Vancouver protesters burn Canadian flag during march in solidarity with G20 detainees, black bloc

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      Vancouver protesters burned a Canadian flag and disrupted traffic on Sunday (July 4) in order to show their opposition to the mass arrests at the G20 summit protests in Toronto.

      More than 150 people took part in the march, which lasted over three hours and travelled from China Creek South Park to Andy Livingstone Park.

      During the opening speeches, Kwakwaka'wakw activist Gord Hill told protesters that they were not just assembled to condemn the police repression that targeted activists, journalists, and bystanders in Toronto, but to celebrate the resistance shown during the G20.

      “Four police cars were burned,” Hill said. “Nearly a million dollars in property damage was inflicted. And we should be clear that vandalism is not violence, because the vandals targeted banks and corporations.”

      Hill called the G20 summit a “training ground” for future social conflicts, which he said would take place more often as social conditions decline.

      Before Hill spoke, Vancouver activist Mathieu Levesque encouraged protesters to wear black in solidarity with the black bloc activists who smashed windows and torched police cars in Toronto.

      He said activists should not let the state “de-legitimize” any form of political protest.

      As they marched, protesters chanted “Cop cars up in smoke, anarchy ain’t no joke”, “No borders, no nations, fuck deportation”, and “Drop all charges.”

      Some of them taunted the police officers escorting the protest, calling them “pigs”.

      Several officers were seen guarding a Starbucks café on Terminal Avenue as the march passed.

      Earlier on, at the intersection of Clark Drive and East 12th Avenue, where the flag was set on fire and then stomped on, a few protesters scrawled chalk messages on the ground, such as “Up with trees, down with capitalism.”

      Sitting on the grass at China Creek South Park at the start of the march, Simon Fraser University students Alicia Tallack and Brennen Smith told the Straight that they attended in order to show their support for the G20 protesters arrested in Toronto.

      “I think the treatment of the protesters in Toronto was unacceptable,” Tallack said.

      “It’s everyone’s right to freedom of speech and freedom of political expression, and the government needs to respect that," added Smith, who commented that a public inquiry into the G20 summit "couldn't hurt".

      Asked what they thought of the protest also being held in solidarity with black bloc activists, the two students were taken aback.

      “With them? I didn’t realize that. I actually wouldn’t be here if I knew that, because that, I think, was not the right way to get messages across,” Tallack said.

      “I don’t agree with destruction of property,” Smith remarked.

      “Destruction, just anarchy in general, it’s just not the way to get a message across. Peaceful protest is the way to go,” Tallack finished.

      Logan McIntosh, a University of Alberta student who’s from Vancouver, watched with a friend as the march crossed East Broadway and continued north on Clark Drive.

      McIntosh noted that she’s “less comfortable” with the use of black bloc tactics, but said she agrees with the general sentiment of the protest.

      “I think that what happened in Toronto is ridiculous, messed up, disgusting, embarrassing,” McIntosh told the Straight. “The police brutality was ridiculous.”


      A masked activist kicks off the protest, and Mathieu Levesque talks about solidarity with black bloc protesters.


      Gord Hill condemns the tactics of police in Toronto and discusses the vandalism during the G20.


      A black bloc activist burns an Olympic souvenir flag.

      You can follow Stephen Hui on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenhui.

      Comments

      69 Comments

      Stephen K

      Jul 4, 2010 at 11:55pm

      You misguided fools! For any social movement to succeed, you need to go where the people are at. You need to go where ordinary Canadians are at. And they are not cool with smashing windows, burning cop cars, and burning the Canadian flag. Most Canadians don't want to destroy Canada, they want to bring back the Canada they know. There will be no revolution. You actually want social conditions to deteriorate? You have no idea the strength of the forces you are dealing with.

      You want something actually positive to come out of this whole mess. Support the call for a public inquiry. Support the Canadian Civil Liberties Association as bring a class action lawsuit. Do what actually has a snowball in hell's chance of working.

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      Black bloc hurting immigrant workers

      Jul 5, 2010 at 12:33am

      Almost everyone under those black masks is white and I'm guessing mostly middle or upper middle class. Read this report from Toronto about how they terrorized immigrant workers or small shopkeepers:

      http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/831506--angry-m...

      So it turns out it's Chinese, Cubans and Afghans who suffered from the Black Bloc rampage in Toronto, while the police stood by at let them do it. Pathetic.

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      Egor

      Jul 5, 2010 at 12:34am

      Only in a free and tolerant society like Canada can idiots like this get away with not being stomped.

      0 0Rating: 0

      Strategis

      Jul 5, 2010 at 12:44am

      It's too bad that the progressives couldn't get together and unite on a few themes and a few strategic approaches. Division and splintering of all the people of goodwill according to what issues they focus on and their various prescriptions for change ensures that the laser focused corporate materialists march straight down the middle of the road and sieze the prize of power every time.

      If the people of goodwill could get together, they could take over the government and society, because they are far more numerous than their opposition. But since they are individualistic and both support and foster diversity, there is a lack of unity.

      Most end up staying at home, because the perspective they hold is slightly different than that of all the other small groups, and none of the small groups is strong enough in itself to accomplish their goals. United they would stand, but divided as they are, they are falling behind, which means that the corporate totalitarians are advancing their agenda without any serious resistance or competition.

