During the Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese media asked British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell tough questions about how he intended to clean up the homelessness and drug abuse on Vancouver’s impoverished Downtown Eastside before hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics. They were legitimate questions. The Chinese media had obviously been well briefed about the Downtown Eastside. They did well. But they could do even better.

The Chinese media could ask Premier Campbell why he is allowing a woman with a known record of human rights abuses on the Downtown Eastside to sit on the Vancouver Olympics Organizing Committee [VANOC].

Judy Rogers (photo above) was appointed to the Vancouver Olympics Organizing Committee while victims of human rights abuses under her watch as Vancouver City Manager — a job she continues to hold — are ignored. Over the past decade there has been an epidemic of human rights abuses targeting Downtown Eastside residents at the Carnegie Community Center, a community center known as the “living room” of the Downtown Eastside, roughly six blocks east of the planned media center for the 2010 Olympics. Every year City management and security staff at the City-operated Carnegie Center ban — “bar” is actually the word they use – hundreds of non-violent Downtown Eastsiders from the Center, or from sections of the Center. A person can be barred for exercising the right to free speech, being suspected of exercising the right to freedom of the press or of supporting individuals exercising their right to freedom of the press. Once barred, an individual must serve their sentence before they are eligible to appeal – yes, you read that right. A barred individual is left with a permanent negative “security” record in the City of Vancouver computer data base and denied the right to have false statements expunged.

As Rogers in her role as a VANOC member prepares to welcome the world to Vancouver in 2010, a paper trail has surfaced to confirm that she was aware of human rights abuses occurring on her watch at Carnegie as early as the year 2000. The paper trail provides evidence to support allegations that Rogers covered for offenders and allowed undemocratic barring practices to be used against hundreds of Downtown Eastsiders each year.

A couple of well documented cases will be discussed here. One is the barring last year of a critic of the Rogers administration just two weeks after he was elected to the Carnegie Board of Directors. The other is the barring just two months ago of a critic of the Judy Rogers administration from the Seniors Center in the basement of Carnegie, and then from the entire building when she dared to ask the City Security boss his name.

Photo: William Simpson poses across the street from Carnegie Center (on left)

A City manager answering to Judy Rogers barred William “Bill” Simpson from Carnegie Center just after he was elected to the Board of Directors; City security guards were instructed to block his entry to Board meetings.

Judy Rogers demonstrated clearly in June 2007 that interference with election results was within her comfort zone. William “Bill” Simpson encountered the “police state” Rogers built when he arrived at Carnegie Center a couple of weeks after being elected to the Board of Directors in June 2007. Simpson, a homeless man who is consistently clean, neatly dressed, and polite, was blocked at the door by a City security guard, Trey, a former member of the U.S. military.

City of Vancouver managerial staff at Carnegie, Director Ethel Whitty and Assistant Director Dan Tetrault, quickly arrived to deliver Simpson a letter announcing that he was barred “indefinitely” from the entire Carnegie building. The letter on City of Vancouver letterhead was signed by Jacquie Forbes-Roberts who answers directly to Judy Rogers. Upon reading the letter, Simpson asked Whitty if he would be able to at least enter the building to attend Carnegie Board meetings. She replied, “No.”

Not only did the City ensure that security guards didn’t allow Simpson into Carnegie to attend Board meetings, Whitty, who as the City-appointed Director of Carnegie has an honorary seat on the Board to monitor procedures, ensured that participation in Board meetings by Simpson through other avenues was blocked. As Simpson stood on the sidewalk outside Carnegie in the sweltering July heat during the first Board meeting after he was barred, Board member Rachel Davis pressed Whitty to allow him to participate in the meeting from the sidewalk via a cell phone she had loaned him or by proxy vote. Whitty refused.

The barring of Simpson from Carnegie Center involved not only interference in the results of a democratic election by the Judy Rogers administration, but interference with press freedom as well. The specific reason Forbes-Roberts gave for barring Simpson in her June 2007 letter to him was that he was operating a website which “features links” to the Downtown Eastside Enquirer blog which had criticized Carnegie staff. Yet the City of Vancouver has never identified even one entry on the blog that they consider to be inaccurate – despite Simpson asking Whitty for this information.

