Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Vancouver riots highlight the paradox: organized anarchists

Post by Brian O'Neill on June 16, 2011 at 8:26 pm with 18 Comments »
June 19, 2011 8:16 pm

The 2010 Olympics were too hard a target. The WTO meetings that same year were too soft. But for anarchists, the Vancouver Canucks’ agonizing Stanley Cup Game 7 loss was just right.

Video footage of a raging mob burning cars, looting stores and attacking police played out in prime time on TV screens all over the world, causing many to wonder just what the heck happened to that polite and beautiful city up North. The response from Canadians, who share a quietly fierce pride in their country, was a collectively ironic, “Woe, Canada.”

First B.C.’s Premier, then Vancouver’s Mayor and finally Police Chief Jim Chu stood before reporters and stated the Canadian version of their former monarch’s words, “We are not amused.” Nor were Canadians anywhere.

Unfortunately, Vancouver is learning what Seattle discovered in the wake of the 1999 WTO riots–that bad things can happen to good cities. In both instances, that particular bad thing was anarchists.

Anarchists have probably been around setting fires since man discovered that particular method. Modern day anarchists have since specialized in their particular cause, whether it be animal rights, environmental protection, or the classic anti-government radical. These groups and individuals often have over-lapping interests and often gather to share their information on such relevant topics as anti-police tactics, bomb-making and even cyber-hacking.

The only difference between anarchists and mainstream individuals who share a portion of their more lofty ideals is the connection to violence. And when anarchists gather and make plans (isn’t planning the opposite of anarchy?), things get violent.

Following the brief and relatively mild pillaging during the 2010 Olympics one Vancouver resident told a Seattle Times reporter, “They do not represent this city at all,” said Jim Burkinshaw. “They are not protesters. They are anarchists.” (2-13). The Vancouver Sun reported today that the same anarchists present during the Olympics had returned for the final Stanley Cup game.

Chief Hu will need some good talking points to explain his intel lapse, but in the end it turned out to be just what the anarchists wanted: a surprise.

If I were a betting man, I would guess that the looting, torching and rioting would have happened had the Canucks won or lost. Anarchists, and the thieving mob that somehow attaches to them like remoras to a shark, don’t care about the event. Nor do they care about the community, its businesses or public servants.

Makes you wonder how they look themselves in the mirror. Maybe that’s why they wear masks?

Leave a comment Comments → 18
  1. smokey984 says:

    And as much as it pains me to see this type of profound ignorance, im afraid this type of behavior may become more common in a city near you as society continues its downward spiral brought about with peak oil.

    Folks you better stalk up on your beans, bullets and band-aids.

  2. smokey984 says:

    The Vancouver Hockey Games Riots

    I first posted this in a Survival forum I frequent often in response to the widespread, violent riots that broke out in Vancouver after the local hockey team lost in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    I just was reading up on it this morning and you got to ask yourself: If your “countrymen” would essentially devolve into barbarian hordes over a stupid game – what do you think they’ll do when they have no food, water, heat, electricity and no government to bail them out or keep them in their place?

    I was speculating this morning that Vancouver is a pretty extreme Canadian case, with the disparity between rich and poor being so large that it shouldn’t come as a surprise that something like this would happen. The slightest excuse and the thin veil of civilization can come undone.

    I might add that as something to consider – while it’s an undeniable, logical fact cities are worse than rural areas if TSHTF – some cities might (and I do mean, might) fair better than others.

    I’m reminded of the 2004 playoff run between Calgary and Tampa where after the game 7, the mood was more dampened, but people were still happy and there wasn’t much in the way of civil disobedience besides a few women flashing and a few drunkards being idiots in the street.

    I’ll also note, having some experience volunteering and donating to local charities that while Calgary has a big disparity between rich and poor, we also have a great deal of non-profit, non-governmental services available for the poor. The Drop In Centre, for example, is the largest homeless shelter in the country (something I’m quite proud to say for the city I live in).

    I’m a big fan of Rawlesian survivalism, especially because of his emphasis on Christian charity – that being the obligation (but not a requirement to “earn” salvation) for voluntary charity to the less fortunate.

    Last year when my wife and I visited Vancouver, I was very disgusted when walking down a very busy, ritzy street I saw a disheveled homeless man on his knees in a street corner, holding a Styrofoam plate and hundreds of people just walking past him as if he didn’t exist.

    Poverty is no excuse for what the rioters did last night. However, at the same time, wealth, and the belief that wealth elevates an individual to a transcendent level over the poor is no excuse to deny charity to your fellow man.

    This is why one of the best preparation for when the SHTF is to foster a charitable spirit, to help build up your community so when it does happen, your community doesn’t devolve (or is more resistant to devolving) into a brutish, survival-of-the-fittest, war zone like Vancouver did last night. – N.L.

  3. Brian O'Neill says:

    I do appreciate the comments, Smokey, especially regarding the concern for the poor in the midst of a very vibrant and wealthy city. But I strongly disagree that the disparity in income is the main reason for the riots.

    First, Canada is a socialist conscious country with free health care, strong social programs and a great spirit of giving.

    Second, and more importantly, the reason for the riots was the criminal element embedded in the crowd. The west coast of the U.S. and Canada is a hotbed for the type of domestic terrorism for which anarchists have become known. These criminals, both American and Canadian (though likely more of the former) are responsible for stirring up the mob mentality.

