Wednesday, November 28, 2007

dogs & squirrels & crows

Congrats, Mt. Pleasant Auntie! Training a 4-legger to find interest in us rather than a moving "toy" is not easy. Alta will chase any crow when she's unleashed (only at parks).

Rose & Buddy now know my voice when i ask them to be quiet. This happens when i walk my 2 big foster dogs around the corner early in the morn. i can't see them, but they know me now, so it's nice to hear them relax, as if saying "oh yeah, it's the crazy dog lady".

OK, here's my blurb about the sale this Sat. in my garage on the corner of St. C's & East 8th -

Big Heart Rescue's Midnight Madness Sale is this Sat., Dec. 1st from 9 to midnight. Get in the Christmas spirit with carols, hot apple cider, homebaked cookies & lots of glitter & glam.

There's tons of new donated goodies to help us raise funds to rescue more sweeties from reserves. Big Heart spnet over $55,000 last yr. on vet bills to help all the injured dogs & cats. All funds are donated, with no gov. financing. All staff are volunteers. We save critters one soul at a time.

So, come buy a Christmas tree, ornaments, a moose or shell clock, frames, jewelry, you name it. Most items are under $5. All $ goes to help resuce & rehabilitate our critters, who then find loving people with whom to spend the rest of their days.

Join the fun, meet more dog lovers & get a pic os yoour dog with Santa!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The squirrel show

These two dogs came to Vancouver from Terrace, where they had a big yard. They loved to charge after squirrels and chase them - if we let them off leash they would even dash across a street to chase. Buddy would even try to chew down a tree to get at squirrels. Regular leash walks and a lot of correction and talking-to has changed their habits. Now, when they get close to a good squirrel tree, they just stop and look up. When they spot a squirrel they almost hold their breath, just sitting and watching like a kid glued to a cartoon video screen. But the squirrels are real and interactive. Yesterday, one squirrel made its way up the tree doing lively semaphores with its tail. Finally the squirrel it was talking to made a sudden appearance at the top of a topped-off evergreen, and then raced down to appear on the ground really close to us. Today, we were all three watching a black squirrel that was just sitting in a nearly leafless tree using its tail for an umbrella. Another black squirrel appeared on a nearby telephone pole and walked around it sideways with its head pointing down. When the squirrels were still, I started urging the dogs to come home - we were getting rained on - but they just stood there glassy-eyed, and when I would look back at the squirrels, I'd discover the squirrels had moved again while I wasn't watching. Finally, one of them sped away leaping on a telephone wire and that got us moving in the direction of home.

BC Care Providers Association advice on elder care

MtPleaseAunt asked the Director of PR and Member Services about the question of how rules care facility rules had "changed to make it more difficult to admit patients" (as mentioned in the previous post). She had this response:

First and foremost, let me say, "Wow!" How does such misinformation find [its] way around this town?

Your neighbour should contact the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority's Home and Community Care division to arrange for a Needs Assessment. Here is the website with all contact info -

This assessment will be done by a health care professional who will visit your neighbour's mom at home and basically determine what sort of shape she is in and what type of supports she needs. The nurse may find that a home care support worker could be the best help for her needs, or the nurse may recommend she be placed into a care home or perhaps a day program of some sort. There are various options outlined at the link above.

The other possibility is for your neighbour to pursue private pay services if she can afford that sort of thing. Again, an assessment is probably a good idea and then the nurse who conducts the assessment can outline all available options. [...]

Kate Hildebrandt
Director of Public Relations + Member Services
BC Care Providers Association
#301 - 1338 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6H 1H2

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Care Bed Catch-22

One of the Mt. Pleasant aunties is trying to get her elderly and increasingly confused mother into a live-in care facility. She found an available bed in a facility in Burnaby, but she says they won't let her mother move in there unless she has a doctor. And not just any doctor, it has to be a doctor who will pay housecalls to the care facility. The auntie has already made eight calls to doctors and no one will take on a new elderly patient. One doctor said he would put her on a waiting list - he already has 100 elderly patients.

This auntie says that it's crazy to build more care spaces if they can't admit anyone. She says someone at the care facility told her that the rules have changed recently, making it more difficult to admit patients. She also recalls that a decision was made years ago by the Canadian government, to limit the number of students who could enter medical school. It is also extremely difficult for doctors who immigrate to get licensed to practice in Canada. I tried to get a friend of mine who's a doctor in the US to immigrate, but she said she couldn't practice here without going back to medical school. My dentist's assistant was a licensed medical doctor in Russia.

Having lived in the US, I hate to say anything good about that system, but they do have something in their private sector healthcare that would be very useful for a public sector health service to emulate. When I went to a clinic with a dogbite, it was treated by a physician's assistant. When I went for a pap test, it was done by a nurse practitioner. Our BC government has gone the other way, putting allopathic doctors in as a bottleneck for everything medical. And they removed coverage for all the other specialties that could help keep people from turning to allopathic doctors, including chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, dentistry, and eye care.

What I also learned from living in the US is that when government is bent on privatisation of services against the public's will, they first do things to undermine the public service. One auntie in this neighbourhood almost fell for this trick around the recycling difficulties (see previous post on this blog). After she brought back in her recycling and then missed the pickup, she started cursing all levels of government and saying "we have too much government." But her next door neighbour said no, that we just need government that will do its job.

What We Have Here Is a Failure To Communicate

The week the outdoor worker strike ended, we put out our garbage and recycling at the curb. As we were leaving the house we heard a city announcement on the radio saying that the recycling would not be picked up, not to leave it out, that it would be up to two weeks before recycling was picked up. But when we got home, it had been picked up.

The next announcement from the city we heard said that normal recycling pickup would resume, so to put it out the same day as your garbage. So the next week we put them both out - the garbage was picked up, but not the recycling.

This week, we had been assured by announcements that recycling pickup would be normal. We put it out alongside the garbage. Garbage was picked up, but not recycling. I called the Garbage/Recycling line after hours in the evening, and heard an announcement saying that if your recycling was not picked up on the correct day you should NOT leave it at the curb but should bring it in and put it out again on garbage day the following week. However, luckily we didn't get around to bringing ours in before we went to bed, because this morning I was wakened by the sound of recycling being picked up.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Halloween Fireworks

To some extent there are fireworks going off in Mt. Pleasant year round. I even heard some the week after the Fortune Happiness shooting that I thought were shots when they first began. However, in the period around Halloween, suddenly big signs went up on the street shouting FIREWORKS! and the booming and popping had dogs hiding under beds (or under the covers, if their owners are tolerant) all over the hood. An auntie who lives at the edge of Mt. Pleasant wrote me this information:

It's legal to have fireworks at Halloween and only on the actual day of Halloween, I think they can sell them the week prior. It's only okay for over 19s to buy and set them off. I always save some though for Guy Fawkes day on the 5th. What a rebel! Chinese New Year or other ethnic holidays are another time when I think FWs can go to some extent. It's interesting.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Doc writes Minister of Justice on behalf of John Graham

One of our most respected neighbours has sent this letter, in defense of another Mt. Pleasant neighbour, John Graham, who is in jail pending extradition to the United States. She reasons that the evidence on which he is being extradited is far from sufficient. Here is her letter, unedited:

To The Right Honourable Rob Nicholson
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
105 East Block, House of Commons
Ottawa, Ont, K1A 0A6

October 15, 2007

Dear RH Rob Nicholson;
Re: Extradition of John Graham
An Indigenous Canadian Citizen

I am writing this letter in protest of the United States extradition demand for John Graham (1).

John Graham is a Tuchone Native Canadian born August 13 1955 in the Yukon. He is a residential school survivor. At the age of eighteen he went to the States in search of his sister, another residential school survivor. He did not find his sister at that time, instead found a friend in Anna Mae Aquash, another Canadian Native from Nova Scotia. Anna Mae introduced John to the American Indian Movement (AIM) and encouraged him to finish his high school education at the AIM ‘Little Red School House’ where she taught. When Anna Mae’s life was threatened in 1975 by FBI Agent Price, John helped her by accompanying her to an AIM ‘safe’ house. She was murdered within a year. In the 1990’s, the FBI went to the Yukon several times to coerce John to give them names of AIM leaders who ‘ordered’ her execution, otherwise they would charge him with her murder. In 2003, John was charged with her murder.

The unsolved murder of Anna Mae Aquash (2) remains a mystery. The hearsay accusations and other unreliable evidence presented in the Record of Case (3) by the United States Government against John Graham only compounds this tragedy and undermines the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Justice for John Graham
The principles of Justice in Canada and the United States are symbolized by the Statue of Lady Justice, blindfolded and holding scales and a sword.

The Scales of Justice symbolizes the impartiality with which justice should be served.
The Blindfold is to show that justice should not be subject to influence.
The Sword Lady Justice holds signifies the power held by those making the decision.

Justice Harry S. LaForme (4), the first Aboriginal to be appointed to sit on an appellate court in the history of Canada wrote an article in the Indigenous Law Journal, The Justice System in Canada: Does it Work for Aboriginal People? This letter will clearly show how the ‘justice system’ in both Canada and the United States of America has failed in the case of John Graham.

The Scales of Justice are NOT Impartial
COINTELPRO (5) was a program of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation aimed at investigating and disrupting ‘dissident political organizations’ within the United States of which the American Indian Movement (AIM) (6) was included. Methods of COINTELPRO included infiltration of an organization, psychological warfare using threats, harassment through the legal system, and extralegal force and violence have all been used to disrupt and fractionate the American Indian Movement (7).

