On the evening of May 1st a gang of anti-police “activists” created chaos in Vancouver’s Commercial Drive neighbourhood. It all started out okay, with a barbeque and music in the park followed-up by speeches by activists from the labour movement, communists, and other affiliated activists. But then all hell broke loose when a group of hardcore extremists crowded, intimidated, and assaulted the police.
Coverage by Vancouver’s media was so horribly inept it was borderline malpractice. News stories explained how the majority of people at the event were “peaceful”, and painted a picture how a few bad apples “infiltrated” the event. While the former claim is entirely true, the infiltration story is complete nonsense- the May 1st street party wasn’t infiltrated by the extremists, it was organized by them.
The same group of organizers are planning on a second Commercial Drive street party tomorrow evening. The Vancouver Police Department are justifiably uncomfortable, their officers at the last event were put into a seriously dangerous situation. As expected, the media is ignoring the danger posed to the city’s cops (most who are good people with families and dreams) and continues with their inept reporting. There’s no excuse for this, the majorty of the city’s reporters already know the key players.
What Happened Last Time?
The last street party started peacefully with the barbecue giving away free food at Grandview Park. The man cooking the hot dogs is well-known to Vancouver Police, Dan Wallace has been organizing street battles with the police for at least the past couple of years. Wallace openly called on people to “use violence against the police” at the 2014 May Day event, about 30 minutes later his comrades got into a clash that resulted in several arrests.
When the peaceful part of the event was over, Wallace and his comrades tried to “take the street”. The cops lined-up to block them but the crowd resisted. Here’s what happened next, as explained on the webpage run by the event’s organizers:
“By 9pm, we got word of people already trying to take the streets and cops threatening them with arrest, so we got our sound system out there to join them, and so did a herd of people. Within a couple minutes the sound system was confronted by two cops. They were surrounded and grossly outnumbered and there was no way they were shutting down the sound. They retreated as pop cans were hurled at them.”
Dan Wallace was right on the front line while crowd was hurling cans, intimidating, and forcing the police to retreat out of fear for their own safety. Standing beside him was Harsha Walia, the leader of No One Is Illegal Vancouver, and one of the country’s most prominent advocates for engaging in street fights with the police- in 2010 Walia labelled people who engage in this behaviour as “deeply heroic”.
Here’s a video of what happened that evening. If you haven’t already watched it please do, and take a look into the eyes of the cops as they’re retreating from the aggressiveness of the very large crowd:
The extremists rely on the fact that the crowds show-up, they use them as a kind of human shield, impeding the cop’s ability to stop people who intend to engage in violence. As much as they rely on enough useful idiots in the crowd, they equally depend on the useful idiots at the Sun, Province, and other publications who aren’t telling the whole story.
Let’s hope that VPD management are more sensible tomorrow night. The officers sent to police the last event were seriously outnumbered and underequipped for the job. It was lucky nobody got hurt last time (outside of a stabbing unrelated to the mob violence), let’s hope nobody does this time- but if it does, don’t expect Vancouver’s media to tell you the truth about what happened…