I wasn’t planning to write about David Eby’s connection to the violence at the 2010 Olympics again so soon- it was something I was planning to cover in more depth early next year. But, I was doing some research on Victoria anarchist (and wannabe eco-terrorist) Zoe Blunt tonight and came across her analysis of the event. It was interesting, so I figured I’d share. I’ve also found some links between Blunt and a couple other anarchists I’ve been covering.
Personally, I believe that if any one incident has the potential to turn-off Point Grey residents from voting for Eby, then this is the one. The day the anarchists got in a street fight with the VPD and smashed the windows of the Bay was shameful for most Vancouverites- even Charlie Smith of the Georgia Straight (and ally of Eby’s crowd) called this day one of the Lowlights of the Olympics.
Eby’s participation in this incident leaves a log of open questions…
For those of you who aren’t up to date on what happened that day at the Olympics- please have a look at this quick video of the violence that day:
You may have noticed that I queued the video where Darius Mirshahi describes the violence that day. He’s the husband of anarchist Sakura Saunders- he was also recently on stage with Sid Ryan of the Ontario Federation of Labour. As you can see on the video, what happened that day was not a good thing for the people of Vancouver.
David Eby had created a special team of “Legal Observers” for the Olympic protests. Their purpose was to bring note pads and record the actions of the police (hoping to find improper behaviour). As Blunt mentions in her article, David Eby withdrew his legal observers shortly before the violence began. Everyone involved knew there would be violence that day- the observers could be used to give testimony against the people breaking windows, so they generally weren’t welcome.
In her article Blunt also tries to rationalize the violence- this shows a lot about her character.
Anyhow, this raises a very important question. Eby is a lawyer, and a member of the Law Society- in this position if he is aware a crime is to be committed he’s obligated to report this. So the question is, did he report this? All indicators are that he didn’t.
And, it’s not hard to understand why he didn’t report this. Eby, and his political allies, have deep and personal relationships with the anarchist community. Blunt is a member of this community, as is Harsha Walia (pictured below with Eby and anarchist Tami Starlight.)
When the people of Point Grey know about this, I imagine many will refrain from voting Eby- as they should…
I’ll write more about Eby and the legal observers again soon. For now, let me share with you a couple of relationship charts from the anarchist and violence promoting Vancouver Media Co-Op. They are quire enlightening- what we’re talking about here is a national network of violent anarchists- and, Eby is right in the middle…
Things that make you go hmmmm….
Greg, I have a problem with this article. This is something I have also criticized the main stream corporate media for. In this article you are calling vandalism violence. Like the G-20 the criminal black bloc here are committing acts of vandalism, it’s the criminal police that are committing acts of violence! When you refer to vandalism as violence you detract from the impact of when these Black Bloc creeps do commit their criminal organized violence.
Vandalism is violence…it’s violence directed at objects, intended to intimidate. No?
Conflating vandalism with violence is a type of rhetorical inflation that ultimately makes terms meaningless.
I dunno about that. Violence is, more or less, another word for force, so if you’re applying force to an object without authorization, that’s violence. The reason the anarchists do this, afaik, is that they have a cockamamie understanding that everything belongs to everyone, therefore, when they smash windows/tip over mailboxes/riot in the street, they’re at worst using their own—of course, reasonable people know that even if everyone had some sort of use in everything, smashy-smashy is _misusing one’s own_, something the law is to suppress.
I was referring to the moments of violence when the Black Bloc clashed with the police…
I could be interesting to watch should he get elected. It would be a difficult balancing act to hold a political position, with a party in power. The groups and leaders with tighter union control will back down. Provided the BC NDP keeps the money faucet wide open. Others will not go so quietly. Many of them live to be activists. It is what they are, it is their idendity. They need to protest, to cause havoc, lead a flock of sheep, and to get famous.
So what happens when these activists expect David Eby to continue his support after the elections? What happens when they expect David to use his political position to advance their various causes? Some will expect David Eby to push for radical police reform, economy crushing environmental regulations, legalization of hard drugs on the DTES.
Also, what happens when the provincial NDP require David Eby to vote in for or against something that is unpopular with his activist friends? This is Canada. Individual representatives are not allowed to have their own opinion. The party elite decides how they vote. And it will happen, sooner or later.