There are numerous books and articles (8) about the American Indian Movement and the FBI’s involvement to infiltrate and destroy it using COINTELPRO methods. Attached is Bruce Ellison’s, (the AIM Attorney for Leonard Peltier), Congressional Briefing (9) which succinctly describes this tragic period of American history.

The COINTELPRO was so successful in its disruption and infiltration of the American Indian Movement, that even present day AIM members do not know who they can trust. Their influence and tactics of fabricating evidence have gone beyond international borders with the well know extradition case of Leonard Peltier ( 11),

It is with such COINTELPRO powers that the FBI are able to fabricate a ‘murder theory’ and create ‘evidence’ to implicate John Graham in Aquash’s tragic murder and thus tip the scales of ‘justice’ against John Graham.

The Blind Fold Should be Removed
In his judgment, Justice Donald writes ‘ If there was more that the appellant could have done to impeach the evidence in some effective way or if he left an argument unsaid, it was not brought to our attention’ (3)

The following points provide arguments to impeach the evidence provided in the Record of the Case against John Graham.

The death and discovery of Aquash’s body
• Aquash told many friends, including Graham and Trudell that FBI Agent Price threaten she ‘may not live out the year’ if she did not co-operate with the FBI. (12) Agent Price had been reprimanded by Judge Nichol (13) in the Wounded Knee trials , for his misconduct and has never been investigated for the death of Aquash.
• Her identity and cause of death was told to Trudell by Dennis Bank before it was formally announced to the public (14).
• FBI documentation, recovered through the Freedom of Information Act, report NO evidence of foul play at the site where Aquash’s body was discovered (15)
• The ‘fence’ Arlo Looking Cloud mentions in his ‘confession’, was erected fifteen years after Aquash’s murder(16)
• The discovery of Aquash’s body and her two autopsy’s are accurately described in Hendrick’s book (15) with factual detail retrieved through the Freedom of Information Act. The FBI’s first autopsy misses an obvious gunshot wound to the head and records her death as natural causes due to exposure. She is buried as a Jane Doe after her hands are severed and sent to an FBI lab for identification. (Since when does the FBI become involved with a Native Indian death due to ‘natural causes’ on a reservation?. At that time over sixty other deaths by violence had occurred at Pine Ridge and yet none of them have yet to be investigated.)
• It is only after Aquash’s family request a second autopsy which discovers an obvious gunshot wound to the head, that the FBI created their theory of murder to suggest Aquash was an FBI informer and that AIM leaders ordered her execution (15)

The FBI’s theory is inconceivable and improbable for numerous reasons:
• The heart of AIM is spirituality and to bring back the traditional native ways of the people (17). In Justice LaForme’s article he states ‘Aboriginal people believe justice is about restoration of peace and equilibrium within the community, and reconciling the wrongdoer with his or her own conscience and with the individual or family who has been wronged’(4).
• Even IF AIM suspected Aquash to be an informer, the penalty would not be an execution, but rather restore her back to the community (4)
• Even after thirty years, there is NO evidence to indicate that Aquash was ever an informant, instead her memory is honoured by the AIM community and even John Graham held a ten day International Survival Camp in 1985 in her honour (1)
• Even IF AIM ordered an execution, Why would they give such a task to John Graham, a young nineteen year old Canadian Native, NOT familiar with the AIM leaders, NOT familiar with the area of Pine Ridge, a Canadian friend of Aquash (also a Canadian and who was instrumental for John being there in the first place) (18)
• A known FBI informant, Douglas Durham, was discovered within AIM and yet NO execution order was given him (19).
The ‘Witnesses’ are Impeachable
John Graham is accused of murdering Aquash based on an improbable theory and hearsay ‘evidence’ of what Arlo Looking Cloud supposedly told John Trudell.

Who is John Trudell?
• John Trudell is a poet, writer, eloquent speaker and film maker who has contributed much to his native culture (20). However, he too has been suspected of being an FBI informant (21), perhaps unwillingly. In 1979 after not heeding threats to himself and his family, his wife, three children, and mother-in-law were killed in a suspicious house fire (22).
• At Leonard Peltier’s trial Trudell testified that Aquash told him that her life was threatened by FBI Agent Price (23). Within the year she was killed. It is not inconceivable considering the influence of COINTELPRO tactics and Trudell’s past history with the FBI, that John Trudell may be in FEAR for his life and/or the lives of his current family, believing the FBI will carry out their threats again.
• At Peltier’s trial Trudell also testified that Dennis Banks told him that the unidentified body discovered was that of Aquash and that she was shot in the back of the head (14). This information was NOT officially known or reported at the time.
• John Boy was an alias name given to John Graham by Aquash. Aside from Aquash, Trudell was the only other AIM member who knew him as John Graham. Over the years, Trudell visited Graham’s home in the Yukon on several occasions. To identify a picture of John Graham in 1975 and in 2003 was not difficult for John Trudell.
• Trudell’s hearsay evidence of what he claims Looking Cloud told him concerning the murder of Aquash is denied by Looking Cloud in an interview (24) where Looking Clouds says he was ‘set up’ by the FBI.

Who is Fritz Arlo Looking Cloud? (26)
In his judgment, Justice Donald writes as if Fritz Arlo Looking Cloud ‘actually’ provides evidence and states ‘Mr. Looking Cloud’s evidence is also sufficient to commit Mr. Graham for extradition’. But Mr. Looking cloud does not provide any evidence, but rather the US Government provides a summary of what ‘he is expected to testify’. (3)

In Arlo Looking Cloud’s controversial four day trial (18) he was convicted and found guilty of the murder of Anna Mae Aquash. The ‘evidence’ against him was based on his ‘video taped confession’ in which he is obviously intoxicated, answering to leading questions by FBI Agent Ecoffey (25). A summary of the hearsay evidence against him and his controversial video taped ‘confession’ can be found in his court appeal (27). Looking Cloud received a life term in prison, which is the same John Graham will receive if extradited to the United States.

Arlo Looking Cloud was not allowed to speak soberly at his own defence. It is not likely the US Court will allow him to speak in John Graham’s defence. However, it is probable they will continue to use the ‘video taped confession’ of Arlo Looking Cloud against Graham.

FBI’s ‘Impeachable Evidence based on fabricated hearsay and intimidation:
In Judge Donald’s judgement he states:
‘Without his (John Trudell’s) evidence there would not be sufficient evidence to commit Mr. Graham for extradition. Given that hearsay evidence is admissible, Mr. Trudell’s evidence alone is sufficient to establish identification’. He also states: ‘As the extradition judge noted, there were deficiencies in the Record of the Case, but on the crucial issue of whether the person known as John Graham, also known as John Boy Patton, was the same person who committed the murder, …’ (3)

This statement implies that John Graham ‘committed the murder’, simply because John Trudell is able to identify a picture of John Boy Patton in 1975 and John Graham in 2003 as the same person.

Justice Donald also writes ‘even without Mr. Looking Cloud’s evidence, there is sufficient evidence of identification to commit Mr. Graham for extradition’. Is identification alone sufficient evidence to extradite someone for murder as indicated in Judge Donald’s judgment (3)? As mentioned above, Trudell knew John Graham well enough to visit his home several times over the years. Just because he is able to identify Graham, does that make him a ‘murderer’?

Logistically if:
(a) John Trudell’s hearsay evidence is based on what Trudell says Looking Cloud told him, and,
(b) Looking Cloud denies all accusations against him and John Graham (24), then
(c ) John Trudell’s hearsay evidence is impeached (28)

For the Canadian Government to turn a blind eye in John Graham’s case and to accept the Americans Record of the Case on ‘good faith’ would only be another travesty of justice.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom is OUR CANADIAN SWORD OF POWER.
I implore this Government to use its Power of Justice and protect Canadian citizens.
Protect John Graham’s rights as a Canadian and as an Indigenous Canadian.

Section 11 of the Charter states ‘Any person charged with an offence has the right
a. to be informed without unreasonable delay of the specific offence
They (the US government) have charged him for the murder of Anna Mae Aquash which happened in December 1975. John Graham was arrested December 1 2003.
c. not to be compelled to be a witness in proceedings against that person in respect of the offence
The FBI tried to coerce Mr. Graham several times by threatening to charge him with the murderer of Anna Mae Aquash unless he gave them names of AIM leaders. If he did not cooperate with them they would charge him with her murder.
d. to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal
The ‘evidence’ to extradite John Graham is based on the US government’s THEORY, RUMOURS, AND HEARSAY using COINTELPRO tactics and methods.

By finding Arlo Looking Cloud guilty, the US Government already presumes John Graham is guilty and he will NOT receive a fair trial in S. Dakota (as was the case for Leonard Peltier and Arlo Looking Cloud).

The appellant Judge states the ‘other elements of the offence are uncontroversial. As shown above, it is imperative the Canadian justice system remove its blindfold as this case is completely controversial.

e. not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause
Since his arrest in 2003 until BC Supreme Court rejected his appeal, John Graham was out on bail. Currently, Mr. Graham is in jail awaiting extradition.

