Olympic Protest Screws Vets

Video of this morning’s brief standoff between about 200 protesters blockading Hastings Street and police at Vancouver’s Victory Square. After a several minutes of uncertainty, the torch run was diverted to a contingency route nearby and the run resumed.

I couldn’t help but feel more than a little sorry for the veterans that had gathered (complete with a pipe band) for a special ceremony to express their patriotism and honour the flame between runners, but never got to actually experience the event. To the very end they were so confident that the protesters would step aside out of respect…

Subsequently, one of the route’s previous runners brought her extinguished flame to the square and posed for pictures with the vets.

Updates: A celebratory “potcentric” view from nearby and a relentlessly negative foreign take on the protest from the folks at RT based on the fact-challenged “insight” of a correspondent Skiping in from Washington, D.C.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Olympic Protest Screws Vets

  1. Mike

    I frankly am sick to death of the Owelympics already, and can understand protests, but that was just meanspirited and thoughtless. And it taints legitimate compliars and opposition.. Idiots

  2. Mike — Not a fan of the Olympics either, but it’s here now, so the protests are beyond futile.

    This particular instance was selfish assholery of the worst sort.

    I would have had a lot more respect if they had backed down and allowed the route to proceed as planned. They proved their point by blockading the street, but it would have been more decent and gracious of them to have conceded.

    Discretion is the better part of valour and all that.

  3. Paul Raposo

    I support protests of all stripes, but yeah, that was a pretty douchy thing to do. And in the end, they are only known for screwing some people out of seeing the flame, and not actually advancing their cause.

  4. benalbanach

    As the saying goes; They are part of the disease and not part of the cure.

  5. Northern PoV

    Not a fan of spectator sports myself, nor am I impressed much by the corporate Olympics. And living in d/t Vancouver means some minor annoyances in everyday living. But I am mostly happy to let people party, who want to party.

    Funny, my sister and b-inlaw are attending the opening ceremony while her daughter is outside protesting.

    Too bad for the vets in the incident here but Vanoc should have known better than to plan this event in this venue. This is like enemy territory for Olympics.

  6. Damned if they did, damned if they didn’t… Had they avoided the downtown east side, they’d have been blasted for that too.

  7. That RT thing is horrifying. Not what you posted, haven’t even looked, but the thing, which has recently become available on my cable system.

    From their YouTube page:

    The channel is government-funded but shapes its editorial policy free from political and commercial influence. Our dedicated team of news professionals unites young talent and household names in the world of broadcast journalism.

  8. RT has its own bias and agenda. Much of their reporting is good, but not always so by any means.

    As with any other “news” outlet, viewers need to be discriminating to determine what’s credible and legitimate.

  9. Leslie

    I couldn’t help but feel that Canadians all across the country could have felt a lot more pride if they had a leader who has not been behaving so badly. If Harper had not pulled this undemocratic stunt there would have been no protesters. Perhaps the veterans should understand and support the peaceful protests more than anyone else??? Just a thought.

  10. Jim Vincent

    Yeah, blame the protesters, fine, but why can’t the billion dollars being thrown at Olympic security keep a section of road open? I mean, come on?

    The protests should continue – without the self-defeating violence of idiot black bloc types – not because they will stop the Olympics but because they’ll keep the issues in the public discourse until after the Olympics so we can have a real post-mortem on how much of a success the Olympics were for Vancouver’s entire population, not just the relatively well-off middle class and the super-rich land developers and speculators. If we can do a real post-mortem we can make sure that if the Olympics comes to Canada again, they can be properly tailored to the specific social needs of the city rather than diverting enormous sums of money away from social programs towards one-off facilities that can’t even be used by most people.

  11. not because they will stop the Olympics but because they’ll keep the issues in the public discourse until after the Olympics so we can have a real post-mortem on how much of a success the Olympics were for Vancouver’s entire population

    They’ve turned violent so that’s not very likely now…. or at least not the discourse you’d like.

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