Corporate Media Not Happy with Anti-Olympic Protests...

Corporate Media Not Happy with Anti-Olympic Protests...

Protests are fine, but stop the obnoxious profanity

Globe and Mail
September 25, 2008

VANCOUVER — Protests are a fine, healthy thing in a democracy. But the folks who like to bring their embittered crusade against the 2010 Winter Games to any public event where there are TV cameras aren't much interested in protesting. Their game is disrupting.

No peaceful parading around with placards for these so-called activists. Let's review some of their past activities.

They drowned out the sweet young voices of an elementary school choir during an Olympic flag-raising ceremony at city hall with a constant din of screaming and shouting.

They stormed the stage of an event to unveil the Olympic countdown clock, grabbed the mike and shouted obscenities at the crowd.

And last Sunday, several dozen members of the Olympics Resistance Network decided that what was to be a fun, family-oriented event to mark the launch of the Canadian Pacific Spirit Train on a cross-Canada journey to promote the Winter Olympics should not proceed without their raucous intervention.

Using pots and pans, megaphones and loud chanting, they did their best to try to overpower entertainment that had been arranged for the launch. When scuffles broke out with some irate spectators, Port Moody police arrested two of the protesters.

Outraged by the arrests, a remaining protester decided the best way to react was to repeatedly shout “F--- the Olympics” into a megaphone, while children lined up for autographs from gold medalist Carol Huynh. Charming.

Not everyone likes the Olympics, and there are good points to be raised about their impact on Vancouver and the multimillions that they cost. But this small group of activists, which is unable to turn out demonstrators against the Olympics in any large numbers, seems to believe it therefore has the right to ruin Olympic events for everyone else.

VANOC is now reviewing arrangements for future Games-related happenings. Spokesperson RenĂ©e Smith-Valade said there needs to be a balance between the right to peacefully protest the Olympics and being able to stage events in public. “It appears we still have a bit of work to do to find that balance.”

That's putting it mildly.