Mr. Graham is a father of eight and also a grandfather. He is a leader in the Indigenous communities across western Canada. He was instrumental in the development of the first ‘Survival Schools’ and ‘Street Patrols’ to help Indigenous People who have suffered in Residential Schools, imprisonment, drug and alcohol abuse and homelessness. His programs promoted sobriety and were instrumental in reducing the arrest rate of Indigenous people to zero. John Graham is an educator and advocate, helping Indigenous people who find themselves in trouble with the law. He organized a ten day international gathering in N. Saskatchewan called ‘The Anna Mae Survival Camp”. He is also an environmentalist and International speaker concerning the toxic affects of uranium mining, especially in the Yukon. (17)

John Graham is a soft spoken intelligent, honest and respected person in the community. He has put his faith and trust in the Canadian judicial system, willingly surrendered himself to the court and poses no flight risk. He is without a criminal record. The only ‘record’ he has is for being an AIM member when he was nineteen years old.

Section 15.1 of the Charter states
‘Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and , in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.’

History has shown that Aboriginals in Canada and the USA have been treated unfairly by the Justice system in both countries. I conclude this letter with the following quotes:

Justice Fred Nichol, who was the Judge at the Wounded Knee trials wrote:
‘.I ended [the Wounded Knee Leadership] case with the firm conviction that the Government would go to any end order to convict Mr. Banks... [T]he total disregard of truth and fairness in the Government's attempt to "get" Dennis Banks "by hook or crook" did not stop at the doorstep of the FBI. The U.S. Attorney's office was an active participant. The Court was intentionally deceived... The fact that both the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office were active participants in this pollution of justice convinced me there was a systemic, in addition to an individual, desire to convict Mr. Banks by means well beyond those which were ethical and fair. After all, in other cases in my district I had both FBI agents and these attorneys before me regularly. But the willingness to lie and fabricate and withhold evidence was only exhibited against Mr. Banks and his AIM co-defendent. And it was exhibited with a vengeance. If my experience has taught me anything, it is that the past is a good indication of the future. The broad and pervasive nature of the FBI and prosecutors' misconduct in 1973 and 1974 reflected patterns and beliefs that were deeply held. I doubt they would be easily abandoned. (29)

Now re-read the paragraph and re-place John Graham’s name instead of Mr. Banks, and Arlo Looking Cloud’s name for ‘co-defendant’. History is repeating itself.

The following quote is taken from David Cole’s article ‘The New McCarthyism; Repeating History in the War on Terrorism’’;
‘It is understandable that in times of fear, we defer to authority and
close our eyes to the wrongs perpetrated in the name of our protection.
But history reveals that blind faith is wholly unwarranted. Now more
than ever it is critical that we remain true to our principles. There is nothing
wrong with prevention when it consists of protecting potential targets
of attack or stepping up security at borders, airports, and other vulnerable
points. But when prevention translates into the punishment of individuals
for what we suspect they may do, rather than for what they have done, it
cannot be justified in a democratic society. The safeguards of the criminal
process exist for a reason, and whenever we impose punishment or
deprive persons of their liberty without adhering to these safeguards, we
do more harm than good. The success of the war on terrorism, and indeed
of our democratic experiment, requires us to reconsider the shortcuts that
we have all too swiftly and predictably adopted.’ (30)

Justice Harry S. LaForme, himself a Canadian aboriginal, concludes his article The Justice System in Canada: Does it Work for Aboriginal People? with the following:
‘You now have some information to assist you, but it will be for you to answer
the question of whether the Canadian justice system works for Aboriginal people(in this case John Graham). More importantly, if your answer is what it ought to be, then the most important question becomes: What will you do about it?

I trust that you, the Minister of Justice, will do the morally right and just thing and stop the extradition of John Graham and
protect his rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom from the irrational fears created in this time of world
terrorism (31). Let the sovereign power of Canada protect its citizens and prevent another ‘Mahar Arar’ incident (32, 33).
Remember Leonard Peltier (11).


Dr. Lyla M. Yip, MT,MSc,Dr. of TCM
203-2256 Brunswick St. Vancouver, BC, V5T 3L7

cc. all MP’s, all parties
cc. RH Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin
cc. major newspapers

Note: referenced linked pages can be downloaded from
Or request at

Linked References:
1. John Graham :
2. Biography of Anna Mae Aquash; The Anna Mae Pictou Aquash Story
3. BC Supreme Court Judgement :
4. The Justice System in Canada: Does it Work for Aboriginal People?
Author: Justice Harry S. LaForme
5. COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program); COINTELPRO Revisited; COINTELPRO the Untold Story
6. History of AIM; History of AIM and the Governor of S.Dakota
Infiltration – Doug Durham was an FBI informant disguised as a Native
It was Aquash who discovered he was dyeing his hair black to look like a Native
Psychological warfare – Aquash’s life was threatened by Agent Price
- Trudell and his family were also threatened
Harassment through the legal system – John Graham was targeted by the RCMP
because of information given by the FBI
Extralegal force and violence – The BIA police or GOON’s with authority and
weapons provided from the FBI, evoked a ‘reign of terror’ at Pine Ridge
8. COINTELPRO PAPERS by Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Hall,M1
9. Bruce Ellison, AIM Attorney’s Congressional Briefing for Leonard Peltier, May 17 2000
10. The United States Government War Against the American Indian Movement
11. Leonard Peltier’s Case is Debated in Canada’s House of Parliament Nov.2002
12. Aquash tells Aim Lawyers of threat by Agent Price
13. Agent Price reprimanded by Judge Nichol for polluting waters of Justice
14 Looking Cloud Transcripts, Trudell testifies Banks tells him of
Aquash’s Death before news is in media (pg 385)
15 The Unquiet Grave (pg. 13) – Steve Hendricks
16 Looking Cloud Transcripts, Amiotte testifies re fence, Pg.27
17. John Graham: Organizer, Speaker, Advocate, Environmentist
18 See Arlo’ Trial
19 Review of ‘Unquiet Grave’ by R. Robideau

20. John Trudell
21. John Trudell-Informant
22. John Trudell – suspects FBI murdered his family; FBI memorandum and FBI threat
to his family ;
23 John Trudell – witness at Peltier’s trial
24. Arlo’s Interview
25. Arlo’s Interview with Ecoffey and Alonzo
26. Looking Cloud’s Family Appeals for Help
27. USA v. Fritz Arlo Looking Cloud - Appeal
28. Impeachment of Evidence,+evidence.asp?q=IMPEACHMENT%2C+evidence
29. Letter from The Honorable Fred Nichol to Kenneth S. Stern,
November 17, 1987.] (last para)
30. P.30 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review [Vol. 38
David Cole, The New McCarthyism;Repeating History in the War on Terrorism (last para)
31. The Assault on Reason, Al Gore, 2007, Penguin Press, NY
32. Maher Arar
33. Wrongful convictions in Canada

