Canada.com and a number of other news agencies are reporting that Vancouver police pulled a shameless stunt in order to arrest an anti-poverty activist. Police posed as journalists from a free Vancouver paper, 24 Hours, to draw protester David Cunningham to a supposed interview in a sting operation. Upon arrival, the cops arrested Cunningham in order to issue a peace bond.
Cunningham allegedly uttered threats during a protest at the offices of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympics. The extent of his threat was to tell the protesters that the Anti-Poverty Committee "knew where the Olympic organizers lived and worked and that they would take their demonstration directly to them". Seems to me that isn't a threat at all. That's serving notice that the protests will continue. He didn't threaten their safety or their lives. That said, it was a poor choice of words and fat-arsed, greed merchants are prone to over reaction. After all, the rules are different for them than for the rest of us.
This is the same pack of Olympic class whores that have claimed ownership of large chunks of the English language. They've threatened (real threats) to sue the snot out of anyone that infringes on the laundry list of words that might somehow be connected to the games, however vaguely. What the police did was beyond the pale. It isn't out of bounds for the cops to assume false identities in order to arrest criminals, though those are the sorts of tactics that are generally reserved for the abduction of killers and serious villains. Even in those cases, the police just don't pretend to be journalists. That is a serious breach of ethics that impedes the ability of the press to perform its job. This damages the credibility of a legit paper that was in no way involved with this sting.
"Journalistic ethics expert Nick Russell said what police have inadvertently done is tarnished the role of the journalist.
"For journalists, they've really only got one product to sell for the community and that's trust and credibility," he said. "If they lose the trust of the audience, then the rest of their work is wasted."
I don't suppose the police would appreciate a reporter posing as a cop to get a story, in fact they would arrest that reporter. What this all boils down to is big cash money. There are millions of bucks at stake in the 2010 Olympic pimp festival. And no ethical barrier will be left untainted in the advancement and protection of the sacred cash cow. The Vancouver police owe a huge debt of apology to the journalistic profession. Whoever came up with this scam should be demoted. And the Olympic committee organizers should be ashamed of being such a pack of whinging cowards.
For my own part, I will be boycotting the Olympics. I won't be watching and I won't be buying their branded crap. The Olympic movement died a wasting death some time ago. The introduction of massive corporate sponsorships and the use of professional athletes has killed the games. They are no more. The Olympic spirit has dissipated into yet another corporate opportunity for exploitation. I feel badly for the legitimate athletes, the dedicated competitors and officials, whose passion for their sports and the integrity of competition has been used so poorly misused. Screw Vancouver 2010, I hope the bastards lose their shirts.