Heed Takes Boot in the Bottom for Mercer, VANOC Becomes ORN's Best Ally, More Joe and Sally Citizens Join "I Hate the Olympics" Camp
One can imagine the sequence of events that followed after two NDP MLAs rose in Question Period and put the boots to Kash Heed, the hapless Solicitor General. Heed, blindsided and clearly showing it in the Leg, likely next got on the phone to ISU chief Bud Mercer and demanded to know why Mercer's out-of-control investigators had so thoroughly botched an investigation that should have been simple: Just question the known activists, but for God's sake leave their families and friends alone.
Whatever the intent, the ISU's hotdogs had managed to make national headlines and in the process triggered a wave of anger amongst a lot of very neutral people who up until that moment hadn't given the matter of police surveillance of anti-Olympic activists all that much thought. Suddenly, Keystone cops chasing down students in school corridors struck a bit too close to home as the message was crystal clear: We can, and will, go after anyone we feel like.
It didn't help that this was also the week that the City of Vancouver got sued for a truly egregious law that is so far over the top when it comes to civil liberties that the potential for abuses was obvious to little children. Just to add to the fun, the provincial government decided to weigh in with their own companion legislation that would expand Vancouver's idiot and undemocratic ideas to three other Olympics-related municipalities.
For Joe and Sally Citizen, the cumulative weight of this was just too much and, if judged by letters and blogs to the various papers, risked putting a lot of people firmly into the "I hate the Olympics" camp. The usually conservative North Shore News even came out with an editorial supporting the lawsuit. Then, today VANOC in its normally graceless manner released its Olympic transportation plan that starts to go into effect not in late January as most expected, but on November 1st. One couldn't have found a better way to demonstrate for all and sundry that not only their civil liberties had been traded away for 30 pieces of silver, but their mobility had as well.
Against this back drop, Bud Mercer's plaintive plea to reporters yesterday that, “I hope you’d agree with me they’re [ISU officers] in a tough spot. If they approach people at home, that’s construed to be wrong. If they approach them on the street, that’s construed to be harassment. If they phone them, it’s ‘how did they get the phone number?’ If they do it at work, ‘that’s not fair."http://thetyee.ca/BlogsTheHook/Olympics2010/2009/10/13/intelligence-officers-tough-spot-bud-mercer/
No, Bud, it's not fair. It's not fair to treat our Charter like so much scrap paper, it's not fair to put our kids in debt, and it's certainly not fair to hold the entire citizenry of the City and Lower Mainland hostages to a circus run by crooks and bumblers.
And the real irony? Little did I realize that ISU and VANOC would prove the ideal recruiting tools for the Olympic resistance. And maybe, just maybe, after all the metaphorical dust has settled next February, Bud won't be heading into his new job as the RCMP's top cop; and maybe VANOC CEO John Furlong won't be taking his dreamed of life-long appointment to the IOC.
It's funny how what goes around, comes around.