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Protesters have lost, have been defeated


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So that first night, there were 1000+ protesters in the streets, yelling about everything from Native Rights to the Tar Sands. They made a couple of dignitaries (including NATIVE Chiefs) late by a few minutes to the opening ceremonies. The next morning, the protests took a dangerous turn with property damage and vandalism as so many of us on CDC predicted.

Fastforward to a week later...and the protests have fizzled.

The guys who broke the windows were arrested, and it turns out, as I predicted in another thread, that they were these "career protesters" who go from event to event provoking violence and causing damage.

As well, the protesters, realizing the fact that they had no public support have started to turn on each other! laugh.gif

For example, on Wednesday, at an anti-Olympics forum, David Eby of the Civil Liberties Association, one of those groups that marched and helped with the protests addressed the crowd and was give a pie in the face by a fellow protester! Chris Shaw, that miserable S.O.B. who runs the 2010 watch website ad his girlfriend were standing behind and got some pie on them too.

Eby got pied because he came out and declared that the protesters failed...

"If the goal was to shut down the Olympics, the goal failed," Eby said. "If the goal was to increase awareness of protest messages, that goal failed too."

Now, in an interview with the Vancouver Observer, Shaw sounds exasperated, defeated, as if he is throwing in the towel. What seems to have take the wind out of his sails the most? All of the thousands of loud, proud, red and white maple leaf clad people having the time of their lives! He said his focus for the rest of the games WILL NOT be to protest but to "...try not to lose my cool watching all the saccharin faux patriotism. I swear, the next I see some drunken rowdies staggering along the Drive shouting "Go Canada, go", I'm going to lose it."

Wow. This guy has been working against the games since 2001 and this is what it comes down to? Getting pissed off at fans?

Those of us who were against the protests have won! Everyone cheering on their country in the Olympics has won! All those families going dowtown for a great time have won!

Mr. Protester? You LOSE!

As for the public, we know whose side they are on, and we know that it frustrates Chris Shaw. As CTV/TSN's James Duthie, a guy who has covered major sporting events the world over said on twitter today: "I know this has been tweeted by others, but I'll repeat it. Never seen anything like the crowds and atmosphere on streets of Van. Anywhere."

- With Glowing Hearts and True Patriot Love

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They were always gonna be swamped once the tidal wave of Olympic Spirit swept over. My only worry was that they might have got nasty when it became clear they were becoming irrelevant and being ignored. Thankfully a few arrests after some stupidly spiteful vandalism has pretty well shut them up totally now.

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When I look out my window and walk down my streets and see throngs and throngs of happy, jubilant people heading in every direction, I wonder three things...

1) What's with all this negativity outside of Vancouver?

2) My God, is this really Vancouver?

3) And if I were a protestor, I'd feel massively outnumbered and defeated. In fact, a protestor would probably be putting themselves at risk of great harm if they attempted anything now. These crowds are just off the hook.

And Mr. X...while I agree with most of what you have said, I will add to it. People aren't just cheering on Canada, but they are cheering on all the other countries. The Canadians are the loudest, no doubt, but when another country's athlete puts in a great performance, you see everyone cheering. There are loads of red maple leafs here, but there are also a lot of yellow and blue crosses, stars and stripes, black eagles, and rising suns.

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They were always gonna be swamped once the tidal wave of Olympic Spirit swept over. My only worry was that they might have got nasty when it became clear they were becoming irrelevant and being ignored. Thankfully a few arrests after some stupidly spiteful vandalism has pretty well shut them up totally now.

Well, looks like your worries have come true:


"F U 2010"


pic by anonymous

There isn't anything much lower than defacing your Countries flag, what a bunch of tools.

And yeah that is why we need a fence around the cauldron... spineless pukes

There is a difference between protesters and vandals. The losers who did this are the latter.

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Feared police crackdown absent during Games

Anti-poverty activists and civil rights watchdogs in Vancouver say their worst fears about police crackdowns during the 2010 Winter Olympics have yet to materialize, more than halfway through the Games.

Sean Spear, a director with RainCity Housing, said their emergency shelters and housing projects are full and their clients are appreciating a place far from the crowds.

"We also have people staying in our projects who are going to the Games and enjoying that as well, or finding other things that they enjoy about the Games - just watching some of the stuff on TV," he said.

Spear said one thing he doesn't like are Games visitors shooting pictures of the poor, which he called an offence to their dignity.

No significant civil rights violations

A legal observer program set up to monitor the rights of the poor reports no violations, according to David Eby, the executive director of the BC Civil Liberties Association.

'We haven't seen the excesses we were worried about.'-David Eby, executive director, BCCLA

The program's 250 trained individuals have been on the streets day and night, on the lookout for police brutality, displacement of the poor or suppression of free speech or the right to protest, but so far they have nothing significant to report, said Eby.

"We haven't seen the excesses we were worried about, the signs being taken away, people not being able to march or leaflet. Those things haven't materialized the way we were concerned they would," said Eby.

Homeless protest continues

At the tent village Olympic protest site, the mood was a bit less conciliatory. The encampment was set up by anti-poverty activists, following the opening of the Games on Feb. 12, in a vacant lot on East Hastings owned by developer Concorde Pacific.

More than 100 small tents still remain on the lot, which is located on the edge of the busy Olympic zone in downtown Vancouver, but organizers would not say how many were actually occupied, and refused to let reporters into the site.

So far neither police nor Concord Pacific has made a significant effort to move the protesters off the site.

Village spokesman Dave Diewert said the protesters would not leave until homes were found for those living on the site, but could not say how many people that actually was.

But Elaine Durocher, who helped set up the protest encampment, said they will move on peacefully if asked by the lot's owner.

They are not against the Olympic Games, the athletes or the visitors, said Durocher, just the way the money is being spent.

"I am against the amount of dollars being spent on the Olympics, and none of it is given to homeless people down here," said Durocher.

"I am not here to swear, to smash windows. I am not here to smash cars. Therefore, if they ask us to leave here, before our demands are met, we will leave peacefully," she said.

The day after the opening of the Games, several anti-Olympic protesters were arrested and charged after about 200 marched through downtown Vancouver leaving a trail of smashed windows and newspaper boxes.

The protest provoked a widespread public backlash against the anti-Olympic movement, which until then had been enjoying significant public support.

No marijuana crackdown

At the New Amsterdam Café on nearby West Hastings, there was also little sign of a police crackdown on Vancouver's permissive marijuana culture.

Chris Szabla, 23, was in town from Toronto for the Olympics and happened by the New Amsterdam Café, where marijuana is smoked openly.

Szabla said he was impressed, but a little confused by the rules, which have led to some very smoky crowds celebrating on the streets of downtown during the Games.

"I've never had first-hand experience with enforcement here, so I just go by what my brother told me and what I see in the street," he said.

Szabla has good reason to be perplexed. Apart from medically sanctioned use, marijuana remains illegal even in small quantities in B.C., but enforcement is often as hazy as the air in the New Amsterdam Café itself.

It is a position that even Vancouver police have a hard time articulating.

"Umm, how do I say this," said Vancouver police spokeswoman Const. Lindsay Houghton. "Our officers show a great deal of discretion when it comes to possession of marijuana."

That discretion, according to Houghton, means trafficking is not tolerated but simple possession rarely, if ever, results in charges.

That informal approach is being passed on to the roughly 6,000 visiting police officers in town to bolster security for the Games.

The visiting officers are told the rules are the same here as anywhere in the country, said Houghton. "However, a lot of them know, because it is quite well documented in the media, discretion is shown."


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