Police bring out heavy-duty weapons for Vancouver Olympic protest on day two

Serious police iron was out in the streets of Vancouver today (February 13), the second day of the 2010 Olympics.

At least two of what looked like M4 carbines--the newer version of the iconic Vietnam-era American assault rifle, the M-16– were in the hands of officers of the Vancouver Police Department.

These weapons are standard issue  for U.S. forces in modern wars like those in  Iraq and Afghanistan

One carbine even had what appeared to be a laser guide, which would make the light, easy-to-handle, and accurate  fully automatic weapon dead-on on target.

See also

2010 Heart Attack disrupts Vancouver on day two of Winter Olympics

Photo gallery: Anti-Olympic protesters unleash 2010 Heart Attack on Vancouver

Police bring out heavy-duty weapons for Vancouver Olympic protest on day two

VPD releases statement on February 13 Olympic-related violence

It wasn’t known whether or not  the rifles carried rubber or plastic bullets instead of live rounds.

In poorer nations dependent on U.S. military gear, these guns are adoringly referred to as “baby Armalites”. These babies can fire at least 700 full-metal jacket rounds a minute.

The weapons came out as police started to shadow and later confront several demonstrators who messed up the downtown streets of the Olympic city in a free-for-all event dubbed 2010 Heart Attack.

At one point during the rowdy protest, the demonstrators grabbed a long ladder, the closest they got to having  their  own  weaponry.

One police officer wore a vest studded with several rounds of shotgun shells. He cradled a short barrelled shotgun–no shoulder stock– with a hand grip for easier pump loading.

Every officer had standard automatic pistols.

Also in public display were tear-gas guns as police donned body pads and helmets with visors. There were, of course, the old-fashioned antiriot batons.

“From where are you gentlemen?” a towering officer who appeared to be the leader of a police squad asked the Straight team on West Georgia Street.  

He had a pleasant-sounding voice as the demonstrators crossed the intersection of Thurlow Street.

When told that  that the crew was from  the Straight, the officer said the team could take all the pictures it wanted of police and their gear.

Asked what he thought of the scene unfolding before his eyes, the officer responded: “It’s a great sporting event.” He may have been referring to the Olympics.

Pressed further, the officer added something like: “Everybody has the right to protest. That’s why we’re here in Canada.”

There wasn’t any chance to ask why assault rifles were out on this cold morning.

Comments (50) Add New Comment
Shawn
Everyone has a right to protest, no one has a right to destroy other peoples property. The guns are welcome! The idiots brought this on, the police did not.
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visigoth`
Too bad you were not able to get a better quote. Doesn't really stir the loins does it?
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anonymist
Any photos of these "M4 Carbines" in question? And it's surprising that every officer had a sidearm since in all the photos I have seen so far only supervisors (usually without yellow vests) standing away from the protests have had any arms, including the "non-lethal" shotguns, identified by areas of orange paint on the weapon.
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Rational
Give me a break, trying to make the protesters out to be david vs. goliath. These losers need to be more interested in finding a job and making there own living. Desperate cries for childish attention.
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GC
So where are the pictures?

Everyone has the right to protest in Canada, but no one has a right to carry an assault rifle, when the make-believe "fear" index is at low, and the force is being used against protesters.

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Strategis
Assault rifles on the streets of Vancouver - signs of "progress" - thanks to the 2010 Olympics! Anarchists are not new, they have been pulling these antics for decades all over the world. But assault rifles on the streets of Vancouver are new. This is the part of the Olympic legacy that I decry.
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Fred Doucet
The Georgia Straight is doing more harm than good by describing these goons as protesters -- they support none of the causes the Straight has prided itself in giving voice to.
Shame on the GS for getting too wrapped up in its adrenaline to report an honest story
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Strategis
ERT guys & certain ghost cars are equipped with said weapons. trust me from experience - this gear is all around you if you are around any venue.
As for protesting; all for it.
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KB pollock
Frankly, it seems to be one gang of thugs -- the police -- or the other -- the anarchists. I'm a lot more afraid of the ones with guns,
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Wrenkin
Automatic pistols? Are you sure? Do you mean semi-automatic?
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DJB
Peaceful protest that intelligently bring to light issues that may be important but NO ONE has the right to create fear, destroy property, and disregard basic rule of law and decency. What happened at The Bay today is NOT protesting...it's hooliganism! Teach Me. Inform Me. Share with me but do not scare me, deny me, or demean my intelligence.
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Gale Filip
Sounds like the mercenaries are in town to defend the lives of plate glass windows. How charming Vancouver.
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keepitup
It's an important story and the facts need to get out; but this article needs a good edit and fact check.

I don't see pistols or whatever on all the cops in the pictures, and I don't think having no shoulder stock makes a shotgun "short barreled". Isn't that at the other end of the gun?

Check your facts, and then you can let them stand for themselves.
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MysTerri
Uh Oh! Sounds like Black Water is in town. The mercenaries have been called in to protect the lives of PLATE GLASS WINDOWS, OH MY!!! I'm with you Mayor Robertson, "Death to the WINDOW BREAKERS!!!"

MysTerri
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AD
Thank you for the brief history of the M4-Carbine as it has truly enlightened the readers on the Olympic issues at hand. The propaganda is blatant and the reporting is pure rubbish. Perhaps the "author" would have a more successful career in fiction writing as he is lending a bad name to individuals involved in the discourse on the social and economic realities of the Olympics - not how big and scary the "towering" police man is.
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Trev
The protestors are fucking pussy's!! Suck the olympics up u protesting bitches!!
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Norm
Now the scum come out of the woodwork. "Protesters" indeed. I wonder just how these protesters contribute to the causes they claim to support. Which came first, the anger or the "cause"?
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odessa
Proving the right to voice your opinion, marching in unison to the beat of protest...then blatingly causing violence is cause for police to bring any means of force necessary to establish order. You see, when a large group makes themselves known and within that grew decide they need to be more noticed by destroying things; that may escalate to someone getting hurt or killed that allows the police force to bring it its "guns." It is a preventative measure and also a means of deterrence.
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Chuck winnipeg
I applaud the protesters, in what ever from they attend. The police in their efforts to create files cause a need to cover ones face. The civil liberty soldiers are smart to cover their faces. Thank goodness for winter or that liberty would be removed by legislation.
It is no coincidence that the olympics started the exact same day as the largest military operation in afghanistan in almost a decade, headed by the USA and Britain. The olympics is just another act of dominance where the poor and under funded filler nations, are needed to create an illusion. We benchmark the worse to make ourselves appear superior, and to the easily impressed or fooled it seems to flawlessly. Thank goodness some of us are not so easily fooled and which would have to include all who marched and especially the masked marauders who got by far the most press of all for their minor vandalism.
Imagine anyone being concerned for the Hudson's Bay Companies window when they have raped Canada of its resources and animals for HUNDREDS of years. The shame is totally on them and the disgusting nature of their business, which was built on bilking aboriginal people of their labours first and our enviroment second.
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M Sab
The fact that the police were caught red handed trying to incite violence in Quebec by infiltrating the protesters there leaves them with little credibility. Who is to say the protesters were not infiltrated again? Just because some thugs took the opportunity to brake some stuff does not take away from the points raised by the protesters.
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