Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Resistance to Cheney book bash

Today's newspapers and last night's web reports from CTV and CBC carried reports from the protest at the Vancouver Club where Dick Cheney appeared at a $500 a seat Bon Mot book club event.

Outside on the street the mood was jubilant almost celebratory as opponents to war and torture made their thoughts and feelings known. Protestors dressed in orange suits as a representation of Guantanamo Bay detainees sat at the front steps of the VC before the arrival of the first guests. Cheney arrived by other means as the venue became a fortress surrounded by the Vancouver Police and the RCMP.

A bevvy of media - TV, radio and photographers remained poised to get sights and sounds. Indie media also got their fix. Both indie and mainstream media were able to capture the image of people linking arms in an attempt to prevent Cheney guests from entering the club. The sidewalk was blocked with guests struggling to get through the rumbustious gathering.

Organizer of the Bon Mot event Leah Costello said it was not an endorsement of Cheney but an opportunity for debate and discussion. The former U.S Vice President continues to defend the interrogation techniques deployed during his tenure. It is a stand that has politicians at the highest level in Canada speaking out. Don Davies, the New Democratic Member of Parliament for Vancouver Kingsway voiced his opposition to allowing Cheney to enter Canada.

The disastrous invasion of Iraq and the ongoing war in Afghanistan remain front and centre in the minds of those opposed to these wars. Given Cheney's connection to this history it's of no surprise that the protest outside the West Hastings venue was as militant as it was.

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