The facts seem to be of little interest to perpetrators of police state tactics under Judy Rogers – intimidation is the name of the game. City staff arranged for Vancouver Police to contact Simpson and any one else suspected of being either a blogger or a source for a blogger at the Downtown Eastside Enquirer. Darrell O’Hara, a Downtown Eastside resident who has never blogged in his life, received a visit at his Downtown Eastside apartment from a police detective. O’Hara was suspected of having been a source for the Downtown Eastside Enquirer. The detective arrived alone after hours, contributing to O’Hara’s overall impression that he was performing a favor for somebody at the City. The detective acknowledged that no charges could be laid as police had identified nothing untrue on the Downtown Eastside Enquirer blog, but he issued a warning to O’Hara that the City was very concerned about the content of the blog. A police state. Brought to you by Judy Rogers and her staff.

If there was ever any doubt that the City of Vancouver barring policy was being abused, the O’Hara case should eliminate that doubt. A verbal message was sent to O’Hara in 2007 by City security at Carnegie that he had been barred – Carnegie tends to avoid putting barring notices in writing — from Carnegie Center. Barred? He hadn’t set foot in Carnegie for two years. A few months later, O’Hara would test the barring by dropping in to Carnegie on Christmas Eve to play music with other musicians at the annual open stage. He was blocked at the door by security. He was told he was barred.

As Judy Rogers’ people were saying, “You’re barred!” quicker than Donald Trump could say, “You’re fired!,” a couple of Carnegie Board members were sounding alarms. At a Carnegie Board meeting in the summer of 2007, Rachel Davis and Sophia Freigang pressed for a review of the barring of Simpson and the overall barring policy at Carnegie. Freigang stated at the meeting that she had “poured over” the Downtown Eastside Enquirer blogspot and found it’s content to be within the boundaries of legitimate “free speech”. “A terrible mistake” had been made in the barring of Simpson for linking to this blog, Friegang told the packed public meeting. Freigang argued that City management should be challenged for making a decision from “on high” to bar Simpson from Carnegie, as this was an abuse of “human rights”. Friegang resigned from the Board later that summer over human rights violations at Carnegie.

What did the City of Vancouver management staff do when they found themselves on the hot seat over their barring of a duly elected official for “featuring links” to a blog? They resorted to a tactic typical of police state environments: a misinformation campaign. The City concocted a new reason for the barring of Simpson. They avoided informing Simpson of this new, improved reason. In early 2008, Simpson heard Whitty on CBC Radio – Canada’s government-funded broadcaster — stating that he had been barred for posing a Work Safe risk. Despite having a copy of the letter from Forbes-Forbes notifying Simpson that he had been barred for “featuring links” to the Downtown Eastside Enquirer blogspot, a letter which made no mention of a Work Safe issue, and despite having interviewed Simpson and Board member Davis the previous day (City management declined to be interviewed with Simpson and Davis, who could contradict them), the CBC was not adequately prepared for the interview to even notice that they were being duped.

A few Carnegie Board members had recognized that they were being duped though, the instant this new version of Simpson’s barring was floated at a Board meeting in the summer of 2007. Board member Grant Chancey immediately asked Whitty to justify the Work Safe allegation, the allegation that material published on the blog had led the City to identify Simpson as a Work Safe risk. Chancey asked her to show him the section of the Work Safe manual that Simpson had allegedly breached. Whitty said she couldn’t answer, that these decisions were being made at City Hall.

Chancey went home and read the blog thoroughly. He arrived at a Community Relations meeting at Carnegie later that summer to announce that he had found nothing that posed a safety risk, “no threats”, on the Downtown Eastside blog, adding that “I’ve looked and I’ve looked and I’ve looked.”

Furthermore, Board members pointed out to Whitty at the same Community Relations meeting that Simpson was not responsible for the content of the blog as he hadn’t written it, he was not a blogger. Whitty’s response was, “He said he was proud of the blogger”. The City of Vancouver was now the thought police.

