Oscar-winning documentary maker Michael Moore has protested over Donald Trump's call to ban Muslims entering the U.S.
The social activist picketed outside Trump Towers in New York yesterday with a sign which read 'We are all Muslims' until he was moved on by police.
Moore then sent the Republican presidential candidate an open letter criticizing his attacks on people of Islamic faith and accusing Trump of attacking Muslims simply because he was 'frightened' of them.
Oscar-winning documentary maker Michael Moore has protested outside Donald Trump's Towers over his call to ban Muslims entering the U.S.
'Here we are in 2015 and, like many other angry white guys, you are frightened by a bogeyman who is out to get you,' he wrote in the open letter posted on his Facebook page.
'That bogeyman, in your mind, are all Muslims. Not just the ones who have killed, but ALL MUSLIMS,' he wrote in the letter posted on his Facebook page.
The filmmaker said that as human beings 'We are all Muslim.'
“I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I was in shock, it was so morally reprehensible. I couldn't believe it,” Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang told The Huffington Post Canada in an interview Tuesday.
“To have this — a tower named after this bigot in the middle of our city is a real insult.”
Jang said Trump made things worse by suggesting he would have supported the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
“The city of Vancouver, we worked hard to reconcile with the Japanese Canadian community. We work hard to reconcile with our First Nations,” Jang said. “To have this — a tower named after this bigot in the middle of our city is a real insult.”
Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang, seen in 2014, said Donald Trump's name should be dropped from a new tower in the city. (Vision Vancouver Facebook)
Jang said he contacted one of the developers behind the tower to dump Trump's name. He said he hasn’t received responses to the two text messages he sent earlier on Tuesday.
“Donald Trump does not represent Vancouver in any way shape or form,” Jang said. He mentioned that Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who was en route from Paris, would say the same thing if he were available.
Former Vancouver chief city planner Brent Toderian echoed Jang’s call for developers Holborn Holdings and TA Global to strip Trump’s name from the $360-million project.
The winding 63-storey glass spire, designed by renowned Vancouver architect Arthur Erickson is expected to be completed next year.
The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Vancouver is scheduled to open next year. (Amanda Palmer/HuffPost B.C.)
The backlash against Trump in the city gained traction after Sunny Mangat, a Vancouver woman living in London, penned an open letter to the Republican contender, calling for a boycott of the tower and his organization.
"The only way to end your antics and to save the world and in particular Vancouver B.C., from your misogynistic, bigoted and racist remarks is to stop filling your pockets and affiliating your name with Vancouver projects," she wrote.
“We are a city that is diverse and we embrace all people of all backgrounds, regardless of religion or culture,” the letter continued.
“The immigrants of this country have worked hard to build this city and country up.”
Toronto tower also under fire
In Toronto, Coun. Josh Matlow announced his own intention to write to the owners of that city’s Trump International Hotel and Tower to change its name.
But according to Jang, there’s a problem: municipal government don’t have the authority to rename privately owned buildings. He said he’s appealing to the developer’s ethics, saying the city has “long been working to fight racism” and to erect a skyscraper in Trump’s name doesn’t make sense.
He highlighted current efforts by local government and private citizens to support Syrian refugees as they resettle in the city.
“That’s our city,” Jang said. “I personally don’t want to see his name here.”
Read Sunny Mangat’s open letter below:
Dear Donald Trump,
I have been quite entertained with your #Trump2016 campaign over the past year, and to be honest I never really took you that seriously as a presidential candidate in the first place. However, last night in regards to your Muslim immigration prevention statement you absolutely crossed the line.
To make this letter short and sweet, I will not engage in explaining to you why your remarks and behavior are unacceptable because ‘it is impossible to defeat an ignorant man by argument.’ – William McAdoo
However, a couple of years ago you announced the development of the Trump Tower in Vancouver, Canada. Myself and many others have been eagerly waiting for this tower, because Vancouver really could use a new hot spot.
What you may not know is Vancouver, Canada is a uniquely beautiful place, not only because of our stunning landscape but because of the people of Vancouver. We are a city that is diverse and we embrace all people of all backgrounds, regardless of religion or culture. We have fought hard over the years to maintain unity and the sanctity of our community relationships, and to bridge gaps between communities. The immigrants of this country have worked hard to build this city and country up. In fact, recently in our elections we spoke loud and clear when we voted in our new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – that we will not tolerate any sort of discrimination, whether it is gender, religious, racial, or class. In the words of our new Prime Minister #BecauseIts2015
So to put this very simple and straightforward – I refuse to put my money into the pockets of a bigot.