Congressional Briefing for Leonard Peltier
Washington D.C., May 17, 2000
Bruce Ellison, AIM Attorney
Our final panelist is Bruce Ellison. Mr. Ellison is an attorney who has work with Leonard Peltier since his trial in 1977. He is a member of the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee, and witnessed the Reign of Terror on the Pine Ridge Reservation during the 70’s.
Bruce Ellison: Thank you. ... my name is Bruce Ellison. I have been a criminal defense lawyer based in Western South Dakota for some 25 years. On behalf of Leonard Peltier who is now a grandfather and on behalf of my own children I want to thank the members of the Human Rights Caucus and particularly Congressman John Porter for allowing for this briefing. You have done what the Senate Intelligence Committee under Senator Frank Church decided not to do, and what Congress has failed to do despite the strong recommendation of the necessity of such an inquiry by the Chairman of the US Commission on Civil Rights and by Amnesty International.
I came to Western South Dakota to become an AIM lawyer with the Wounded Knee Defense Committee. I replaced a lawyer on the staff of WKLDOC by the name of Roger Finsel (sp) who Mr. McKiernan talked about who was attacked by the GOON Squad and was told that if he ever came back to the Pine Ridge Reservation the GOONs would kill him.
I came from an urban upbringing in the New York City area and Leonard Peltier became one of my early clients. I was raised to believe in our democracy and our fundamental rights to free speech, freedom of association, and freedom to seek redress of grievances. Educated as a lawyer, I was taught that our courts exist to promote and preserve justice, our Congress to enact responsible legislation, and our executive branch to enforce the laws of our country. What I have experienced since my move west has both shocked, amazed, and terrified me as a citizen of this country and more importantly as a father of young children and older children -- and I remain so today.
FBI documents and court records in the thousands together with eyewitness accounts show clearly that beginning in the late 1960’s the FBI began a campaign of infiltration and disruption of the treaty and human rights movement which called itself the American Indian Movement or AIM. FBI operations against AIM reached a magnitude which I submit threatens our democratic system and our way of life, especially if it remains uninvestigated and unexposed. Documents show the involvement as well during this period -- of agencies including the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and various departments of Military Intelligence Services.
After the 71-day Siege at Wounded Knee in 1973, our criminal justice system became an improper tool of the Domestic Security section of the intelligence division of the FBI -- under Richard Held who is an associate director in its efforts to destroy AIM.
Citing the case of Leonard Peltier, Amnesty International has urged an independent inquiry into the use of our criminal justice system for political purposes by the FBI. It has never occurred. The FBI concluded after many of the Wounded Knee prosecutions and I quote, “There are indications that the Indian militant problem in the area will not be resolved or discontinued with the prosecution of these insurgents.”
Most of the Wounded Knee criminal cases brought against hundreds of AIM members and supporters were eventually dismissed by various federal judges for the illegal use of the United States Military. The FBI then armed and equipped a group calling itself the GOON Squad on the Pine Ridge Reservation and more than 60 men, women, and children were killed in the political violence which followed. You have heard witnessed of some of this violence today. One woman who was talked about was a woman named Anna Mae Pictou. When her body was found, it was immediately examined at the behest of the FBI by a forensic pathologist; the FBI and the pathologist concluded that she had died of exposure. The FBI then -- as it was mentioned [earlier in the hearings] -- cut off her hands and sent them to Washington ostensibly to identify her. When she was identified, at the behest of the family, we sought an independent exhumation and forensic examination, and very quickly it was found her “death by exposure” was actually the placing of a pistol at the back of her head and pulling the trigger. The bullet was found within moments of the examination by chief medical examiner of Hennepin (sp) County which is Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Most of the violence perpetrated by the GOON Squad on the Pine Ridge Reservation against the Traditional People has never been investigated, despite the fact the FBI, through the Major Crimes Act, has asserted criminal jurisdiction over such matters on Indian reservations. I myself have been personally and directly threatened by agents of the FBI for my efforts to expose what the bureau did on the Pine Ridge Reservation and within the courts of our country.
One instance I personally witnessed was FBI agents and a BIA SWAT team escorting carloads of GOON Squad members and their weapons out of Wanblee, after a day and night of armed attacks on the community, which resulted in the ambush murder of a young AIM member and the burning and shooting up of several homes. One of the killers made a deal with the FBI and received a five year sentence -- for which he served far less -- and returned for his testimony that fellow GOON Squad members acted in self-defense against an unarmed victim and his friends. I investigated this murder at the request of tribal president elect and I was horrified by this deal. The killers were freed.
As US Court of Appeals Judge Gerald Heaney said after reviewing all of the evidence in this matter, “the United States Government overreacted at Wounded Knee. Instead of carefully considering the legitimate grievance of Native Americans, the response was essentially a military one which culminated in a deadly fire fight on June 26th, 1975 between the Native Americans and the FBI agents and the United States Marshals. While Judge Heaney believes that Native Americans had some culpability for the fire fight that day, he concluded “the United States must share the responsibility.” It never has. The FBI has never been held accountable or even publicly investigated for what one federal jury and Judge Heaney concluded was its complicity within the creation of a climate of fear and terror on the Pine Ridge Reservation which precipitated the fire fight that day and terrorized the community.
The FBI refers to the conflict that day as one in which only two young agents were killed. To the American Indian Movement members present that day, that tragic day, it has always been a day in which three young men were shot in the head and lost their lives -- the otherwise forgotten one being a young Native American father named Joseph Stuntz.
The government has used the incident to increase its disruptive campaign against the American Indian Movement. Noting Leonard Peltier’s regular presence and involvement in AIM activities, the FBI targeted Peltier for prosecution of the agents. According to the FBI documents, the Bureau was, within weeks of the fire fight, going to “develop information to lock Peltier into this case” and set out to do so. After Mr. Peltier’s co-defendants were acquitted on self-defense grounds by a federal jury in Cedar Rapids Iowa, the government decided to “put the full prosecutive weight of the Federal Government against Peltier”. The evidence shows the Government used now admittedly false eyewitness affidavits to extradite Leonard Peltier from Canada -- and this would catch the attention of Amnesty International and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals would call such conduct “a clear abuse of the investigative process by the FBI” and gives credence to the claims of Indian people that the government is willing to fabricate evidence to convict those branded as the enemy.
At Leonard Peltier’s trial, the Government presented evidence and argued to the jury that he personally shot and killed the two FBI agents. To do this, the Government presented (1) ballistics evidence purportedly connecting a shell casing found near the agents’ bodies with a rifle said to be possessed by Peltier and (2) the coerced and fabricated eyewitness account claiming the agents followed Peltier in a van precipitating the fire fight. Documents subsequently obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showed that the ballistics evidence was a fraud and that the rifle could not have fired the expended shell casing found near the bodies. Further, the FBI’s surpressed evidence showed the agents followed a pickup, not a van, into the compound and thought someone else not Peltier was in that vehicle. The documents also show the FBI was planning a paramilitary assault on that particular portion of the reservation against AIM within weeks preceding this fire fight.
Upon disclosure of these documents, a renewed effort at a new trial was sought from the courts. While concluding that the surpressed evidence “cast a strong doubt” on the Government’s case, our appellate courts denied relief. The US Attorney’s Office has now admitted in court that it has no credible evidence that Leonard Peltier killed the agents. Under our system of justice, if there is a reasonable doubt, then Leonard Peltier is not guilty -- yet he has been in prison for over 24 years for a crime which he did not commit.
The FBI still withholds thousands of pages of documents of its investigation of the deaths of the FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation, claiming in many instances that disclosure would compromise the national security of the United States. In the absence of such disclosure, no new efforts at a new trial are possible.
Despite Congressional interest in an investigation of the tragic events at Ruby Ridge in Waco, this is the first time any member of congress has called for an airing of this issue, and it is with our thanks that we are here. It should only be the beginning of a Congressional effort to explore a threat by our principle federal investigative agency: as this agency is designed, it is supposed to protect our most fundamental freedom. The most recent response by the FBI, however, has been a concerted lobbying and media campaign to stop and interfere with prospects of clemency granted by the President of the United States. The FBI’s involvement in the politics of our country is a cause for great concern and alarm -- and along with all the other matters presented at this briefing here today -- they should be investigated and never allowed to happen again.
Judge Heaney, in a letter to Senator Inouye, urging executive clemency for Leonard Peltier, has urged that the process of healing begin. He stated: “favorable action by the President in the Leonard Peltier case would be an important step in this regard. It is time for America’s wars against the indigenous people of this hemisphere to stop. Freeing Leonard Peltier will be an important start of this process.”
And I thank you.
Transcript from the Congressional Briefing for Leonard Peltier, Washington D.C., May17, 2000

To What Is this Gallery Exposing Us?

On Friday, October 12, as another woman and I were walking to the video store after 8 pm, we noticed a lot of men with drinks in their hands milling around on the street. Turns out it was the opening of a new exhibit of photographs at the Exposure Gallery. In keeping with the name of the gallery, the exhibit was called Nude. When you entered the gallery and turned left you saw a torso shot of a nude black man with his penis pointed towards the door. That was as nude as it got. Aside from a fairly striking print of a head-shot that was being raffled off (a donation by a famous New York artist), most of the printing was a tad less than crisp, and most of the shots were a lot shy of imaginative. Only a few were, to my mind even evocative or energetic. Though, to be fair, I am old and have seen it all before (and better).

It set my teeth on edge when I first noticed last month that this art gallery was moving into 754 East Broadway. Galleries are notoriously the stalking horses for gentrification of neighbourhoods the wealthy dub "dangerous." From what I've seen so far in life, once the rich culture-stalkers start coming and they don't get shot, they start looking around for what they can buy up and "improve" (i.e., control).

According to an article in the Courier, Exposure Gallery has moved here after 18 years on Beatty Street in Yaletown - an area that has notoriously gentrified over that period of time (not, to be fair, that there is any proof that this gallery caused the gentrification). The Yaletown location was also prone to shootings back then. The late founder of Exposure was president of a nonprofit that worked with the city "to establish safe live-work studios for artists in old warehouses," with galleries open to the public on ground level. Exposure was only paying $700 a month when their lease ran out this year, and a beauty salon edged them out with a bid to pay $1900 a month. The article doesn't say what Exposure is paying at the Broadway location, but mentions that they have a lease for 5 years. In an area where storefront operations tend to come and go quickly, that could make them one of the most stable businesses around.

Exposure gallery is actually volunteer-run by the Vancouver Association for Photographic Arts, a nonprofit membership organization for community photographers. Members pay $95 a year to join {$55 for students), and $40 for every shot they enter in a show. If they sell a picture (according to the Courier) they pay the gallery no commission. So, you could call Exposure a starter gallery for budding photographers, or you could call it a vanity gallery for eager amateurs. But in any case, it must be true that the curatorial judgment is subordinate to the self-selected pool of entrants and the self-interest of those who pay the bills.

This was only the first show I've seen there, so I can't really say that there won't be works of genius on the walls in future. And, to be fair, my view was rather jaundiced by my views on galleries as harbingers of gentrification doom, and by seeing a shiny new car replete with two over-coiffed lapdogs parked out front (now that would have made a photo). Most of the celebrants at the opening actually looked not terribly wealthy - maybe $25 an hour city outdoor workers fresh from printing photographs while they were out on strike? They seemed to be having a high time, lubricated by wine, so perhaps there's a rationale after all for calling it high art?

November 5 is the next deadline for submissions, and Friday, November 9 is the next opening.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

view from the 'hood

Looks like the strike might be settled soon. that'll be good, though i've enjoyed the free range-ness of the park near my home. the dogs seem to like it too. more stuff to smell, more things to roll in. The leaves outside my window are turning, and my downstairs neighbour's patio furniture is buried in fluttery brown and orange. seems like i don't pay too much attention to the goings on in the area, but last week, i went to a healing ceremony in honour of a dear friend who died. a teepee was erected on the front lawn of her apartment building, and tables of food laid out in a common area. cedar boughs decorated the entrances and people drummed and sang and told stories of our beloved sister. She lost one battle, but we are left to remember her by the many that she won. mount pleasant reverberated with the music, laughter and sorrow that sent her on her way, and wrapped us with her memory. Now we are responsible for one another, just as we were before. watch out for one another, we need each other.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Strata Warning

Think twice before buying into a strata, and listen to what others with more experience have to say.