The misinformation campaign which accompanied the barring of the duly elected William Simpson extended to the Carnegie Newsletter, a newsletter to which the City of Vancouver provides a link on their official website, the same official site which promotes Judy Rogers as City Manager and member of the Olympics Organizing Committee. Newsletter editor Paul Taylor announced in the Aug. 1, 2007 issue that Simpson had written a “sadistic, lying attack on various individuals,” that his “activities and writings . . . were criminal”, and that he had used “fraud” as a means of getting elected to the Board. Under pressure from Downtown Eastsiders, Taylor reluctantly printed a retraction of what he acknowledged was “libelous commentary”.

But he continued to libel Simpson. Taylor began an attack in the Jan. 15, 2008 issue by reminding readers that William Simpson is the 15th Board member and is banned from the Carnegie Center. “For the ban to be lifted, said individual must recognize that the behavior went against ‘conduct. . . in a civil and proper manner.’ To regain access an honest person agrees not to indulge in said anti-social activity again. Simpson apparently refuses to do so.” First of all, Simpson was not a blogger. But even if he had been a blogger, so what? Taylor and City staff had never identified anything on the Downtown Eastside Enquirer blog that was unsupportable.

Board member Rachel Davis pushed, unsuccessfully, to have Taylor’s power as newsletter editor curbed and instead shared by a committee as a result of this libelous misinformation campaign. She got no support from the City’s Ethel Whitty. The City currently promotes the Carnegie Newsletter on their website as a “lively” publication.

In 2008, frustrated Board member Rachel Davis used her own money to retain Vancouver lawyer Gregory Bruce to review the Simpson barring. In a March 11, 2008 letter addressed to David Hill, the City’s in-house lawyer who has been advising Forbes-Roberts and her boss Rogers since they entered damage control mode, Bruce wrote: “The barring of Mr. Simpson from the Centre raises issues of due process, free speech, and compliance with the policy of the Centre….”

Bruce went on to express in legalese what Downtown Eastsiders had known instinctively, that the City (under City Manager Judy Rogers) is acting as though it is above the law:

“The letter from Ms. Forbes-Roberts found Mr. Simpson guilty of association with a blog entitled downtowneastsideenquirer.blogspot.com via links with blogspot.com. . . . Guilt by association is no basis for barring someone from a public facility and is an offensive concept with a long history of disrepute. Guilt by association is also contrary to the rule of law.”

Forbes-Roberts has since “retired”. Rogers is left holding the letter. Simpson remains barred for what has now been 14 months.

Simpson was previously barred indefinitely from the Carnegie Learning Center in 2007

The contempt for freedom of the press demonstrated by the Judy Rogers administration has not been restricted to one incident. It has been a pattern. That pattern can be seen particularly clearly in the case of Simpson who has been hounded relentlessly.

Before Simpson was barred indefinitely from the entire Carnegie Center in June 2007 for operating a website which “features links” to the Downtown Eastside Enquirer blog, he had been barred indefinitely in January 2007 from the Carnegie Learning Center, an adult literacy school located on the third floor of the Carnegie Center. The Center is jointly operated by City management and security staff at Carnegie and two teachers paid by Capilano College. Simpson, who dropped into the Learning Center daily to work on computer literacy, found himself marched to the office of Carnegie Security boss, Skip Everall, by teacher Lucy Alderson and told that he was being barred for “blogging” on the Downtown Eastside Enquirer. Simpson told Alderson and Everall that he was not a blogger but it made no difference.

Alderson told Simpson that the content of the Downtown Eastside Enquirer blog was “derogatory”. Alderson and City supervisory and managerial staff had been exposed on the blog for too often locking the doors to computer and educational services that they were richly funded to provide to the poor. Their excuse was always the same, ‘A volunteer didn’t show up.’

It was clear that Carnegie staff were having difficulty adjusting to blogging power in the hands of the poor. In the Dec. 15, 2006 issue of the Carnegie Newsletter, Taylor had called the blogger, whose identify he claimed to know — he didn’t name Simpson in this issue but it was generally assumed that he was referring to Simpson — a “blog bozo”, “slimy”, a “blank”, a “four year old spoiled brat pissing his pants”, a “pest”, a “neighborhood snitch”, a “dismal excuse”.

The barring of Simpson from the Carnegie Learning Center could not have happened without the approval of the City’s Whitty. Whitty had been an orchestrator of a ‘witch hunt’ for bloggers in the days preceding the barring. One long term volunteer in the Learning Center, C.M., was pushed to the brink emotionally as a result of being interrogated in separate offices by pairs of City supervisors, City management staff, and the two teachers. They wanted to know who was daring to blog. He recalled the interrogation in the office of Whitty and Assistant Director Dan Tetrault; he felt under pressure by Whitty to turn in his best friend, despite the fact his friend was not a blogger. Instead, he provided Whitty with information about word processing he had seen Simpson doing on Learning Center computers, although he insists he never claimed to have specifically seen Simpson blogging on the Downtown Eastside Enquirer. It was shortly after these interrogations that Simpson was informed that he was barred and that the evidence against him had come from a volunteer. Everall, Alderson and Whitty evaded giving Simpson the reason for the barring from the Learning Center in writing – even though he asked for it in writing.

At a Community Relations meeting in the summer of 2007, when Whitty was taking heat over the emerging Simpson barring controversy – he had by this time been barred from the entire building — she stated that Simpson had not been barred from the Learning Center for blogging but because “He wasn’t a student.” She lied. Simpson was a registered student and had a tutor, Chad, who had opposed his barring.

Simpson was barred for one afternoon from the Learning Center in the fall of 2006

In fact, Chad had personally told Whitty early on that Simpson was unfairly becoming the target of Carnegie barring practices. That was in the fall of 2006 when Simpson was barred from the Learning Center for one afternoon along with a woman, Bharb G., who had chased him into the Learning Center hollering at him about the content of a post on the Downtown Eastside Enquirer. Colleen Gorrie, a City staff person who had been criticized on the blog for locking doors to publicly funded services using the excuse that a volunteer hadn’t show up, was an instigator of the barring. Chad made a point of personally complaining to Whitty that he had been the supervisor on duty in the Learning Center at the time, the only one on duty to actually witness the incident, and had seen no basis for barring Simpson. This was an early sign that Whitty was not going to allow facts to stand in the way of barring Simpson. The knives were out.

Simpson was suspected at the time of writing the Downtown Eastside Enquirer post entitled, “CBC Duped about Downtown Eastside Homeless” – it was this post on the blog that Bharb G. had been hollering about — which exposed the fact that a Downtown Eastside opera was being misleadingly passed off by Whitty et al as the work of homeless people.

Simpson was banished to the outside steps of Carnegie as early as June 2006

The relentless barring of Simpson over published material can actually be traced as far back as June 2006. Simpson was a candidate in the election for Board of Directors that year but wasn’t elected. On the day of the election, the City’s Dan Tetrault banned the distribution of election literature inside the Carnegie…and at one point even barred Simpson himself.

Simpson had written about an issue of concern to Carnegie members, the physical assault on a volunteer coffee seller in the Seniors Lounge in the basement of Carnegie. The volunteer named Devor had allegedly been verbally abusing people for over a decade, with many Carnegie members having lodged complaints only to be ignored by management. Finally, a male at Carnegie had punched Devor in the nose, leaving him with blood streaming down his face. Simpson stated in his literature – one sheet long — that the City of Vancouver management were responsible for this escalation to violence as they had knowingly allowed Devor to verbally abuse Carnegie patrons for years. Simpson posted a copy of his literature on the Carnegie bulletin board – there is a rule that staff permission must be granted for material to be posted on bulletin boards – and personally showed Tetrault a copy. Tetrault immediately barred him from the building. No warning.

