Robertson releases statement on weekend gay bashing

Post by Mike Klassen in

11 comments

Gregor Robertson with UFC president Dana White (left) - photo: Vancouver Sun
Gregor Robertson with UFC president Dana White (left) – photo: Vancouver Sun

The media scuttlebutt on Saturday's much-hyped UFC match at GM Place was that it was a success. CKNW commentator Bruce Allen raved about the UFC event on his Monday Reality Check segment, and scolded what he perceived were the chicken littles opposed to this event. Despite the fact that Mayor Gregor Robertson was trying hard to be seen as a supporter of the event, Allen still gets his digs in on him. He points the finger of blame at Gregor (and Geoff Meggs) for killing Appleton Gallery. You can listen to Bruce Allen's commentary here

It raises a question as to what Gregor Robertson was trying to gain by connecting himself so closely with this extreme sport event. Frances Bula reports that negotiations between the UFC and the City were a cage match of their own.

Also on Monday morning, Mayor Gregor Robertson issued a statement in response to the gay bashing incident that took place just a short distance from GM Place on Saturday night. A possible connection to the Ultimate Fighting (UFC) event taking place at the arena has been made by some, though there is no conclusive evidence that the two thugs who beat Peter Regier and David Holtzman on the steps outside of their apartment building had any connection to the match that had just ended nearby.

A debate has begun at the Georgia Straight website among two sides of the issue – one side who are strong supporters of the UFC, and the other suggesting the UFC is more trouble than it's worth. It's the kind of debate where people dig in their heels and no one usually wins.

In a curious move the Vision Vancouver party sent out a bulletin of their own late Monday afternoon. It was titled "Our Strength is Our Diversity", and it seemed to signal that Vision are feeling a liittle vulnerable about being big Ultimate Fighting boosters. The bulletin sent a copy of the Mayor's statement on the gay bashing along with this introductory text:

Vancouver is a great city and what makes us great is our diversity. Vision Vancouver offers our sympathies to the two Vancouver residents who were assaulted outside their home Saturday night.

The physical and verbal attacks appear to have been motivated by hatred toward members of the LGBTQ community. Hatred toward any particular group has no place in our city and Vision Vancouver strongly supports a zero-tolerance policy towards this type of aggression. The courts have recently ruled similar incidents as hate crimes.

It all feels like dancing on a head of a pin, and nobody does it better than Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver.

+++

See also Charles Campbell's analysis in The Tyee.

- post by Mike

11 Comments

As a huge Chuck Liddell fan, I would not have missed the opportunity to see him - it was worth every penny.

I also had the great pleasure of meeting him last week. I was on my way to work when I spotted him at the Starbucks by the Scotiabank Theatres (Burrard St.) I shook his hand, wished him luck, and had a smile on my face for the balance of the morning.

Honestly,there is more violence and gore in many movies and 'kids' video games that the UFC.

The aggressive, drunk crowds of UFC "fans" that flooded our streets on Saturday harrassed residents and used our streets like a public urinal, creating an atmosphere of lawlessness and public intoxication that led to a number of confrontations that day and evening, in addition to the five victims sent to the hospital during the fights

There was plenty of security to protect the Mayor who attended the UFC event, but not for the residents of this neighbourhood, and after all of the concerns expressed in advance, that is what's most shocking.

Where was the UFC security? Where was the public police presence necessary to maintain crowd control. I realize the police were more concerned with a plainclothed anti-gang presence inside and outside the stadium, but that left the rest of us dealing with angry young drunks intent on proving their 'toughness.'

Never again will be too soon.

The Thought of The Day

"Vancouver's benefit, a big broken middle finger. UFC fight Tickets, $100-200 and up. GM imbibed audience, 17,000. Winner's purse, $85,000. Promoter's loot, $4,5 million. Seeing Gregor's smiling mug, next to that of Dana White's, while looking at the two MMA contenders' bloodied faces on the front cover of the morning paper, and then reading about yet another gay bashing in the City of Vancouver, well... priceless!"

Allegedly, there are five degrees of idiocy. Vancouver Vision main guy brings that number up to six. Like in the separation count.

If Vancouver could separate itself from this party of Vision fools and their Joker In Chief, and maybe not cross paths with them until... (paraphrasing Sean) never, that would be too soon.

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Sean:

The liquor sales at the UFC were tightly regulated (unlike hockey games) and closed down at 8:00 pm.

Inside, any persons that were considered trouble makers were quickly dealt with.

The event was over at 9:30.

Funny, but there has been very limited reporting of 'problems' other than by those that were against the UFC to begin with.

Perhaps if there was something like CCTV footage. But, as we know the good Mayor and Council Members don't want security cameras in the downtown core/entertainment district - that would help with 'policing' the area.

And this just up on CKNW

Mayor would welcome UFC back
VANCOUVER/CKNW AM 980
Janet Brown | Email news tips to Janet
6/15/2010

Vancouver's mayor says he's open to the possibility of another UFC event being held at GM Place.

Gregor Robertson says the sold-out Saturday night event was a smooth and professionally run show, and the crowd was more calm than he had expected.

The UFC is already expressing an interest in a second Vancouver event.

Robertson is fine with that and says they'll work out the details when the opportunity comes.

The mayor took in the last few fights of the night and says it was pretty rough stuff.