Lots of strata apartment buildings around here are laying whacking huge assessments on the apartment owners. One auntie near Mt. Pleasant just got a $20,000 assessment, and one in Mt. Pleasant just got a $78,000 assessment. In both cases, there was a leaky unit (or units) in the building, and so the cost of repairs on those units is being divided among all the units. But not only that, the strata councils are taking the opportunity to roll other expensive items into the assessment at the same time. In the case of the $78,000, they decided to charge everybody to put in a green roof - lovely, if you can afford it - and to make other adjustments to other apartments. For $78,000, this auntie is only getting new windows that will reduce the amount of direct sun in her 4th floor unit.

When you're hit with an assessment like this, it can wreck you financially.

The auntie with the $20,000 assessment is in her sixties and on a fixed income. She was planning to live in her unit til she got a bit older and then sell it and buy someplace smaller and cheaper. Now she says she can't qualify for a mortgage increase because she doesn't have enough income, but she isn't permitted to sell the unit without first paying off the $20,000 assessment and she hasn't got enough money. Further, if she manages a short-term loan, maybe from friends, so she can pay the assessment and pay back the loan when she sells, she won't realize enough money now for a downpayment on another place. She thought she had her financial endgame figured out, but now she's screwed.

People who recently bought their condos and then got hit with these big assessments are also in real trouble. They haven't realized any paper increases in their property value, and they haven't paid much off, so they don't have enough equity to get a mortgage increase. Even if you can afford to pay more per month, you can't qualify for mortgage debt that is higher than the value of the property.

The auntie with the $78,000 assessment is married and they do qualify to add this onto their mortgage. But it will increase their mortgage payments by $300 a month. They have a disabled child and that increase will work a real hardship on them. They are thinking of renting their strata flat out to somebody who has a higher income than they do, and then renting a cheaper place in another town to live in until they get this paid off. As their apartment has so much sunshine, I suggested she rent it out to someone who could pay the whole rent up front and put in a nice grow-op. But even that won't work, because strata management, unlike management of other properties, are now bound by regulation to do monthly inspections to see if there are things like grow ops or meth labs in the units. With the cost of strata living soaring into the stratosphere, it's no wonder this is becoming a significant problem. People working ordinary jobs can't afford to stay housed.

This type of precarious financial arrangement is going to be on the rise, as owners of older apartment houses are deciding to stratify their buildings to get their capital out. I'm sure this must seem a particularly desirous way to go if you're an owner who thinks that some big repairs will be looming soon.

The way I read this publication from the Canadian Bar Association (BC branch), theoretically each person who buys a condominium owns and is responsible for their own unit, with joint responsibility only for common facilities. However, when you buy a condominium you also become a strata owner - and through that label, obligations are imposed. Stratas are governed by strata councils, and strata councils have been given obligations under the Strata Act. Among these are the obligation to repair a leaky building and to raise this money through owner assessments. So, someone else's leak can and must be made your problem, even if you don't have a leak.

Here are some websites about strata councils and their obligations: This link has contacts for getting a look at the whole Strata Property Act.

Alternatives to strata buying include coop living, in which you can't sell your unit but you also don't have to put up such a huge amount of capital to live there. Cost of living there is also sometimes means-tested, with those who can afford "market rate" helping pay for some units that are at below market rate. Coops can also be leaky, and it's a fact as one auntie graphically showed me, that around Vancouver there are leaky coops that have gone years or even decades without major repairs to leaky units and water-damaged common areas, because they are waiting for government money that was promised but seems interminably slow to come through.

In both coops and strata housing, management is hired by a council. This is often such a difficult job that now there are management companies that rotate their managers between different buildings, so that no one manager has to put up with the bad buildings for very long. What makes a management job painful is that the strata or coop council is often a scene of strife. This is typically because argumentative and highly opinionated people enjoy carving out a niche for themselves in these bodies, and by their behaviour they tend to drive more considerate types out. Then, when a decision is taken by council, it may happen that the easygoing people are at the mercy of snobs, nuts, or shit-disturbers who don't have others' best interests at heart. In a strata situation, people who ignore all these goings-on as just unpleasant politics may be suddenly be forced to paint their apartments a disgusting colour, or be suddenly presented with a staggering bill for repairs or innovations they can't afford.

So, if you are in strata housing, make it a point to be vigilant about what's going on with the building you partially own, even if it's a pain in the butt to put up with your co-owners. People who rent can just move. and if you own a whole home, you can probably quietly let it rot about your ears until you die. But if you own a condominium you're in business with a lot of partners. Not only are there risks, but the richer partners can effectively squeeze the poorer ones out.

Drug activity increasing in sight

One of the aunties reports that drug distributors are giving stuff out to their sales people in Sahalli park now, not long after dark falls - that's earlier as dark comes earlier. She says she saw them there around 9:30 pm this week. Sahalli park is where Fraser Street ends at 8th Avenue. It has a really popular little kids' playground where mums, dads, and nannies tend to congregate with tots in the daylight hours, if the weather be good. Also there is the Broadway Youth Resource Centre just a block away at the corner of Broadway and Fraser. BYC has an addictions counselor, but now young addicts won't have far to go to be in temptation's way when they're trying to quit.

An auntie also reports that the back parking lot of the KFC at Prince Albert and Fraser must have become a late-night shooting gallery, because she sees piles of hypodermic needles lying around there early in the morning. People scoring drugs in this neighbourhood have too far to walk to the Insite safe injection site before injecting (although they could get there really quickly on a #8 bus that stops right in front of the Broadway Youth Centre).

The movement of drug distributors to Sahalli park (and their customers to nearby fast-food property) could well be related to the police sweep of the obvious dealers on the Downtown East Side. There were 63 smalltime dealers charged after being picked up by police there last July. According to a report on that sweep, the spokesman for the drugs squad had no comment to criticism that these sweeps displace dealers to other neighbourhoods.

Of related interest may be this link to a 2006 Vancouver Coastal Health Youth Drug Survey

If you or someone you know is looking to get off addictive drugs, here's a site that lists drug rehab centres in BC: This website also mentions that youth heroin addiction is on the increase. It also reprints an article by John Pifer from the Abbotsford news asking: "who in Ottawa or Victoria was behind the insane decision to end the need for Vancouver Port Police at a time when massive drug shipments were increasing?"

Another auntie says that the main problem in this neighbourhood is that people are coming into the area without adequate housing so they have to do their business out in the parks and the street. If your neighbour is quietly shooting heroin at home and going to work feeling no pain, it isn't scary like your neighbour doing illegal stuff out in plain sight and maybe taking offense that you see them doing it, too.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Residential Inspections - Provincial Law

Received from the Residential Tenancy Office in Victoria, in response to my inquiry, the following information - it seems to say that inspections of rental property can be random or can even be as regular as monthly, but that they cannot be done without cause, nor without notice:

Please refer to the following:
When the legislation was updated in January of 2004, it allowed the
landlord to conduct monthly inspections with proper notice in writing.
This "inspection" is not limited to suspicion of illegal activities, it
is just that - an inspection and as such, is allowable by law. Not all
landlords exercise their right to conduct monthly inspections, but they
are permitted by law to do so. If you wish further confirmation of the
landlord's right to inspect monthly, please refer to the following
section of the RTA.

Landlord's right to enter rental unit restricted
29 (1) A landlord must not enter a rental unit that is subject to a
tenancy agreement for any purpose unless one of the following applies:

(a) the tenant gives permission at the time of the entry or not more
than 30 days before the entry;

(b) at least 24 hours and not more than 30 days before the entry, the
landlord gives the tenant written notice that includes the following

(i) the purpose for entering, which must be reasonable;

(ii) the date and the time of the entry, which must be between 8 a.m.
and 9 p.m. unless the tenant otherwise agrees;

(c) the landlord provides housekeeping or related services under the
terms of a written tenancy agreement and the entry is for that purpose
and in accordance with those terms;

(d) the landlord has an order of the director authorizing the entry;

(e) the tenant has abandoned the rental unit;

(f) an emergency exists and the entry is necessary to protect life or

(2) A landlord may inspect a rental unit monthly in accordance with
subsection (1) (b).

Hope this helps for now.

...Information Officer
RTB Victoria

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

VCC-Clark Sky Train Station Needs Something

The new (last April) VCC-Clark Sky Train station is in Mt. Pleasant, on Great Northern Way across the street from the SPCA dog-adoption facility and the Vancouver Community College parking lot. There are a lot of newspaper boxes (including the Courier now - yay!) and there was temporarily a huuuuge volleyball space out back of it during the summer - but otherwise, its surroundings are pretty bleak. The land behind it is occupied by the railway, and the ground in front of it is covered with nothing but gravel. One of the aunties commented that it needs some food shops or something around it to draw more people in and make it safer to use, especially after dark.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Single Transferable Vote and Mt. Pleasant

Households in Mt. Pleasant recently received a lovely publication by the B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission showing their draft proposals for new electoral riding boundaries. This included maps for two scenarios - one is a population-weighted adjustment to the current single-member proportional system, and the other is a proposal for how the boundaries would look if the BC Single Transferable Vote becomes the way of choosing members of the Provincial Legislative Assembly.

You may recall that the BCSTV was approved by 57.69% of BC voters in a referendum on May 17, 2005 - but 60% was the supermajority required to change to this system. But the Campbell government has apparently laid plans to submit the BCSTV to another vote in May of 2009 - the same time that the Liberal government has to submit its own government to elections. If the change gets approved, it would first be in effect for the 2013 election.

In the first of the Boundaries Commission's scenarios, Mt. Pleasant's boundaries would be very similar to what they are now - in the BCSTV version, Mt. Pleasant would be part of an overall East Van riding.

