He argued with them.

By the time they were finished, "there were three security guards and two cops", he said, shaking his head.

"They told the cops I was violent," he said. "I wasn't violent. I didn't comply but I wasn't violent."

The artist was asked by a man at the table to describe the security guards. There was a Black guy and a White guy with a ball cap. He didn't describe the third one.

"Did the Black guy have short sort of dreadlocks?" a woman at the table asked. "Yeah," the artist said. "That would be Trey," she said. But the artist made a point of saying that Trey was not as bad as the other guard, the one with the ball cap. There are two White security guards at Carnegie who wear ball caps, Skip, the Head of Security, and Mike, but we couldn't pinpoint exactly who that second guard was.

The artist doesn't know how long he is barred for. Like most barred people, he wasn't given anything in writing that would identify the reason for the barring or the name of the security guard who had made the decision to bar him from an entire City building. And like many barred people, the artist seems to be intending not to go back to Carnegie.

"It was a blessing," he said, adding that Carnegie Centre is not a good place to be going anyway.

This is only one side of the story of course. The guards no doubt have a different side. A volunteer at Carnegie has explained that the guards are under strict instructions not to allow carts in as part of the battle to keep bed bugs out of the center. He said they also don't want people carting in bottles and cans that they've collected, although the artist wasn't doing that.

The problem is that the apparent lack of due process in the artist's barring is an all too familiar story at Carnegie.

Rachel Davis, a Carnegie Board member, talked about the pattern of barrings without due process at Carnegie on Vancouver Co-operative Radio on July 30. There are rules that pertain to barrings, she said. "[A]ll barrings are supposed to have incident reports attached to that barring but, yes, often there aren't incident reports and if there are, they won't show them to you."

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I witnessed the incident with the guy with the cart. The other security guard was Skip. That guy should ask for his incident report. And be aware that he is now on the computer for three years.

Anonymous said...

There was a story on the National on CBC tonight on how people are getting sued for having links to sites that are considered defamatory. You should check into this story. One of the main people in the piece was a man called Michael Geist (http://www.michaelgeist.ca/
I discussed the William Simpson case with a friend and he recommended contact with this man to get some answers.

reliable sources said...

The blog that Bill Simpson is linking to is not defamatory.

Neither Carnegie Director, Ethel Whitty, or her boss at the City, Jacquie Forbes-Roberts, have identified even one inaccuracy on that blog. And they've been pressed to do so. They know that everything on that blog is supportable.

Grant Chancey, a Carnegie Board member who is not a supporter of the blog or Simpson, seems aware that the content of that blog can be supported. At a Community Relations Meeting at Carnegie, he said of the City: "They've got nothing! They've got nothing!"

Sophie Friegang, a Board member, said at the July Board meeting that she had "poured over" the blog and found nothing that would warrant barring Simpson for linking to it. A "serious mistake" has been made she said. She said she saw "truths" on the blog.

The only defamation being generated is by Ethel Whitty and Jacquie Forbes-Roberts. Whitty has slandered bloggers at two public meetings now and, of course, did not provide any substantiation whatsoever for her slanderous claims. Because she can't.

Forbes-Roberts made libelous, sweeping generalizations in a letter, and substantiated nothing. Not one example. Then she allowed Whitty to disseminate this letter labelled "Confidential" to the public at a meeting.

And when the Carnegie Association published and disseminated vicious libel, Whitty had a chance to pull this material before it got widely disseminated and she did nothing.

Thanks for the info anyway about the CBC program.

And thanks also to the person who left the tip about Skip.

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to Michael Geist's website with a youtube showing of the National segment on blogging.

http://www.michaelgeist.ca/

Anonymous said...

You're right and they have all but admitted publically that the content is true. When the police visited me, he said that the visit was just to express concern over the postings and that the crown wouldn't be pressing any charges due to the fact that it seemed all was true, but maybe blown a bit out of proportion.
Not that I care much, but since this has all started, I have been banned and I haven't even set foot in the building since early December of 2005! As far as I'm concerned, they can have the place. When people stop going there and using the facilities, There won't be as much of a need for staff and maybe then will city hall stop and look up. Don't fight them, let them have it!

dag said...

Ask yourself what the purpose of the Carnegie Centre is, and why people pay so much money to keep it going. It might not seem like a lot of money per person, the $2 million bucks or so that goes into it per year, but it seems to me it's more than I have.

Just like you, if I pay for something I want something for it, preferably what I thought I was supposed to get when I paid. If you pay 5 bucks for something, you want something worth 5 bucks to you, more than five if you're a sharp buyer. So, what do people get when they pay 2 million for the Carnegie Centre every year, for years on end? What do you think the tax-payer gets for the money? What do you think the tax-payer thinks he gets for the money?

