Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Olympics security on road to major clashes: BCCLA

The risk of a major confrontation between activists and police during the 2010 Games is higher than ever, a civil liberties advocate told the Tyee today.

On Monday, Victoria police chief Jamie Graham revealed that an undercover police officer drove activists to the torch relay kick-off. He suggested anti-Olympics protesters "weren't that organized” for letting it happen.

“Comments like Jamie Graham’s increase the risk that we’re all trying to avoid of another APEC,” B.C. Civil Liberties Association executive director David Eby said.

In 1997, a gathering of Asian Pacific dignitaries made international headlines when police pepper sprayed and arrested anti-globalization protesters. An independent commission concluded a breakdown of communication between protest groups and the RCMP was partly to blame.

Monday’s revelations reduce the likelihood of trust and respect between groups such as the Olympics Resistance Network and the Vancouver Integrated Security Unit, Eby said.

“What self-respecting protester would want to talk to police now,” he said. “There’s a certain amount of pride at stake for both sides and I think that this is exactly the recipe for disaster along the lines of APEC if police are not careful.”

It’s not too late for the ISU to repair a strained relationship, Eby added. It could promise in writing not to infiltrate activist groups in order to direct them to violence.

ISU operating chief Bud Mercer has stated repeatedly that security forces have no intention of deploying so-called “agents provocateurs” during the 2010 Games. As long as protests don’t damage property or endanger people’s safety, police won’t intervene, Mercer insists.

Geoff Dembicki reports for the Tyee.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus