Unfortunately Day Two of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games got rung in with the sound of smashing glass at the HBC store downtown. From what I hear, 100-200 protesters moved from Georgia Street, down to Denman, looped up Robson Street and are currently being penned in by police on Robson Street between Broughton and Jervis.
Yesterday the Olympic Torch Relay was re-routed due to protesters in the downtown Eastside but it was a peaceful protest. Today it seems like a different group of people with anarchy signs, masks, hoods, and actions such as knocking over newspaper boxes, spray painting cars & mailboxes, and smashing windows.
John went down to take some photos and Duane even saw a woman pushing a stroller moving with the group who knocked over a box in one fell swoop.
On the other hand, our pal Kris Krug is reporting on Twitter that he was caught in crossfire and got hit by a police riot shield. He was taking photos of the event and was told (with the shove of a riot shield) to move back. He did, said he was press, then was shoved with the shield again. Kris told me the Legal Observers got it on video and he will be launching a formal complaint.
John also said that people along the way were trying to help by putting the mailboxes back upright after they were knocked down. He said the police told the helpful citizens to leave the boxes alone as they may just get knocked over again. Store owners, shop keepers, and residents along Robson came out to see what was going on. All looked very concerned and frankly I was hesitant about John and Duane heading down there.
As the crowd becomes dispersed by police on Robson Street now the core group of about 20-30 protesters now are engaging in peaceful actions — banging drums, dancing around, and making their statement known – if the message hasn’t being diluted by actions earlier. Things seem to be calming down but there is still plenty of tension. I still hear shouting, whistles, sirens and helicopters overhead.
You can view more images in John’s Flickr set. I’ll post updates as they come through…
Update @ 11:56am February 13, 2010 Things seem to have calmed down as the sound of the helicopter above moves further away from my neighbourhood. I had family coming downtown today who have now change their plans because of this.
Update @ 12:04pm February 13, 2010 It’s being reported that there were two groups; the protesters bringing awareness to native land use and poverty in Vancouver, and then those with the masks and anarchist flags. CTV News Net is still carrying live coverage.
Update @ 12:15pm February 13, 2010 I will be turning off the comments on this post as this is simply to document what happened this morning, as we saw it and heard about it on the news. I am responsible for all statements made on this website, which includes the comments section so I’ll just keep this as a reference piece. Thank you for understanding the sensitivity of this subject matter.
Update @ 12:44pm February 12, 2010 Our friend John Biehler was also down on Robson Street, here are some images from his Flickr set:
Update @ 1:11pm February 13, 2010 My husband John took some video following the protesters up Robson Street:
Update @ 1:17pm February 13, 2010 The website ShotinVancouver.com has some amazing photos from the protest action this morning including a newspaper box being thrown into the window of the TD Tower downtown. They also have an image of someone stomping out the headlight of a Swiss Olympic vehicle.
Update @ 2:26pm February 13, 2010 The Georgia Straight says the event was billed as “2010 Heart Attack”.