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Olympic security: keeping open space safe


                                                                                                                       — Heather Conn photos


I had to laugh at the new so-called high-security measures recently taken at Langdale ferry terminal on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast. In preparation for the Olympics, BC Ferries has added high fencing and barbed wire between the two baggage areas for loading and off-loading foot passengers.


Standing there, I wanted to make sure that what I saw was indeed true: on either side of this fortification was, um, blank space. Yes, anyone could easily walk through the open-air baggage area. People were blithely depositing their bags and then walking to the ferry. The bags were left with no one overseeing them. I saw no one checking any of the luggage. Gee, that’s safety.


(This made me think of the “security” wall south of San Diego, at the Mexican border. When I saw a portion of it while exploring the dry hills there, this rusty barrier, reportedly made of aluminum sheets once used as temporary landing strips during the Vietnam war, continued for some miles and then abruptly ended. Wall. and space, side by side. An impish Mexican boy sat atop the wall, his legs straddling two nations, and waved heartily at my husband and me. )


In further Olympic irony, when the torch relay vehicles were boarding the Langdale ferry on February 4, a large Pepsi truck was between them. Since Coca-Cola is one of the Olympic sponsors, I figured that their marketing folk must have been squirming to see such awkward ad placement by their competitor. Pure synchronicity. All of this was in view of hundreds of people, many of whom waved Canadian flags, bore Olympic scarves, hats, and red-and-white clothes. They were waiting, along with local dignitaries and politicians,  to board the deluxe ferry Coastal Renaissance to party with the Premier on a private  junket.

February 6, 2010 at 8:29 am
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