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Jackboots on the Drive

There must be a real lack of serious crime in Vancouver or how else could one explain the ability of the Vancouver Police Department to spare forty pairs of jackboots to close down the Da Kine Cafe on Commercial Drive last night?

5425316507As I have written before, the Da Kine has been openly selling gram baggies of marijuana across the counter for some time now. At 6pm -- the middle of rush hour on a very busy street -- the heavy-handed cops pushed wooden barriers to close off an entire block, shutting down traffic, transit and twenty stores. They barged into the cafe and started making arrests. Within minutes the entire street was filled with protesters. The Peg antique store on the other side of the street played Bob Marley songs loudly, the smell of marijuana smoke was everywhere, and the crowd raucously debated the issues with police for hours.

This is just a day or so after the Chief of VPD said that the cafe was not a priority for his department, and less than 24 hours after the politicians in Victoria complained about the police's attitude. The police now say that their raid had nothing to do with political interference. Right.

In the end, 6 people were charged with trafficking, the contempt for the police in the neighbourhood has grown considerably, and the owner of Da Kine says she will re-open this afternoon.

September 10, 2004 in B.C., Canada, Drug War, Vancouver | Permalink

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