Olympic security boss puts protesters on notice

Unlawful' actions will be met with swift response, RCMP assistant commissioner warns, as activists vow to take on 'two-week circus'

VANCOUVER — The head of security for the 2010 Winter Olympics is warning protesters to think twice about plans to disrupt activities at the Games.

"We have an obligation and a responsibility to support and facilitate lawful protests, and we will do everything we can to do that," said RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bud Mercer, who commands the Games' Integrated Security Unit.

"But when protests become unlawful, those incidents will be dealt with quickly," Assistant Commissioner Mercer affirmed in an interview yesterday.

Recent public events connected with the Games have been marred by small but raucous protests that have included shouting, swearing, throwing paint bombs, drowning out an elementary school choir and grabbing an on-stage microphone to issue a profanity-laced denunciation of the Olympics.

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