BCCLA asks for money.

Dear Friend of the BCCLA

Normally at the end of the month we’d send you a list of the rights violations we’ve been working on. This month I want to tell you about what might be the biggest issue we’ve ever uncovered. Thanks to our contacts made over our recent northern outreach tour, and our partnership with strong aboriginal organizations like the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, we have been able to uncover three videos of what we believe are abusive interactions between aboriginal men and RCMP officers in Williams Lake, as well as what appears to be clear retaliation against a local media outlet for trying to tell the story of RCMP and aboriginal relations in the community. We’re sending the information to the media this morning.

Lloyd Gilbert was tied to a chair for over three hours and forced to urinate on himself in what we thought at the time was an isolated incident of problematic policies and lack of judgment. It proved to be the tip of an iceberg. Lloyd’s video led us to Curtis Billy.

Curtis Billy was sitting in his cell when he was tackled by Warren Brown, the head of the RCMP in Williams Lake and pinned down by four RCMP officers. Bleeding and in pain, he was dragged into court for his trial. His lawyer demanded to know what happened and the matter is back in court today with Staff Sgt. Brown testifying. Curtis was allegedly refused medical attention, even though he said he was having difficulty breathing. His video led us to Oren Mostad.

Oren Mostad was punched repeatedly in the booking area of the Williams Lake RCMP detachment after he pulled his arm away from an RCMP officer and was then tackled to the ground. He says he was asking why he was being arrested after showing up at the station to ask why the RCMP had seized his guns. He was never charged with any offence in relation to the hunting rifles, but the incident in the video caused police to believe the officer involved had been assaulted, and Oren was charged with assaulting a peace officer. Oren’s video led us to information that yet another video of a separate incident might exist. We’re still following up on that one, and who knows where that video will take us.

The head of the RCMP in Williams Lake is Warren Brown. Brown is the first man in on Curtis Billy and the voice in the media defending the decision to tie Lloyd to the chair for three hours. When he read a local news story from WelcomeToWilliamsLake DOT ca saying RCMP officers were harassing aboriginal customers at a local bar, Brown appears not to have investigated the serious allegations. Instead he cut the media outlet from the RCMP press release distribution list and personally sent them an e-mail saying so and advising them not to report the contents of his e-mail.

When our team started digging, we found a B.C. Supreme Court case that said that Warren Brown had started work as a Delta Police Department officer. While there, Brown was investigated by his Chief for of deceit, discreditable conduct and abuse of authority and then was forced to attend a discipline hearing. The BCCLA doesn’t know if there ever was a discipline hearing. At some point, either before or after that hearing, Brown quit Delta PD and moved to the RCMP.

Thanks to your support, we uncovered this story and will be making it public this morning. We wanted you to be among the first to know, because you made it possible. Of course, as usual, the RCMP will be investigating and will be the investigated, but we’re working on that issue too.

We’re counting on you to ensure accountability for the RCMP not just in Williams Lake, but across British Columbia. $100 a month makes a huge difference because it makes us possible for us to invest staff hours in education, litigation, and advocacy. $50 a month means that we can keep pushing for the release of the Clayton Alvin Willey video from Prince George and get justice for his untimely death. Even a pledge of $10 a month means we can do outreach to people in communities like Williams Lake that would otherwise never hear from us and lack resources for knowing and protecting their rights.

Your dollars are an investment in justice and RCMP accountability to ensure better policing for everyone.

Bullet (time) points

  • Migrainy
  • Talked to my mother last night
  • Very tired
  • Too much to do
  • Disorganized
  • Having hot flashes more or less continuously
  • My room is a disaster, although the clean clothes do outnumber the dirty ones
  • I actually cooked dinner last night – potato salad.  Jeff said there weren’t enough onions but that was because I was hoping Keith would eat it.
  • I am not going to Toronto for my vacation in November – I am staying here.  I’m taking Katie cross border shopping for her bday.
  • I am debating whether to cash out of all of my investments, because the end of the world is nigh
  • I am also debating whether or not to buy more musical instruments.  Because, you know, you can never have too many
  • Church continues to be interesting and challenging.  I have a meeting tonight.
  • Work continues to be interesting and challenging.  I have sworn a mighty oath to stop emailing people.  I have to relearn this over and over again.

Elizabeth Fry

Wikipedia article here.

The executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society talked at church today.  I’ve bitched about Sheriff Arpaio for allowing a woman to deliver her child in irons, and today I found out, while tears exploded out of my eyes THAT CANADIAN CITIZENS WHO GIVE BIRTH IN JAIL DO SO IN HANDCUFFS.

My disgust for the Canadian ‘justice’ system has never been greater.  No… words.

Sublime, meet ridiculous. I’m sure you’ll have a lot to talk about….

