Posts Tagged 'Vancouver'

It’s the little things in your life that truly don’t matter

David Elop

It’s shocking to think that it takes a professional sports team to lose, in the grand scheme of things, a truly non-significant event (seriously, on a world scale of importance who actually knows or cares the Boston Bruins won the NHL championship?) to riot in the streets.  And this is coming from someone who grew up in Boston and lived there for more than two decades.

But no one seems to care when an Arizona police officer executes a man in his own home, and the cop’s own partner turns on him.  Frank Rodriguez was killed by Officer Richard Chrisman in October 2010 and nobody outside of Arizona’s Maricopa County seems to know about it. For instance, I just learned about Rodriguez’s death this week.  We should’ve all known about this last year, and you would think that a police officer being charged with second-degree murder would be national-headline news.  However, it’s not.  And you would think that people would riot in the streets over something like this, but they don’t.

The likelihood of you being killed by a police officer in the United States is far greater than you ever having a shot at losing the NHL championship.

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Pre-Olympic Fear and Paranoia in Vancouver

translink
Photo by cabbit

It seems Canadian authorities want to get in on the action of harassing photographers.

According to the CBC, an advertising campaign was launched in Vancouver in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympics to encourage citizens to be more vigilant about possible terrorism. With the tagline “Report the suspicious, not the strange,” the ads can be seen in TransLink stations throughout the city. The problem is, the campaign is essentially spreading suspicion and fear of cameras. 

As Richard Smith, who is a communications professor at Simon Fraser University, says in the article, “You’re asking people to make judgments about others’ behaviour. What makes something suspicious — is it the clothes I wear, the colour of my skin? How far do we go down that path?” Exactly. Your offbeat architecture photographer could be my fundamental terrorist on a mission.

Encouraging awareness is great, and I have no problem with that. However, ad campaigns like this are specifically targeting photographers and thereby criminalizing them. I don’t worry so much about the citizens’ reaction, but I do think this legitimizes law enforcement’s wanton and unwarranted harassment of photographers.

How much do you want to bet photographers on Vancouver’s public transit system are going to encounter a lot of problems in the coming year? (Keep us posted.)

Article via CBC


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