The occupation of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Calgary constituency office!
Wednesday, May 19 / 2010, 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
The day started at the Calgary International Airport. Jodie Emery - Cannabis Culture and Jacob Hunter - Beyond Prohibition Foundation arrived at 9:20 AM.
First stop was at Bongs and Such new northwest store across from SAIT. Nick donated some DANK energy drinks and a Canadian Cannabis flag for the protest occupation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Calgary constituency office! Next stop was The Next Level where Lisa Kirkman - Skunk Magazine and Jordan Champagne met up with the four of us. A short visit and we were off for a quick lunch stop at Smugglers on Macleod Trail and to meet up with Kelly Christie and Arleen Lively. Our food had not arrived by 12:35 so we had it packaged up to take with us.
12:50 we arrived at Glenmore Landing Mall where Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Calgary constituency office is located.
Some Calgary 420 members were there already waiting in the shade of a tree. Jodie, Jacob and I exited my truck at the front door and entered the building and proceeded to the second floor where Harper's constituency office is in the building. Debbie parked my truck and gathered the Calgary 420 members together ready to enter the building.
I had the video camera rolling while Jacob tried to open the door but found it locked. Jacob knocked on the the locked door and to my surprise the door opened. We entered the office and Jacob announced we were there to occupy the office in protest of the Marc Emery extradition. The constituency office employee politely said she was ok with the protest. Jacob then proceeded to produce a large bag of Kush cannabis and roll large joints.
The Harper's constituency office employee then said she did not want to be video recorded please respect my right to privacy. I told her I would respect her request and not record her but if she did get recorded by accident I would be sure to blur out her face. She thanked me and then entered a internal office and started to use a phone. Debbie then entered the Harper's constituency office with a number of Calgary 420 members following her in. Debbie took over the video recording at this point. I got on the phone to the local media letting them know about the protest action that was under way. Some were surprised we were actually in the Prime Minister of Canada Calgary constituency office . One comment was "don't you think you will get arrested". I replied we are ready to be arrested and will not resist CPS actions to arrest and charge us. Note: We will always fight the charges in a court of law. In other words we will play their game by their rules and we will still win. We have been there and done exactly that before.
CTV News arrived with reporter and camera man. Followed by Global TV, The Calgary Herald and 660 News AM radio. 770 CHQR also were reporting on the protest.
By now the Calgary Police Service (CPS) had arrived. I told the CPS officer clearly in charge we are peaceful and can prove it. I went on to say I have phone numbers to two CPS officers I have worked with in regards to rallies and protests I have organized and lead over the last 5 years. Also I added we will respect the CPS and the office staff. The CPS officer in charge commented they had more important things to do then be there. I told the CPS officer our action was also very important but agreed they did not need to be there either.
At the same time all this was going on Jacob Hunter and Rob Blair (both legal medical cannabis consumers) are rolling joints. Jacob and Jodie are video recording, speaking to the media, and spreading the word on the Internet that our occupation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Calgary constituency office was well under way. Then Jodie lead the group in song and chants while we stood on the balcony over looking the protesters below.in front of the entrance doors to the professional building where Harper's constituency office.
This is when things started to get real tense. The property management demanded the CPS remove us from the balcony. The CPS respectfully asked us to return to the office. I felt we should comply and we all went back in side. There is a old saying "give them a inch and they will try to take a mile". Now the property management demanded CPS remove us from the office because it was on private property and they wanted to close it.
I made the announcement we were being asked to leave. Jacob immediately stood up and refused to leave until the regular closing hour of 5:00 PM. I told everyone they could leave if they choose to and added I would appreciate it if they would stand outside with signs in a show of support for those of us that chose to stay in the office and risk being arrested and charged. Everyone decided to stay in the office.
The office staff made a statement she was leaving and wanted to close the office. Again we all refused to leave until 5:00 PM. The staff went out the balcony door and exited through another office. Some of our group left when they needed to use a washroom or medicate with their legal cannabis medication. The next step for the CPS was to not allow any of our group back into the building. I had suspected this could happen so that is the reason I stayed even though I needed to use a washroom.
The tension continued to build as the afternoon wore on. This ended when at 4:00 PM to plain clothes CPS detectives arrived and announced we would not be arrested and would be allowed to complete our occupation of the Harper's constituency office until 5:00 PM. The uniformed CPS officers left at this point.
4:20 PM our group cheered and chanted. We knew the risks were now over and we had won the battle. 5:00 PM we all left the office peacefully and were cheered on by Calgary 420 members waiting outside for us. CTV had their live satellite feed truck and broadcast a live report of the afternoons protest in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Calgary constituency office. Our group continued the protest in the parking lot with signs, chants, songs and cheers.
Global TV News coverage See May 19