Simpson turned up shortly afterwards on the steps of Carnegie Center and handed out an election brochure to people walking into the Center. Turns out, when he was barred by Tetrault he had gone to a computer at another location and turned his one sheet of literature into a professional-looking election brochure. The election was scheduled for that evening. In the newly minted election brochure, Simpson informed potential voters that booting him out the door at the first sign of free speech was part of the ongoing problem of City management disempowering the poor, and keeping them poor. Tetrault lifted the barring of Simpson and allowed him to re-enter the building, on one condition: he must not give out election literature in the building. “He banned my election literature,” Simpson exclaimed today as he stood in a soup line on Main Street and recalled the incident.

This was the first barring of Simpson and it was the first sign that new quick and easy publishing tools in the hands of the poor were going to disrupt the status quo enjoyed by City managers in the Judy Rogers administration.

Photo: Carnegie Seniors Lounge (Note: A man in the foreground and another in the background are wearing black “Insite” t-shirts. Carnegie is on the same block as Insite, the controversial supervised drug injection site, the first of it’s kind in North America.)

The barring of a woman who dared ask a City Security boss his name

Simpson is not the only Carnegie member who has been barred for daring to express an opinion about the verbal abuse Downtown Eastside residents are expected to absorb from Devor year after year. The case of a woman who was barred is important as it is supported by taped evidence of the abuses that hundreds of people have over the years claimed accompanied their barrings from this City building under the Judy Rogers administration: 1) barring an individual without speaking to them, 2) requiring that a barred individual serve their sentence before having the right to appeal, 3) denying a barred individual access to the Incident Report during the appeal process, 4) using no-name “witnesses” against the barred individual, 5) inserting clearly fraudulent “evidence” in the Incident Report and denying the accused the right to have it expunged, even when it is clearly demonstrated to be fraudulent, 6) and lengthening a barring as a means of retaliating against an individual who displays confidence and a willingness to assert their rights during the appeal process.

This woman says she was barred after she told Devor that she was “fed up” with his abuse as she had been putting up with it for ten years. Devor had been “yelling” at her after she suggested the television was too loud. “Is it loud enough for you, Devor?” she had asked as she sat at her computer. Devor flew at her, waving his arms at her, ordering her to get out. She left. The hearing-impaired Devor is quick to anger over complaints by people using computers in the Seniors Center about noise levels well in excess of the safe 90 decibel limit. Board member Rachel Davis raised the issue at a Board meeting.

The City’s Security boss at Carnegie, Skip Everall who had not witnessed the incident between Devor and the woman, found the woman guilty of wrongdoing and barred her – without ever speaking to her. It was not that she was unavailable. She had approached Everall outside his office, telling him, “This abuse has to stop,” but he brushed past her and spoke only to Devor. She remained in the building for the remainder of the afternoon; she was signed into the computer room on the third floor.

Whitty has defended the Carnegie practice – which has been going on for years – of not speaking to a person before barring them from a City facility, and allowing them to find out through the grape vine that they have been barred. Whitty told the woman that it was “not practical” for Everall to look for her in the building. Not practical? He has a telephone communication with all floors. There is even an intercom from the first floor to the third floor computer room. Everall’s security guards do regular rounds through the Center. By giving the woman no indication that she was barred, Everall was setting her up for more abuse. “I would have walked into the Seniors Lounge and Devor would have been yelling at me to get out,” she says.

The woman told Whitty during a taped meeting that if a person is considered to be a serious enough risk to be barred from an entire section of a City building, security should make an attempt to find them in the building. Whitty said that the woman had not been barred due to a risk, that she was not seen as a risk for violence. Then Whitty made an even more important admission: that being barred is not about posing a physical risk, that most people who are barred are not violent. This tends to support the claim by many barred people that they were targeted for frivolous reasons.

After barring this woman, Everall filed an Incident Report against her – again without getting input from her – which she considers libelous. The Incident Report will remain permanently in the City of Vancouver’s Security computer database and could haunt this woman should she apply for a job with the City. At the top of the Report, Everall checked off the offence: “Loud and abusive”. The woman says she wasn’t abusive. Indeed, Everall has not identified anything in his written report or during his subsequent “appeal” meeting with the woman that she had said that was “abusive”.

