Vancouver’s May Day celebrations have had a history of violence over recent years. Things started to heat up in 2013 when Vancouver Police allowed a group of masked thugs to march through downtown with flaming torches and swarming the entrance to the PIDGIN restaurant- a couple of days later anarchists burned down and East Vancouver house. Last year the same group of anarchists got into a street fight with the police, swarming around an occupied city bus as they burst through a line of bike cops.
Vancouver’s anarchist community has a rich tradition of violence. Anarchist leader Harsha Walia has become a global icon for the Black Bloc style militancy we saw at the 2010 Olympics where protesters smashed windows, damaged street furniture, and clashed with the police. May Day is all too often Vancouver’s version of The Purge- the opening day for “violence season”, and a tool for recruiting useful idiots into the criminal side of activism.
What Happened This Year?
This year’s May Day celebrations were a bit different than most. As usual, they held a gathering and a march, starting this time at Grandview Park off of Commercial Drive. Participants included the usual mix of Communists, unions and anarchists. NDP MP candidate Jenny Kwan was in the crowd, you may remember her as the multi-million dollar home owner who stayed at luxury hotels in Vienna and at Disneyland paid for on the backs of the poor.
CTV News reported that Thousands peacefully celebrate May Day on the Drive, which is true, but also incredibly manipulative- things were anything but peaceful this year. Not much happened during the daytime protest- people gathered, speakers spoke, and the crowd peacefully marched blocking the city’s streets. But the situation changed when it got dark.
Violence At The Dance Party:
Anarchists organized a night time “dance party” on Commercial Drive. Wheeling around a massive speaker on a cart, they blasted loud music (including F##k The Police by NWA), blocked traffic (including public transit) and danced on the street. The above video shows us what happened, and it wasn’t pretty. Masked anarchist thugs clashed with the police as they moved-in to clear the illegally occupied street. The anarchists pushed back and wheeled their giant speaker to the front of the police line- blasting music and targeting the cops who were trying to hold the line.
Standing beside the masked thugs was a character familiar to readers of this site. Dan Wallace was a keynote speaker at last year’s May Day march where he encouraged fellow protesters to use violence against the police. This year he was standing in front of the cops and shielding the thugs who were pushing into them. Wallace was carrying his drum, a common tactic to disable the police’s ability to respond- fearing headlines like “police attack First Nation protester”.
If you look carefully at the picture at the top of this article you may recognize the banner at the back of the police line. “We Love This Coast” is an organization led by Shirley Samples, their banner has been featured at most anti-oil protests over the past year. The cops were sandwiched between the masked thugs and Samples’ banner- many looked uncomfortable and apprehensive about the potential they could get hurt.
Green Party of Canada candidate Wes Regan tweeted out during the mayhem saying that “#MayDayVancouver, the mood has gotten a little more tense to say the least. This is a party, but it’s also a protest.” The Green Party has a strange view on protests and violence, their leader Elizabeth May actually said that “smashing windows isn’t violent” during Toronto’s 2010 G20- Regan appears to think that masked thugs clashing with police is a “protest”.
Several protesters were arrested by the time the evening was over. One participant ended-up being carted away in an ambulance after climbing up on a structure and falling down. Topping that all off, another participant was taken away in an ambulance after being stabbed. A good time was had by all- except for the police, of course, some looked genuinely scared and concerned about their safety (for good reason).
Green Party & Militants- Strange Bedfellows:
Shirley Samples is a prolific protester, as mentioned, she and her sign are featured at many Vancouver protests. Last year she led Vancouver’s version of the People’s Climate March. Burnaby Green Party candidate Lynne Quarmby was a featured speaker, standing in-front of the same sign being used to sandwich the police at this year’s May Day protest. It’s curious how so many Green Party personalities – across the country – are so tightly connected to the assholes battling against the cops.
Samples was the spokesperson for last year’s protest against Chevron on Burnaby Mountain. Her sign was tied to Chevron’s front gate, as were the necks of Dan Wallace, and Mia Nissen- a deluded woman who compares herself to Gandhi while working side-by-side with people who openly promote violence.
Both Samples and Quarmby are complainants in last year’s court case against the National Energy Board led by ForestEthics. Samples was with Quarmby during last year’s protests against Kinder Morgan at Burnaby Mountain. In the picture below you can see them both with the We Love This Coast sign and Simon Fraser University’s Stephen Collis- a nutty professor who writes poetry glorifying violent clashes with the police like we saw at the 2010 G20.
Unfair Behaviour Towards The Cops, Their Families & Everyone:
Having participated in, and led, several protests in Vancouver I can say from experience that Vancouver Police work incredibly hard to overlook the abuse they’re subjected to and generally act more civilly than most people would in similar situations. Having observed protests in many countries (if you’ve not noticed, I’m a bit of a buff), I can say that there are few places on earth where activists can feel as safe as in Vancouver.
Of course, this poses a problem for the city’s socialist obedience cults. The premise of their work is that we live in an “oppressive” society- a challenging thing to prove when the police spend more time protecting protesters from traffic than they do shutting them down. Vancouver activist’s solution to this problem is to try and create oppression by creating friction with the police- we saw a clear example of this with David Suzuki’s grandson Tamo Campos at Burnaby Mountain.
Not only is this behaviour unfair to the cops who work so hard to ignore the violence and abuse, but it’s a disservice to the community at large. Sooner or later one of those cops is going to break – perhaps not at a protest, it’s too visible there – but other times when the public isn’t looking. It’s also a massive disservice to the police officer’s family and children who are no doubt affected by the negative energy their mothers & fathers come home with.
Beyond that, the protesters are also setting the stage for the state to escalate police tactics, building the “police state” we hear activists so often complaining about. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, putting us all at risk of violent outcomes. How could this ever be acceptable?
While most of the blame should be directed at uncivilized assholes like Dan Wallace and Harsha Walia who promote the violence, we must equally look towards the people who work with them- politicians and community leaders who neglect to speak out against the violence in their midst. When’s the last time we heard people like Lynne Quarmby, Elizabeth May, Wes Regan, Libby Davies, and Jenny Kwan speak out against the violence?
The answer to that question is never. Each has been seen regularly working side-by-side with people who promote and participate in violent acts but none have said a word. Isn’t it time for a change? Voters should take note of this during the next election- we need politicians who can take leadership and help stop it.