Fire This Time is Back in Vancouver Sky Train Stations –
A Victory for Freedom of Expression!
Three weeks after the brutal assault and harassment of Fire This Time
activists by Vancouver transit police and RCMP, “Get your copy of Fire
This Time – Vancouver’s social justice newspaper,” and “Free,
independent social justice news!” could once again be heard in Sky Train
stations. On Friday, September 21, 20 Fire This Time activists and
defenders of the freedom of expression in Vancouver joined together and
distributed 1000 copies of the Fire This Time newspaper in defense of
civil and democratic rights. Despite initial harassment by Transit
officials, the activists remained inside of the stations and
successfully exercised the right to distribute a progressive, free and
The return to Sky Train stations was covered in an article in the
Georgia Straight, written Friday morning after a Georgia Straight
reporter passed through the station.
Distribution started early on Friday morning, at the Broadway and
Commercial Sky Train station. Activists stood inside and outside of the
station distributing Fire This Time newspaper to people from all
different walks of life of whom many recognized the newspaper and were
also very supportive. Although transit officials told the distributors
they were not allowed to be there, activists stood their ground, and
defended their rights and stayed inside of the station the entire
For the afternoon, Fire This Time activists returned to the sight of the
original assault, Metrotown Sky Train station. As soon as distribution
began inside of the station activists were approached by a transit
official who insisted that there distribution was impeding traffic and
they would have to move. It was clear this was a targeting and
harassment by the transit official as the person distributing was well
out of the way of people passing by documented in videos and pictures
taken by Fire This Time supporters. Distribution continued inside of the
station during a busy two hours.
This successful distribution has shown the importance of a strong
defense campaign. Following three weeks of a campaign to defend civil
and democratic rights against the assault by transit officials, police
and RCMP, it was possible for activists to return victoriously
distributing Fire This Time. The strong public defense campaign, media
coverage and broad support from people has forced transit and police to
back off and restrain themselves.
We encourage all people in Vancouver to get involved in the newly formed
Vancouver Committee to Defend Freedom of Expression, and to join us in
distributing Fire This Time. If we unite to defend our civil and
democratic rights, we can also extend those rights!
Please join us for the next meeting of Vancouver Committee to Defend Freedom of Expression!
Wednesday September 26
Joe’s Café – in the large north hall
1150 Commercial Drive at William Street
Vancouver Committee to Defend Freedom of Expression
firstname.lastname@example.org | 778-889-7664