“Get the torches! Get the matches! Burn the condos! Burn the condos!”

– Threats made by Cuchillo restaurant protestors.

Friday evening a small group of masked protestors led by Wendy Pedersen, board member of the Carnegie Community Centre Association, and Jean Swanson, leader of the Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP), began a new round of disturbing and potentially criminal actions in front of Cuchillo restaurant at 261 Powell Street.

For many months the CCAP has stated that there is no association between the anarchists who have claimed responsibility for at least one arson in East Vancouver and the CCAP and its supporters.

“The anarchists wear masks,” the CCAP leaders say. “We don’t wear masks.”

“The anarchists make threats,” the CCAP leaders say. “We don’t make threats. We are peaceful ‘grassroots’ protestors.”

Last night it became apparent that the two groups behave as though they could be linked. The balaclava and bandana clad group at the heart of the protest in front of Cuchillo singled out several individuals entering the restaurant and began a vicious chant of “Get the torches! Get the matches! Burn the condos! Burn the condos! F…ing a,,,holes! Get the matches! Get the torches! Burn the condos! Get the matches! Get the torches!”

It is clear the supporters of the Pidgin and Cuchillo mobs have now entered uncharted waters where they could be charged with criminal offences based on these actions.

Section 264.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada states:

Uttering Threats

264.1 (1) Every one commits an offence who, in any manner, knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat
(a) to cause death or bodily harm to any person;
(b) to burn, destroy or damage real or personal property; or
(c) to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that is the property of any person.


(2) Every one who commits an offence under paragraph (1)(a) is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.


Masked demonstrators outside Cuchillo restaurant on Powell Street. From left, unknown, Kim Hearty (COPE Executive), “Homeless Dave”, unknown.

Paid community leaders, like Ms. Swanson and Ms. Pederson, who attend demonstrations and stand in support of a masked mob which makes specific threats of arson should not be tolerated in our city. It is time for Mayor Robertson to act.

Mrs. Pedersen and Mrs. Swanson should be asked to resign immediately from their positions at the Carnegie Community Centre and the CCAP should be evicted from the its offices in the community centre. It is time for Vancity to stop funding the CCAP knowing that its leaders stand idly by while their supporters threaten to burn down people’s homes.

The actions and threats outside of Cuchillo last night showed that the time to remove the current leadership of the CCAP has come.

The Editors

Evolve together.  


  1. Maria Wallstam says:

    Another article about the press conference outside Cuchillo on friday night: http://www.straight.com/news/398401/protesters-target-cuchillo-another-symbol-gentrification-vancouvers-downtown-eastside.

  2. Linda Mix says:

    Perhaps the Cuchillo protestors wouldn't mind doing the coming over to the alley at Abbot & Cordova and moving some of the drug peddling scum from the alley? Dare you..

  3. Amen to that- but unfortuantely this mayor is too busy looking chi-chi and burning up tax payers dollars building bicycle lanes for his favorite clique to do anything about lawbreaking.

  4. Beatriz Osorio says:

    A truly concerned citizen would call the police already.

  5. You know you are doing something right when the Gentrification Gazette is threatening to snitch on you to Gregor and/or calls for your resignation. Ahaha…

  6. "knowingly utters, conveys or causes any PERSON" good thing these people aren't lawyers. Don't quit your day job… if you even have a day job.

  7. Brian Cyr says:

    more misguided protests. I live and work here. I raise my daughter here. My family lives here and my wife has a company in the DTES. Cities grow and change. It' is time for the DTES to grow and clean up. What's your solution, keep this hell hole the way it is. Great idea. Spend your time helping people lose their addictions and become good citizens that are part of the solution, not the problem. Time to protest the protestors. Let's go to the homes of these activists and scream in bullhorns at them.

  8. Brian Cyr says:

    Alisha Delgado-Pelton . Hate to tell you but this in't right, it's wrong an makes us residents want to support these businesses, not you and your misguided ways.

  9. Patrick Baldwin says:

    Nicholas, in the courts, a company has the same rights as a person. Don't be daft.

  10. (b) to burn, destroy or damage real or personal property; or
    (c) to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that is the property of any person. ya twat!!

  11. you don't think the police know? its one of the worst corners in the DTES

  12. Linda Mix says:

    Indeed, the police know. There is more damage inflicted on the people in this neighbourhood by the predator dealers than by a Mexican restaurant.

  13. Bruce Dean says:

    Action Before Arson – yes, action by our government to eradicate poverty, gentrification…

    Oh, no action from the government?

    Maybe there should be another lame peaceful protest that our government will ignore, NOT.

