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Giant banner dropped from Cambie Bridge

Civil society activists refrained from criticizing Saturday’s violent march as they unfurled a giant banner from Cambie Bridge Monday morning. But the head of Pivot Legal Society hoped today’s action changes the way people think about protest.

“This project was done in a collaborative way,” John Richardson told the Tyee. “There’s no violence or destruction of property involved in it.”

At 8am, reporters gathered on the north side of False Creek, cameras aimed at the Cambie Bridge. Five or six ant-like figures slowly dropped a 20 by 45 foot banner off the railing’s edge.

Giant white letters spelled “Homes for All.” A sombre face in the bottom-left corner was framed by a black city skyline above.

“Nobody objects, it’s a good message,” said Vancouver Island's Colin Weavers as he strolled along the waterfront.

The banner was a kick-off of sorts for Pivot Legal Society’s Red Tent campaign. It hung for about 20 minutes, the result of an agreement with Olympics security forces.

“As long as we took it down after a reasonable amount of time, we were able to make our point,” long-time Olympics activists Am Johal said.

Today’s conciliatory vibes couldn’t have differed more from Saturday's riot. A contingent of black-clad protesters inside a larger march smashed downtown windows and fought with police.

Several activists were hit with batons. Seven were arrested and three charged.

"I was really disappointed,” B.C. Civil Liberties Association executive director David Eby told CBC on Sunday. "If the feedback I've been getting from activists is any indication, they've not only turned off the public, but a large segment of the activist community with their tactics."

Johal didn’t cast any blame today. He suggested it would be unproductive.

“We’re not going to comment on what other groups are doing,” he said. “We hope to stay focussed on being peaceful and getting our message across.”

Geoff Dembicki reports for the Tyee.

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