Monday, October 13, 2008


CANADIAN ANARCHIST MOVEMENT-MISSISSAUGA/SMITH FALLS/MONTRÉAL:


OLYMPIC SPIRIT TRAIN TEMPORARILY BLOCKED ON WAY TO MISSISSUAGA:


The Olympic Spirit Train aka the Cheesy ChooChoo continues to stumble its way across the country, to be met by protesters at pretty well all its stops. But yesterday they had an unexpected stop as they were nearing the Ontario community of Mississauga. Here's the story, as told by postings on the Anti-War at Laurier blog who were involved in the blockade.
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Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Rail Blockade Disrupts CP Rail’s Olympic Spirit Train:
by Olympics Resistance Network
“Six Nations and solidarity activists resist Olympic theft of Indigenous land, ecological destruction, and attacks on the poor”
---- Toronto, Ontario –
Moments ago(actually yesterday, October 12-Molly), a group of activists occupied Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway’s train tracks by locking themselves down to the tracks and hanging banners off of the rail overpass on highway 27 near Elder Mills. The protest was organized in solidarity with the Olympics Resistance Network (ORN) and their call to disrupt CP’s “Spirit Train” that is traveling across Canada. Directions to the blockade site can be found at the bottom of this release.
---- “We are here today to show the world what the Olympics really stands for; capitalist greed and colonialist theft of Indigenous lands” said Winnie Small. They continued, “In stark contrast to Canada’s cherished reputation as a human rights advocate, our First Nations live in abject poverty; casualties of Canada’s apartheid policy refusal to respect Indigenous rights to their own land.”
The “Spirit Train” was launched Sunday Sept. 21, 2008, in Port Moody, B.C. where activists from the ORN, Anti-Poverty Committee, and the Native Youth Movement successfully disrupted it. To the embarrassment of its corporate sponsors, the Spirit Train, still rolling across the country, has been disrupted at several locations with protesters often outnumbering supporters.
“The 2010 Winter Olympics are occurring on unceded First Nations land in British Columbia where they are causing widespread environmental damage, and are resulting in a massive uprooting of homeless and poor people in Vancouver” said Dan Kellar, a spokesperson from AW@L, one of the activist groups involved in the rail blockade. “The Canadian Pacific Railway's (CP) "Spirit Train" is an Olympic propaganda machine spreading the ideals of capitalist colonialism across Turtle Island.”
What: Blockade lock down on train tracks to stop Olympic ‘Spirit Train.’
Where: CP rail overpass on highway 27, just south of highway 73 (Rutherford Rd.).
Visuals: Activists locked down to CP rail tracks, two large banners over highway 27 reading “No Olympics on Stolen Native Land,” and “Resistance 2010 Stop the Corporate Circus,” and Native Unity flags flying high.
Driving Directions: Take 401 to highway 400 North. Take exit 33 off highway 400 onto highway 73 West (Rutherford Rd.). After approximately 6 km, turn South on highway 27. The blockade is on the CP rail overpass on highway 27 approximately 500m South of highway 73.
For more information contact:
Dan Kellar 519 616 4462
Chris Buck 416 708 0834
For more information about Olympic Resistance
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Here, also from the Anti War at Laurier blog is the statement the activists gave upon lifting the blockade.
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Activists from AW@L, Six Nations and across SW-Ontario Blockade CP Rail Tracks Successfully Disrupting Olympic Spirit Train :
Rail blockade backs up trains across the country in an escalation of resistance to the 2010 Vancouver-Whistler Olympic games

Toronto, Ontario – Moments ago a group of activists from Toronto, Waterloo, London, Kitchener, Guelph, and 6 Nations ended a blockade on Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway’s train tracks in opposition to the Spirit Train.

Activist locked themselves down to the tracks at 5:00pm and hung banners off of the rail overpass on highway 27 near Elder Mills. The protest was organized in solidarity with the Olympics Resistance Network (ORN) and their call to disrupt CP’s “Spirit Train” that is traveling across Canada.

“Today we shed light on what the Olympics really stands for; capitalist greed and colonialist theft of Indigenous lands” said Winnie Small. She continued, “In stark contrast to Canada’s cherished reputation as a human rights advocate, our First Nations live in abject poverty; casualties of Canada’s apartheid policies, and its refusal to respect Indigenous rights to their own land.”