Mr McCurry, a quick question for you: If I dress all in white and start burning a cross on your lawn, is that just vandalism? If I go to your mothers/sisters/daughters house wearing masks and dressed in black with a bunch of my buddies and start trashing their cars and throwing garbage cans through their windows, are you going to tell them to calm down, it is only vandalism?
Spray painting your tag on an alley wall is vandalism, rioting in the streets is violence. You should probably learn the differance, because when the law that you scoff at so much doesn’t remind you of that fact, the general public will finally lose patience and impart that lesson on you themselves. It is already starting to happen in Qc.
James there is a dinstinct difference between the intention of directing vandalism to intimidate others as in your scenario and damaging property. In your scenario that qualifies as hate speech and the second example is criminal harassment. Of course if your making the argument that corporations are people…
“there is a dinstinct difference between the intention of directing vandalism to intimidate others as in your scenario and damaging property”
There is a difference: in the first part, you include an intention, and in the latter you act as if there is no intention, that the smashy-smashy is not predicated of an intention. The clear intention of anarchist smashy-smashy is to intimidate others. Unless the anarchists are incredibly stupid, which is possible, they are not really trying to intimidate the Corporations/Police. They’re trying to intimidate normal, reasonable people who would be publicly political if it were safe in the natural meaning of the term, not “safe” in the identity-politics-obedience-cultist sense. At least, that is a possibility, tho I am less certain whether the anarchists, especially the young men, are aware they’re being played.
Are you suggesting that there can be coordinated damage to property without some sort of intention to intimidate behind it? The only way that works, as far as I can see, is if these anarchists are suffering from some form of automatism. And in that case, they’re incredibly dangerous—as their violent attacks on Greg demonstrate.
Actually no, I was pretty specific in my language. I outlined what the intention was in James’ rather extreme illustration, not what the intention was in all potential scanarios. You can destroy property in making a political point without direct intimidation of any specific individual. These acts are not random so clearly an intention is required, it just isn’t required to be an intention to intimidate an individual.
When an anarchist breaks a bank window, that doesn’t intimidate me as it is not directed at me (as a normal and reasonable person), it is directed at an entity or a system. If the police break down my door in a “mistaken” raid, that is intimidation directed at me. Surely you can see that difference.
So it brings us back to the question of whether one can engage in hate speech/criminal harassment against corporations/systems as per James’ scenario. An interesting question with interesting implications.
“When an anarchist breaks a bank window, that doesn’t intimidate me as it is not directed at me (as a normal and reasonable person), it is directed at an entity or a system.”
Why do you think you are a “normal and reasonable” person? It is not directed at an “entity” or a “system”—for those of us who are in touch with reality, the violence is clearly directed at physical objects, and the subtext is always “do what we want or it might be your face next time.” That’s how primate aggression works—gorillas will stomp, tear leaves/grass, etc. etc. Maybe “normal and reasonable” gorillas think that’s all part of livin’ in the jungle, but those of us a tad more evolved don’t want to live in a jungle full of violent, dangerous animals.
Why do you ask why I think I am a “normal and reasonable” person? I have a university education, fairly well read, middle class job, married with family, no criminal record. That puts me in the “normal and reasonable” category.
The problem with looking for insights by observing or experimenting on animals is that you learn a great deal about the animals, but it does not necessarily translate well when applied to humans. It is questionable that gorilla’s possess much in the way of the cognitive ability necessary to manage higher order abstractions.
Quite frankly if someone wanted to threaten specific members of the non-participating population why bother with subtext when it is supremely more efficient to burn effigies or spray paint “Death to Lloyd Blankfein”?
Whether Mr. Blankfein deserves death for comments like “I’m doing God’s work” is best left up to people like Jesus to decide and I’m kind of thinking that JC will be hard pressed to not look in askance considering his own history with the money changers and all that. But I digress.
Your stance is that all violence is whether directed at people or indirectly at property, still carries a subtext that violence can and will be done to the people irrespective of their level of involvement with the status quo. It is, of course, nonsense.
As put, most succinctly, by Emmeline Pankhurst;
“There is something that Governments care for far more than human life, and that is the security of property, and so it is through property that we shall strike the enemy. Be militant each in your own way. I incite this meeting to rebellion.”
Property is the point. It is the weak underbelly that if one could unseat it, it would topple the class whose power stems from private property laws.
So what you are scared of is not violence directed at your person (you are far more likely to be subjected to that by the state), you are instinctively reacting to the threat to civilization that clothes and feeds you. This is not surprising, as the abused often protect the abusers.