Sunday, May 20, 2007


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


On Saturday afternoon, David Cunningham, a self-described crack addict was arrested by the Vancouver Police Department. Mr. Cunningham, his partner, Jill Chettiar and Kim Kerr of DERA, are attempting to make hay out of the alleged method, which the VPD deployed to arrest. It is being alleged that the VPD lured Mr. Cunningham to Tinseltown in order to take him into custody. Activists, Kerr, Chettiar and Cunningham jumped into overdrive attempting to spin the arrest in Kim Kerr's own words, as "police overkill".

The distorted and jaundiced thinking of the aforementioned APC members, demonstrates a lack of concern of how their actions may affect others and in the case of Mr. Cunningham and Ms Chettiar, tragically even their own little boy.

It seems these loudmouths paid little attention that the helpless three year old son of Cunningham and Chettiar might be traumatized seeing his father arrested. However, this doesn't appear to register at all on their radar and clearly demonstrates how these anti-Olympic shit disturbers only care about their own personal publicity. Really scary is how their vulnerable little boy, is at risk--as his--seemingly out-of-control father and mother act out in irrational, irresponsible and violent ways.

This is not the first arrest of the ringleader of the APC and it surely won't be the last. This man actually enjoys snubbing his finger at the law as his continuous rants and violent actions lead to, in his own words, " lots of media attention". Granted, it does, but that isn't unusual in this day and age of tabloid journalism. A sensational story is a sensational story, however, whether this sensationalism contributes anything productive for the Oldtown community or its lower-income citizens is questionable.

Its interesting that the APC and its leaders all hail from somewhere else. In fact, a large number of them come from comfortable middle-class backgrounds where they had the best education that money could buy. They really didn't suffer like many other residents of Oldtown nor have they laboured at menial jobs to provide for themselves. Anna Hunter, another APC leader and DERA staffer, attended university, which was likely paid for by her Olympian athlete father, Jim Hunter.

The APC and new leaders at DERA, actually if you scratch beneath the surface, have not one accomplishment they can attach to their name. Unless you count squatting or getting arrested as accomplishments.

Achievements of this community has been through the hard work and efforts of others. Whether it was saving Carnegie Centre, bringing in the first Food Co-op, the building of significant units of social housing or bringing attention to the missing women's cases, this neighborhood's positive contributions were undertaken in a spirit of co-operativeness and visionary thinking. Attributes which the APC and new DERA lack.

So go ahead, Mr Cunningham scream all you want. All this does in fact, as you state, brings endless attention to yourself. I think your many arrests attest to this fact.

Ann Livingston, Leader at the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (which was where you had membership Mr. Cunningham) , summed it up best in the Vancouver Sun when she stated that your actions contributes to the message being lost, as reporters, instead, focus on your out-of-control ranting and raving.

This provides a great soap-box Mr Cunningham. Too bad though it only benefits you.

Jamie Lee Hamilton