      Peace, justice, democracy, truth in media and government and sustainability, are what the people all want. But instead they are getting war, oppression, lies, fascism, and environmental decay. If they want something different, they will have to put aside their differences and find a place of unity, coalesce, and make a focused assault on a particular goal like honest government or an honest, competent press.

      Anything is possible, but only if people unite and strive together by honorable means that all can embrace to achieve a common dream. More discipline and logic are needed. And more concern for actually winning this battle for the future. These divisions are killing us and our planet.

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      Black Bloc are cops

      Jul 5, 2010 at 1:00am

      This alleged Black Bloc photo is propaganda.

      That young female burning the Canadian flag, she absolutely could be an agent for security or police services.

      That is media propaganda, to try to make the general public HATE legitimate activists, to try to create approval for greater police crack-down, and approve of harsher beatings and detentions for legitimate activists.

      Notice, it is a young woman doing the burning, as police are being terribly criticized for beating innocent young women in the Toronto G20.
      So that is calculated to send the message...
      ...they deserved the beating, even though she may look like a young woman, she is a terrorist who hates Canada...so they say.
      Its propaganda.

      Notice they are also writing with chalk, which was a subject of criticism in Toronto for a violent arrest.

      That female with the burning flag, is most likely a special police agent, doing emergency media relations for the multi-billion security systems.
      Watch for that photo be distributed by police across Canada.

      Don't be duped by this "Black Bloc", they are de facto agents and promoters of extreme police-state powers.

      Those who are offended by these vile Black Bloc stunts, could save the flag very easily.
      No need to stand by and let the alleged "Black Bloc" shame a proper protest. Black Bloc are connected with the police itself, with police agents as moles, as has been proven time and again.

      Someone could easily slip one of those masks off, while doing one their stunts.
      It would be interesting to see it was a police officer on special assignment.

      Denounce and Unmask the Black Bloc, in their fake designer Black, they are not what they seem. They are frauds.

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      Tina

      Jul 5, 2010 at 2:05am

      The supposed Black Bloc do not represent any type of solidarity with real activists or legit protest. Especially those who stand up for their beliefs, and went to jail but were innocent. They are alone on their own, having nothing to do with others who work hard for productive change.

      As a matter of fact, there is much evidence in Toronto, that the Black Bloc was highly aligned with police, as none of them were arrested during over 90 minutes of vandalizing, as police just watched them from feet away for many miles. There are media reports that police had specific orders not to arrest the Black Bloc as they vandalized, and they did not. There is much research on that, and that can be explored completely in a Public Inquiry.

      There have been cases where alleged Black Bloc members were shown to be "Agents" working to stir things up, to justify a harsh crackdown by the police and state, and billion dollar budgets.

      In the Toronto G20, police are under serious criticism, for beatings during arrests of young women.
      Note how this photo, shows a young woman violating Canada's symbol, burning the flag. That is a calculated strategy, to turn the public against legit activists and legit protest.
      But they have nothing to do with the Black Bloc. Black Bloc stand by themselves, and police admit to infiltrating the Black Bloc. They could easily be influenced and even controlled by the security apparatus, to discredit real activists.

      Regardless, Black Bloc function as the PR department for harsh police repression of peaceful effective activists. They give an excuse for higher budgets for security. Expect this problem to get much worse.

      Denounce the Black Bloc, let them be responsible for their own behavior, and eject them.

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      Kevin from Richmond

      Jul 5, 2010 at 4:40am

      your burn our nations flag, i'm going to kick your ass.

      Reply to this ad you f--king loser with the time and place! i dare you!

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      Rob

      Jul 5, 2010 at 6:01am

      Yup "big corporations".. they Trashed an Independand Jewller, a Mammas Pizza shop, a strip club, the Historic Carlu window and almost burnt down Steves music shop one of the few independant musc stores that rents out equipment to local bands.. Good work! Support these guys Vancouver, maybe they will come visit you soon!

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      RodSmelser

      Jul 5, 2010 at 7:43am

      Who financed this protest?
      Rod Smelser

      0 0Rating: 0

      Birdy

      Jul 5, 2010 at 7:44am

      Government is not a bad thing, only corrupt government.

      Representative or direct democratic government is what stands between the people and brutal unrelenting serfdom.

      Anarchy is a cute and romantic sentiment in the sense of Rand or Chompsky's definition, but the last book these useful idiots read was likely 'See Spot Run' in grade 2.

      The "black bloc" tools should take into consideration that they are behaving EXACTLY as the corporatist (not capitalist) police state wants them too. What better excuse for the state to borrow more money from the bank cartels to purchase and cache more and more high tech crowd control weapons?

      If you want to make a difference and improve the conditions of human existence, study monetary policy, see the light, then tell everyone you know. The creation of debt-based money through private banks instead of through the publicly owned government is the crux.

      Joining the G8/G20 however, was a terrible mistake, the black bloc are (accidently) right about that. Joining up requires a nation to give up the right to create debt-free REAL money, and to vow subservience to the fraudulent IMF and World Bank. Take a look at the behavior of our country's debt since we joined the G8 in 1976.

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