About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Person Arrested at Torch Relay

As you may have heard, there was something of an incident at the torch relay downtown this morning. An altercation apparently related to a protest by a Guelph group who, amongst other things, are arguing "No Olympics on Stolen Native Land." They're actually arguing on a number of issues including the gentrification of Vancouver, criminalization of the poor, commoditization of the games and the level of security involved in hosting the Olympics (which will likely be increased now thanks to a new gang of jackasses and the incident on Northwest Airlines Flight 253.)

First the press release, then what I've heard.

Olympic Torch Bearer Knocked to the Ground

On December 28th, 2009, The Olympic Torch Run entered the City of Guelph as it made its journey across Canada enroute to Vancouver for the 2010 Olympic Games.

At approximately 7:50 a.m., the procession made its way up Wyndham Street North Guelph and as it approaching MacDonnell Street a group of protesters approached the Olympic Torch Run entourage and the 28 year old female torch bearer was knocked to A 19 year old female was immediately arrested on scene.

The Olympic Flame was not extinguished.

The 28 year old female Torch Carrier, a resident of Milton was treated on scene for her injuries by the Olympic Torch Run medical staff.

This incident occurred in front of approx. 1000 children and parents who attended the festivities to celebrate the Olympic Torch coming to Guelph on its journey to Vancouver

Brittney SIMPSON 19 years of Kitchener has been charged with Assault and will appear in court in February.

That's from the Guelph Police press release on the incident. I was not a witness, but I did speak to a few of the protesters after the flame left downtown.

According to protest spokesperson Drew Garvie, the tripping of the torch runner simply stemmed from a situation that got out of control fast. So many of the revelers were apparently trying to drown out the protesters that people began crowding around the torch route, and the runner was knocked to the ground. Garvie and his associate didn't seem to know what specifically happened, but they seemed to think it was nothing more than an accident. Information's at a premium, so I encourage anyone that saw something to e-mail me at adamadonaldson@gmail.com, or if you wish to stay anonymous, leave a comment below.

As for the protest itself, Garvie says that people have the wrong idea about what was trying to be said this morning. "I think a lot of the people booing us think we're just out to ruin their fun," he says. "It's too bad there was such hostility between the protesters and the community."

To wit, as a few other reporters and myself were talking to Garvie and his associate someone walked up behind us and sang "Oh, Canada" loudly. He then got into a verbal sparring match with Garvie saying, "It's bull$#!t what you guys are doing," he said before arguing that exactly the same people that protested the Hanlon Creek Business Park were protesting the Olympics. "It's great that Canadians have been coming together celebrating [the Olympics]. There's room for protest, but not angry protest."

As the man walked away, Gravie says to me, "That's the response to our criticism: 'Go Canada.' And that's not a compelling reason."

It's worth noting that this isn't the first time that the Olympic flame encounter protest. The flame was diverted from the Six Nations reserve near Caledonia last week when a group threatened to block the torch saying that it had no right to cross sovereign Six Nations land.

More information as it develops.

Photos provided by Greg Beneteau from thecannon.ca


Anonymous said...


While you were not, I was witness to the event.


What a joke?

Mr. Garvie is obviously trying to downplay the attack, yes I said attack, on the torchbearer by his associate Brittany Simpson. This is obviously in an effort to distance himself from the thousands of us who are sick of the tactics used by these so called activists.

These idiots are now trying to backpeddle their way out of a situation THEY caused! Period.

To these two individuals and their associates, you have taken your cause here in Guelph and made it into a reason for the general public to really have a deep seeded reason to not like you.

Your goal of getting out a message failed because you are just thugs who randomly decided on a platform to excercise your malicious actions.

No time for you or anyone like you. I know I speak for thousands of residents in Guelph when I say, ``get lost``.

Joe from Guelph

Greg Beneteau said...

Hello Joe from Guelph,

My name is Greg Beneteau and I'm Editor of thecannon. I provided those pretty pictures, but I didn't witness the incident either.

I'd like to hear more about your account of what happened. You may contact me by email at editor@thecannon.ca

Anonymous said...

The Cannon's endorsement of anti-olympic violence is shameful. The basic human rights of hundreds of people to assemble peacefully and celebrate were trampled by an elitist group of anti-olympic thugs.

Violent protest has no place in Canada. Shame on you and your co-horts for supporting violence against your fellow Canadians.

Anonymous said...

I believe the incident took place at the top of Wilson street at the corner of McDonnel. I was near it but my view was blocked by the trucks.
The protesters, had an established position at the top of Wilson. The torch process should not have waded into them. It was a provocation.
Thank god
Guelph still has someone willing to get out and protest.

John Hunt said...

If this was for the Beijing Olympics, the person would have been called a hero. Long live democracy!

Anonymous said...

Many of you who condmen the sipson girl forget one..she was charged, meaning she ALLEGEDLY did it...they have yet to prove she did actually attack the torch bearer...and today she was released, charges of assault dropped due to no hard evidence proving she did do it...if she did or not, i can't say, but at least looka t the evidnce before condemning her...besides, if she assaulted anyone else, there would have bene enxt to nothing in the news, but since it was a torch bearer for the olympics, everyone went nuts