VPD releases statement on February 13 Olympic-related violence

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      The Vancouver Police Department today released the following statement regarding Olympic-related violence in Downtown Vancouver.

      For in-depth coverage of the protest and violience, see Carlito Pablo's, 2010 Heart Attack disrupts Vancouver on day two of Winter Olympics.

      Vancouver Police Department News Release - Feb 13, 2010
      1:00 p.m.

      As Vancouver Police faced protestors once again today they encountered a criminal element within the legitimate protestors.

      The criminal element apparently willing to wield anything that might cause damage or injury marched among about 200 legitimate protestors this morning beginning at 8:30 a.m. They walked down Georgia Street breaking windows, turning over news boxes and clashing with police.

      This group contained more than 100 masked people many of whom kicked and damage numerous parked cars. They used spray paint on cars and transit buses and tore down signs.

      They also clashed with members of the public and pedestrians who didn't support them. At one point they used a ladder as a moving barricade.

      The demonstration involving a number of anarchists some of whom dress all in black and employ a tactic called Black Bloc. This included a loosely organized group of thugs from central Canada known to attach themselves to any cause, travel to any event that attracts media coverage and promote anarchy wherever they go.

      Because the criminal element hid within the ranks of the legitimate protestors it posed challenges to police who had to identify who among the crowd were responsible for the property damage and violence.

      Vancouver Police respect the rights of those who wish to express their criticism but that does not give them right to commit crimes and jeopardize the public's safety.

      As this group began to escalate their violence and vandalism Vancouver Police increased their presence along Georgia Street to preserve public safety. Members of the Integrated Security Unit also joined the effort to restore the peace. Members of the VPD Crowd Control Unit also participated.

      Once the violence began, specifically as some in the group smashed windows at the Bay department store, the bulk of the crowd drifted away distancing themselves from the criminal element.

      Part of the group's confrontational strategy is to provoke police. Some of the masked criminals were carrying vinegar soaked rags and goggles fully anticipating that they could provoke police into using tear gas. To further bait police they spat on officers, kicked at them and taunted them.

      The Vancouver Police Department has always employed a strategy of cooperation and non-confrontation with protests groups in the hope of facilitating peaceful and safe events. On average the VPD safely facilitates about 175 protests in the city every year.

      Police are aware that they must always balance the rights of free speech and protest with the rights of the public to safely and freely enjoy the city.

      By noon, police had been able to disperse the vandals into smaller pockets and greatly reduce the threat to the public safety.

      Seven suspects were arrested and charges of mischief are pending. A bag with a hammer was recovered. One suspect had a bicycle chain wrapped around his fist when he was arrested.



      ryan s

      Feb 13, 2010 at 2:00pm

      i do not support the protesters but if they want to protest in peace, let them be. but they need to take it upon themselves to separate themselves from these anarchists so they can demonstrate their freedom and have a peaceful protest


      Feb 13, 2010 at 2:16pm

      Morons. If I was there I would have been tempted to take a hammer to their heads!! Charges of Mischief are NOT ENOUGH. These hooligans should be incarcerated for the remainder of the Olympic Games - or extradited out of our country - because you know some of these idiots are either not canadian citizens or very poor citizens of this country


      Feb 13, 2010 at 2:44pm

      Why are you re posting this sick piece of propaganda?

      What has happened to Vancouver? Is it all one big PR firm?

      When did "Serve and protect the people" Turn into "Serve and protect the corporations and those addicted to the greed those corporations release"?

      Robynn Graves

      Feb 13, 2010 at 3:29pm

      GC, you're an idiot.

      I'm not totally thrilled with the idea of the games being held in Vancouver and how corporate the Olympics have become, but do I need to trash public (and private) property and threaten bystanders about it? No. Does that kind of behaviour solve anything? No. The only people this behaviour really affects are the locals, and we've already got enough going on without having to worry about fools who are too cowardly to even show their face while "protesting" destroying our property and making our streets unsafe.

      These morons need to grow the hell up and, in my humble opinion, should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

      Fred Doucet

      Feb 13, 2010 at 3:56pm

      Well said ryan s
      Anyone who has a cause to protest for must recognize what they DO NOT stand for, and pre-emptively separate from these goons. Let's see how fun intimidation is when they're standing all alone


      Feb 13, 2010 at 4:05pm

      So, why haven't their identities been published?


      Feb 13, 2010 at 5:46pm

      what's "sick" is the idea that buildngs and property (which is what the olympics are all about) are more important than people--who mostly can't be part of the olympics because they aren't rich enough. olympics r 4 pigs.


      Feb 13, 2010 at 11:57pm

      GC this is not propaganda, it is just reporting of the facts. If you don't like the facts maybe that is because this behavior is abhorrent. This was not a protest this was just criminals performing criminal activities.

      reg, you don't need to spend money to enjoy the Olympics. Just visit one of the free Live City sites.

      C. Wilson

      Feb 14, 2010 at 1:23am

      While the statement differentiates between the petty vandals and legitimate protesters the question as to whether automatic rifles is an appropriate level of force to deal with a few 20 something punks is entirely overlooked. I call bullshit on Jim Chu and his Canadian style diplomacy.

      ry s

      Feb 14, 2010 at 8:35am

      Dear Olympic security forces,

      Please allow these protestors to come protest outside Gate 9 at the garage after a team Canada game. I'm guessing that even with 200 of their friends they won't be feeling so tough.