The activists successfully negotiated a peaceful dispersal after more than three hours. No arrests were made and the activists were able to leave the area without incident. CP Police Officer told the activists’ liaison that trains had been backed up “across the country” and that the delay cost the company “millions of dollars.”

The “Spirit Train” was launched Sunday Sept. 21, 2008, in Port Moody, B.C. where activists from the ORN, Anti-Poverty Committee, and the Native Youth Movement successfully disrupted it. To the embarrassment of its corporate sponsors, the Spirit Train, still rolling across the country, has been disrupted at several locations with protesters often outnumbering supporters.
For interviews, photo images and B-roll please contact:
Dan Kellar 519 616 4462
Chris Buck 416 708 0834
For more information about Olympic Resistance
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Finally, once again from the Anti-War at Laurier blog , here is the final report on the activity down Ontario way.
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Report Back - Activists from AW@L, Six Nations and across SW Ontario Block the Olympic Spirit Train:
It has just all set in. The non violent action to block The Spirit Train was a resounding success as our goal to have national media coverage that actually speak about the true issues surrounding the Olympics were met. Hopefully we have inspired others to take action as well. More and more people are gaining an understanding that the Olympics in general, and more specifically the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, are no longer about sports and culture, they are about profit for a small elite and wide scale environmental destruction through development of Stolen First Nations Land.

On Sunday October 12th, Activists from AW@L, Six Nations, Guelph, London, Kitchener, Toronto, Waterloo and Hamilton Blocked the Olympic Spirit Train on the tracks as it approached Toronto, by locking down on the tracks and occupying a railway bridge. This highly co-ordinated and well executed non-violent action was taken in solidarity with the Olympic Resistance Network of British Columbia, Native Youth Movement of the Coast Salish People, and The Anti-Poverty Committee of Vancouver, who have called for actions against the Spirit Train and all 2010 Olympic related activities.

Canadian Pacific have called the action a "serious safety risk", though no train was within 5 kilometres of the the blockade as scouts were tracking the progression of the train from Sudbury. Also, the lock down team had full safety control of the situation by using a self-release device. CP followed their pre-set safety precautions and no one was ever put in danger.

The situation was tense at times as the activist liaison negotiated with the police (first Peel Police then CP police), but after a three and a half hour blockade, and the arrival of independent media from the Real News Network, and corporate media journalists, a peaceful deescalation was completed and no one was arrested.

The 2010 Winter Olympics are being held on unceded Coast Salish First Nations land and are causing environmental destruction through venue, road and real-estate development. The Games are also leading to a massive expropriation of social housing units in once of Canada's most at risk communities - the downtown east side of Vancouver.

Further, these games are diverting tax money from social and environmental programs so the small elite of land developers that have permeated through the Vancouver Organizing Committee may pad their bank accounts.

Additionally, the 2010 Winter Olympics are being used as a catalyst to expand the police state in Canada. Those made homeless because of the gentrification of Vancouver's downtown east side, and those already living on the streets are being criminalized by the implementation of 'no sit, no lie, laws. Also, Security costs for the Olympics are likely to exceed 1 billion dollars as a planned force of more than 12,500 police, mounties, and army will converge on Vancouver. It is quite likely that we will also see American troops on our soil resulting from the February 2008 signing of the Civil Assistance Plan by the Harper Government.

Broad Coalitions are forming and the resistance to the 2010 Olympics is growing. This action is an escalation of the protest rallies that have met the Spirit train at many of its stops including, Port Moody, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Sudbury. The spirit train itself is an escalation of the dissemination of Olympic propaganda and with each new escalation initiated by Olympic organizers and sponsors, there will be an escalation in the non-violent resistance to the 2010 Winter Olympics.
For more information about the 2010 Olympics and the resistance visit:
-and-
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The poor little train that couldn't has two more stops to go before CP goes home to count their profits. These are
*Smith Falls, Ontario
Thursday, October 16
1:00 pm-8:00 pm
CP lot on Rideau Ave. North and Ella St.
*Montréal, Québec
Saturday, October 18
Place des Vestiges on the Quays of the Old Port-Across from the Jacques-Cartier Pier
Expect more demonstrations there and more news from Mollymew as it develops.

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