From a Mt. Pleasant perspective, I think the change to STV would probably be good. Notwithstanding the fact that every solution has its own problems, here's what I think there is to like:

*get to vote for more choices

*East Van seen as a unified constituency - we really do have a lot in common compared to West Van

*have more options for finding an MLA to bring your issue up to the legislature - hopefully one of your seven will take an interest - and if they all support you, you have a much stronger hand

*novelty and the fact of more choices will bring out more voters - they won't be confused as the mainstream pundits have predicted. They'll be more intrigued, as everybody likes to figure out their choices.

*no more "hold your nose and vote" to keep the party you don't want from getting in. If you vote for the Work Less Party and they don't get enough votes to make it, you can have your voting credits roll over to the NDP or the Greens (or the Liberals if you prefer) instead of being written off and leaving the leading party with a bigger lead. And if your candidate wins by more than enough votes, your "leftover" vote portion will contribute to the success of your second, third ... even your seventh choice.

*Will likely make the parties be more responsive to local issues - right now, Mt. Pleasant is a "safe" seat for NDP, but then you only have one member, who is already assured of your vote, so you haven't much leverage

I also like the fact that there was a Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform made up of one man and one woman from each riding in BC that sat for a year to determine the fairest electoral system for BC. The BC-STV (British Columbia Single Transferable Vote) was their answer. Headed by Jack Blaney, former President of Simon Fraser University, this assembly had a tremendous education on what kinds of electoral systems there are in the world and how they have actually been working. When the year was up, the members of that study commission were unanimous behind their choice and they worked like the dickens to get people to vote for it. It nearly attained the required supermajority of BC voters, and it will apparently be coming up for a vote again - either to succeed, or to fail more decisively (that's up to us).

There is still a lot of information about this Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform and their conclusions online at - even instructional audio and video.

The boundaries on the district maps we received were drawn up by three appointed men who sat as the Electoral Boundaries Commission. There is still time to give feedback on what they have drawn up. You can submit online or go to a hearing or both. The first Vancouver hearing was September 8, but there will be three more hearing dates: September 20, October 19, and November 13. To find times and locations, visit the Electoral Boundaries Commission webpage

Grow Ops and Random Residential Suite Perusals

One of the Mt. Pleasant aunties told me this weekend that the city now requires property owners to inspect for grow ops and is holding the owner responsible for this crime. I'm trying to verify this point - here's what I've found so far (please post a comment if you find out anything I don't have):

1) Due to the strike, it is impossible to talk with anyone at City of Vancouver about residential inspection bylaws. But I found information online that inspections are being required in other parts of the province. For example North Cowichan, has been requiring owners to inspect every two months to control drug crime, but is thinking about scaling back to every six months.

2) The Province for Sunday Sept. 9 had an article by Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association, about grow-ops in strata housing, so I called him to ask about the Vancouver bylaws. He told me "you can't force somebody to inspect," but that landlords to have the right to inspect properties under the Residential Tenancy Act [and strata managers have special inspection requirements]. Gioventu pointed me to a comprehensive guide to the provincial Residential Tenancy Act on the web page - but it has no obvious information about inspections other than before the tenant is in residence and for purposes of returning a deposit after a tenant leaves. When I tried to phone this government office for more help, there was a message saying we're sorry, all circuits are busy now. I've sent them an email asking:

I'm trying to find information about the right and responsibility of landlords to inspect premises during a tenant's residency, to look for illegal activity. It seems that this responsibility is being laid on landlords now by police, but we would like to see the relevant laws, with respect to notification requirements and so forth. Please advise.

3) In this 2007 web page, the Vancouver Police Department sets out guidelines for owners about Illegal Activities on Rental Properties. They state: "A regular inspection of your property can prevent problems from occurring."
They also say that Responsibilities of Owners include putting an addendum into your rental agreement forbidding illegal activity, on the premises or property, including but not limited to:

any drug-related criminal activity
solicitation (pimps, prostitution activity)
street gang activity
assault or threatened assault, in regard to persons on the premises
unlawful use of a firearm
any criminal activity that threatens the health, safety or welfare of the landlord, other tenants or persons on the residential property or residential premises.

Such violations would be considered cause for ending the lease.

The Vancouver Police Department site also states that property insurance will not cover damage caused by grow-ops. Such damage can include mold from growing plants indoors, and fires or rewiring from use of a lot of extra electricity.

If you have further information about bylaws, leases, or current practices in Mt. Pleasant around Random Residential Suite Perusals (inspections) by landlords, please post in the Comments section.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Best Tai Chi deal in Mt. Pleasant

The Mt. Pleasant Neighbourhood House (at Broadway and Prince Albert) has renewed the contract of Dr. Lyla Yip to teach Tai Chi there weekly. Classes resumed after the summer break today - but you can join the class at any time.

Dr. Yip is a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor with Western medical background as well, and she's also a longtime student and teacher of Tai Chi. In fact, she's a model for a statue of a group of Tai Chi practitioners that is going to be erected in one of Vancouver's parks.

The class meets each Tuesday from 10:45 to 11:45 am, and I like it so much I changed my work hours so I could attend it. Because of her medical background, Dr. Yip can customize the excercises to anyone's needs. Many of us need work on flexibility, strengthening, posture, and relaxation, which can all be helped by Tai Chi and the related Chi Gong practices.

Today, September 4, we did work on simple exercises for the tendons of the foot and leg, and practiced standing with balance and relaxing the joints. Then we practiced a Chi Gong exercise called Flying Eagle, went through the Yang-style 24 Steps, and then learned about 5 minutes of a beautiful form called Tai Chi Fan.

Because the class is held just before the Senior Lunch the Neighbourhood House holds on Tuesdays, some who attend are seniors. It's very good for seniors, but younger people can enjoy it and benefit just as much. Also, if you are mobility-impaired you can still be part of the class.

Did I mention that it only costs $3 a class and you can attend on a drop-in basis? This a wonderful price deal - the class is worth much more than that.

I've been using Tai Chi as my main form of exercise for a few years now, and I really love it. It's calming and strenthening, it gives you balance and confidence, and it's almost impossible to get hurt doing it, too.

We need a few more regular class members, so please come on down and try it.

Random Residential Suite Perusals - B.S.?

Following up on previous post:

Three of us went to the place and were shown a vacant apartment by a resident who assists the manager. She had never heard of Random Residential Suite Perusals until we told her and showed her the sign. On re-inspection, the sign looked like not such a great photoshop job, and I'm wondering if it is B.S. I did not manage to get a look at one of the current leases, but the longtime resident who showed us the place insisted that management can't go into the suites there without permission in advance, even to make repairs. She told an anecdote that in the recent past a resident left another couple in charge of her apartment and that the other couple ran a grow-operation in there. She said even in that case there was allegedly advance notice, but the people just disappeared and left the grow-op. She also told us that there had been a "party" for the residents recently, with police telling people how to keep themselves safe. This sounds more in line with what else we've seen about crime-free multi-housing activity in the city.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"Random Residential Suite Perusals"

The building at 639 E. 8th Avenue has cracked stucco and an obviously broken drainpipe, but at least it has some new signs. The sign hanging out front reads:

"Fraser Manor - Vancouver's first fully-certified crime-free multi-housing community."

There are two other signs beside the front door. One reads:
"we have joined the Vancouver crime free multi housing program keeping illegal activity out of rental property."
The other sign has an image of a cobra poised to strike, encircled by a ribbon with the initials R.R.S.P. above the snake, and below, the phrase "Random Residential Suite Perusals." The rest of that sign says:

"This building does random residential suite perusals* [*inspections] to ensure the safety of its residents and to protect the building from any illegal activities. Any resident found to be partaking in any illegal activity will not only be evicted but they will be prosecuted to the utmost extent the law allows."

Searching the web for more about this draconian policy, I try "Random Residential Suite Perusals" on Google Canada. It says my search did not match any documents: Did you mean: "Random Presidential Suite Perusals"

I do find that the phrase "crime-free multi housing" has been used in Vancouver at least since 1997, when several East Van neighbourhoods had it as a line item for $10-$25,000 in their community safety grant budgets.

In New Westminster, the police offer a "crime-free multihousing workshop". Their website only mentions safety tips for building managers, like keeping the keys and files safe, being safe when showing a unit to strangers, and protecting the money.

The RCMP in Burnaby also have a section about Crime-Free Multi Housing on the web. Perhaps the R.R.S.P. serpent lurks on their page under the phrase "how to strengthen rental agreements for the benefit of residents and owners alike..."
or maybe the phrase "how to spot potential trouble-makers."

I wonder how far they go with random inspections to spot trouble-makers?

Reason for eviction: roaches under the sink.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The strike: Silver linings

It's really a pleasure to see all the long grass and wildflowers in the park, now that the park workers are on strike.

Looking for places to offload your trash is a good way to become familiar with Vancouver lanes, now that the garbage workers are on strike.

Used booksellers are having a business boom, now that the librarians are on strike.

No city workers' vehicles clogging up traffic, or tearing up the paths in the park with their tires.

No noise and carbon emissions from leaf-blowers and huge gas-powered mowing machines in the parks, either.

No garbage pickup means more time to look over the trash around the bins to see if you want anything. Binners can sleep in.

Less garbage and recycling truck noise. Easier for everybody to sleep in.

Privately employed landscapers don't have to look enviously at guys with better-paid (and less-supervised) city landscaping jobs.

Food banks and panhandlers can look for more sympathy and gifts from city workers when they start getting paid again - "it could be me" will become "it was me."

