Press Release

Press Release # 4

Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice

https://stoppoliceassault.com/ | www.firethistime.net | infoftt@mail.com
www.youtube.com/firethistime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

September 28, 2012 – Vancouver, B.C.

Fire This Time Newspaper Distributors Return to Skytrain Station
Taking a Stand for Freedom of Expression

Media Liaisons: Tamara Hansen (778-882-5223) and Thomas Davies (778-889-7664)

Activists who were harassed and assaulted by Transit Police and RCMP
officers while distributing a free, non-commercial, social justice
newspaper remain committed to defending their democratic rights and
civil liberties despite police harassment. Today from 5pm to 7pm Fire
This Time newspaper distributors will once again return to the scene
of their assault, the Metrotown Skytrain station, to continue
newspaper distribution and assert their right to freedom of
expression.

Friday, August 31 over ten Transit Police and RCMP officers
participated in the assault, handcuffing, and forced removal of three
peaceful newspaper distributors from the Metrotown Skytrain station.
All three were released without charges later that night and visited
hospital emergency rooms with various injuries.

The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) has taken up the case and
written a letter to Translink demanding an explanation for the
assault. “That we find ourselves in a situation again where a group of
people distributing a free political newspaper are alleging that their
basic and protected free expression rights were violated, and their
property seized, is very troubling,” said Lindsay Lyster, President of
the BCCLA in a news release.

The story has been covered repeatedly in the Georgia Straight,
Province, and Vancouver Sun newspapers along with international press.
In the month since the assault, growing public outcry has led to the
formation of the Vancouver Committee to Defend Freedom of Expression.

“We’re going back to distribute at the Metrotown Skytrain station in
even bigger numbers, committed to exercising our rights,” said assault
victim Shakeel Lochan.

Fire This Time Editorial Board member, Thomas Davies, another one of
the three assaulted by police summarized, “The campaign is growing,
and we’re finding more and more support every day. We are totally
committed to defend not only our own rights, but everyone else’s as
well.”

Media is invited to attend the distribution, which occur between 5pm
and 7pm at the Metrotown Skytrain station. For more information
contact media liaisons Tamara Hansen (778-882-5223) and Thomas Davies
(778-889-7664).

– 30 –

Press Release #3

Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice

https://stoppoliceassault.com/ | www.firethistime.net | infoftt@mail.com
www.youtube.com/firethistime |

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

September 19, 2012 – Vancouver, B.C.

Fire This Time Activists Brutalized and Assaulted by Transit Police and RCMP
Vancouver Committee to Defend Freedom of Expression Holds Second Public Meeting Tonight

Media Liaisons: Tamara Hansen (778-882-5223) and Thomas Davies (778-889-7664)

Activists who were brutally assaulted by Transit Police and RCMP officers while distributing a free, non-commercial, social justice newspaper remain committed to defending their democratic rights and civil liberties despite police brutality.

Friday, August 31 over ten Transit Police and RCMP officers participated in the assault, handcuffing, and forced removal of three peaceful Fire This Time newspaper distributers from the Metrotown Skytrain station. All three were released without charges later that night and visited hospital emergency rooms with various injuries.

Video evidence detailing the assault has been viewed thousands of times on the internet, despite the fact that the footage documenting the entire incident was erased from the phone of one of the assault victims while in the hands of RCMP officers. Videos can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/firethistime

The Vancouver Committee to Defend Freedom of Expression was formed in response to the growing public outcry since the assault.  The committee members include members of various political parties and organizations, trade union members and executives, as well as community members outraged by the blatant attack on civil liberties and democratic rights. After a well attended meeting on Tuesday, September 11, the Committee will meet once again to discuss several important legal and political developments in the case and plan for upcoming actions in the growing campaign.

“If the police were planning on scaring us away through violence they were sorely mistaken,” said assault victim and Fire This Time Editorial Board member Thomas Davies, “and the huge community support has really strengthened our resolve to defend our rights.”

The Vancouver Committee to Defend Freedom of Expression will meet at 7pm tonight in the Large North Hall of Joe’s Café (1150 Commercial Drive). Media is welcome to attend, and assault victims and media liaisons will be available for interviews.

– 30 –

Press Release #2

Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice

www.firethistime.net | infoftt@mail.com  | https://stoppoliceassault.com/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

September 14, 2012 – Vancouver, B.C.

