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Will council condemn 2010 Games security?

Get ready for what could be an explosive city council meeting tomorrow afternoon.

Coalition of Progressive Electors councillors David Cadman and Ellen Woodsworth are set to table a motion asking the city to endorse a potential condemnation of 2010 Games security forces.

The Coventry Declaration, written at the recent Play the Game conference in England, was a response to allegations that Olympics critic Chris Shaw was visited by intelligence officers at a Vancouver coffee shop earlier this month.

It condemns “any action in Canada that in any way, shape, or form harasses, intimidates, or threatens any writers or individuals who express ideas through words.” COPE hopes council signs on to the declaration.

If the motion passes – and Shaw’s allegations are credible – it could mean an official denunciation of 2010 Integrated Security Unit tactics.

It could also add steam to a sharply-worded letter from civil liberties lawyer Jason Gratl to the RCMP’s Mercer last month. The memo claims plainclothes intelligence officers publicly harassed several Olympics Resistance Network members in early June.

Meanwhile, Vancouver Police Dep. Chief Steve Sweeney is scheduled to update councillors on 2010 Games security. (RCMP Asst. Comm. Bud Mercer was also set to appear, but his name was recently dropped from the official agenda.)

Back in March, Sweeney and Mercer revealed homeless relocations are part of security plans during a packed – and heated – public forum. What Sweeney discloses tomorrow is anyone’s guess.

Stay tuned to The Tyee for a full wrap-up.

Geoff Dembicki reports for The Tyee.

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