DECEMBER 22, 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.”
Greg Renouf has repeatedly been asked by a wide range of individuals (including respected community activists, lawyers, and journalists) to stop his abusive campaign of harassment against Harsha Walia, a long-time organizer and activist. Yet Renouf presents his personal attacks and persistent harassment of her as “questioning”, and our attempts to explain to him that his behaviour is abusive and bordering on stalking have been ignored. Renouf continues to make unreasonable public demands of her (and only her), 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 him accountable, and is creating an unnecessary climate of division and fear-mongering.
This is not actually an issue of tactics 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 man that many other members of Occupy Vancouver also feel threatened by, as his threats are spreading to other individuals. We feel that this is unacceptable and we are forced to speak out against Renouf’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 Greg Renouf is present. Since Renouf 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: email@example.com
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.