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Smash some glass, eh?

February 18, 2010 | 10:25 am

It seems that at least one Canadian professor has no problem with the protesters who tossed chairs through shop windows in downtown Vancouver last weekend.

Mark Leier, who studies labor issues and anarchism at Simon Fraser University, believes the practitioners of random destruction, who represented a small portion of the protest groups that hit the streets on Saturday, served a useful purpose.

"I have a strong suspicion that the kinds of protests that we're talking about -- the smashing of windows -- may have created more space for the so-called respectable protest movements," Leier told The Georgia Straight weekly.

First off, he considers breaking glass to be "more in the way of disturbance than it was violence directed against people."

Second, he believes it drew the attention of reporters who then said, "But look, there's always respectable protesters. Let's talk to them and see what they want to talk about."

Some of those "respectable" protesters complained about being lumped in with their more-violent compatriots.

-- David Wharton