Vancouver Anti-G20/G8 Protest: Cops Stay Liars, Media Remain Complicit
June 27, 2010
Coast Salish Territory, Vancouver
Video of Vancouver demonstration at The Georgia Straight website:
Photos of Vancouver demonstration at The Georgia Straight website:
About 75 people attended yesterday’s anti-G20/G8 demonstration in Vancouver, taking the streets in opposition to the extremes of global corporate and government control, and in the case of most demonstrators, the entire capitalist system. The three-hour-long march went along Commercial Drive, Hastings Street and to the Clark Drive overpass leading to the Port of Vancouver along the city’s main trucking route, and then back again.
It was also an explicit show of solidarity with the G20/G8 protests in Toronto, including the rioters there, as the small crowd in Vancouver loudly cheered upon hearing of the rebellion on the streets of Canada’s financial capital.
The Vancouver march circled back on itself after trying to cross the Port of Vancouver overpass at Clark Drive because a line of crowd-control police blocked the way. A banner against the tar sands was hung across the overpass for a while as speeches were made.
Translink said they had to redirect four major bus routes during the march and many of the backed up buses could be seen from the demonstration.
The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) deployed several vans full of riot police along with cops on bikes and on foot who followed alongside, behind and in front of the march. A police helicopter also hovered overhead throughout.
Contrary to the lies of the VPD, simply parroted as usual by the corporate media, it was the police who initiated the minor shoving matches with the small black bloc present and tried to steal banners and flags. The cops said, “while there were no arrests today, the right to protest doesn’t include the right to commit criminal acts that place the public’s safety at risk.”
Except there were no criminal acts unless you include the unpermitted march itself, or some light shoving in response to the cops shoving, or the attempt to block the trucking route to the port, which the cops didn’t mention. And if there were crimes, why didn’t the cops make any arrests? Maybe because they’re lying about it and trying to imply criminality where there is none or to exaggerate it.
Cops repeatedly closed in on the sides of the march, only to be met with chants of “No pigs in the demo” each time, not just from the black bloc, but from most of the demonstrators. The crowd also joined in chants of “What’s the solution, revolution, what’s the direction, insurrection,” and, “1,2,3,4, this is f#cking class war!”
One of the black bloc’s main activities was attempting to block the cops surveillance camera with their black flags, which was welcomed by other protesters, some joining in with their placards and banner.
In the media, the cops tried to portray the black bloc as taking over and distracting from the “legitimate” protest, despite the fact that the black bloc did not initiate conflict and was supported by the other protesters. The cops also failed to mention that the march as a whole attempted to block access to the port, that it had at least the intention of some form of direct action and that the black bloc was there in support of that.
The cops focused on and exaggerated the black bloc’s activities while concealing the intent of the “legitimate” protesters to do more than just peacefully and lawfully protest.
The police are desperate to divide people and to portray the black bloc tactic as marginal, in part because they know its strength comes as much from its supporters, passive and active, as from those who use the tactic themselves.
Toronto’s police chief was even more desperate, given his situation, in his pleas for the public to support his embarrased and ineffective police force rather than the black bloc many in the city had been supporting. Toronto’s head cop knows that rather than experiencing shock, many in his city and around the world were inspired by the street resistance.
So the cops always have to wage a propaganda war with the help of their corporate media pals to do damage control for their own image while attempting to demonize and mystify what many see as one of the clear and correct ways to respond to the violence and exploitation of capitalism and the State.
At the Vancouver demonstration, a speech on repression of indigenous fisheries in British Columbia and the necessity of a diversity of tactics and direct action received the most cheers and applause, seemingly indicating an increased radicalization, or at least a more obvious radical perspective in Vancouver since the Olympics.
The black bloc clearly does not distract from, but brings more attention to the “cause” of opposition to the G20/G8. More importantly, it also poses the question of the what good a “cause” is if people aren’t willing to fight for it and take the necessary action to make change when the ruling class have contrary interests that they’re more than willing to violently defend with their police.
The black bloc would not be much of a problem for the police if not for the many who support it, or those who would also or already have rioted against the cops, the government and the corporations in more-than-justified retaliation.