Sunday, February 14, 2010

Vancouver Winter Olympics protests

Various groups had planned protests to coincide with the opening days of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver Canada.  Bloggers were on the streets of Vancouver as these protests occurred, providing us with firsthand independent perspectives:

Miss 604, Vancouver 2010 Protests on Day Two (text, 10 photos, video)
Yesterday the Olympic Torch Relay was re-routed due to protesters in the downtown Eastside but it was a peaceful protest. Today it seems like a different group of people with anarchy signs, masks, hoods, and actions such as knocking over newspaper boxes, spray painting cars & mailboxes, and smashing windows...
Clary, Seattle Times, Dispatches from opening day protests (3 videos)
The rally began at the Vancouver art gallery. After gathering and speeches, protesters moved onto Georgia street as media, police and Olympic fans looked on and followed the crowd.

 Jotman, Demonstrations at the opening of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver (text, photos)
On Friday, as many as 5,000 demonstrators danced, sang, an held signs in a peaceful protest in downtown Vancouver..

Vancouver Media Co-op.  Streaming news aggregation at 2010 Vancouver Olympic Protest Reporting.  See also Vancouver page of Media Co-op.  See also YouTube channel  ornvideoVideos posted on 13 Feb 2010
Demonstrators took Georgia Street this afternoon in an action designedto block Olympic traffic from Vancouver to the resort town of Whistler. The action was billed as a Heart Attack, set up to clog the arteries of capitalism.

A marching band accompanied marchers, who carried banners, shoute dslogans and advanced through the streets of downtown. Overturned mailboxes and a dumpster were dragged on to the street as the march passed through, and when the crowd reached Georgia Hornby, black bloc membersbusted windows.  Todays actions were met with harsh violence coming from police, who beat demonstrators in the streets, kettled another group, and arrested 13.
Daniel Hayduk, The Developing Tray, Violent anti-Olympic protest (Hayduk is an award winning Canadian photojournalist -- dozens of great photos)
By Canadian standards, today was a violent sad day.  Several hundred masked protesters taking to the streets during days of national Olympic pride...  And they even smashed some windows!

As the rest of the World wonders why they didn't throw Molotov cocktails and flip cars...   Ahhh... Canadian rioter politeness. :)  They even say excuse me while running to tip newspaper boxes.

For those who see the banners in the pictures, the Anti Poverty Committee is a radical anti-homeless and anti-poverty group in Vancouver.  They seem to like jackboots, bandanna's and breaking stuff.

Incidentally.  Dear protesters, if you are chanting, "this is what democracy looks like," as you walk down the middle of the street, do not try to punch photographers taking your picture.  Taking pictures is also what democracy looks like.

Alex Firmani, Shot In Vancouver Photography.  Vancouver Olympics protests turn violent; multiple arrests made. (dozens of outstanding photos).
An anti-Olympics protest called the 2010 Heart Attack turned violent today in Vancouver as black-masked marchers clashed with over 200 police.
The Duane Story.  On Democratic Rights During The Olympics
This morning I got to walk along Robson Street and watch the protests as they occurred. Given that I saw first-hand how the police officers and the protesters interacted, I thought I would make a few comments.
 Vancouver Olympics
Saw the torch on one of its final stretches before going into the stadium. I have never seen so many police! Before the opening ceremonies we went over to were all the protests were happening. They were for the most part a very peaceful group. The only time I felt a little uncomfortable was when the riot police came in and blocked the entrance to the stadium, I know it was a peaceful protest but the site of so many police and people was a little unnerving, Especially since they were protesting the games, and I was in my uniform.

Osez, Indymedia Bristol, Bristol solidarity with anti-Olympic athletes, February 19, 2010, (photo at right, text).
Wednesday evening a small, but rowdy group of local anti-Olympic athletes gathered in Bristol to show their solidarity with those resisting the Olympics in Vancouver, where there has just been several days of action against the five ringed corporate circus on stolen native land.

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