Banks can look forward to collecting a lot of interest on city workers' built-up credit card debt.

The dogs in the neighbourhood get such a thrill when they smell a rat.

Women who used to sell blow-jobs to guys in city trucks stopped just off Broadway on their way to work now have more time to enjoy the sunshine.

Hey, things are great - don't settle it!

(Just kidding!)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Librarians' Pay

There's an interesting article in the web magazine The Tyee, titled "Vancouver's Library Strike: Women's Pay on the Line." Tom Sandborn, the author, wrote yesterday, "to date the city negotiators have refused to discuss any of the local's four key bargaining demands: pay equity, improvements for part-time workers, job security and general benefit improvements." Women librarians doing jobs mainly carried out by women are reportedly getting $6 an hour less than people doing jobs for the library that are mainly carried out by men, and the women also have a much slower route to pay advancement.

So, if you ever want to check out the new Harry Potter book down at Mt. Pleasant branch, better call city hall and tell them to Settle the Strike.

Just to spur you on: you may recall that the Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously in a case involving Newfoundland and Labrador that provincial government had the right to override the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and delay pay equity settlement if budgetary considerations are severe.

If we want equal pay for women workers in Vancouver, we'd better get it in place before the bills for the Olympics hit the fan.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fortune Unhappiness

The shooting at the Fortune Happiness restaurant near Broadway and Fraser continues to be a major topic of discussion in the neighbourhood. For anyone who still doesn't know, eight people were shot at 4:30 am Thursday, inside the restaurant with the yellow awning across the street from the bus stop for the #8 when it turns from Fraser onto Broadway. Seems that two men in balaclava masks came into the restaurant, one from the back door and one from the front; they focused on one table and shot it up with some fast-repeating guns. Two young men were shot dead and three women and three men at the same table were wounded.

Reportedly, the restaurant had been staying open all night for a while. According to a conversation I heard today, one person said that there were always people playing Mah Jongg at Fortune Happiness and that they thought it was a gambling parlour. Another person said she had always thought there was prostitution being run out of there. Some media implied there were drugs. It could have been all three - or, perhaps none of them. Some people seem to think there is something sleazy per se about all night restaurants, but when a city runs all night people need places to eat all night.

One of the aunties who watches her block and lives near the restaurant observed that police may well have known something was going to happen. She says there were cops in unmarked cars roaming around looking at stuff in the area during the night before the shooting. This seems to contradict the reaction of some people who've called in to the radio saying this stuff wouldn't happen if Vancouver just had a bigger police force. A First Nations mother who lives around the downtown eastside told me the police came to her house Thursday night and questioned her son about the shooting. She said they are always trying to pin all sorts of crimes on him - even though [maybe because?] he is an athlete with leadership potential. She said she had even seen her own name on a list as a suspected drug dealer, which she called ridiculous. You've heard the phrase "round up the usual suspects," right? It's not that much of a joke.

The day of the shooting, when not much news was being released, the CBC-TV midday news featured police saying that they wanted to let people know that this was a "targeted" and not a "random" shooting because they didn't want to hurt the reputation of the neighbourhood. Yes, there are houses for sale around here for 100% more than they went for 5 years ago - back when everyone said it was a bad neighbourhood. Not that we need to have shootings, but I think we need to appreciate our unsavoury elements - the crack-smokers in the alley, the street prostitution, the dog poop and litter on the sidewalks, the drunks sleeping on the street, the KFC and the empty store-fronts. Because if they weren't around, then property values would rise, rich people would move in to replace the great working-class mix we have, and property taxes would be even higher than they are now.

Today, CBC radio reports that police have raided a location of the United Nations gang in Abbotsford and seized some guns they think might be related to the shooting here [although, later that day police were quoted as saying that the United Nations gang had nothing to do with this shooting]. It's called the United Nations gang because it unites members from many races. Let's think of another reason to do that besides drug smuggling, eh?

Being discussed among the neighbours is how we could put an end to this kind of crime like the Fortune Unhappiness shooting, by legalizing, regulating and taxing drugs. A fellow running a weed-eater in the hood yesterday told me that he considers it tragic that some of his relatives are hooked on crack, but he pointed out that when they do get their crack hit they are able to put in a day's work. Having the drugs illegal didn't keep them from getting hooked, and it puts them in bad company and harm's way dealing with their addiction. Imagine how much tax money there would be for rehab, policing, and all kinds of stuff if that huge underground economy could be tapped. Maybe our property taxes could even go down.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mt. Pleasant Community Centre delay

According to a Vancouver blog called Shane's World the new Mt. Pleasant Community Centre that's being built on the triangular corner of Kingsway and Main, between 7th and 8th Avenues, has experienced more delays and will not be finished until 2008. Meanwhile, the children who drew the pictures on the fence around the site are probably graduating from high school by now.

The current Mt. Pleasant Community Centre will be closed when the new one is finished. The old Mt. Pleasant Community Centre (not to be confused with the Mt. Pleasant Neighbourhood House, at Broadway and Prince Albert) is in Mt. Pleasant Park at 16th and Ontario. It has a fitness centre, gymnasium, racquetball courts, several multi-purpose rooms and an outdoor swimming pool. (Of course they're all closed right now, while we wait for the city to settle the strike.)

The new Mt. Pleasant Community Centre is supposed to house a new public library, and when it opens the old library in Kingsgate Mall is destined to be closed. (Of course it's closed right now, too, while we wait for the city to settle the strike.)

I hope you checked out lots of books before the strike.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Skunks and Dogs

There are a lot of skunks walking around Mt. Pleasant. This evening one walked through our yard, was chased by our dogs, and sprayed them. Things I have learned about this situation:

1. Don't call your dogs into the house. It is already too late. Make them stay outside until you are ready to bathe them outside or march them straight into the bathtub, because if you let them in they will rub skunk smell all over everything - either trying to get it off, or because they like it, I'm not sure which.

2. Skunk smell that is sprayed on doesn't smell like skunk smell lingering in the air. It smells sort of like a combination of gasoline and sesame oil. I didn't think it was skunk when the dogs first came into the house, I thought maybe someone had sprayed chemicals on the dogs.

3. If you have young, dumb dogs, chances are great that they will get sprayed. Best to be prepared. According to a chemist's site I saw (too late) online, tomato juice doesn't work. Even though the report last week on CBC radio said it does. However, if you go into Mac's at 10:30 pm and buy six liters of tomato juice, everybody will know that your dogs got into a skunk and be sympathetic - if their dog got into a skunk, they will recognize the smell.

3. This nice chemistry professor in California has posted a site that explains what the main ingredients of skunk spray are - even shows the molecules - and what will work to neutralize them. You can find it at

Basically, he says, they have to be oxidized, and you can do that with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and liquid detergent - or chlorine bleach (but don't use the bleach on the dog).

Another site said you could use vinegar instead of the peroxide, and that it wouldn't bleach the dog's coat as much. Here's the operational part of William Wood's advice:

For pets that have been sprayed, bathe the animal in a mixture of 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide (from drug store), 1/4 cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and a teaspoon of liquid detergent. After 5 minutes rinse the animal with water. Repeat if necessary. The mixture must be used after mixing and will not work if it is stored for any length of time. DO NOT STORE IN A CLOSED CONTAINER - it releases oxygen gas so it could break the container. This mixture may bleach the pet's hair. I have heard of one black Labrador retriever that was chocolate colored after this treatment. (Paul Krebaum's Recipe from Chemical & E ngineering News , October 18, 1993, p. 90).

Some additional tips. Do this outside so the volatile skunk spray does not contaminate your house. To remove residual skunk odor from your clothes and any towels or rags used in this clean up procedure, wash them with one cup of liquid laundry bleach per gallon of water.

For buildings, decks, etc., a solution of liquid laundry (Chlorox®) bleach (1 cup per gallon) will work. CAUTION - THIS MAY BLEACH THE BUILDINGS, DECKS, ETC. Try it on a small area if bleaching may be a problem. The bleach must come in contact with the spot where the secretion was sprayed Repeated applications may be necessary for large amounts of the skunk spray. DO NOT USE THIS ON PETS. It will not work for skunk spray that has drifted over a large area or is trapped in a house. Only time and adequate ventilation will help in this case.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A small lesson

The young child who lives across the street came outside today in company of an older man, perhaps a grandfather. They made a paseo around the house to examine the flora and fauna. As they walked back my way, the boy was chanting "too - many -bees." I, too, was watching bees in the flowers in my front yard. There were many. The grandfather chanted "lots - of - bees" and the boy changed to the same.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Means of Production youth want your opinion

The Environmental Youth Alliance has a project called Means of Production that does a lot of work in North China Park. Over the past few years, young people have terraced the north part of the high sloping part of the park and have put in many kinds of plants. They also built a tool shed and recently added a sturdy bench and some fencing made from willow branches. Sometimes they host events like the recent two-part series on herbal medicines. The EYA says the goal of this project is "to bring urban youth into closer contact with natural spaces and food production." You can read more about it on the website A week or two ago they added a big sign asking people to comment about what Means of Production means to them. There's a box with a slot at the bottom left, and some paper - and a string that probably used to have a pencil. Be sure to comment when you stop by the park, about how interesting and heartening their work is. And don't forget to bring your own pen or pencil.

