Olympic Protests at UBC

by Ed Lau on February 12, 2010

Let me just say that these people by no means represent all of UBC. In fact, there was a crowd of thousands out on campus celebrating the start of the Olympic games. As a UBC alum myself, I can say they definitely do not represent my sentiments. If you follow me on Twitter, you’d probably know that I take a firm pro-Olympic stance. Unfortunately, not everyone in Vancouver feels the same about the Olympics and protesters have been coming out and disturbing various Olympic events surrounding the running of the torch this week.

On Thursday, they were at UBC where the torch was expected to arrive after a tour of the Vancouver area. Seriously, though, the time to protest was months or years ago. With a day to go before the game start, why bother? It’s not like the IOC or the government is going to say “Oh man, we better put a stop to the Olympics!” after seeing about fifty people shouting nonsensical chants and trying to prevent the torch from making it to its destination.

It was good to see much of the crowd ignore them. Heck, some of them even went and celebrated as the protesters were trying to block traffic, like this guy.

My biggest problems with the protesters are these. It’s quite evident that many of them are “professional” protesters, bringing up issues that have little or nothing to do with the Olympics, meaning they’re just using the games to get the issues they want into the spotlight. Secondly, it’s not like they’re going to ruin the game for the vast majority of people with what they’re doing but just today, when the torch had to reroute due to a protest march near Victory Square, that meant that a large number of veterans who had gathered to see the torch were passed by. What’s more…there were kids that were out there with the promise of seeing the Olympic flame. Those are the folks I feel for the most out of all this, especially the kids. They don’t know anything about any of these issues. All they know is that a bunch of jerks cheated them out of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in an Olympic event. That’s not exactly going to bring a positive light to any cause they’re supporting.

On a much more positive note, the UBC celebration was pretty awesome as well with a very large crowd (that drowned out any complaining from the small group of protesters). Thousands braved the heavy rain and carried candles as it got dark. Unfortunately, it was too dark for me to get any decent pictures…and I was soaked to the bone by the time the festivities were finishing up…but it was good to be back on campus, especially since I didn’t have to hit the books anymore!

in Current Events,Photography

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Vendingmatic February 13, 2010 at 7:59 am

I agree with you. The spirit of the Olympics is much more then anything that we can protested about. The unity of nations and the feeling all Canadians got as the torch went through each community is something beyond words. Knowing that children and Veterans missed the torch make me very sad. When the torch went through Hamilton Ontario there were grown men with tears in the eyes if only every day we were touched by such emotion. Let’s hope that the rest of the games are not used for any further protests, and that the spirit of the Olympics is allowed to shine. Good post Ed.


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