On November 26, 2009, the Impact on Communities Coalition, a group that was talented for riding the fence when it came to the Olympics, organized a forum on the impact the Olympics would have on Civil Liberties in Vancouver. What they managed to do is get Bud Mercer and Steve Sweeney in the same room as people like David Eby from the BCCLA and Alissa Westergard-Thorpe from the Olympic Resistance Network and the 2010 Welcoming Committee. The thing is that during this time, the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit - Joint Intelligence Group was also in the process of spying and harassing activists during this time, and going through everyone’s trash. They also managed to get Bob Cooper, who was with VANOC. This is interesting, since ORN was often excluded from panels because VANOC and the V2010ISU-JGO wouldn’t be on the same panel as ORN.
We know that the event ended with David Eby reading this public letter</a> and walking out, and people heckling Bud Mercer, Steve Sweeney, and the head of the ISU engaging in a shouting match with Garth Mullins and other activists from ORN.
So, the obvious question is how did this happen?
I requested documents, because I believed that Bud Mercer would have been given the intelligence briefs on ORN and all the people who they thought would have been seen at that event. I was at the event and I expected my name to appear there. What I ended up getting were some of the contents of Bud Mercer’s inbox. There’s not a lot of info here, but it should be noted that Alissa was listed simply as an Olympic Critic the entire time her name is mentioned, and she is also not even mentioned on this panel.
It’s interesting that the Community Relations group is involved in this and not the JIG. What’s funny is that Steve Sweeney anticipated that they would be ambushed by ORN and others, and Am Johal also warns against the heckling, so it’s clear that Mercer and Co knew they were going into a hostile room beforehand. That being said, I do think this shows the complete disregard for the JIG intelligence reports.
Of course, the last e-mail is Am Johal apologizing for everyone who was rude to Bud Mercer and Steve Sweeney. Overall, the main thing that is striking is the lack of JIG documents, especially since this is listed as an incident in PRIME and I have a file in the PRIME database that was filed on the same night this happened. I have a feeling that I’ll have to ask Normand about the JIG. As usual, the source file is below. If anyone has video of this night, please contact me and let me know.