Fire This Time Activists Brutalized and Assaulted by Transit Police and RCMP

Public Outcry Growing as “Vancouver Committee to Defend Freedom of Expression” is Formed

Media Liaisons: Tamara Hansen (778-882-5223) and Thomas Davies (778-889-7664)

Activists who were brutally assaulted by Transit Police and RCMP officers while distributing a free, non-commercial, social justice newspaper remain committed to defending their democratic and civil rights despite police brutality. See: http://www.straight.com/article-776946/vancouver/translink-curbs-free-speech

Friday, August 31 over ten Transit Police and RCMP officers participated in the assault, handcuffing, and forced removal of three peaceful newspaper distributes from the Metrotown Skytrain station. All three were released without charges later that night and visited hospital emergency rooms with various injuries.

Since the assault, growing public outcry has led to the formation of the Vancouver Committee to Defend Freedom of Expression at a large public meeting on Tuesday, September 11. The committee members include members of various political parties and organizations, trade union members and executives, as well as community members outraged by the blatant attack on civil liberties and democratic rights. David Eby, Executive Director of the BC Civil Liberties Association, have also expressed strong support of the campaign defending the 3 assault victims, “It’s a classic civil-liberties, free-speech issue,” he told the Georgia Straight.

“It’s been very encouraging to see how the community support has really taken off, ” said assault victim Shakeel Lochan, “people really seem to understand the most important point – that this isn’t just an attack us, but an attack on everybody’s civil liberties and democratic rights.”

Video evidence detailing the assault has been viewed thousands of times on the internet, despite the fact that the footage documenting the entire incident was erased from the phone of one of the assault victims while in the hands of RCMP officers.

Fire This Time Editorial Board member, Thomas Davies, one of three assaulted by police summarized, “This is just the beginning of the campaign. We will use every legal and political option available to us, and we will definitely return to the Sktytrains to distribute our newspaper and defend our rights.”

– 30 –

Press Release #1

Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice

www.firethistime.net | infoftt@mail.com  | https://stoppoliceassault.com/

P 604-322-1764

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

September 4, 2012 – Vancouver, B.C.

Fire This Time Activists Brutalized and Assaulted by Transit Police and RCMP
Hands Off Fire This Time Newspaper!
Stand Against Police Brutality!
Stop Harassment of Political Activists!
Oppose Suppression of Freedom of Expression!

Media Liaisons: Tamara Hansen (778-882-5223) and Thomas Davies (778-889-7664)

Activists who were brutally assaulted by Transit Police and RCMP officers while distributing a free, non-commercial, social justice newspaper remain committed to defending their democratic and civil rights despite police brutality.

Friday, August 31 over ten Transit Police and RCMP officers participated in the assault, handcuffing, and forced removal of three peaceful newspaper distributers from the Metrotown Skytrain station. “We repeatedly and peacefully asked the police what their basis was for the telling us to stop distribution and leave the station. Their response was to throw us against walls while handcuffed, have several officers tackle me at once, and injure all three of us enough that we had to visit Emergency Rooms for medical treatment, “ stated Fire This Time activist and a member of Fire This Time newspaper (FTT) editorial board Thomas Davies, who was one of the three assault victims.  “We were finally released from police custody without charges, and they were still unable to explain the basis for their actions.”

The assault was the culmination of ongoing harassment Fire This Time activists have faced for distributing the free community newspaper at Skytrain Stations for the past four months, despite publicly posted Transit Rules in every Skytrain Station which specifically allow the distribution of  “non-commercial printed materials”. “Multiple Translink employees, security, supervisors, Transit Police, VPD, and RCMP have already given us permission to distribute when we’ve shown them the posted rules,” emphasized another assault victim Shakeel Lochan, “We were just following the rules and defending our democratic and civil rights.”

Video evidence detailing the assault is available, despite the fact that video footage documenting the entire incident was erased from the phone of one of the assault victims while in the hands of RCMP officers.

FTT organizers have promised this is the beginning of a large scale public campaign to defend democratic and civil rights, as well as against police brutality. They have vowed that this harassment will not deter them from continuing to distribute FTT inside of Skytrain stations. For interviews and to find out the next distribution plan, please contact media liaisons Thomas Davies and Tamara Hansen.

– 30 –

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