"Mr. Premier, tear down this fence!" - Macleans.ca

“Mr. Premier, tear down this fence!”

Protests spur VANOC into considering changing the fence around Olympic cauldron


After public protest, VANOC says it’s considering making changes to the chain link fence that blocks the public’s clear view of the Olympic cauldron. This morning, one man called out “Mr. Premier, tear down this fence!,” a reference to Ronald Regan’s famous directive about the Berlin Wall. Taking down the fence altogether isn’t an option for security and safety reasons, says VANOC. Still, there’s hope that changes that will allow tourists to feel closer to the four-pronged flame. “Looking through a fence, it’s just a sad feeling,” said one Vancouverite who had brought his daughter to see the flame. Another visitor noted the fence was at odds with the Olympic spirit: “I don’t understand why we need a 10-foot fence with concrete abutments to protect the Olympic flame, which is supposed to be about peace, harmony, global  partnerships and all that great stuff.”

Canadian Press

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“Mr. Premier, tear down this fence!”

  1. I do agree that the Olympic cauldron does need to be protected from those "protestors" that think that vandalism is an acceptable means of conveying your message. But for those of us that want to get a picture with the Olympic symbol of peace, harmony and inspiration there must be a way to create a controlled procession around the cauldron to allow for a quick photo opportunity.

  2. It's simple. Post regular infantry as guards, and post a big sign that says "lethal force may be used to protect this site."

    Then, tear down the fence.

    Once anarchists face actual consequences for their actions, I'm sure their anarchism will fade for the next two weeks or so.

    • List time I checked, Brian, our military was there to defend our freedom, not enforce your opinions. Regardless of whether or not you agree with whatever the protesters happen to dislike this week, advocating the curtailing of their right to protest runs counter to the freedom of all Canadians. Frankly, we should be showing ourselves to the world as a beacon of freedom; used to inspire people across the globe to aspire to rise above oppression and government domination.

      "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."

  3. Vanoc's directors must have shares in a Vancouver chain-link fence company. Everywhere you look chainlink is their design tool of choice – unbelieveable; Only in Canada you say?

    Vancouver's downtown, and now the cauldron, remind me of El Salvador's captial San Salvador's ghetto section – once, and possibly still is, one of the most dangerous places in all of the Americas.

    Welcome to Vancouver!

  4. What a P R train wreck. The goons running the Chinese 2008 Olympics would be proud.. Possible new slogan fo the Vancouver games– "Nothing to see here folks–everybody move along!!"
    Indoor flame= The Accidental Tripod
    Outdoor flame= Guarded like a nuclear missile site

    Don't stop British Columbia…you're on a roll!
    By the way…is k d Lang STILL singing her song? Zzzz

  5. We should clarify that you CAN get right next to the flame, IF you're part of VANOC upper class. I crowded around the fence yesterday, with a few hundred other people taking turns to peer throught the links, while a priviledged few in official Olympic VIP garb walked around the base of the flame, taking souvenir pictures of each other. Nothing like a steel fence to remind us we're not all equal.

  6. I'm an Olympic supporter but I was so shattered when I saw the Cauldron in a beautiful public plaza where the public was not allowed. There are thousands of police officers and security guards hired by the Games. Surely some could be redeployed to this area to protect against vandalism or terrorism.

    This is just plain bad planning. The dubious "security and safety" issues are that the media centre is adjacent. Fine. But we can walk next to the media centre on the other side of the street. The access onto the plaza is from the street as well. And if that was going to be an issue, why place the cauldron there in the first place???

    If access control is needed, why not have people queue up? Check their bags for balaclavas and spraypaint if you need, again – this should all be possible – they are checking 8000 fewer people at Cypress each day after all. There are the resources. Providing security is always about balance. We can never stop every deranged person who is determined to make a point. I know one thing for certain: the fence around the cauldron is not doing that job and the Olympic Dreams of thousands are being wrecked. This is not balance, it is lunacy.

  7. That's just horrible planning for sure.