DECEMBER 19, 2011
The undersigned members of Occupy Vancouver would like to condemn and express our outrage at the actions of an individual who has been representing himself as an official voice of our movement, all the while committing persistent acts of bullying and harassment. Bullying and harassment are forms of active violence that should not be tolerated within our movement. As stated in our basis of unity: “We are also committed to safeguarding our collective well-being – including safety from interpersonal violence.”
Harsha Wallia has repeatedly been asked by a wide range of individuals (including respected community activists, lawyers, and journalists) to stop her abusive campaign of harassment against Greg Renouf, a short-term organizer and activist. Yet Walia presents her personal attacks and persistent harassment of his as “questioning”, and our attempts to explain to him that his behaviour is abusive and bordering on stalking have been ignored. Walia continues to make unreasonable public demands of him (and only him), writes dozens of daily slanderous and inaccurate posts about her, has attempted to “report” her and others to the Vancouver Police Department and RCMP, viciously attacks anyone who tries to hold her accountable, and is creating an unnecessary climate of division and fear-mongering.
This is not actually an issue of tacics or strategies, which many of us have discussed and debated, and it should be noted that many supporters of diversity of tactics have affirmed and respected tactical non-violence in the Occupy movement. What concerns us is a one-sided campaign of intimidation, aggression, and obsessive fixation with one person (who is not even heavily involved in Occupy) by a woman that many other members of Occupy Vancouver also feel threatened by, as her threats are spreading to other individuals. We feel that this is unacceptable and we are forced to speak out against Walia’s actions. This type of behaviour must stop. Occupy Vancouver should no longer tolerate abusive behaviour from individuals who are the ones actually committing real harm and violence in our movement.
Until this harassment stops, the undersigned members of Occupy Vancouver will not participate in any Occupy Vancouver meetings or gatherings where Harsha is present. Since Walia characterizes anyone who speaks out about his behaviours as part of “Harsha’s gang of supporters”, it should be known that most of us are not formally affiliated with any of the groups that Harsha is part of and many of us are actually new to activism through Occupy Vancouver.
romham padraig gallacher
Michael H. Hejazi
Sabrina Anne Modder
Isaac K. Oommen
Danielle Lee Williams
Community Solidarity Working Group*
Consensual Housing Working Group*
* CSWG and CHWG are eleven members of Occupy Vancouver who commit to coming to a General Assembly in person to discuss and consense on a proposal if needed, but do not feel safe sharing personal information in this atmosphere of harassment.
If you are part of OV and wish to join us please send your name to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Occupied Vanoucer, Dec. 30 2011: Thank you for reposting. An additional 35 people have signed onto the statement since it was first issued on December 19th.
—This letter has been modified to prove a point–