Everall did attempt to support the claim that the woman was loud with the following entry in the Report: “Began shouting at Devor when a scene in a movie got loud.” The woman disputed this claim when she later spoke to Whitty about the incident, telling Whitty that although she did raise her voice, she was not as loud as Devor. Devor actually has a reputation for being ‘loud and abusive’ in the Seniors Center, prompting Board member Rachel Davis to distribute a petition last spring to have him removed as a coffee seller. Devor was away when the petition was circulated because he had reportedly been told by Security to take a break after he and coffee seller Norma Jean had a verbal altercation.

Everall and Whitty refused to allow the barred woman to see the Incident Report as she prepared for her appeal. “I can’t defend myself, if I can’t see the Incident Report”, she says. A lower level staff person at Carnegie though, came to the woman’s aid by allowing her to sneak a peak at the Incident Report; a hard copy of the Report is kept in a binder on the front desk at Carnegie and another copy is on the City’s computer database.

When the Incident Report was revised after Whitty and Everall met separately with the woman, the woman applied in writing for a copy from the City of Vancouver under the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act. That was on June 18th and despite the fact that the City is legally required to respond in 30 days, she has not received a response. Again, lower level staff helped out. A photocopy of the revised Report was leaked to a Downtown Eastside Enquirer blogger by a Carnegie staff person. The woman was shocked upon reading a copy that was passed on to her for comment.

In the revised Incident Report, Everall claimed that the version of events entered in the report had been “corroborated by 15 patrons in the lounge at that time.” The woman says there were nowhere near 15 people in the Seniors Lounge that day. “You won’t find 15 people in the Seniors’ [Lounge] on any Saturday afternoon when the sun’s shining,” says the woman who Everall identified in his report as a “regular in the seniors lounge”. “I went down there that day to use the computer ‘cause I knew the place would be deserted. I got a computer right away; usually there’s a waiting list.”

The woman challenged Everall at her “appeal” meeting to name the witnesses – she was not yet aware that he would jack the number of witnesses up to “15” — or to at least outline what they had said. Everall was evasive and told her that there was only one witness who counted and that was Devor.

There was another witness who, the woman says, should have counted. It was a witness who both Everall and Whitty avoided questioning. The witness was a regular Carnegie volunteer who could contradict Everall’s claim that there were 15 witnesses in the Seniors that afternoon. The volunteer regularly goes down to the Seniors Lounge to buy green tea and was there when Devor and Everall were discussing barring this woman. “I tried not to listen,” he said, “I didn’t want them to think I was eavesdropping.” A few minutes later, Devor announced to the volunteer that the woman had been barred. (Whitty, incidentally, was asked to investigate this breach of privacy legislation but apparently did not.) The volunteer passed the message on to the woman later that day, which prompted her to approach Richard, a Security guard, to ask if this was true.

The volunteer/witness estimates there were “four or five” people in the Seniors Lounge that day. He did not see Everall speak to these ‘witnesses”, only to Devor. Both Whitty and Everall were given the full name of this witness while memories remained fresh, a fact that is confirmed by taped conversations. Both Whitty and Everall said – on tape – that they would talk to the witness. Both breached public trust by avoiding doing so. The volunteer said Whitty did talk to him shortly after the incident “about my music” but not about what he had seen in the Seniors. Since the incident, the volunteer/witness has dropped into Carnegie every day and says Whitty and Everall regularly say hello to him but never ask him what he saw – or didn’t see — in the Seniors Lounge that day.

While Whitty and Everall were avoiding questioning the only witness with a name, Everall allegedly found time to subject the woman to blatant fraud. Everall, under Whitty’s supervision, wrote at the end of his Report that he had met with the woman on Wednesday, June 18, 2008 and she “was unbarred from the seniors lounge at that time.” He lied. A tape of that meeting with Everall supports the woman’s claim that he upheld her barring at the meeting.

