Human Rights activist Rev. Kevin Annett assaulted in Vancouver!
January 10, 2010
Rev. Kevin Annett was assaulted by two men in Vancouver's downtown eastside last Wednesday just two days after he published an article on church and government complicity in child trafficking on Canada's west coast.
Rev. Annett suffered cuts, bruises, and at least one broken rib as a result of the unprovoked beating by two men, one of whom is linked to a downtown church agency.
In a statement released today, Rev. Annett said,
"I have waited to comment on the attack because of my need to rest and recover, but concerns from many people have prompted me to go public with what happened to me.
Last Wednesday, January 6, at around 9 am, I was assisting a woman facing eviction collect her belongings at a rooming house at 566 Powell street in Vancouver's downtown eastside. Two men suddenly burst into the room, and one of them, a tall, strongly built Caucasian man named Dave who apparently is the manager of the building and a former employee of the Union Gospel Mission, began punching and kicking me. I received severe bruises on my neck and back, and a bruised and possibly broken rib because of this attack.
"At no time did he or his accomplice, another strongly built Caucasian man who witnessed the beating, say why they were attacking me. The woman who I was assisting is a former sex trade worker who is now homeless, and who in the past has provided me with information concerning the disappearance of women in the downtown eastside.
"This assault occurred just two days after an article I wrote entitled 'Child Trafficking in Beautiful British Columbia' in The Agora newspaper was widely disseminated in the downtown eastside of Vancouver. The article describes the documented complicity of churches, the police and the government in the trafficking of children in protected pedophile networks in B.C. I therefore believe there is a connection between the publicizing of this story and the attack made on me. This incident represents yet another case of repression aimed at community activists by the 2010 Olympic security forces and police, and other unknown parties."
Rev. Annett, who for fifteen years has led the campaign to bring to justice the churches and government responsible for genocide in Canada's Indian Residential Schools, made international news in October 2009 when he held the first memorial service for missing native children outside the Vatican in Rome.
Rev. Annett, school survivors and native elders have also led high profile protests and occupations of churches in Vancouver and Toronto since 2005, and on many occasions Annett has been threatened by church officials and police.
Rev. Annett will be returning to Rome and Europe in April with residential school survivors to confront Pope Benedict over the fate and buried location of thousands of children who died in Catholic Indian schools in Canada.
Released by The Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared (Vancouver)
More about Rev. Annett's heroic work here - UNPREPENTANT