Olympic thoughts

Wow. It’s been an eventful 2 days. A young man dies on the luge track, rain and mild weather postpones a bunch of the outdoor sports, and protest groups erupted in violence.

Today groups in Vancouver were protesting the Olympics being on “stolen native lands”, poverty, and some typical hippie nonsense (not that I’m saying there aren’t things to protest over, because there are, but anti-globalization? seriously?). Anyway, one group became violent during their 2010 Heart Attack: Clog the Arteries of Capitalism protest, destroying public property (tossing newspaper boxes, breaking store windows, spray painting stuff, etc) and shoving people around. In balaclavas. Assholes.

This is what democracy looks like“, one protester yelled. No it doesn’t – that’s what anarchy looks like. That’s what violent idiots who give governments and organizations an excuse to limit liberty look like. That’s what it looks like to give people an excuse to ban mary jane ’cause it leads to violence (so the opposers allege) – it was suspected that some protesters were high due to a waft of the distinctive smell near the group.

Protest what you want to protest, no matter how stupid and uninformed it may actually be. Even protest for the sake of it because you aren’t sure what you’re actually protesting. Whatever floats your boat. But the moment you start trashing property and assaulting people, then you’ve gone way too far. That’s not protesting – that’s just plain violence. The cause your protesting for doesn’t need “help” like this.

Yeah, I know right? What a bold stand for me to come out against violence. I’m so brave. [/sarcasm] I know. But apparently it still needs to be said, or this stuff wouldn’t happen in the first place. I wonder how many of these idiots will look at their arrest with pride because they will believe that they were arrested protesting “the man”… Except all they did was piss in their own backyard. What was gained?

Here’s what a protest looks like:

This is how it’s done. Effective or not (work in progress – time will tell) at least it was a peaceful demonstration with a clear message.

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6 responses to “Olympic thoughts

  1. Well, I think you are somewhat over-simplfiying a pretty darn complex social issue.

    The degree of violence carried out by the ruling elite and various other players in what might be called the uber-capitalist corporate suite, which are not limted to a quickly growing homeless population, an ever-expanding gulf between the rich and the poor, and far too many other acts of determined and conscious social control to mention, needs to be not only highlighted, but vigorously opposed. And sometimes, violent protest brings these issues to light in a way that more peaceful, and less newsworthy protests do not.

    I’m curious: What are you feelings on Wiebo Ludwig’s actions and agenda?

  2. “And sometimes, violent protest brings these issues to light in a way that more peaceful, and less newsworthy protests do not.”

    That’s probably the easiest way to get attention, sure, but that doesn’t mean they should. It’s a ticket to looking like a bunch of crazy terrorists (ex: Greenpeace, PETA, etc). Protesting peacefully in an organized way when the police pull shit they shouldn’t makes the protesters look like innocent kittens.

    Regardless of how mad they are or how justified they think they are, they don’t have the right to steal and destroy other people’s property. What if their message was something you didn’t agree with, would you support them being destructive to prove their point?

    The IOC/VANOC has done some questionable things, to be sure, and they should be protested and called out by interested parties, but I don’t agree with these methods.

  3. Kimbo said:

    “What if their message was something you didn’t agree with, would you support them being destructive to prove their point? ”

    That’s a good point; however, for the record, I was not supporting the violence you discuss in this post. I was just pointing out that I feel you are making it a little too clearly black and white; right/wrong, no nuanced grey areas there. And I am not convinced it’s quite that straight forward.

    For one thing — and I am neither endorsing nor refuting this claim (because I have no evidence one way or the other) — what if the violence was in fact perpetrated by so-called agents provocateur, as has been proven to be the case in other political protest that turned violent?

    That would completely change the context of this specific argument I think.

    Or is that a red herring? Perhaps it is.

  4. Kimbo, if you’re curious and interested there is a good discussion about this exact issue going on at the Tyee (Canada’s best independent news source). There are interesting and good points being made by both sides (and the middlers too) of the argument.

    I find it progressively more difficult to determine who is right and who is wrong in this case.

    Link: http://thetyee.ca/News/2010/02/13/SatrudayProtestGallery/

  5. They did it wrong! To overdose on homeopathic remedies, you need to forget to take your medication. *That* can damn near kill you.