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I Hope This Article Get Spread Around. I'm Disgusted What The Protesters Had Done.


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Protesters go beyond rights when they deny them to others

Vancouver Sun

November 6, 2009

American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes is said to have explained the nature of freedom this way: "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."

Personal freedom is not absolute. It is limited to the point at which it infringes on the rights of others. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms sets out the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of conscience and religion; freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association.

Most relevant to those protesting against the 2010 Winter Olympic Games are the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly. The adjective "peaceful" would presumably rule out intimidating mobs that deprive others of the same freedoms. In fact, the Charter guarantees these freedoms subject to reasonable limits prescribed by law. One would expect those who engage in unlawful acts, such as blocking traffic without a parade permit or, worse, threatening the lives of horses and their riders, would forfeit these rights.

Last weekend in Victoria, protesters not only deprived people who lined the route of the torch procession of their right to enjoy the spectacle, they recklessly endangered the lives of mounted police sent there to ensure order and public safety. Protesters threw marbles under the horses hooves hoping to disable them and dislodge their riders without regard for the potentially deadly consequences for both.

A few protest leaders recognized belatedly that their cause would be discredited by such despicable behaviour and fabricated the preposterous story that undercover police acting as agent provocateurs committed the crime. But rank and file protesters told reporters they were proud of what they had done.

When their disruptive tactics forced cancellation of a section of the torch relay, protesters chanted gleefully, "We have succeeded in blocking the torch."

One of the 10 runners whose run was cancelled as a result was 17-year-old Nicholas Dronsfield, who refused to allow his cerebral palsy to stop him from carrying the torch. However, a seething mob of 300 protesters did. Fortunately, Olympic torch relay organizers found him another spot and he was able to realize his dream. "It's wonderful," he said. "I'm very glad to be given the opportunity."

A children's choir that had been practising for months to perform at the weekend event wasn't so lucky. The moment the children began to sing, protesters drowned out their innocent voices with profanity-laden taunting and shrieking. Many parents who brought their children to witness the torch relay were disappointed because they couldn't get past the blockade protesters had set up in Victoria's busiest intersection, where they tied up traffic for more than half an hour. The protesters have done nothing to advance the causes they purport to espouse. They have exhibited a nasty hard-heartedness to children and a person with a disability.

There is a tradition of civil disobedience in modern democracy, but its early proponents understood they would suffer consequences for disrespecting the law. The standard-bearer of civil disobedience, American naturalist David Henry Thoreau, refused to pay a poll tax and spent a night in jail. He was angry when someone paid it on his behalf and he was released.

Protesters should be equally prepared to pay a price for their incivility and police should not hesitate to charge anyone who commits an offence. Anti-Olympic protesters have a right to their opinions and are free to express them. But they have no right to infringe on the rights of those who consider the 2010 Winter Olympic Games a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to welcome and watch world-class athletic competition, and participate in all the hoopla that goes with it.

© Copyright © The Vancouver Sun

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Protesters go beyond rights when they deny them to others

Vancouver Sun

November 6, 2009

American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes is said to have explained the nature of freedom this way: "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."

lol it is funny that a newspaper quoted one jurist in this issue, since it is a very common approach about the nature of freedom: The freedom of everybody ends where the liberty of somebody elses begins

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Everyone can have their own opinion and speak it anyway they wish. But honestly I see and hear these protesters swearing in front of children and really bringing out the wrong messages. It's too bad that they're getting bad reviews right now because if a you live in Canada you know that protest here are pretty weak compared to any others. I wish I could tell them that people would listen to them more if they showed some respect to others.

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I honestly can't stand these people. They honestly need to get a "FUCKING" life and put all this energy towards something actually productive.

Speaking of which, I wonder how many of them, you know, actually bothers to VOTE? Unless democracy is also part of the capitalist conspiracy <_< .

On a side-note, I have always hated the "our politicians suck" argument. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. If you feel that there is no one you can vote for, the it YOUR duty to offer an alternative. And if you don't bother to vote, then I don't want to hear you complain about ANYTHING the government does, even if it involved killing kittens... The waste of taxpayers money has been approved by referendum AND all level of democratically elected government, after all. Sorry for the rant, but people complaining about politicians without offering a f*****g solution are a pet peeves of mine... People that do that ON TOP of protesting in an unruly manner are just first-degree douche-bags.

