Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The 2010 Vancouver/Whistler Winter Olympics draw nearer, and folks are continuing to organize against them. Here's the latest about what's happening out Lotus land way from the Olympic Resistance Network.
** Please note the ORN rally against VANOC’s corporate green wash (the ‘Sport and the Environment’ Conference) on Monday, March 30, 6pm. