Charter Rights unscathed despite downtown signature event
All the factors that 2010
Games critics warn can lead to violations of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms were present today in downtown Vancouver, including:
- a massive “signature event” driven by corporate sponsors surfing on feel-good winter activity focused on family values;
- enhanced security presence by Vancouver Police Dept., including but not limited to horse-mounted officers and a large detachment disguised as musicians;
- large presence by private uniformed forces — self-styled marching bands — performing precision drills on key arterials in an apparent effort to awe and overwhelm nearby crowds;
- dramatic increase in surveillance, both by media outlets and thousands of informal observers lining downtown streets; and
- visible participation by army personnel –the Salvation Army.
Fortunately, the Rogers Santa Claus Parade — to benefit Greater Vancouver Food Banks– came off without a hitch. Hundreds of thousands lined the streets.
I marched with the Vancouver Public Library contingent, which could not keep up with the demand for VPL’s coveted “Go Canada Go” red cow bells. On to the Games.