You might think the average tax-payer spends his money on the Carnegie Centre because he's a compassionate guy like I am. You might think he really cares about the "poor." He might feel that it's money well spent to provide a safe and secure place for the homeless and the exploited and the victims of a heartless society and so on.

What does the average tax-payer think when he shells out the cash to the Carnegie Centre rather than use the same money to feed his family or pay on the mortgage?

Most think "Thank god the likes of Ethanol are baby-sitting those animals so they don't come around my neighbourhood and ruin my life."

It's a matter of containment. If people the tax-payer can't deal with, then the "poor" are shoveled into one small area to live and die in squalor while the professionals rake in the bucks managing them, keeping them off the (suburban) streets. No one is doing this for nothing. It's not a matter of the povertarians being friends of yours. Anyone will do so long as there is a threatening population to to scare the public with. 'If you don't give us 2 million dollars, then we can't contain these people, and they'll be raping your daughters on the lawn by the bar-b-que.'

You, for the most part, are the stick the povertarians use to beat the fearful till the latter cough up more millions to satisfy the povertarians. You get used. And what do you get for all of this?

What's in it for you? You pay with your lifetime, and what do you get for the payment?

reliable sources said...

Anonymous,

You mentioned that the police officer told you that the "visit was just to express concern over the postings" and that the Crown didn't intend to lay charges as the posts were essentially true.
That supports my position that this was an intimidation tactic.

Was it the VPD or the RCMP who visited you?

CUPE members who were involved in thw harassment police complaint are now out on the picket line demanding a hike in wages and benefits. They should be fired, not rewarded.

reliable sources said...

Dag,

There is a public relations machine at Carnegie that works to keep reminding the public of the underclass that must be contained through funding to the povertarians.

We saw just how vicious the povertarians became when Downtown Eastside residents interfered slightly with the message the machine was generating for the public. When Carnegie Director, Ethel Whitty, and her underlings led the CBC and other media to believe that the participants in "Condemned", an opera performed in the Carnegie theatre, were primarily homeless, bloggers corrected this misinformation. In response, Whitty allowed a witch hunt for bloggers at Carnegie to begin.

It has now become unsafe for a blogger critical of Carnegie to reveal their identify. A member of the Carnegie Association actually admitted in writing that he had been generating "libelous" commentary in a publication criticizing blogging.

As most people know by now, the witch hunt resulted in a homeless man, Bill Simpson, getting barred from the Carnegie. As part of her attempt to justify barring Simpson, Whitty stated at a public Board meeting in June that, although Simpson might not be the blogger, he had said that he was "proud" -- she put emphasis on the word "proud" -- of that blogger. Whitty was now the povertarian 'thought police'!

There was an attempt during the witch hunt to get a woman barred who had been seen talking to Simpson and being "friendly" with Simpson. She would go into the Carnegie Learning Centre almost daily to read the Vancouver Sun newspaper. The staff who barred Simpson, then cancelled the newspaper. Guess who wasn't showing up much after that? The official reason given for cancelling the newspaper was that it was a cost-saving measure. (The newspaper was one of the most popular services in the Learning Centre, which is supposed to encourage reading.)

The povertarians control the message in the DTES poverty industry by even controlling media that has an artsy and edgy veneer. Take the new newspaper "Fearless". It should be renamed "Gutless". It gets funding from organizations such as VanCity which are sympathetic to povertarians and to CUPE which pumps major union dues out of the poverty industry. Fearless never dares deviate from the message that keeps money flowing into the projects of the povertarians. D.F., who works at the front desk at Carnegie is involved in Fearless and so is L.H. who also has picked up jobs in the poverty industry through her Carnegie staff network. (In fact, last year L.H. went with a group from Carnegie on a week-long, all expenses paid,trip to a lodge on one of the Gulf Islands, Gambier or Gabriola, to write the opera about the homeless to be performed in the Carnegie theatre. She's not homeless of course. She's university educated and, I'm told by two reliable sources, she had a suite in social housing while she owned a farm in Quebec with her ex-husband.)

The real poor are politically all over the map and can't be trusted to craft the message that keeps the money flowing into the RRSP's of the povertarians.

Homeless Simpson is an example. He acknowledges that he said he was "proud of that blogger" who was criticizing Carnegie, proud of the fact that they were creating more diversity of opinion. But the povertarians relying on government and charitable funding can't afford diversity: they need a unified message about the growing underclass that can only be contained by your cash flow.