Monday, June 16, 2008

Skip Skips Woman's Rights

The Security boss at Carnegie Center who wears a tag around his neck with the name "Skip" on it won't give anybody his last name, or tell anybody if Skip is his real first name. That's not suprising since his conduct as head of Security is too often illegal.

We have learned his last name, "Everall" from a commenter on this blog and confirmed from other internet posts that a "Skip Everall" does work at Carnegie. But is his first name really Skip? Some of the security guards who work under him don't believe it is. But Skip won't say.

The most recent incident in which Skip Everall acted in a legally questionable manner occurred on Saturday. Everall barred a woman after she spoke up about Devor, a coffee seller in the basement who has been shouting at her for years. Literally hundreds of people who go to Carnegie, both men and women, have stories of abuse by Devor. Many have lodged complaints only to be ignored.

When one man finally punched Devor in the nose a couple of years ago, leaving his nose bleeding, after being verbally abused by him over and over again, Downtown Eastside resident William Simpson pointed out in writing to members that staff had seen that coming for years. But staff at Carnegie, through their actions, have demonstrated that they essentially condone abuse.

The woman who was barred on Saturday had lodged her first complaint against Devor in writing ten years ago after he repeatedly hounded her to go home with him and watch pornography when she would try to buy a coffee or use a Vancouver Public Library computer in the basement of Carnegie. He also instructed her to loose weight and dye her hair so that she would be more attractive to men. Even though he had also asked a female Board member to go home and watch pornography, Carnegie staff made the complainant's life miserable. There is evidence that City Manager Judy Rogers resorted to a cover up, even fraud, in that case which she claimed in writing to be overseeing. Rogers is accused of essentially giving a green light to the denigration of this woman by Devor at Carnegie. (A separate post will be made when we get the paper trail on Rogers.)

On Saturday, the same woman was targeted again. Skip barred her without notifying her that she was barred. He wrote an "incident report" while making no attempt to get her side of the story. It's not as though Skip hadn't had an opportunity to speak to her; she had approached him outside his office immediately following Devor's abuse, saying, "This abuse has to stop". Skip simply brushed past her and went downstairs with Devor. He listened to Devor's rantings and based on that, wrote up a one-sided report. The woman remained in the building for the afternoon, raising questions about why Skip avoided getting her side. She even saw Skip outside the building when she left but he reportedly averted his eyes and took off on his bicycle.

The woman learned through hearsay that she was barred from Vancouver Public Library computers in the basement of Carnegie.

Today the woman asked a security guard, Richard, whether she was barred. Richard looked in a log book, found the incident report, and confirmed that she is in fact barred from Vancouver Public Library computers in the basement of Carnegie Center, a City of Vancouver community center. (She had actually spoken to Richard when she had wanted to buy a coffee in the basement of Carnegie and had asked Richard to accompany her as she was scared Devor would become abusive. Richard did accompany her.)

But here's the kicker. Skip is requiring that this woman serve her four day sentence BEFORE she can even speak to him to appeal on Wednesday. That is typical Carnegie policy: make a person serve their sentence before they can appeal, and often before they are even told why they are barred. She was told by the guard that even if she speaks to Skip, there is no guarantee he will grant her access to the VPL computers again.

Carnegie members want answers. Why is the Vancouver Public Libary allowing this harassment of a woman who speaks up about abuse? This is not the first case. Why is VanCity funding Carnegie while they engage in chronic civil liberties abuses? Why is Skip working at Carnegie when he has engaged in civil liberties abuses previously and even other security guards feel that he is performing poorly in the job? Why is Judy Rogers on the Olympic Organizing Committee when there is a paper trail indicating that she has condoned the denigration of this woman and other low income members of Carnegie?

More to come on this case. This woman is an acquaintance of Bill Simpson and we're hoping we can get an interview with her.