From: Vancouver Media Coop
The Pidgin protesters have ordered social housing, but instead got a taste of intimidation with a side of harassment and even a warrant for “crossing the line”. This is exactly the type of action laid down by the authorities last year during the casserole marches in solidarity with the students in Quebec. More specifically,last june the police targeted and arrested the people they assumed to be the organizers and the more militant protesters. The form of repression chosen by the VPD included a bunch of arrests at a couple marches, including a particularly awesome march where the Cambie Street Bridge was blockaded. The arrests came with a stay away order from the downtown core, which is where the protests were happening. This was meant to diminish numbers, and it did.
The next step of their intimidation was an excessive amount of police for the next march, which was relatively small. This intimidation and harassment eventually led to casseroles dwindling out. Although the protests are long over, two protesters are still stuck in the expensive and irrelevant legal apparatus even though their actions would fall into the “lawful” protest the police say they support.
Repression is a common tactic when struggles are gaining momentum. It serves to intimidate those who do not want to become burdened by legalese mumbo-jumbo and potential criminal records. Arrests and cop presence also deter more people from joining the struggle, which hugely hinders the potentiality of civil unrest. The cops pull out all the stops to make the arrests as intimidating as possible, though nearly all arrests made in this way never lead to convictions.