    "Protest beyond the law is not a departure from 'democracy' – it is absolutely essential to it".
    (Howard Zinn)

    People (sheeple) so upset with protesters but not about our consistent child poverty, wages below a living wage, unaffordable housing, ignored native rights – but protesters seem to be the main concern of this collection of sheeple.

    What a bunch of misguided self-righteous bystanders ignoring poverty.

    "Poverty is the worst form of violence."
    (Mahatma Gandhi)

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.
    (John F. Kennedy)

  14. Bruce Dean says:

    You sound like a very lucky man who should appreciate his opportunity and not condemn those less fortunate than you.

    You want the protesters to become good citizens? …just like the good citizens of BC who ignore child poverty everyday?

    “There is no excuse for the high levels of poverty in Canada. None. None whatsoever.” (Mel Hurtig)

    Child Poverty Rate In British Columbia Back To The Worst In Canada

  15. Bruce Dean says:

    Child Poverty Rate In British Columbia Back To The Worst In Canada

  16. Oh the irony of a bunch of unemployed pot smoking hippes complaining about child poverty. It's easy to complain when you have the time and are drawing from the very social services which could be used to combat child poverty. Instead, you sit around complaining about a business that's creating employment, paying property taxes and contributing to the tax base. If your argument is really about child poverty, do something about child poverty by working to help kids suffering from child poverty. Go volunteer instead of blaming a blameless business that actually is making a contribution.

  17. Cynthia Blake says:

    This is what hippies look like in Canada? I couldn't garner much information from what I think is very poorly written. Why is this restaurant being targeted? What does it have to do with child poverty? What is this Carnegie group about? What's this photo of the woman holding the nautilus shell have to do with it? How does anyone these people don't work? They looked pretty mainstream and straight in their overall appearance. As I said, a poorly written article, Gastown Gazette.

  18. D.c. Will says:

    How is threatening to endanger lives and destroy property HELPING matters, exactly?

    If you actually gave a smidgen of a particle of a rat's @$$ about living conditions in the DTES, you would be volunteering at soup kitchens and helping clean up needles and getting involved in parenting classes and stopping human trafficking and……..oh, wait. That would mean you'd have to actually DO something, right?

  19. Linda Mix says:

    Lets get this clear; the space Cuchillo is in sat vacant for years.. No one is displaced by this restaurant. I, like others who go to these restaurants also donate to social service agencies that assist the poor. Government neglect of the poor is criminal, protest that, not honest hard working people trying to make a living.

  20. Vicki Oates says:

    Well said!

  21. Mal Fenderson says:

    Nicholas Ellan "Every one commits an offence who…knowingly utters…a threat…to burn, destroy or damage real or personal property." seems to be one of the permutations, as it were. So people who utter threats (and using the imperative sounds like a threat to me!) to burn real property are within the ambit of the section of the criminal code. IANAL, but neither are you. And remember, there is the form and spirit of the law. If you honestly think it does not violate the spirit of the Great Commandment, love your neighbour as yourself, to talk about burning real property, I submit that you are mentally ill, mentally challenged or both.

  22. Mal Fenderson says:

    The VPD needs to investigate this, and if they will not, it points to a disturbing politicization of our Police and Civil Service, one that was clearly visible during Occupy Vancouver. Even after a young girl _died_ Mayor Moonbeam didn't shut it down. I mean, that's an acceptable loss to these militarized kiddies, I guess. But to those of us who are not militant socialists, those of us who believe in peace, order and good government, I think we all know that it is unlawful to chant "burn the condos."

    I understand that many may, out of a mawkish tenderness, sympathize with the "issues" these protesters purportedly bring to the table, but in this day and age, the medium is the message. The failure of this protest medium was written in blood at Occupy Vancouver. And as tragic as an OD is, the immediate physical harm (emotional/spiritual harm to family/friends is another matter, of course) is confined to the person who ODs. Fire is dangerous. People who talk about using fire as a weapon in a city are inhuman. These people simply do not care about life. People who care about life don't threaten to burn buildings.

    If you are a militarized socialist, you should know that there is help. There are many respectable community organization in town (Churches, Food Banks, Special Olympics (as a volunteer or athlete, j/k, etc.) that can give you an outlet for your desire to "be the change you want to see." I submit you will find that pacific activity is far more pleasurable and far more beneficial to the community than this sort of thing.

  23. Brian Cyr says:

    Tell me how protesting people that create a business, hire local people from the community and support the DTES residents helps in anyway. I am all for helping those less fortunate and I do it everyday in Gastown by buying their art or giving them money to eat. I don't condemn the people on the street. I do condemn misguided protestors that will achieve nothing by getting the community upset by their actions.