I am hoping and calling to all Vancouverites to formally boycott your tower affiliation and your organization. Whether, the Trump tower be in name only, it will stand as one of the tallest towers in Vancouver. Sadly, your voice is being projected around the world, not because of your intelligence or your charisma but because of your money. Thus, the only way to end your antics and to save the world and in particular Vancouver B.C., from your misogynistic, bigoted and racist remarks is – to stop filling your pockets and affiliating your name with Vancouver projects.
Trump Tower was constructed on the former site of the Bonwit Teller flagship store, an architecturally-renowned building demolished by Trump in 1980. Trump had promised that valuable Art Deco exterior limestone bas-relief sculptures of semi-nude goddesses, as well as the massive ornate 15' by 25' grille above the store's entrance, would be donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but jackhammered the sculptures instead, citing expense and a possible 10-day construction delay due to the difficulty of removing them. The building's decorative grille, supposedly transported to a New Jersey warehouse, was never recovered. Architect Der Scutt was outraged by the destruction, having initially hoped to incorporate the goddess sculptures into the new building's lobby design; Trump had rejected the plan, preferring something "more contemporary".
The atrium of the building
Trump Tower is the 57th tallest building in New York City. The tower is a reinforced concrete, shear-wall core structure and was the tallest structure of this type in New York City when completed. A concrete hat-truss at the top of the building ties exterior columns with the concrete core. This increases the effective dimensions of the core to that of the building in order to resist the overturning of lateral forces (wind, minor earthquakes, and impacts perpendicular to the building’s height). A similar structure was used forTrump World Tower.
Ordinarily a building of that height could not have been built on the small site. By mixing uses (retail, office, and residential), constructing a through-block arcade (connecting to the IBM building to the east), and using the air rights from Tiffany’s flagship store next door, and including the atrium (designed as a “public space” under the city codes at the time), Trump was able to assemble a bonus package that enabled a taller tower.
The building’s public spaces are clad in Breccia Pernice, a pink white-veined marble. Mirrors and brass are used throughout. This includes the office lobby, off Fifth Avenue, and the five-level atrium which has a waterfall, shops, cafés, and a pedestrian bridge that crosses over the waterfall’s pool. The atrium is crowned with a skylight. In 2006, Forbes Magazine valued the tower at $318 million. Trump Tower was the setting of the NBC television show The Apprentice including the famous boardroom where at least one person was fired at the end of each episode (the boardroom is actually a television studio set inside Trump Tower).
Trump testified in 1990 he was unaware that 200 undocumented Polish immigrants, some of whom lived at the site during a transit strike and worked round-the-clock shifts (for which they were allegedly paid $4 and $5 per hour off-the-book wages, if at all), were involved in the destruction of the former Bonwit Teller building and Trump Tower project.Trump said that he rarely visited the demolition site and never noticed the laborers, who were known as the "Polish Brigade" and who were visually distinct for their lack of hard hats. A labor consultant and F.B.I. informant, separately convicted on tax evasion charges, testified that Trump was aware of the illegal workers' status. In testimony, Trump admitted that he and an executive used the pseudonym "John Baron" in some of his business dealings, although Trump claimed that he did not do so until years after Trump Tower was constructed. A labor lawyer testified that he was threatened over the phone with a $100 million lawsuit by someone using that name from the Trump Organization.("Lots of people use pen names", Trump quipped to a reporter. "Ernest Hemingway used one.") Filed in 1983, the class-action lawsuit over unpaid labor union pension and medical obligations went through several appeals and non-jury trials, and was at one point compared by a presiding judge to Jarndyce and Jarndyce, the seemingly unending case which forms the backbone of Charles Dickens' Bleak House. The lawsuit was ultimately settled in 1999, with its record sealed.
In the lobby of the building, there is a Trump Store. The area where the store is lies at the heart of a public area usage dispute. The area was once home to a public bench. The city issued a notice of violation in July 2015 and wants the bench back in place. However the Trump Organization says that the violation is without merit.
The developer of Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver has released a statement over the controversy of using Donald Trump’s name for the branding of downtown Vancouver’s second tallest tower.
The controversy began after Brent Toderian, the City of Vancouver’s former director of planning, tweeted that local developer Holborn Group should remove the name from the tower. This was a response to the Republican presidential candidate’s anti-Muslim comments earlier in the week that called for the “complete shutdown” of Muslims from arriving in the United States in the wake of the recent terror attacks.
