2010 Riot: It will be my fault

Photo by E Wayne in NowPublic.

“Inside the Olympics” reacts to “After the 2010 Riot”
December 20, 2008

Jeff Lee is an opinion writer over at the Vancouver Sun, and he’s all upset by that After the 2010 Riot article.

Lee writes:

It’s Friday, Dec. 19, 2008, right?

We’ll all agree this blog item was posted at that time, around 7:30 a.m.?
That’s good, because I’m sitting here early in the morning nursing a cup of coffee and starting a few days off for the holidays, and an interesting piece of fiction has just popped up on the net.

It’s one of those pieces where you surely must think one of two things: either I am seriously off my meds or the other person is lost in the Twilight Zone and will never find their way back.

I’m talking about the post this morning on Guerilla (sic) News Network by someone called Zoe Blunt. …

(Damn, I’m sorry I confused Jeff about what year it is. I had intended to include a disclaimer in the article pointing out that it’s creative non-fiction, not a news report. Note to self: next time, dumb it down for the dim bulbs.)

It’s Blunt’s wish list for what she’d like to have happen in 2010, I suspect, since after all the Games haven’t been held and to my knowledge “armed troops” haven’t been unleashed on society since the October crisis nearly 40 years ago.

Well …

Thousands of Canadian troops are committed to security for the Games – as Jeff may have heard, since he’s an award-winning journalist and all. The exact number is classified, but it will be up to 16,000 troops, according to the linked report. Plus 12,350 police, RCMP, and private security. (Blackwater? Who knows? Maybe Jeff can tell us, since he’s Mr. Inside the Olympics.) I’m pretty sure the soldiers and police will be armed with real weapons. But maybe Jeff knows something we don’t? Maybe the troops will be carrying Olympic mascot dolls and balloons for the kiddies. Or maybe they will all be hiding in underground caverns and not in the street at all.

Of course, I have to point out that the 2010 Riot article isn’t a “wish list” – it’s one of many possible scenarios, based on recent events, news reports, and leaks about Olympic security budgets. What I describe is a police riot against peaceful protestors, not people attacking the police.

To be fair, old Jeff is a CanWest Global corporate Olympic sponsor’s cheerleader champion of truth, completely independent of his employer’s revenue-based affiliations,* so it’s understandable he would be unhinged by my imaginative description of the 2010 bread-and-circuses-and-riot-squads-festival.

Jeff notes that I’m “associated with Earth First!” and suggests that people like me “spend their lives looking for confrontations.” He asks, “when people get hurt, who will she blame? The rest of us?”

No, Jeff, I will blame myself. I confess: I created the 2010 Riot meme that’s peppered the city with graffiti, stickers, and posters for the last three years. I engineered the social conditions that pissed off so many citizens. It’s my fault.

Please, don’t bother your readers with issues like police violence, greedy developers, economic pressure, homelessness, poverty, racism and the failures of capitalism. Those things don’t cause social unrest. No, just blame me and a “small but radicalized group” for pointing out the elephants in the room.

Only Magazine’s (defunct) Riot Vancouver 2010 Countdown Clock

Or you could blame Only Magazine. After all, they did!

Riot 2010

it will be our fault.

To celebrate, and to make absolutely clear where the blame will rest should anything go wrong during the 2010 Winter Olympics, Only Magazine has officially named our Olympic Clock, the 2010 Riot Clock.

But Only Magazine’s Riot Clock is offline, and the country needs a scapegoat. Well, here we go! And while we’re at it, let me admit responsibility for the global economic collapse and Vancouver’s 1994 Stanley Cup riot. (I caused the Canucks to lose. Sorry about that.)

A commenter on Jeff’s blog suggests it’s not too late for me to “get inspired by the Olympic spirit.” True enough. It’s never too late for redemption! Perhaps I’ll be visited by an Olympic Spirit on Christmas Eve — the Ghost of Olympics Past. Brrrr.

In the meantime, let’s all focus on the positive!

(*edited after Jeff complained about being called a cheerleader.)

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