Saturday, September 19, 2009

5,000 rally in Vancouver against HST in great protest!

- Cassandra photo

Bill Tieleman addresses the crowd

What a great success this afternoon as about 5,000 people turned out in downtown Vancouver to protest against the Harmonized Sales Tax!

And don't believe any media reports that there were "about 1,000" protestors or that the turnout was "disappointing" to organizers - that's completely incorrect on both counts!

The rally outside the new Vancouver Convention Centre featured former BC Premier Bill Vander Zalm, NDP Leader Carole James, Independent BC MLA Vicki Huntington, BC Conservative Party Deputy Leader Chris Delaney, BC Refederation Party Deputy Leader Jordan Braun and a wide range of community and business representatives.

“It takes from the people, the consumers, particularly those who are packing the lunch bucket(s), the seniors, the students, the people that can least afford to pay yet another tax and it's giving it to the big corporations,” Vander Zalm said to huge applause.

“The public is angry at being betrayed by this government and I have to tell you it shows how angry people are when you can get political opponents together,” James said.

"Do you remember the last time a political leader named Campbell was in government and held an election after introducing a new sales tax?" I told the crowd. "Her name was Kim Campbell, the tax was the GST and the result was a
total disaster for the Progressive Conservative federal government."

NOTE: You can see my speech on YouTube, courtesy of AHA Media - many thanks!

There were also anti-HST rallies in 18 other cities across BC.

To see lots more photos and a personal account of the rally from my friend Laila Yuile, go to her great blog.


Anonymous said...

It was interesting that the "about 1000" number for your rally's crowd was the broadcast product of the Campbellite fart-catchers at CKNW.

I was there for the whole thing, and there was certainly more than 1000 in that crowd.

Further consider that what constitutes the bulk of BC's beautiful media, the CanWest/Global Fraser Institute Empire didn't even bother to show up to report on the event . . . let alone give it any coverage.

If this had been a Gordon Campbell/BC Liberal event, Dennis Skulski and David "the little-putz" Asper would have had the entire PacPress newsroom there covering it, and they would be declaring it . . . Gordon Campbell's Ten Million Man March.


Crankypants said...

I attended today's rally, and all I can say is kudos to the organizers. They did an admiral job and it was good to see the speakers leave their political views at home and deal with the topic. Of course the proponents of the HST are playing up the political backgrounds of those involved to try and discredit them. Unfortunately the mainstream media are focusing on the political side of things rather than the unfairness of the HST. The MSM should leave the spin-doctoring to the PAB.

Nobody said it would be easy, but we must perservere.

brian said...

From what I heard for interviews with hansen, he continued the fiberal line.

The question remains, will this rally have any inpact on the LIEberals? probably and sadly no. What happens now?

Baldry said on the newshour that some MLA back benchers were getting nervous and silently complaining. That has to be a pressure point that needs to be exposed, imo.

More organization will have to be in place during the initiative period if there is ANY hope of collecting 10% of voters in each riding. Going door to door should not be an option! Using NDP offices, small business owner sites, restaurants, and others pubic gathering sites should be employed to gather signatures.

Otis Krayola said...


If you mean that the NDP should mobilize against the tax, I think you'll find that they have. And probably utilized the facilities at the Provincial office on Kingsway in Burnaby to do so.

I'm hoping you don't think that any of the opposition MLAs constituency offices were used in such a partisan manner, though. Those offices exist to address the non-political needs of the constituents and cannot be used for partisan political ends.

Anonymous said...

1000 / 5000

HST good for BC / HST bad for BC

Whether their were 1000 or 5000; or whether the HST is good for BC or bad for BC what does it matter?

Liberals broke their promise to improve recall legislation, so the odds of that the anti-HST campain will succeed are slim to none.

Liberals will ram HST legislation down our #@%$ing throats through the house in the 11th hour of the spring session.

Liberals claim success as tough fiscal managers and start shovelling out both $ and more BS leading up to the next election while the NDP campains on the promise to get rid of HST

Liberals loose election and the NDP renegs on their HST promise. Hmmm? This somehow sounds familiar?

History will repeat itself, not because people are thick, but because people have lost faith in the political process.

There is no democracy in BC anymore. What we have are 4 year cycles of tyranny under a corrupt, deceiptful, power hungry despot and a handful of spineless and ineffective underlings.

Willy P said...