There have also been similar calls in Toronto for building owners to drop the Trump name from the city’s very own Trump International Hotel and Tower. The Toronto property opened in early-2012.
Here is the full statement from Holborn Group CEO Joo Kim Tiah:
Holborn is a Vancouver-based private real estate development company that owns Trump Vancouver. When Trump Vancouver opens in 2016, we will create as many as 300 jobs. Holborn, a company that has contributed immensely to the growth of Vancouver, is not in any way involved in US politics. As such, we would not comment further on Mr Trump’s personal or political agenda, nor any political issues, local or foreign. Our efforts remain focused on the construction of what will soon be the finest luxury property in Vancouver and beyond.
Holborn announced Trump’s involvement in ‘Vancouver Turns’ during a June 2013 press conference that was attended by Donald himself.
Under the partnership agreement, the Trump brand is licensed to Holborn group for the use of marketing and branding the $360-million project, which consists of 63 storeys that gradually twists 45 degrees as it ascends to its ultimate height of 617 feet.
Trump Hotel Collection will also operate the 147-room hotel, champagne lounge, Mott 32 signature Chinese restaurant, and Drai’s Pool Bar Nightclub within the first 15 storeys of the building. The remaining floors are occupied by 238 market residential units ranging from 644 to 2,117 square feet, and the penthouses between 3,500 and 4,400 square feet.
Virtually all of the residential units are sold out, and the project has reached substantial completion. The hotel is expected to open in the fall of 2016.
The developer had originally proposed the tower in 2007, but it was postponed shortly after when the effects of the recession began to take its toll on the real estate and financial markets. At the time, the development’s brand and hotel partner was Ritz Carlton, but the international hotel chain did not return to the project when it was revived in 2011.
The tower’s twisting design is by the late Arthur Erickson. The essential architectural elements of the tower’s design remain the same under the Trump brand.
Of course, it is highly unlikely that the tower will be rebranded given the severe legal and financial consequences of cancelling the contract with Trump.
Donald Trump's new Twitter tirade against Megyn Kelly
CNN)Donald Trump is at it again.
As Fox News host Megyn Kelly returned from vacation, the Republican presidential candidate used Twitter late Monday night to slam her return during the airing of her show, saying that host "must have had a terrible vacation, she is really off her game."
Then he tweeted another one, suggesting Kelly goes back on vacation: "I liked The Kelly File much better without @megynkelly. Perhaps she could take another eleven day unscheduled vacation!"
He even retweeted a tweet calling her a "bimbo" and another that says "she came back looking like Nancy Grace."
This is the second time that Trump retweeted a message that refers to Kelly as a "bimbo," an act for which he was sharply criticized the first time.
Trump and Fox News president Roger Ailes had reportedly cleared the air after the first wave of the fighting began, but by Tuesday afternoon, the channel executive released a statement, signaling the detente was over.
"Donald Trump's surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing," Ailes said in a statement obtained by CNNMoney, adding "Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should."
Trump's first Twitter rant slamming Kelly came the night of the first presidential debate, after Kelly asked him about misogynistic, sexist comments he made in the past, such as calling some women "fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals," to which, he responded with "only Rosie O'Donnell."
This comes after the real estate mogul was under fire for escalating a feud with Kelly when he told CNN's Don Lemon earlier this month that Kelly "had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."
Trump drew swift condemnation from conservatives and was uninvited from the RedState Gathering, a conservative event featuring GOP presidential hopefuls earlier this month in Atlanta.
As Vancouver’s second tallest building, Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver comes with a chock full of superlatives and some local residents are taking notice by performing and recording on video a number of stunts at the tower after construction hours.
Late last month, video emerged of Vancouver band Over the Coals taking to the rooftop of the 63-storey, 617-foot tall building to film a drum solo. Sweeping footage of the city recorded with a drone and uploaded to YouTube shows drummer Max Matthews on top of the roof with a full drum set.
Of course, this is not the first time the twisting tower has caught the attention of daredevils. In June, video emerged of an April stunt of two men jumping the fence and climbing to the top of the tower at night. And last month, another video showed men scaling the construction crane that hovered above the rooftop.
Trump Tower Vancouver developer Holborn Group did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the stunt.
Trump Tower Vancouver developer Holborn Group did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the stunt.