Monday, July 16, 2007

To get stop signs and traffic circles

The corner of Prince Albert St. and 8th Avenue has become pretty dangerous, because it is hard to see traffic coming along 8th Avenue. There are stop signs on Prince Albert, but none on 8th. Many large vehicles park on street near this intersection. When they used to park mainly on Prince Albert between Broadway and 8th, it didn't cause as much of a traffic hazard, but now for some reason the trucks and buses have moved to park mainly on 8th. Even a van or SUV can block the view of oncoming traffic, especially because of the curve of the hill in both directions. To see if anything is coming you have to pull way out in the intersection in your car, and you might get hit doing it. I have witnessed one accident recently, and been involved in several near misses.

Because of this, I wrote the City Traffic department, through their website, asking for a 4-way stop to be put up at this corner. Basically, they said we haven't had enough accidents there yet! But that we could get a calming circle if 2/3 of the neighbours want to pay. Here is the text of the reply:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kim, Dave
Date: May 23, 2007 1:01 PM
Subject: FW: Web Submission - Contact Form WO#4086
Thank you for your e-mail regarding traffic safety at the intersection
of Prince Albert and 8th Avenue.

4-way Stop signs are installed when the existing 2-way control is no longer adequate or efficient. When installing 4-way stop signs to improve safety the decision is made based on a number of factors including the accident history at the intersection provided by Police and ICBC records. We then follow guidelines for Stop sign installation as set out in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada. The M.U.T.C.D. warrant calls for 4-way stops if 5 or more right-of-way conflict accidents per year have occurred (right angle collisions, not rear ends or side swipes). Traffic volumes must generally be balanced, with 200 or more vehicles per hour on the lesser street. Another consideration for 4-way Stops is an average delay of 30 seconds or more to side street traffic. Efficiency problems would be evident by high volumes in all directions, and delays to traffic in the stopped direction.

The intersection of Prince Albert and 8th was previously examined and accident records for the intersection show three reported accidents within a 5 year period. A traffic count at the intersection found north/south vehicle volumes to be about 102 Vehicles per hour along Prince Albert and about 132 vehicles per hour on 8th Ave with delays of less than 30 seconds. Therefore, for the reasons explained above, 4-way stop signs are not recommended for the intersection of Prince Albert and 8th Avenue at this time.

A traffic circle is another traffic calming option which can be pursued through the local improvement process. This allows residents the opportunity to have a traffic circle installed on their street by agreeing to pay for the installation. The process for acquiring a property owner funded traffic circle is by obtaining a 2/3 majority of property owners to sign a petition in support of the traffic circle. If you would like an information package sent to you, please contact me by return e-mail or call me at (604) 871-6279. If you would like information on property owner funded corner bulges please contact John Jang of our Local Improvements Branch at (604)873-7183.

At an intersection, vehicles parking on the street must stop at least 6 metres from the back of the sidewalk on an intersecting street. If you notice vehicles parking within the intersection clearance, please call Parking Enforcement at 604-257-8727 to request enforcement of the Street and Traffic Bylaw.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me.

>Dave Kim
>City of Vancouver Greenways and Neighbourhood Transportation Branch
>453 West 12th Avenue
>Vancouver BC V5Y 1V4
>Phone: 604-871-6279 Fax: 604-871-6192


The following was submitted through the Traffic Management website from

1. What is the nature of the comment?

2. What do you want to comment on?
Local Traffic

3. What is the location?
8th Avenue
Prince Albert

This corner has had crashes and many near misses, and much needs a 4-way stop or a circle. It is impossible to see past tall parked vehicles, especially because of the hill, and you take your life in your hands by pulling out without seeing nearly every time you cross 8th on Prince Albert. There are many van and SUV owners who need to park on street around there, and also some large trucks driven by residents, so this situation is going to stay bad.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

John Graham - Canadian Rights Violated

John Graham was a resident of the Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood until he lost his appeal to the BC Supreme Court of Appeal to stop his extradition to the United States, June 26th. He is currently in jail awaiting the decision to hear his case in the Supreme Court of Canada.

Why should You be interested in John's case? It could happen to you, especially if you are a visible minority.

The FBI want to extradite a Canadian Citizen, for a CONTROVERSIAL murder of another Canadian Citizen (both are Canadian aboriginal First Nations People). The controversy is, the FBI may have been involved with the murder and they are 'covering' up their part in it. After all, they did the first autopsy and found the cause of death to be due to 'exposure'. After the family of the murder victim had an independent coroner do a second autopsy, it was learned the person was shot in the head. How could the FBI 'miss' something so obvious.

In the early 1990's, the National Film Board of Canada produced a documentary on the murder of Anna Mae Aquash. Even the family suspected the FBI involvement of this murder. Now the FBI have to change their story their story to save 'face'. Thirty years after the murder the FBI 'suddenly' have 'new' evidence, and John Graham's nightmare begins.

The following is written by the RCMP officer who had arrested Leonard Peltier. Peltier's case is very much related to John Graham's. Leonard Peltier was also extradited from Canada on fabricated evidence and sentenced to life imprisonment, also on fabricated evidence, and suppressed evidence would have shown his innocence. The same fate awaits John Graham unless the Canadian Government stops the extradition. If the US want a trial, let him be tried in Canada where he can receive a fair trial.

Letter by Bob Newbrook

The charge by the FBI against John Graham, a Tuchone Native of the Yukon, for a murder which occurred in South Dakota in 1976 is again a blatant fabrication of evidence.

According to FBI documents, the frozen body of a Native woman was found on private land near Wanblee, South Dakota on February 24, 1976. The following day, a pathologist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Dr. W.O. Brown, performed an autopsy which included, by his statement, “the removal of the brain from the body” and determined the cause of death to be exposure. The corpse’s hands were severed and sent to FBI headquarters for further finger print analysis. The body was buried as Jane Doe and subsequently identified as that of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, a Mi-Kmaq Native of Nova Scotia, Canada, who was a member of the AIM and a U.S. federal fugitive at the time of her death.

On demand by counsel acting for the family of the deceased, Bruce Ellison, the body was exhumed on March 11, 1976 and a pathologist of the families choosing, Dr. Garry Peterson, determined the cause of death as a bullet wound to the head.

Mystery and intrigue have surrounded the case for years. On September 16, 1999, a distant cousin of Anna Mae, Robert Pictou-Branscombe, convened a press conference in which he stated that FBI provocateur Douglass Durham had planted rumors about Anna Mae being an FBI informant. He further alleged that she was taken to a house on the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota, where she was interrogated by other AIM members, and a self-proclaimed Executive Director of AIM, Vernon Bellecourt, had ordered her execution. Branscombe also alleged that she was killed by Graham.

The FBI quickly responded by stating that new evidence would be put before a grand jury. In 2003, a homeless alcoholic named Arlo Looking Cloud was arrested, tried and convicted of being an accessory to the first degree murder of Anna Mae. The evidence was a video showing Looking Cloud being interviewed by police while in detention, stating that he and John Graham had taken Anna Mae in a car driven by a Native woman named Theda Clark to a place where he saw John Graham take Anna Mae to an embankment by a fence and shoot her in the head on December 12, 1975. Looking Cloud had visited the scene with police officer Bob Ecofy shortly before the trial, supposedly to re-enact the crime for police evidence.

There are many discrepancies associated with the evidence at trial, which the government appointed lawyer for the defense, Tim Rensch of Rapid City, did not broach. For example, the pathologist, for the BIA, Dr. W.O. Brown, had stated in his report of the autopsy which he had performed on February 25, 1976, that the body had been dead for 7 to 10 days, putting the time of death around February 18 to February 15, 1976, and not December 12, 1975 as stated by Looking Cloud. Also, had the body been laying in the cold open countryside for over 2 months, the flesh would have been scavenged by coyotes and crows. The owner of the ranch who discovered the body, Roger Amiotte, stated that the fence in question had not been erected until some 15 years after he found the body. Additionally, Mr. Amiotte stated that the body was wrapped in a blanket when he found it.

In FBI documents titled “A summary of investigation of the murder of Anna Mae Aquash”, it is stated that “During the crime scene search, the earth below where Aquash’s head had rested was spaded in an effort to obtain physical evidence of which none was located and no earth was removed from the scene”. The documents also state that there was no evidence of foul play. This contradicts the evidence on tape given by Looking Cloud, which was used to convict him and indict Graham, that Anna Mae was shot in the head at the scene where the body was found. If this were the case, blood would certainly have been present. A separate document makes reference to certain staff members in the hospital where the body was taken who noted matted blood in the hair on the head of the corpse.

It seems clear that Anna Mae Aquash was murdered elsewhere and transported to the location where her body was found. After exhumation of the body and the FBI’s official statement’s loss of credibility, a different story was concocted and John Graham implicated. He was arrested in Vancouver in December, 2003. During an interview with me at the pre-trial detention center, he stated that he had driven Anna Mae to a safe house on the reservation in 1975 when she had told him that FBI Special Agent David Price had previously arrested her and taken finger prints, photographs and notations of body markings for future identification purposes. Also, she said Price had threatened her that unless she named the AIM members present at the Oglala shootout at the time of the deaths of the two agents, she would not live another year.

The onus lies with the prosecution to prove guilt. Court is not a crucible for truth, and witnesses are routinely coached prior to testifying in order to achieve predetermined results; nuances are shaded, memories reprocessed and vulnerable suspects can be intimidated into confessing to something of which they are not guilty. The FBI has power and privilege. The persecution of John Graham is a clear attempt by the FBI to vindicate themselves with respect to this shameful and abhorrent chapter of history.

John Graham was committed for extradition in appellate court on June 26, 2007.

--Bob Newbrook, June 26, 2007.