Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns (VARK)

Activists Uniting For The Benefit of Animals

Speak up! About what is good! A transit system in Vancouver without Transit Officers.

As activists, people who work to defend the vulnerable, we often have compassion for people who are vulnerable too.

Witnessing semi police force is something that feels violating, hostile and counter intuitive to a progressive, empathic community. Witnessing, is also something that activists do, we watch, observe, learn and then share the experience as best we can to others to inform, educate and to hopefully transform situations to something better and more rewarding for all of us.

This brings us to ways we can affect systems that are in place that go against our natures of compassion and tolerance.

Recently, several of us have been witness to the alarming physical presence of what is being called Vancouver Transit Police. According to Chief Officer Neil Dubord, “The results of Transit Police work is reduced crime and disorder, increased feeling of safety and improved quality of life on public transportation.” However, this has not been the feeling communicated to the passengers we have spoken with.

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Have you had any experience with Transit Police or on our local transportation system that you would like to share or comment on? Please speak up and post a comment. We would like to mention that we are incredibly grateful for the exceptional transportation system that we do have in Vancouver and the many helpful, considerate, hard working bus drivers and people within Translink. We also acknowledge the benefit we receive from the service that police, security and transit police provide in order to protect the well being of its community passengers. However, we wish to see the continued protection and comfort level on buses without feeling intimidated and harassed by Transit Police on what used to be an enjoyable commute to work and our daily events!

If you feel the same, please send a letter to the following:

1.) Transit Police: http://www.translink.ca/en/About-Us/Corporate-Overview/Operating-Companies/Transit-Police/Contact-Transit-Police.aspx

2.) Mayor Gregor Robertson: http://vancouver.ca/your-government/mayor-gregor-robertson.aspx
Email to: gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca or tel:604-873-7621

We at VARC believe in creating change for the positive and also in protecting what is already beautiful. The transit system is a fluid, mobile, advanced operating system that allows people to move freely, liberally and enthusiastically through the corridors of Vancouver. Let’s not let it be brought down with a few misjudgements from Transit Police. Speak Your Mind. We live in a world that requires your feedback in the communication system of life.20130306-111433.jpg

Sample Letter from a rider to Translink and Mayor Robertson

Riding the number 99 bus has gone from being an enjoyable one to a terrifying one. It used to be a fun, light hearted ride down broadway, in either direction. There was a sense of community, trust, togetherness. Now the disturbing presence of police brutality on the bus, brings a feeling of solemness and severity.

I have witnessed two women being dragged off the bus and intimidated after large, intimidating police security officers alarmingly stepped onto the bus requesting their bus pass.

I spoke to both shaken up women afterwards. One woman is about to let go of her apartment and see if she can house sit because she can no longer afford her rent. The other woman was a student with very little money.

As someone myself who can barely make ends meet and who has watched the horrible homeless situation in vancouver for years and spoke with people living out of their cars because they can’t afford rent, I happen to be one of those individuals who take great pity on those struggling and I have a huge level of compassion for them in this city.

I can tell you, that at times for many it may be a choice between dinner and a bus fare. And its not from the people you would expect.

I want to live in a city I am proud of, not ashamed of. Riding this bus, witnessing the unkind actions of these police officers makes me deeply ashamed of the world I belong to that lives without empathy and compassion. And it makes me deeply ashamed of the city of Vancouver.

Aren’t police officers meant to protect people, not intimidate the homeless, helpless and vulnerable?

This is a disgrace. Please put the time of Transit Officers to better use.

Sincerely

Laws are for people who don’t obey their hearts, who don’t know how to listen to their hearts and who don’t know how to feel or think with their hearts.

More Links:

http://www.translink.ca/en/About-Us/Corporate-Overview/Operating-Companies/Transit-Police/About-Us/Chiefs-Welcome.aspx

http://www.globaltvbc.com/transit+police+under+fire+from+metro+vancouver+mayors/6442813578/story.html

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One Response

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