But he says it's better to have that aggression worked out in a safe setting...and not out on the street.

Max,

I'm sure the security inside the venue was top notch, but, outside the venue, in our neighbourhood, it was non-existent. Afterwards, when all the UFC fans flooded our streets, quite a few hung around to cause trouble, including urinating in doorways, vandalism and making verbal and physical threats. One of those incidents ended in a savage attack and robbery of two of our neighbours and friends.

The reason you are seeing little reporting of any other problems experienced is that Mayor Robertson has been out touting how smoothly the whole event went. For example...

http://www.cknw.com/Channels/Reg/NewsLocal/Story.aspx?ID=1241534

This a day after the Mayor released a statement condemning the attacks. And the VPD is going right along with that storyline, saying this was no different than any other sporting event in Vancouver. Here's the quote from this Vancouver Sun story:

Vancouver Police Const. Jana McGuinness said her department will just have its normal "call-out crew of uniformed officers that will be there." She said that the UFC match is being treated like any other sporting event in the city. "We are there in support of private security as is the normal case at events," she said. "We know that this event will attract a diverse crowd but that is not unlike any other major sporting event."

So, there is a bit of contradiction in what the VPD are saying and doing, and what residents of the area experienced.

Perhaps some people feel that one or two attacks on residents that live near the stadium is no big deal, but that's not how residents of this area are seeing it. If the police weren't concerned about violent fans, why was the security inside the stadium so strong with anti-gang patrols? That clearly indicates the police were aware of the kind of people this event would attract, yet they did little to patrol and monitor residential areas around GM Place before and after the event. The only police presence I saw in our neighbourhood when I was out was an empty police car parked on the street.

The UFC could care less about the safety and security of Vancouver residents. But we expect the Mayor and Council to care about these things, in fact, that's one of their primary jobs.

What is it with Vision Vancouver and people relieving themselves in the streets? I recall the "street" homeless shelter defecating debacle in False Creek North at the foot of Granville...

How many more neighbourhoods or constituencies are left they can still afford to disregard or outright piss off? Pardon the pun.

Dennis and Tom:

I live in Kits and in the neighborhood of the Naam restaurant on West 4th, which is (sadly) open 24 hours.

We get the drunk after the bar closes crowd that wanders in an out throughout the night.

They yell, they scream, they break bottles, they sit in their cars and blast music, there have been all out fist fights, they toss things onto people's sundecks....etc.

Last night, I had the great pleasure of being up from 2:30 - 4:14 am as there was a group of 4 people standing in the open doorway of the Naam, laughing, talking and jostling around - at some point there was music of sorts. And this heard with all windows of my place closed.

I phoned over and not so politely asked the 'night manger' to tell this group to shut up and go home. This is an ongoing issue with the Naam, year after year - and I now have their number on speed dial.

So,if you think the downtown core is the only area that suffers from drunk stupid people - you are greatly mistaken.

We get to enjoy them practically every night.

I am very sorry what happened to those two gentlemen, but, it makes me wonder how many words were exchanged between the 'two groups' of men - as I have a bit of a hard time accepting that they approached them, politely asked these guys to leave and were immediately met with 'brute force'.

As well, directly linking this to the UFC is a stretch.

And I repeat myself, it would have been a smart idea on behalf of the Mayor and Council to leave the CCTV cameras up in the downtown core as perhaps, the two perpetrators could have been 'identified' and any other issues arising, monitored and dealt with immediately.


Max,

Not sure why you're addressing me in your reply or for that matter what your point is other than public nuisance behavior is more widespread in other parts of Vancouver and thus the spill out crowd should be tolerated when strangers are pissing on the side of your home and violent assaults are the norm on Vancouver streets. Anyways okay, I'll note all that.

Further discounting the violence suffered by the victims I think says much more about this entire line of "thinking" than I care to know, and mentioning CCTV is especially pointless since this took place in the proximity of the victim's townhouse.

People are entitled to their own fantasies, but not their own facts. Also a good night's sleep will lead to more lucid thought - I recommend earplugs. No need to reply, not interested.

Hi Max, you make my point. Inside the stadium, liquor sales were restricted and rowdies tossed out ... where? Onto our neighourhood's streets. And it wasn't the drinking inside the venue that was a problem, it was the public drunkenness all day long from noon onwards, with out of control fans harrassing residents and literally using our streets as a public restroom.

The Mayor's comments today were shocking, condoning an event in which five fighters were hospitalized and one couple bashed.

I wasn't against the UFC - I purposely did not stand in its way, presuming with all the controversy they would ensure public safety. But they didn't bother, so they needn't bother trying to come back to this neighbourhood again either.

If Mayor Robertson wants to host the UFC fights in Kits, he's welcome to it. He can glorify violence all he wants in his own back yard. It's not welcome here.

Sean,

I never said anyone was tossed out into the streets, I said they were quickly dealt with.

As for drinking from noon on - the FIFA World Cup is playing at virtually every bar and pub.

These establishments have been jam packed from the time they open their doors in the morning and serving alcohol.

I am just stating that as a possibility.

And I am sorry for what happened to those gentlemen, but again, you cannot clearly link the UFC to what took place.

I do hope they catch the individuals, but it does not seem to be looking likely.

where2beforfree-smallbanner
Check out BCWineLover.com!

Paid Advertisement

Paid Advertisement



Close