I figure if you can get this end of town PO'ed at you, you've over achieved. Best before date LONG expired.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Bill but even the “partisan” CBC is reporting your event a flop at only 2,000 turnout. You better revise your claims of 5,000 or you are going to look like the US Republicans claiming they had one million out to protest Obamacare.

Anonymous said...

I noticed this morning that the Campbellite media attack-dogs are starting a smear campaign against the Zalm.

Bill's views on multiculturalism have long been a matter of public record but now and suddenly the Gordon Campbell Reich Ministry of Propaganda is out to paint Vanderzalm as "racist".

I recall Gordo's views back in the 1990s on aboriginal issues were not always so politically correct as they are claimed to be now.

But this is what happens when you dare to say anything publically against BC's Great Helmsman.

If Campbell could appoint Senators, BC would have at least a twenty former and current media types using the title "HONOURABLE" before their names.


Kam Lee said...

There were about 6500 people at the rally in Vancouver. I was there taking pictures of many, and I caught at least 5 of them with ear pieces. When I approached them to take their pictures they scurried like little rats away from my probing camera. It was a booming success! All the speakers were on task, and left their political images at home. Good work all! Next thing is the removal of those blatant liers of gordo. Give us our province back!

Anonymous said...

Was there from the sides. Overall the only "star" at this thing was Chris Delaney of the BC Conservatives. Gave a good speech.

Vicki Huntington misfired. She said to the audience that rescinding the HST to 10% would be good idea. All I heard around me in the crowd was boos.

And VanderZalm? Give it a rest. A show man, not much substance in his speech. Carole James, repeated her same old lines.

Not much motivation at this event.

Event did not start at 12 Noon, it was late. The moderator began with remarks about Revolt of the People in the United States in 1775. Comical and laughable.

Not in favour of the HST by any means, but if there is going to be
any start of reversal of the HST, improvements have to be made and soon as to to how to do it.

A disgraced Premier leading the charge isn't going to to do it.

10% of the registered voters in each riding within a short period of time to sign in on the referendum petition?

Good luck on that happening.

So where where you all when the NDP needed help in the last election? Worked the campaigns, drove supporters to the polls? Worked the campaigns?

If those 2,000 or 5,000 worked for us in the NDP, Carole would be Premier James and not Opposition Leader.

Bill Tieleman said...

I have attended hundreds and hundreds of rallies over the past 33 years. There were 4,000 to 5,000 people in attendance.

You don't have to take my word for it - watch the TV coverage on CTV or Global - and we will soon have our own video of the event online.

But don't take the word of anonymous BC Liberal toadies - who are welcome to keep posting here because this is a free speech blog - even if you embarrass yourself and your sad cause of supporting the unfair HST.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it looks like BC's political landscape is going to undergo a seismic shift. WOW!

Just look at the this new BC public opinion poll from Robbins SCE Research:

"Which of the following political leaders and parties associated with each, do you support most in terms of how much you like them and would support them?

Surrey mayor Dianne Watts and B.C. Conservatives 47 %

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and B.C. Liberals 24 %

Carole James and B.C. New Democrats 17 %

Jane Sterk and B.C. Greens 03 %

DPL said...

Years ago we were taught how to estimate crowds. One doesn't have to count every head. That crowd was around 3 to 4 thousand in my view. Anyone ask the cops, they were there for sure. If it had been smaller the spin doctors who end up as anons wouldn't be working so hard to discredit the folks who organized and showed up. I do recall the bad old days when the Solidarity Coalition filled the old stadium on East Hastings, and yes even though a bumch of us were federal employees subject to getting fired the next day we helped fill the place. People in assorted federal uniforms bussed in from the valley as well. Nobody got fired and the disiplie was slight. Worth it to see the thousands of like minded people doing some civil disobedience. One story estimated maybe a few hundred. I'm pretty sure Bill and some of the others at the lastest ralley are skilled in counting in groups. Keep it going folks. The local rag in Victoria didn't have any big story about the events.

Henri Paul said...

“It takes from the people, the consumers, Vander Zalm said"
And therein lies our strength, we are the CONSUMERS.
Stop supporting those businesses that back this Tax today.Stop supporting the mainstream news papers and television that back these proposals and Campbell today, its just that simple. Don't supply your enemies with the resources they use against us the consumers,money.

Laila said...

Bill, I've got nearly 400 photos from the event,and have just posted a few if anyone cares to see.I'm in the midst of starting a new gallery page with many more to come.

Anonymous said...

So, Val and her nonexistent Conservatives think the HST would be a good idea if the tax was reduced to 10 per cent.

