Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Familiar Faces: David Malka

Of all the people that have been the most abusive towards Artspace members, one has caused the most damage of all.  Not just damage to our members.  It was his behaviour, more than anyone else, that destroyed almost all support that the striking SAIL staff would have gotten from Artspace members.

The Artspace community is filled with people who fought hard for their rights.  Many members of the community are union members, staunch union supporters, or at least generally supportive of unions.

All that potential support was destroyed very quickly, and much of it can be laid at the feet of one man; the picket captain for the first month and a half, David Malka.

Right from day one, he established himself as being particularly in-your-face aggressive.  In the above photo, he's the one pushing the 4 ft easement rule already, as picketers disrupt DATS.

At first, he was known as the Red Hat Guy, due to his ever present red toque on cooler days, like in this screen cap, from video three days into the strike, where he is moving to block a security guard's ability to record activities.

It wasn't long before people came up with other names for him, like Creeper and Captain McCreepypants, due to his stalker-ish behaviour.

He spent many days sitting in a chair facing the main doors of the high rise, watching people in the lobby, with his ever-present camera, taking photos or video, while at the same time complaining if people, including security, took photos or video of him.  

 He frequently trespassed, as in this photo.

[Update with video: Oct. 25]

 He constantly had either his phone or a camera out, recording into private spaces, such as in the above photo, where he staked out the back of the high rise, watching, waiting and recording.

No one seemed to be exempt from his harassment.

He also became known as the Bullhorn guy, as day after day, he took positions around the high rise, babbling and ranting, calling people by name and verbally harassing them.

Sometimes he would threaten them.

The noise and harassment went on and on.

When he was seen urinating on the sidewalk, he gained the moniker, The Urinator.

He became most well known for his use of the air raid siren.

The sheer volume of footage we have of this guy is rather staggering.

In time, we learned his name was David Malka, but he was still more often known as the Creeper or The Urinator.

Just a few things he's known for;

  • Creeping around Artspace, taking photos and video of people's private spaces.
  • Getting right into people's faces and being loud and aggressive.
  • Seemingly endless hours of babbling and rambling on the bull horn.
  • Calling people out by name and revealing that he knew details about their personal lives.
  • Targeting individuals for abuse and harassment.
  • Watching people, sometimes taking notes, as they tried to go about their lives, like clean out their vehicle, crossing the street, going onto their balcony, or moving in.
  • Following a man with a brain injury and PTSD as he was walking his dog, well away from Artspace, making false accusations and threatening him - that particular incident resulted in a medical event.  He then accused this man of following him.
  • Following a woman as she wheeled to her job, all the way to her place of work, a couple of times.  A third time, he rigged his phone onto his backpack to record, then walked ahead of her to her place of work, then turned around and accused her of following him.
  • Went after a woman with her two young girls and tried to record them, even after she repeatedly told him he did not have permission to record her children.
  • When people stepped in to try and protect her and her children, he physically assaulted two of them.
  • Using his personal Facebook page to continue harassing Artspace members.

Even after he was finally removed from the picket line and the police assured us he would not be back, he continued targeting the Artspace community.  He's been back here several times; he was even seen here just yesterday, taking part in a photo op.

He went after a family at a movie theatre and, while volunteering at the Folk Festival, he targeted Artspace members and made no bones about the fact that he was watching them; he also revealed his bigotry towards people with disabilities.

It's difficult to express just how much damage he has done to so many Artspace members.  There was the physical harm caused by his excessive noise, but also the psychological damage caused by his abusive behaviour.

It wasn't unusual for him to be doing these things in the presence of AUPE executives as they visited the picket line.  They clearly had no problems with what he was doing.

Because, as AUPE openly admitted, this was normal.

It's quite disturbing to think that this sort of abusive behaviour, targeting vulnerable people, is standard operating procedure for AUPE, not only here at Artspace, but at the homes of seniors and care centres.

In one of the videos above, David Malka talks about being at Waterford.

It's not the only place he's been.

Here he can be seen behind Guy Smith at Hardisty.

(Screen capture from one of AUPE's videos.)

Here he is again, this time behind Karen Weiers at the Edmonton Extendicare demonstration.

(Screen capture from one of AUPE's videos.)

We have no idea how many other communities and facilities AUPE has targeted that he's been at, nor what role he's played.  We can only know for sure that, as an AUPE organiser, he was the picket captain here at Artspace for about 1 1/2 months, and continues to be involved as he comes here to join in the siege against Artspace, and continues to post comments targeting SAIL and Artspace, and Artspace members on his Facebook page.

I think one of the most disturbing things about David Malka is the sheer pleasure he obviously took in causing hurt to people.

Having David Malka in charge here in Artspace was one of AUPE's biggest mistakes.  His actions have caused incredible levels of harm, not only to the health and well being of Artspace members, but to the people's views of AUPE.

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