Another Letter to Garry Neil at The Council Of Canadians

Bob Ages of The Council of Canadians


When we spoke a couple of weeks ago, I explained how I can understand your position that Bob Ages and other employees of the CoC are participating on their own time at Occupy Vancouver, and not as employees of the Council of Canadians. But, as we both agreed, there is some transference from the Olympic protests when Bob was officially representing the CoC, and helped lead negotiations between nonviolent and Black Bloc protesters.

The results of this incident led to the “Heart Attack” incident where people wearing balaclavas got into a street fight with police, and broke windows at the Hudson Bay company. The vast majority of people involved believe this was the death of the Anti-Olympic movement. So, as I said when we spoke- I’m slightly disappointed with your position, but do understand the importance of giving your employees the freedom to be involved in personal projects.

Tonight I was reading through some of the comments on Facebook, and was rather shocked to see Bob crossing the line and representing the CoC on an Occupy Vancouver discussion board. I’ve attached a clipping of this conversation at the bottom of this email.

Reading this thread, and considering the issue of transference we discussed- it does not appear to me enough effort is being made differentiate Bob’s role as an employee of the CoC and his role as a leader at OV. There is a lot of opportunity for people to get confused here. 

A similar situation to mine (where employees of the CoC signed a letter in a letter against me) happened at OV this week, when members circulated a flyer that slandered yet another person, calling him a dangerous stalker- this time with a picture of his face on it. I have written up a description of this incident on my blog, here’s the link:

In both this case, and in my own, people made very serious public allegations and ad-hominem attacks. If these allegations were actually true, the correct action would be to file an official complaint with the police- not to print and publish warnings about our character. Canada is not (yet) a country where people accept ‘kangaroo court’ justice. If we are to keep it that way, organizations like the CoC need to ‘walk the walk’.

Considering the magnitude of this incident, and considering how there is still ambiguity about employees of the CoC’s involvement at OV, I’d like to ask you to reconsider your ‘hands-off’ approach to resolving these harassment issues. The problem seems only to be getting worse, and more people are getting hurt. At this point, it is incomprehensible to me to imagine an organization that works towards social justice could let this continue.

I look forward to hearing your response, and sincerely hope you can see how important it is to stop the current cycle of violence. I still believe in the CoC, and have full confidence your members would give backing to your involvement in protecting those who are being hurt.


Greg Renouf


Critical voices raised against what was dubbed
    • Birgit Schroeder ‎”The first problem I have with this is the disagreement over the nature of the crisis. Seeing it simply as a matter of climate change is a highly reductionist approach. It’s an economic and financial crisis, an energy crisis, a crisis of the environment and of civilisation,” he said.With this the sociologist arrived at the central point of his analysis: “As (Karl) Marx put it, the micro-irrationalities of capitalism lead to a macro-irrationality of life.” ….

      11 hours ago
    • Robert Ages Thanks Birgit. This will be a major topic of discussion at the Council of Canadians board meeting this weekend. Very challenging stuff. See you all when I get back.

      9 hours ago ·  1
    • Birgit Schroeder hey, if you all come up with THE ‘blueprint’, do let us know please 😉

      9 hours ago
    • Birgit Schroeder ‎;) look, they’re declaring that we should be active: ” … the Social Movements Assembly call upon popular forces and activists of all countries to mobilize actions – coordinated at world level – to contribute to people’s emancipation and self-determination, reinforcing the fight against capitalism.
      We call upon activists around the world to take to the streets from June 5th to join in the global action against capitalism and to support the People’s Summit for Social and Environmental Justice, against the commodification of life and in defense of the common goods, to be held in the framework of Rio+20.”
      counter-globalization? needs-based cosmopolitanism?

      8 hours ago ·  1
    • Robert Ages We had a couple people in Porto Allegre including our political team director who has been blogging and emailing from the gathering. He’ll be reporting to the board meeting. COC never claims to have all the answers but hopefully our discussions will help feed into the movement. See:

      8 hours ago ·  1