One of the young men who claims he climbed Vancouver's unfinished Trump Tower and filmed the dizzying climb says he is sorry for the stunt.
"I didn't do it to cause any harm," Joseph McGuire, 21, told the CBC from Calgary. "I do it purely from a good and playful place, not harmful or evil."
The YouTube video shows two men sprinting up the tower's staircase. Once at the top, they pose for selfies and climb on a white crane overlooking the city. The video was shot with a GoPro camera by a third person.
The video angered the developer of the tower, Joo Kim Tiah, who said the stunt could have ended in tragedy and police said they would press charges if they learned the climbers' identities.
Vancouver Police did not respond to an interview request. But McGuire said he understands if police prosecute.
Despite his remorse, McGuire said he loves such climbs, which he says have helped him face his fears. He said he plans to continue climbing buildings and wants to improve the quality of his videos.
"I will accept the consequences I must face of what I do because this is what I love doing. I don't want to hate."
McGuire said it was easy to gain access to the Vancouver construction site.
He said he's ascended the Trump Tower four times and climbed 30 cranes and 100 rooftops, mainly in Vancouver and Victoria. He said he once nearly fell off the Hotel Vancouver.
He said he started climbing when he was nine years old in Tokyo because he was depressed and troubled. At age 12, he moved to Vancouver, where he continued to climb because it made him feel better.
Wilfrid Laurier University professor Christopher Schneider said social media may have fuelled the rise in so-called urban climbers. They're often young men who post videos of their dangerous activities, he said.
"One thing we're really seeing here is that there are no media gatekeeper" to discourage the climbers' behavior, Schneider told CBC News. "This is encouraging anyone who wants to participate in these kinds of activities to record themselves and put it on online.'
Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver is a new condo development by Holborn and TA Group of Companies currently under construction at 1151 W Georgia St in Vancouver. The development is scheduled for completion in 2016. Sales for available units start at $849,900. The development has a total of 218 units.
DEVELOPMENT NAMETrump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver
10% with offer 10% due approx. 6 months after acceptance date *Additional 10% for overseas buyers due 180 days after second deposit
From Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver:
Embrace the new twist on luxury with Arthur Erickson’s final masterpiece, Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver, which will include a luxury hotel and residences, champagne lounge, signature restaurant, exclusive spa by Ivanka Trump, banquet and conference centre and will also be home to Vancouver’s first pool bar nightclub.
This Trump luxury rises from lobby to penthouse at 63 storeys, making it a focal addition to the downtown Vancouver skyline.
Nightclub | Spa | Lounge | Conference Centre | Restaurant
DRAI’S POOL BAR NIGHTCLUB TO OPEN AT TRUMP VANCOUVER HOTEL
The developers of Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver announced today that the hotel’s much-anticipated pool bar nightclub and dayclub will be operated and managed by Victor Drai, the operator of the world-class Drai’s Nightclub locations in Las Vegas.
In addition to wading pools, a dance floor and ample lounge and performance space, the Vancouver venue at the Trump Hotel will incorporate an extensive LED lighting system and utilize the latest technologies to create a “sensual, multi-sensory” experience that promises to take Vancouver’s nightlife and entertainment scene to new heights.
The Vancouver location will be Drai’s first location outside Las Vegas where he operates four nightclubs, including Drai’s After Hours, Tryst at Wynn Las Vegas, XS at Encore Las Vegas, and Drai’s Beach Club & Nightclub at The Cromwell Las Vegas.
In addition to the nightclub, Trump Vancouver will also include a Mott 32, a famous Hong Kong restaurant serving Chinese cuisine, and an Equinox fitness gym.
Trump Vancouver on West Georgia Street near Bute Street is designed by the late Arthur Erickson and recently attained the title of being Vancouver’s second tallest building. The “twisting” $360-million landmark project features 147 guest rooms within the lower levels, 217 luxury residences within the upper levels, Trump Spa by Ivanka, and 15,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
The 616-foot tall, 57-storey project is slated for a 2016 completion and opening.
An early rendering of the pool bar nightclub at Trump Tower Vancouver.
Image: Holburn Group
Image: Drai’s Nightclub
About the author
Kenneth Chan is Vancity Buzz's Deputy Editor and Social Media Manager. He covers stories pertaining to local architecture, urban issues, business, retail, economic development, infrastructure, politics or anything that makes a difference in the lives of Vancouverites. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver.Connect with him at kenneth[at]vancitybuzz.com