A month later, in July, the woman met with Everall to ask him to sign for a letter requesting that she be notified in writing as to when the barring would finally end. Everall made no mention during that interaction that she had been “unbarred”. He did attempt to avoid signing for the letter, though, but eventually did – using his initials only — after a conference with Tetrault.

Not only had Everall not lifted the barring during the woman’s “appeal” meeting with him as he claimed in the Report, he had expanded the barring during the meeting. A tape reveals an example of what Carnegie patrons have been saying for years: if they don’t act sufficiently deferential when they appeal their barring and if they exhibit traits such as confidence, assertiveness, or a willingness to stand up for their rights, they are barred from this City building for a longer period of time, even indefinitely. In this case, Everall extended the woman’s barring to the entire building after she asked him for his surname twice. [She did not know at the time that his surname was Everall and she was uncertain as to whether Skip was his real name or a nickname.] Here is a transcript of the interaction:

Woman: (speaking to Everall in a soft tone, almost a whisper) What is your real name by the way? You’ve made a decision about me and you’re not telling me your name. I’m asking you your name Skip. [She remained polite.]

Security Guard Ted Chaing, invited into the meeting by Everall, responds as Everall listens: We call him by Skip.

Woman to Everall: What is your name, your last name?

Everall: It doesn’t matter.

Woman: You barred me….

Everall interrupts: My name is Skip, alright?

Woman: But if I want to appeal it to the City I have to know your name….

Everall: I’m sorry, you’re going to be barred from the building. [speaking forcefully] The meeting’s over! […]

Woman: I’m going to be barred from the building because I asked you your name?

Everall: We’ll just discuss the matter some other time.

Woman: Am I barred from the building now?

Chaing [as Everall listens]: Yes, yes.

Not only does asking the Carnegie Security boss for his surname leave a person at risk of being barred from the entire building, but daring to state that actions by Security are sexist can also get a person barred. When Everall told the woman she was now barred from the entire building, Chaing added that she was also being barred for raising the issue of sexism. He was referring to the fact that earlier she had said that Security had been sexist in punishing her for raising her voice at a shouting man and assuming that only his version of events needed to be obtained before a decision could be made about her life.

Woman: Am I barred from the building?

Chaing [as Everall listens]: Yes, yes. I’m sorry, I don’t want to do that. [uses broken English here] Because you’re not in an appropriate behavior to talk. All your head is sexist, male and female. And then the name; we pay him by that name. What’s the problem here; it’s you, not us….All you’re thinking is the name and then the male and female thing….Next time, I hope you change a little.

The woman hopes Judy Rogers changes a little because it was Rogers, she says, who covered for undemocratic barring practices that seemed to be fueled by sexism when she brought them to her attention over eight years ago. You see, this woman had been barred before. She was barred 8 ½ years ago, in January 2000.


Judy Rogers was made aware over eight years ago that the barring policy at Carnegie involved a denial of due process.

The paper trail confirms that as early as the year 2000, Judy Rogers was aware that human rights were being suspended at Carnegie Center – but it is likely that she knew much earlier.

A January 15, 2000 barring of the above woman — the first of two times she was barred in an 8 1/2 year period — landed on Rogers desk. Rogers informed the woman that she would be personally handling this case. The case had begun with the woman complaining to City staff that as she waited her turn to use one of the Vancouver Public Library public-access computers located in the Seniors Center, coffee seller Devor would ask her to go home with him and watch pornography or he would instruct her to loose weight and dye her hair to be more attractive to men. Asking him to stop got her nowhere. Eventually she complained to a City supervisor, Sandy MacKeigan, but the problem continued. She complained a second time, this time to City management at Carnegie. The next time she arrived at the Seniors Center and sat down at a computer, she was told that she had been barred. She couldn’t get any answers as to why she had been barred.

She left the Seniors Center and went upstairs to the Vancouver Public Library computers housed in a computer room on the 3rd floor of Carnegie. She was blocked at the door, told she was barred from using those computers too. Again, nobody could tell her why management had barred her.