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...now talking seriously, freedom is one thing, and abusing of freedom is another. I could have accepted these protests on 2008 because China doesnt give a damn about freedom.

But to do this on one of the countries with the highest freedom of expression level in the world (at least for me) is just abusive. Law should be more forceful against those little attention whores..

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I agree that the protests in 2008 had merit because they involved an ongoing issue. These protests about what is being spent on the Games would be better used elsewhere is pointless. The Olympic Games are going to happen, whether they like it or not. Its like shutting the barn door after all the cows have escaped.

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Thanks for bringing this column to our attention. These people seem to want to make everyone's life as miserable as theirs. They contribute nothing positive to society, constantly complaining about anything and everything and continually trying to disrupt the lives of those who are productive. They continually speak about their rights, but ignore the rights of others. They think they can molest anyone, but let a police officer touch them and it is police brutality. They are in fact facists who want to control how the government and society is conducted. Their way is the only way! They do not have an ounce of sense or intelligence and only succeed in disgracing themselves. Several don't even have the guts to show their faces, hiding behind ski masks!

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Look - I appreciate that protesters have a right to voice their opinion - however there is a time and a place for it.

Back in 2003 would have been the premium time. Vancouver has the Games now, they start in a few months, the money has been spent, the athletes and media are coming and there is not a damn thing you can do about it.

The actions in Victoria just show the immaturity and lack of respect for anyone else. Way to win people over! The kicker is these protesters will hide behind some Canadian version of a freedom of speech amendment and claim they don't want to convert people or change peoples minds - thus it raises the question - what IS the point?

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People just love to complain and cause a scene for nothing. What do they think this will accomplish? Do they honestly think they will cancel the Vancouver Olympics? I can't stand these NIMBY's.

And I agree with everything that'snotmypuppy has said above.

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Don't worry: I will provide some wonder commentary on the protesters when they come to my neck of the woods. I will be at the nightly celebrations in Brantford and Kitchener and they were be native protesters and student protesters below.

The biggest complaints are

1) The games are being held on stolen native land (even though the band counsels of the 4 host first nations are involved in the games)

2) The money could have been spent on affordable housing, health care, blah, blah, blah. (Vancouver and BC would have never gotten the money for the games for these other issues)

3) The games are curtailing freedom of speech, especially that the police can go into private residence to remove signage either for or against the Olympics, also the security presence yada, yada, yada. (I believe the law is that you can't use the Olympic name, rings or associated copyrighted material either for/against the games)

4) They are devastating the environment (the venues have been the most environmentally friendly in Olympic history and VANOC is spending millions to offset the carbon footprint, including the indifferent carbon footprint)

5) The tickets are too expensive/its only for the rich/elite and everyday people won't be able to use the venues afterwards.

6) They have no benefit to BC other then the Lower Mainland.

Pretty much a bunch of whiners because the Games do nothing for them so they have to ruin it for the rest of us.

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There were <b>thousands</b> of tickets for $50 or less available. Gold medal tickets for many events start at $135-150. My short track mega-session tickets (500m, 1000m and relay gold) were $50.

Could you get Super Bowl, Stanley Cup Final or Wimbeldon final tickets for those sorts of prices? I don't think so. Factor in thousands of tickets being distributed for <b>free</b> via community groups and I think Vanoc's done a great job making these Games accessible to more people.

I agree with point 5 partially though - some of the ticket prices are ridiculous - but if that is what the market can handle why wouldn't VANOC go for the big bucks? Such is life. We have been spoilt by a few cheap ticket Games - Athens, Beijing...
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I agree with point 5 partially though - some of the ticket prices are ridiculous - but if that is what the market can handle why wouldn't VANOC go for the big bucks? Such is life. We have been spoilt by a few cheap ticket Games - Athens, Beijing...

They followed the SLC pricing and also knew that sports like curling and hockey would have higher demand here, therefore charging more was easily done. I don't agree with one price point for curling and thought they would enlarge the size of the C and B sections but such is life.

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