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Riot 2010 Revisited

Today is the one year anniversary of Heart Attack. Heart Attack was an action organised by Anarchists creating space for Direct Action on the streets of Downtown Vancouver. It’s goal was to clog the arteries of Capitalism. Everyone who showed up that day knew that Direct Action was taking place. There were no speeches, no comments about how the Olympics were bad and how we had to stop them. The Olympics were happening, whether we liked it or not, and everyone who was at Heart Attack knew it. The purpose of Heart Attack, like the Anti-Olympic movement in Vancouver itself, was to give the Olympics a black eye so that people would reconsider hosting the games in their cities. To show what happens when you undemocratically silence people, and that when you silence enough people, people will fight back.

I think looking back on it, the key phrase here is this: “When you silence enough people</strong>, people will fight back”

You can shit on people like Derrick O’Keefe all day, and nothing will happen except that StopWar will call you sectarian on Twitter. You can do things to piss of the BCCLA, or the NDP or tons of other people who do nothing but talk, and nothing much will happen. In fact, every progressive who chants the Ghandi-MLK shield every time they hear about violence being used will not fight back. This is because they also believe in the state and it’s in their best interest. However, if you go after an entire class of people, namely the poor, and when you make the poor include pretty much everyone who can’t afford to own in Vancouver. You’re going to be targeting a LOT of people who aren’t pacifists, who aren’t pro-state, and who do believe that Direct Action works. These are people who don’t give a shit about what Derrick O’Keefe, David Eby or Chris Shaw say about them, and these are people who work in their own communities every day against the police, and against systems of oppression. Not only that, their work is valuable, whether the established left in this city wants to believe it or not.

I’m personally not one to let personal differences get in the way of working with other people when it is needed. That being said, it should be assumed that these other people aren’t outright hostile towards me or my friends (such as Derrick O’Keefe and StopWar.ca’s Twitter Account)</em>. I also hope that the lessons learned from the 2010 Winter Olympics and the Anti-Olympic organising can be passed on to London and their Counter-Olympic Organizing and to other places where the IOC is using their power and influence to continue colonisation, and to force the vulnerable, the poor, the working poor and shit, everyone who isn’t wealthy enough to own out. Once you refuse to accept the Nationalism and if you stop being distracted by the Hockey Game and the cheap, shitty beer, things will start coming into focus.