Shirley Robinson, ‘Occupy the Lobby’ lady, is a breast cancer survivor, leading the charge in her Victoria condo to fight the arbitrary installation of ‘stupid’ meters.

“Occupy the Lobby” vs Smart Meter guys
Brian Kieran’s introduction:
Here is a diary of Shirley’s encounter Tuesday with BC Hydro (Corix) smart meter installers.
Shirley, a breast cancer survivor, is leading the charge in her Victoria condo to fight the arbitrary installation of smart meters. 
Shirley’s letter to Premier Christy Clark about breast cancer and smart meters is just below this posting. Here’s her account of the McClure Street smart meter standoff:

SHIRLEY ROBINSON:
At about 6:45 am, I went downstairs and put seven signed “No Trespassing” signs on the outside of the front door of our building.

At 7:30 am, I went back downstairs with books, water, CDs, food, etc., prepared for an all day sit-in. They said they would be here “between 8 am and 8 pm”, so we didn’t know when to expect them.

At about 8:35 am, I saw a “BC Hydro/Corix” mini-van drive past the building and turn right onto Vancouver Street. I went out to see if he had parked on Vancouver Street, but he hadn’t.

Jim joined me in the lobby a few minutes later and at about 8:43 am, we saw one of their vans go past again and turn right onto Vancouver Street. They both were going a bit slow for our street at that point.

It was then light enough to take a photo of the front of the building showing the signs on the door for our records, so I went outside to take the photo. While I was out there, Jim saw a BC Hydro/Corix mini-van turn off of Vancouver Street onto our street, go slowly past the building and park across the street, beyond our property. (He’d passed several vacant parking spaces directly across from our building before he stopped.) The blue-clad employee got out of his van, and then purposely crossed the street toward the property next door, which happens to be a vacant lot. He got to the public sidewalk and turned toward our property. At that point (he was still quite a ways away) I took a picture that included both him and his van across the street.

He didn’t have any meters with him; likely they were in the van.

For those of you who have never been here, there are several steps coming up to the front of our building. I was at the bottom of these steps, just on the public sidewalk as he approached.

He was quite a big man, dressed in a blue BC Hydro labelled coverall and was probably in his mid to late thirties. He came straight up to me and attempted to push past me, as I was blocking his way, so I said: “If you’re not here to hardwire them, you’re not coming in.” He turned, got very close to me — I felt it was in a threatening manner — and said, “We can’t come in. We don’t have a key.”

Now, I know this was totally false, as 1.) in order to install the meters, like they said in their notice to us, they had to get into the building and the electrical room, and 2.) the keys to both are outside the front door in the key vault in the “Hydro” slot so that the meter reader can get in. I didn’t argue with him, however.

He continued to get into my body space, making me feel intimidated and scared, so I stepped back half a step and said: “That’s fine because we don’t want them here if they’re not hardwired.”

He said that from here on out it was an “individual issue” and that BC Hydro would be contacting each owner on an individual basis.

I said that was fine and he turned to leave.

Then he turned back to me and said: “And that picture you took of me — I want that deleted right now. That’s a violation of MY rights and if you don’t do it, I’m calling the police. ”

I deleted it — couldn’t see going to all that trouble over a picture. Besides, he WAS scaring me by now, even though Jim was right there on the porch watching the whole thing.

About 20 minutes later, a CTV News photographer arrived followed in several minutes by a CHEK TV photographer and they both told me that we are perfectly within our rights to take pictures and videos of these guys. Next time, hopefully, they’ll be here to take all the pictures, as they want to stay informed.

After that, the BC Hydro guy sat in his van for about 10 minutes talking on his cell phone and then left. Hydro/Corix vans were still in the immediate neighbourhood, so we continued to “Occupy the Lobby” until 8 pm, just to be safe. They didn’t return.

Hopefully, that’s it for a while, but they’ll be back – just like the “Terminator.” We’ll be even more ready next time!

Our sit-in proved productive on other levels, as well, today. Two more residents have agreed to sign and post the letters on their meters, giving us a total of 13. That’s more than half the building.

All-in-all, it’s been an exhausting but great day.

Posted by Brian Kieran at 10:09 AM
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One Response to Shirley Robinson, ‘Occupy the Lobby’ lady, is a breast cancer survivor, leading the charge in her Victoria condo to fight the arbitrary installation of ‘stupid’ meters.

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