The Vancouver Park Board continued its campaign against the 420 Vancouver protest, closing the fields at Sunset Beach the day after the protest. Originally, the park board said it could take up to 10 weeks (two and a half months!) before the park was reopened to the public, but in a statement on Apr. 23, the park board said the park would likely reopen in 6 weeks.
While this is great news for anyone who uses the park, it can also be seen as the park board’s tacit acknowledgement that yes, perhaps 10 weeks was a little hyperbolic.
After full inspection by senior #VanParkBoard staff this morning, we hope to have the Sunset Beach field open by first week of June in 6 weeks. Read the Park Board statement on closure of Sunset Beach park and field: https://t.co/UoWr8kAewepic.twitter.com/wv5Sh2FUYL
— Vancouver Park Board (@ParkBoard) April 24, 2018
Classic Fearmongering by Vancouver Park Board
In addition the update on when the park will reopen, the park board also explained its reasoning for fencing off parts of Sunset Beach in the first place, saying the fencing was a protective measure- particularly for the damaged field, children, and dogs.
But why dogs and children? Well, according to the park board’s statement, there are
“objects such as glass and discarded edibles on the field that posed a danger to the public.”
Funny that the City is so concerned about the “dangers” of edibles on the ground, yet having to do a quick check for needles before using some fields in Vancouver is standard procedure for many of the city’s rec leagues.
And what did the Park Board mean when referring to “glass”? It’s very doubtful that the fields would be covered in broken glass, which is what the park board is seeming to imply in an attempt to stoke anti-cannabis sentiment- unless people accidentally broke their bongs and glassware to the point it became a safety issue. That’s highly unlikely though.
Besides, a group of people peacefully smoking cannabis together is a far cry from the bottle-smashing rowdiness of the drunk crowds that come to the same area for the annual fireworks, and it seems like the board wants to paint the 420 protest with a similar brush to try to win over the public.
As a resident of the #WestEnd, I’d rather see a bunch of hungry, happy, chill #cannabis folks than a similarly sized #craftbeer event. Drunk people are WAY harder on the community in trash, altercations, damage to public property. #420Vancouver was impressively low-impact, IMHO.
— Kali Readwin (@KaliYVR) April 21, 2018
So much canna-bias from the park board and mainstream media
When the park board announced the Sunset Beach closures on social media, it was accompanied by pictures showing the supposed aftermath of the 420 protest.
“…A troubling loss of park space.” #VanParkBoard Chair Stuart Mackinnon surveys damage to #SunsetPark field this morning after 4/20 event. The field will be closed for up to 10 weeks for major rehabilitation. @betterparkspic.twitter.com/g9HPHd86z6
— Vancouver Park Board (@ParkBoard) April 21, 2018
But the park board did not post any pictures from before 420 to compare it to as the tweet below helpfully points out:
— Rosy Mondin 🌱 (@rosymondin) April 21, 2018
It also turns out that CBC used a picture of garbage from 2016’s 420 Vancouver protest as the featured image for their lead story on this year’s protest, which helps to promote a similarly biased anti-420 agenda, but it should be noted that CBC corrected this after being called out on social media by 420 organizers.
CBC used a photo of a garbage pile from 2016 to lead their story on this year’s 420. There was no garbage to photograph this year, but that won’t stop them from their false narrative! #cdnpoli@cbcnews@ybrend#fakenewshttps://t.co/lD48RLBeLC
— Dana Larsen (@DanaLarsen) April 22, 2018
So what does the park really look like?
Luckily, 420 organizers had the foresight to take pictures of Sunset Beach in the days prior, rightfully anticipating the park boards’ anti cannabis tactics.
#SunsetBeach looks amazing the day after #420Vancouver despite absolute lies being spun by the @ParkBoard. All garbage gone after volunteers cleaned late last night & this morning. $28,000 we spent on deck to protect the field was well worth it. Grass looks great & almost no mud! pic.twitter.com/Hd3dAwxMDE
— Jeremiah Vandermeer (@JFromTheLake) April 21, 2018
Rosy Mondin 🌱 (@rosymondin) April 21, 2018Here are some replacement photos you may use — of locals enjoying Sunset Beach today on April 21st 2018.
— Jodie Emery (@JodieEmery) April 22, 2018