    That’s why I side with the vast majority of Canadians who loudly proclaim that these events don’t represent their country.

  4. goldeneel says:

    Canada is not a socialist country, it is a social-democracy, as is the Untied States. I suggest you look up the definition of socialism.

  5. Brian O'Neill says:

    I used the term socialist out of context and will make that correction. Thanks for your input.

  6. BlaineCGarver says:

    Brian, I mostly agree with what you say. What gets my goat is that courts will allow the anarchists to sue and be compensated for their arrest and/or discomfort when they are nabbed doing their damage. More than once, Seattle police have been given instructions to stay out of an area, thereby allowing innocent people to be hurt, and even killed, and property damaged to the tune of millions of dollars. It’s too bad the ACLU and the courts deem it proper to protect rioters and anarchists.

  7. smokey984 says:

    My apologies for my second post, as it belonged to another and the copy and paste feature did not paste his credit from another website i frequent. I simply posted it for a fair opinion another had said, to which i can see his point, and regret not giving him credit in this forum. His post can be found at:

    And i also agree with yours as well Brian. It did appear to be a planned or spur of the moment thing for that whole movement which is known for unruly behavior to say the least. Great point.

    I was once a huge fan of Jeff Monson, an MMA fighter, and later found out his involvement with that same culture with ties to vandalism in Olympia years ago, and his subsequent arrest was disappointing.

    I guess a big picture perspective is this type of behavior will continue to get worse and more frequent in our future. And it will not just be with the In-mature Anarchists crowds and will eventually spread to the idle unemployed young men of our society as were starting to see now in sporadic parts of our great country.

  8. goldeneel says:

    How aware are the TPD of the anarchist groups operating in Tacoma?

  9. “Folks you better stalk up on your beans, bullets and band-aids.”

    So you are saying I need to be prepared to shoot these brain dead losers.

  10. GHTaxPayer says:

    These weren’t anarchists – just disgruntled union workers that were told that they would have to take a pay cut from $100,000 down to $90,000 and they would have to pay 10% of their healthcare costs.

    Just like the union thugs in NJ and MN. They refuse to follow the majority rules and destroy things when they don;t get their way.

  11. They weren’t anything more than a drunken mob. To label them as any kind of organized “protest” is foolish. It’s in the best interests of the community up there to paint it as influenced by outside agitators, but really, it was nothing more than a frat party gone wild and showcases the idiocy of youth and mob mentality.

  12. brett987654321 says:

    I think Gandolf nailed it here.

  13. I haven’t actually seen much evidence of this being caused by “anarchists.” At least not in the organized political sense. This looked to me like a drunken mob. A few people start misbehaving in a large crowd and others take opportunity in the false sense of anonymity.

    Could be wrong, but one thing I’m certain of, the outpouring of support by British Columbians to those who had property destroyed is more indicative of their character than the actions of a handful of thugs.

    And yes, despite the name, there is organization to most anarchists. Despite wanting no state or authority, they are almost always “social anarchists” meaning a collectivist movement of some sort. They want democratic control of ALL organizations, and view state’s as inherently oppressive controls in favor of Capitalism. It’s why they focus on trade so much since it tends to be with other states who’s economic policies tend to be more exploitative. It’s much closer to communism really. Sorry, had to find a way to put my Political Science courses to some use. :)

    And while I share probably nothing in ideology with them, I wouldn’t say all were violent. I wouldn’t be worried about Noam Chomsky running around looting, for example. But they certainly tend to be the ones that get noticed.

  14. Anarchists? The hooligans in Vancouver carried no signs and made no statement of political persuasion. They were wearing Canuck jerseys, for chrissake! At the WTO protests in Seattle a relatively few anarchists clearly marked themselves with signs and militant garb and did the lion’s share of damage as a declaration of identity. The mobs in Vancouver had as much political connection with Anarchists as The Tea Baggers of Bellevue.

  15. Anarchists? Cops just need a label I’m afraid.

  16. Brian O'Neill says:

    I’m going to have to disagree with some of the recent comments. Anarchists’ appearance at the WTO was a relatively new development for our local law enforcement community, especially given that our regional intel groups were just barely getting off the ground. In short, the cops didn’t know what they were looking at and had little idea the mayhem that these individuals were capable of raising.

    The situation has changed.

    Now, anarchists are being forced to operate under the radar as a result of collaborative efforts not only of regional law enforcement agencies, but between intel groups in both the U.S. and Canada. During the Olympics, our regional intel groups worked along with Canadian law enforcement in order to protect the games from these same anarchists. Thus, showing up dressed for anarchy would have alerted Vancouver P.D. and allowed them to respond quickly.

    Also, in a crowd that big the anarchists use a very simple tactic to create the level of destruction they desire. They get the ball rolling with a few blatant acts, and by crossing the threshold of violence they are able to lead the mob along. Fortunately for Vancouver P.D., they were able to recognize faces of some anarchists through video footage captured following the riot. At least those individuals, along with some of the drunken mob, might get a little justice.

  17. Shattah206 says:

    Agreed Brian. One woman I heard interviewed said she saw people pulling rocks, etc. out of backpacks to instigate/participate. Not the first thing I think to take to a game, I gotta tell ya. If that doesn’t scream “organized anarchy” nothing does.

  18. Rarely am I happy about the conventional from the online content Someone said today. If you utilize exactly the material I love to read because it makes me think.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0