These are some images I took as I approached a police, fire and ambulance scene at Douglas and View right in front of McDonalds.
What happened to the man who fell down on Douglas in front of the McDonalds? I had arrived as the “firemen” were most honourably trying to resuscitate this mans heart, I must say, having worked front lines for years and witnessed this many times, these people who were firemen did a professional job, tag teaming and working with ambulance who were using a Defibrillator on the scene. I parked my bike and hung on the corner at a respectful distance holding space, praying to my ancestors for this man as he was lying so vulnerable in the hands of others trying to get his heart to start. I noticed a man standing nearby who felt approachable so I asked him “is everything alright?” He said they had been working on him for awhile, since he arrived, he thot it was a fellow who pan handled down on the next block, down towards the bank on Fort. As he spoke I looked at the man. He seemed tall and far too thin, one could not help but notice his ribs and far too thin stomach. I wondered about images of folks in so called third world countries I’d seen all my life on the television in the 60’s 70’s 80’s…and here we were on the corner of Douglas and View street in civilized Victoria, occupied territory of the L’kwungen people. The L’kwungen had no such poverty as this when the occupying forces came and took hold of this land. The man had finished sharing and we were both quietly watching.
As I waited and prayed to my ancestors and all my relations, I payed attention, a 28’ish white male was angrily approached by police who spoke in what I thot was a kind of aggresive and threatening rather than assertive. There are profesional ways to say “Excuse me, have some respect how about, stop taking pictures.” The crowd around me seemed to agree with my verbal statement “maybe there is a nicer way you could have said that?”
The crowd decided to let it go, given the circumstance it was right to let it go. We got back to quietly focusing, folks coming and going and checking in…
Soon after a woman came walking down View sidewalk and was suddenly stopped by the yellow police tape, saw a police man standing in front of her and, well, one could tell she was drinking and, that was ok as she was walking fine and just going somewhere and had no idea what was going on. When she saw the VICPD she was not happy. In this town, I can understand why, especially by the McDonalds where there is often a lot of police activity. Well, this woman obviously had a voice and let it be heard that she wanted to know why the fck she could not get by. I began to move towards her to help out when VICPD badge number 434 moved aggressively towards her, and in one sentence said “fuck” three times! He ordered her to turn around and leave, using the word fuck three times! I was shocked as was she. I looked at him and stopped him by stating “you do not speak to people that way.” He looked at me and moved towards me in the same aggressive fashion. He wanted to know who I was. I said “You are containing a scene and this citizen stumbles upon it and you speak to her in this way? You do not speak to people that way.” I turned to her and he stumbled verbally and tried to regain his composure as I ignored him and speaking to her got her to come aside letting her know that “I have no problem not being rude to you as that rude SOB just was.” That got her attention and she looked at me and said, “Ok.” I then explain to her, as she mouthed off about “wtf is he doing talking to me like that?”, that a man may have had a heart attack, the ambulance and firemen were working on him and that the corner was roped off for to give them space. She says “I don’t give a shit”. I says, “you don’t have to give a shit, but, if you don’t mind just keep walking so those of us who do can help with this, that would be great.” She says after thinking about this for a three seconds “Ok”. As she walks off she ask’s “can you get that assoles badge number and name?” I says “I already have.”
I get it fellows, I know its hard work to have Neo Conservative’s breathing down your necks all the time about drug collars, I get it. How about you get some ovaries, as they say, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT instead of just being miserable about having this dumped on you. This being the Neo Conservative attack on our diminishing health care, no housing for the poor or working poor, the cuts go on and on as Steven Harper and Christi Clark lie to us while making deals with Oil and Gas!
We have a growing crisis on our streets with the ongoing attack on all social and health supports, education, Harm Reduction Services, the list goes on.
We are in a mess, our water is a mess, our salmon and other species dependant upon us to care for them are in a crisis with industry destroying so much land and resources, not replenishing life but Korporate Kapitalism takes takes takes for itself and leaves us wanting. All Corporate Government is doing is Greed Kapitalism, Harpers plans are more war, more arms for war, more divide and rule Kiev Ukraine style. You do know that Harper helped arm fascist’s on the ground who illegally occupied Kiev’s Government right?
On this night here in Viktoria, far as I could tell, this man whose life hung by a thread before us as witness, who ever he was was poor. His shoes showed it in how old they were, how worn, how many times did he walked this sidewalk?: his shirt showed it, his ribs and lack of stomach and small gangly thin arms showed it…
We may hear something in the news about this man, whom a mother birthed and here we were, with him, I was merely one of many in a nearby crowd witnessing his transition from life to death. From what I can tell, he was uncared for as many homeless are uncared for, and we may learn a story of a man who had dreams he was able to let go of, or who had plans that failed yet here he was, in beautiful L’kwungen territory, one of the most touted about occupier and settler states: Victoria British Columbia. Beautiful pristine lawns with gates and locks and “oh the lawns at the Legislature”; and that ocean and land with stories to tell of riches lost by occupiers bringing lies and deception believing themselves to be above “those people” already living in these lands, seeing only resources not community.
Here I was, on my way to see Bob Boyd for a short visit at about just about 5pm. It was now 540’ish. I ended up leaving as they were about to make” the call”. “The call” these types of people who worked so hard on this man have to make and never want to make, they were about to declare him deceased and remove him from the scene and bring him to hospital. They will identify him and try and find next of kin. The street will have probably identified him by morning. His passing will be mourned.
I have never had to write such a post, I cannot say how I feel, it’s hard to write. I am both grateful to have been able to be there, bearing witness with other citizens, and disheartened and I can only take a deep breath when it comes to the behaviours of the VICPD tonight. I’d say they brought shame to themselves and the VICPD. Other people were hard at work doing their jobs in what I perceived in an honourable way, and the officers embarrassed themselves by being verbally rude and threatening in the one instance, and threatening and abusive in conduct as to the officer 434’s “verbal conduct”, it was deplorable.
On the other hand, respect to those citizens who held space, sent good vibes, prayed or what ever it was you were doing in your own way, it made a difference. To that young man standing by the door of McDonalds, thank you for showing such respect.
Thank you to all of you.
9:15pm, Thursday April 21, 2014