The same day, Jan. 15, 2000, the barred woman delivered a letter to the office of the City of Vancouver’s Manager at Carnegie, Michael Clague [Whitty’s predecessor], requesting that the “barring of me from the Carnegie Seniors computer room and third floor computer room be lifted”. She noted that the barring had been implemented “without any consultation with me”. Clague responded to the letter the same day by instructing a City of Vancouver Security guard to tell the woman to wait for him in a room off the cafeteria and he would meet with her. After waiting for Clague for 1 ½ – 2 hours, the woman and her friend L.M. spotted Clague peering through a window at them with a security guard at his side. After this peering behavior, which L.M. described as “odd”, Clague skittered away.

Clague sent the security guard back to tell the woman that he had left a letter for her at the reception desk. In the letter Clague upheld the barring without giving her a reason why she was barred, and denied her an avenue for appeal until the following week.

The barred woman contacted Judy Rogers. Rogers told the woman that she would be personally handling this case. The woman would eventually receive a letter from Rogers dated March 3, 2000 – almost three months after the woman began attempting to learn the reason for the barring. Rogers wrote:

“There is a requirement that members respect the policy off having no food or drink at the computer stations in order to avoid any damage to the machines, particularly the keyboards….I would encourage you to accept this policy as something that is for the benefit of all the users, and you will then once again have access to the computers in the Seniors’ Centre.”

The woman denies she ate or drank at the computer, although people drink coffee all the time while sitting at the computers in the Seniors Lounge – something Downtown Eastside Enquirer bloggers have confirmed — and are not barred or even given a warning. She did, back in 2000, carry an empty coffee cup with her to avoid buying styrofoam cups throughout the day. What upset the woman most about Rogers’ “food and drink defense” was that she deflected attention from the real issue of lack of due process in barring practices at Carnegie. She signaled to her managers at Carnegie that the lack of due process in barring could continue.

It did continue. As Downtown Eastside residents were barred from Carnegie on a daily basis without due process, Rogers watched as Clague made misleading comments in response to media questions about barring practices which violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He dismissed questions from the Georgia Strait newspaper about barring practices, claiming that this was a “dated” issue; he avoided mentioning that the woman’s complaint remained on his desk and the desk of Judy Rogers as it had not been resolved.

As recently as July 2007, the woman hand-delivered a letter to the office of Rogers’ boss, Mayor Sam Sullivan. [Sullivan is the current Vancouver Mayor who gained notoriety for twirling around in his wheelchair holding the Olympic flag in Turin.] She has seen no movement on the case.

Actually, she has seen one sign of movement …in the direction of retaliation. That unresolved 2000 case was allegedly used against her when she was barred more recently in June 2008. Everall wrote in the incident report that she “has reportedly behaved like this in the past.” She asked security guards what this statement referred to. A security guard said he had heard that Everall was referring to the old incident in the Seniors Lounge. She also asked Whitty to substantiate this claim, asking if it was a reference to the fact that she had spoken up in the past about being hounded to watch porno with Devor when she signed up for a Public Library computer. Whitty didn’t answer. “She looked at the floor.” Two days after speaking to Whitty, the woman asked Everall during her “appeal” meeting to explain what he meant by this entry and “he got angry and he wouldn’t talk to me about it”. The woman told Whitty that since they couldn’t support this statement, it should be expunged. Whitty told her it would never be expunged from the Incident Report; it would remain permanently on record.

In the era of the internet, there will no doubt be a permanent record of at least a few of the human rights abuses perpetrated by Whitty, Tetrault, Everall, Forbes-Roberts and others in the Judy Rogers administration. Some of these cases will be hanging in the air as the media center for the 2010 Winter Olympics opens just a 15 minute walk from Carnegie Center. It will be the job of the Chinese and other international media to ask tough questions about why Judy Rogers, a woman with a long record of overseeing human rights abuses, is center stage, welcoming the world, as a member of the Olympics Organizing Committee. Reporters had better be prepared, though, to jump the hurdles of lies and misinformation that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was not prepared to jump. Let the games begin.

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