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May 30 Edmonton Police raided the […]




May 30 Edmonton Police raided the Pisces Health Spa, 10508 109th Street, and eventually charged six men with being keepers of a common bawdy house, and fifty-six men with being found-ins. The 2,000-name membership list of the club was also seized. A total of forty Edmonton police officers, six members of the RCMP, and two Crown Attorneys participated in the raid, which was also videotaped by the police. The accused were questioned under an obscure section of the Criminal Code (Section 183) during a specially arranged 5 a.m. courtroom session; the arrested men later claimed that they were not allowed to contact lawyers during this questioning. On June 4, 1981, an article in the Edmonton Journal revealed that the entire police operation had been instigated by a complaint from a gay man (later identified as Fred Griffis) who, although he had never visited the Pisces, thought the activities that occurred there were immoral and should be stopped. This complaint resulted in a three-month investigation that included surveillance of the premises and the photographing of people entering and leaving the Pisces. Police Chief Robert Lunney admitted that the Edmonton force had consulted with Toronto police for advice on planning and conducting the raid. Local gay groups Dignity, GATE Edmonton, and MCC were active in protesting the raid from the beginning, by distributing leaflets, attending meetings and protests, and by providing counselling and support for the men charged. The local gay community also established a Gay Heritage Fund and (on June 1, 1981) a Privacy Defense Committee to help cover the legal fees of the men charged; more than $18,000 was raised in the first three days. (See also June 3, 1981; June 4, 1981; June 8, 1981; June 10, 1981; July 1981; August 1, 1981; August 24, 1981; September–October 1981; and October 29, 1981.)

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June 3 Edmonton A heterosexual […]June 4 Edmonton Less than a week […]June 8 Edmonton Twenty-five people […]June 10 Edmonton After plea […]July Edmonton PDCE and GATE […]August 1 Edmonton The Biltmore Club […]September–October Edmonton Many of […]October 29 Edmonton Pisces Spa […]August 24 Edmonton During the trial […]

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Fred GriffisRobert Lunney

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Edmonton Police ServiceDominion Police, North-West Mounted Police, Royal Northwest Mounted Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police RCMPGovernment of CanadaToronto Police ServiceDignityGay Alliance toward Equality GATE EdmontonMetropolitan Community Church

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Edmonton Journal

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Criminal Code (Section 183)

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Chris Zdeb, "Sixty Arrested in Police Raid on Health Spa," Edmonton Journal, final ed., 30 May 1981, p. A3.Chris Zdeb, "Heritage Fund Set Up to Aid Gays," Edmonton Journal, final ed., 3 June 1981, p. A2Geoff White, "Why Did MLAs Keep Silent on Bath-house Raid?" (column), Calgary Herald, 5 June 1981, p. A3Tom Warner, Never Going Back: A History of Queer Activism in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002), pp. 112, 116"After the Raid," Newsletter (Gay Alliance toward Equality, Edmonton), 1, no. 1 (June 1981): 12–14"Bawdy House Law" (editorial), Edmonton Journal, final ed., 2 June 1981, p. A4"Bawdyhouses: Public Sex and Sharks" (editorial), Body Politic, no. 75 (1981), p. 6"Boys in Blue" (editorial), Edmonton Journal, final ed., 2 June 1981, p. A4Ted Byfield, "Out of the Closet They Come, and What Will Appear Next?: A Letter from the Publisher," Alberta Report, 12 June 1981, p. 52Virginia Byfield and Ernie G. Miller, "The Pisces Raid: A Bawdy House Grab Stirs Up a Storm," Alberta Report, 12 June 1981, pp. 21–23B.C. (Bernard Courte), "Les saunas: au tour d'Edmonton!" Le Berdache, no. 22 (1981), p. 17"Dawn Court Time Queried," Edmonton Journal, final ed., 1 June 1981, pp. A1, A3"Edmonton Privacy Defense Committee," Grassroots, Fall 1981, p. 16Kristin Goff, "Morality Control Chief Has Tough-guy Image," Edmonton Journal, final ed., 9 June 1981, p. B1Gerald Hannon, "Edmonton: Bath Raids Move West," Body Politic, no. 75 (1981), pp. 7–8Gerald Hannon, "More Guilty in Pisces Trials but Court Lowers Owners' Fines," Body Politic, no. 77 (1981), p. 14"Harassment of Gays Continues: This Is Getting Raid-iculous!" VGCC News, 2, no. 7 (July 1981): 3–6Robert Harris, "The Picses (sic) Health Spa Raid," Reach: A Newsletter for the Gay Community (GIRC, Calgary), July 1981, pp. 7–9"Hislop Slams Raids in West," Toronto Sun, 8 June 1981, p. 31Rae Hull, Darcy Hewton, and Robin Barstow, "Gay Spy Led Police to Raid Spa," Edmonton Journal, final ed., 4 June 1981, p. B1Rae Hull and Chris Zdeb, "Police Deny Harassment of Gay Population," Edmonton Journal, a.m. ed., 1 June 1981, p. A3Joanne Munro, "Tearful Gays Testify after Police Raid Spa," Edmonton Journal, final ed., 1 June 1981, pp. A1, A3Michael Phair, "Pisces Revisited," Fine Print, February 1983, p. 4Michael Phair, "Pisces Revisited: Part II," Fine Print, March 1983, p. 5Michael Phair, "Pisces Revisited: The Conclusion," Fine Print, April 1983, p. 8"Police Say Raid on Spa Not Gay Crackdown," Vancouver Sun, four star ed., 1 June 1981, p. F8"Reflections of a 'Found-in,'" Newsletter (Gay Alliance toward Equality, Edmonton), 1, no. 1 (June 1981): 15"Rights Activist Critical of Raid on Health Club," Edmonton Journal, a.m. ed., 4 June 1981, pp. B1, B2"Spa Raid Sparks Rally for Liberties," Edmonton Journal, a.m. ed., 2 June 1981, pp. A1, A3"Spa-ing Partners" (editorial), Edmonton Sun, 2 June 1981, p. 10Henry Stancu, "Bath Club Raid Nabs 60: More Arrests Expected in Edmonton," Toronto Sun, Sunday ed., 31 May 1981, p. 4Kevin Stevenson, "Gay Leader Angry," Edmonton Sun, 8 June 1981, p. 3Lois Sweet, "Gay Spa Raid a Step Toward Erosion of Individual Privacy" (column), Edmonton Journal, final ed., 8 June 1981, p. A6Don Thomas, "Goons-against-gays War Feared after Spa Raid: Barbarism Sanctioned, Rights Commission Told," Edmonton Journal, final ed., 11 June 1981, p. A3