At the conclusion of the Gastown Riot in August 1971, Vancouver Police Inspector Robert Abercrombie declared the evening "a good night's work." Using riot sticks and horse hooves, Vancouver Police violently dispersed a protest against marijuana laws in Gastown's Maple Tree Square. The Gastown Riot, and the year of protests leading up to it, demonstrate a transnational relationship between police and protestors. City officials and constabulary organizations worked to preserve their vision of moral order during the 1960s and 1970s, buttressed by the slogan "law and order." This thesis uses a comparative approach to analyze the contexts in which North American police organizations violently responded to protest under the pretence of protecting morality and law and order. Contributing to the historiography of Canadian policing, this study adds to the growing scholarship that illustrates the similar violent histories of Canada and the United States.
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Thesis advisor: Taylor, Joseph
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