I'd be happier if any political party that supports this regressive, anti-worker tax (i.e., the BC Libs and Cons) were reduced to 10 per cent. And that's a combined total, of course!

Bring back corporate taxes, and stop the sell-off of our public resources!

brian said...

I think it is time to start targetting business groups that have publicly supported the hst. Zalm's group should begin to organize throughout the province, targetting one or several businesses that carry out business throughout the province. A boycott campaign would be focus on that business supporting the hst from a government that LIED before and after the election.

Angela said...

5,000? I have trouble believing that but there were certainly more than 1,000 at any time, closer to 2,000 but so many people coming and going all day long. My guess is 3-4,000 total. And most of them not on the ball enough to know what is best.

Take Anon 10:37 for example. Vicky Huntington did not misfire, she hit the nail on the head. And the crowd reacted, no idea what they are talking about. In my opinion, she is the only MLA who deserves to be in the Legislature.

Interesting that the Conservative Party, even the Refederation Party, were invited to speak but not the Green Party. Right, the Green Party has been supportive of HST, even had it in their election platform. But not the 12% variety. They recommend 10% (now where did I hear that on Saturday?), with more exemptions than the Liberal version so it's actually palatable.

But the masses don't seem to care about quality ideas, they're quite content to leave things the way they are so that they can have something to bitch about later.

I was curious about Laila Yuile's blog that her friend, Bill T noted. Not one mention during the election campaign that there even was a referendum so it seems pretty clear that she is as guilty of bringing on this HST debacle as Bill Tieleman, the NDP(leaders not all the supporters) and the Liberals.

We were a little more than 1% away in 2005 from having to worry about running an anti-HST campaign and in my opinion the NDP blew it by not supporting it in 2009.

Rather than treat the symptoms, (one bad Liberal policy at a time) let's aim to cure the disease (that would be our electoral system that about 25-30% think is useful).

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, who voted against proportional representation, should be screaming about the injustice of the HST without first publicly apologizing that they were in error. Over to you Bill T.

Unknown said...

I did not like the PST. The PST was a hated thing. It is good to see the hind quarters of the PST running into the far distance. No one wanted it in the first place. Do you remember the rallies of support when it was first introduced? There were none.

One to five thousand people attended a farce of a rally to protest against a more sensible tax. They campaigned to save the poor. They forgot that the rich pay nothing for BC Lottery Corp tickets. What a bunch. The lottery should be be taken apart. The HST is here to stay.

TD says that HST costs BC paupers 0.7%. You know what the lottery costs the poor. Much more.

Kill the BCLC!

HST is OK!

Bill Tieleman said...

Angela - the Province newspaper reported online the day of the event there were "about 5000" attending - that's my view too.

The "1000" is frankly ridiculous and likely the result of a radio reporter leaving shortly after 12, when people were still streaming in due to the change of venue from Canada Place to outside the new Convention Centre.

As to my role in defeating the Single Transferable Vote, I advise you to get over it. It wasn't my vote that killed STV - it was the vote of 61% of British Columbians who saw it for what it was - a confusing, obscure electoral system that wouldn't work in BC because the multiple ridings would be huge.

And given that the Green Party you seem to support isn't fighting the HST, they might have propped up the BC Liberals to push it through had there been a different electoral system.

Rod Smelser said...

In his column today, Vaughn Palmer insists that the 1,000 figure is the correct estimate.

Bill Tieleman said...

Yes, I've let Vaughn Palmer know I was there and strongly disagree. Vaughn was not there.

But I again urge readers to look at actual photos and TV coverage and judge for themselves.

Anonymous said...

vaughn palmer is a fool Rod if you believe whatever that boy says,I would love to do business with you,because it sounds like you are ripe for the picking.

Anonymous said...

I was listening on Friday to Christie (MAN SHES HOT)and dude from the panokoek? house was on boy due made a lot of sense,he should be a politician,hes a solid.

Anonymous said...

that's a shame when you can't believe what the papers are writing,what is really going on here?Bill if you can please explain.

Rod Smelser said...

"Yes, I've let Vaughn Palmer know I was there and strongly disagree. Vaughn was not there."

And the upshot is, ... what? Will Vaughn be mentioning your estimates and the basis for them in his next column?

Bill Tieleman said...

Rod - what Vaughn said to me is private - I'm just letting people know my views and what I've done. You'll have to read his columns to find out if he has anything else to say about it.