I should have been doing work for church, but instead I went for a walk in East Van with Carly, Paul and Katie.  I could not pry Jeff loose from Nascar and Keith was working.  Carly has gone from being gorgeous to being unearthly, courtesy of a completely natural set of blonde streaks due to travelling in Central America for four months and then working outside the whole summer.  I love that girl, she is so smart and … you know, decorative and pleasant.  And funny.  And she has superlative taste.  Great seeing her interact with her coz Katie.

Keith has a job interview for another part time job downtown.  If he gets another day per week he’ll be in very good shape.  He also doesn’t mind if he doesn’t get it as it’s an opportunity to practice his job interview skills.  Keith in many respects is a brutally practical individle… wonder where he gets that from.

Jeff just knocked at my door wondering if it was a church day.  Yes…. but I don’t have to open or close, so beautifully, I need only leave at 10.

After we dropped Katie back at work (she’s been hauling full shifts because of the staffing chaos at her job) at two I went to Galloway’s in New West for almonds for biscotti.  Son of a bear!  I am extremely miffed because the almonds were CRAP.  So no biscotti – I could be a jerk and make them anyway but I have a brand reputation to maintain.

Which ties in very neatly to my reading – I am reading Zero History.  There are some very cool ideas in that book.

I am off to church now. Choir sings, and ha ha, you’re going to miss it.

I will have to COMPLETELY rewrite my freaking homily.  THAT’S what happens when you think you know what you’re doing and then go into Buffy Research Mode.  I’ve been taking my glasses off and putting them back on A LOT.

I don’t think I’ll go to Vcon.  I gots no energy for Cons right now.

Various and sundry

Anybody who’s ever been in a battle of wills with a dearly loved animal will enjoy this.

Life is cruising along remarkably nicely.  Jeff has installed a network printer (Granny’s old printer), updated the wireless, and, and, and – the AV instructions.  Yes, yes yay!

Last night Keith and Paul and Katie and Jeff and I went to Schnitzelmania and consumed, strangely, schnitzel, although Katie and Keith actually had chicken skewers.  Then we came back home and watched really lame tv.  A lot of our fave shows have lost the plot.  Bones was beyond words lame, and CSI wasn’t much better…. too many explosions.  It’s a lab show, not an explosion show.

I purchased Zero History, What have you changed your mind about?, and the first two Toby Daye books.  Today I will spend money on biscotti ingredients.  And possibly a cajon.  I have lots of other things to do as well.

Quinoa among other things

Ack.  Whoever said quinoa was easy to harvest was a lying bastard.  You have to strip the heads, roll the seed pods in your hands, soak the seeds and rinse them about a hundred times (must determine a method that doesn’t involve gallons of water).  They’ve finally come to the point that I can eat the seeds and they taste like raw food instead of a bitter chemical (saponin).  Now I can dry them, all three of them.  (Not true, there’s a meal’s worth in there, besides the seeds I’m saving.)  Anyway I need to know this for the story I’m writing, in my head.

It’s our problem free…. philosophy…..

Work is marginally better.

Another solid night of sleep, thank goodness.

More comments about family and internet and church

I got to see Katie’s apartment yesterday!  We can tell she’s a real New West Girl, she can see the bridge from one window.  She doesn’t think she’ll be cold this winter, but the scarred single pane windows (they haven’t been painted since Tommy Douglas was alive, if appearances are anything to go by) and her remoteness from the furnace lead me to believe otherwise.

Despite the 101 bus going right by her place and despite how close she is to the Skytrain tracks, it’s a quiet house.  She lives there with Mona and a couple of other people in a house sharing arrangement.  Mona’s about my age.  She lives on the ground floor, Katie lives in the attic and some guy lives in the basement.

Daxus is currently living with a married couple who just had their first child – at home.  Katie doesn’t believe this living arrangement is likely to last but I’m sort of hoping it does.

Paul returned safely from Ontario.  He and I and Keith and Jeff supped upon a variety of things including the two cobs of corn I harvested from the garden.  They were tiny but perfect.  Now that I know corn will grow nicely in that location I will plant more next year, and earlier, too.

The quinoa harvest has started; it was either that or let them rot on their stalks.  The first batch is hulled, but by god they are still very bitter with the saponin layer, and most of the grains are much smaller than the commercial variety.  I will have to clean them some more.  I have to find a more efficient way to clean them.

I was invited to Tanya’s and to Baumfest this weekend and as I was feeling quite low I didn’t go.

Church was excellent.  The minister preached of one of the theologians of Unitarian Universalism, Hosea Ballou.

Chipper sends me this disheartening news from the internet front.  Disgusting.

Ziva is running quite rough – she hates the wet.

I have a sound tech for the Social Justice Open Mic.