Shortly after the Global and CBC media arrived outside, Vancouver Police arrived in full riot gear at 6 pm, just as evening news broadcasts began, wearing Balaclavas SWAT Team style and, according to Lorne, “Attacked Da Kine” on 1018 Commercial Drive, breaking the door of Da Kine cafe for effect since it was unlocked anyway.
Guns drawn in full combat mode they ordered the patrons to place their hands above their heads and moved swiftly behind the counter handcuffing the female staff behind the counter. As Carol spoke up in their defense she too was put under arrest.
The news reports that at least six persons were arrested, including Danielle who smiled and joked getting into the paddy wagon, as did Michelle, Micheal’s sister, who had started her first day as relief staff merely two hours beforehand, who was arrested as well. The father and son bagging team of George and Jordan were arrested in the back room too. All 6, it was reported, will spend the night in jail.
Any customer without federal exemption identification had their stash confiscated. All were searched and names run on a wireless computer they set up, once the police had herded them all into the smoking room, which is now fully ventilated up to code and was waiting for city approval. According to witnesses on the scene there were 80 to 100 cops in the area the entire block was corded off traffic held back and every alley and back way guarded by police vehicles. Local Vancouver police came armed with search warrant but who signed it is still unknown at time of this report. They carried out “evidence” to their van which probably infers they took the paraphenalia and glass as well. Occupying it till 11:00pm news wraped up the day. “Who knows what kinda mess they made or what the police destroyed,” Lorne bemoaned on the late night braodcast.
Even the TV station reports found it ironic that days before police spokes womyn Sarah Bloore was saying it was low priority for them and and they had no budget or time to raid the cafe no complaints until media brought it to her attention . The Mayor who this evening was attending an opening at the Fringe Festival of a film about pot wasn’t on the scene to read the riot act. He had intonate d yesterday that sharing with the media was Da Kine’s mistake. No one in fact on city council had been much perturbed by the goings ons there.
It was “B.C.’s Top Cop, the media darling, our Solicitor General who was on the previous night expressing outrage at Vancouver City council for ignoring the “illegal activity” at the cafe yet Ms. Bloore insisted there was nothing “political” about why they had singled out Da Kine instead of the cheesier underground places or high profile compassion club, with it’s more compromised guide lines, and that they, (Da Kine) “flaunted it.”
Da Kine had snow balled with all the unwanted media attention getting at least ‘a million dollars’ worth of publicity. Carol and her staff have collected 8000 new members of the Canadian Sanctuary Society in the last 8 days by dropping the membership fees; making it simple to state your medical issues or symptoms which Cannabis aids you with, the name of your physician; phone number and address of doctor; and a witnessed signature.
A Petition has been widely circulated and has an even larger number of signers than society now has members. Lorne too, had canvased all the businesses on The Drive and 80% liked change to the Drive of less street dealers in the park and a “safe inhalation site ” for pot users.
It appears B.C.’s Top Cop sought to protect his grow busters and ever increasing drug squad and Enforcement dollars by “flaunting it,” himself; bringing out the boys in a full on American style DEA intervention.
The previous night the Police had tried to intimidate with a mere handful of cops at the front and back doors . The Clients had mostly all escaped out the back way as police were temporarily barred by Micheal from the front, coming in as they were without proper warrants. The staff who attempted to leave out the back including,the brave beautiful and blond Danielle and Tiger and Ice , the new the gay Cdn. newly weds, names were taken by the plain clothed officers but knew enough that if they weren’t under arrest they were free to go on their way home that night.
Micheal escaped arrest today and was on hand to face the mob of reporters defending Carol and the Healing herb. C.T.V. who had originally broken the story September 1st, already had their helicopter overhead of the “Amsterdam style cafe,” displaying the police attack scene. A crowd of estimates of 200 people or more booing and jeering on its periphery although police had told reporters they “had the support of the community” on the Drive.
The reaction from the community on the Drive was one of anger many people jeering and booing the police and smoking joints in open view. Earlier in the day representatives of the Italian and Portuguese community had dropped in to congratulate the proprietors of the cafe, sign up and purchase samples .
Chris Bennett and David Malmo Levine stood by and cried out against the injustice the devastating civil drug war brought on by the corporate greed of drug and oil, nicateen and caffeine company’s, their voices growing hoarse.
Only the Gellato ice cream parlor owner was thoughtless enough as to put down the cafe on the news parroting the president of the local community policing station decrying it as “too close to the elementary school” whereas drinking proliferates on the drive. The ludicrousness of his statement was demonstrated by CTV with a protester, among children, sparking up a phatty in defiance of the 30 police in balaclavas raiding da kine cafe and legion of others holding back the crowd and covering every inch of the neighborhood.
One man, in the late night CTV report, held his child up and said he did not like being asked to buy off street dealers when he is with his son. He as a citizen much prefers theres a safe place for people to go where it’s off the streets.
IT seemed ironic to many of those interviewed by the several different medias that here in Vancouver there are places for safe injection sites and talk of safe inhalation site for crack addicts, but no place for people to smoke pot and buy it safely? Richard Cowan was in neighborhood to add support as well with his well spoken arguments and sympathy. It is not known if any other local businesses were similarly attacked except Arthrology on Powell was raided by 15 cops Friday and their plants for patients removed.
CTV reported that the Solicitor General had spoken out against the city council for ignoring, and appearing to have no objection to, the cafe as, they “had received no local complaints” aside from the sensationalist media coverage. The chief of police also made a statement against the licensing of the cafe.
Da kine staff and management are insisting on reopening tomorrow morning and hoping to restock and for as many supporters and members as possible to provide a show of strength.
There will be a press release at 1pm exactly so please turn out for that.
It is assumed the review of their license will still go before a city council on the 15th of this month or may be changed to October 6th.
All tonights news clips will appear on Pot-tv.net Newshawks today. Da kine will continue to be kind to those in need.
Those wishing to donate to legal costs should contact www.johnconroy.com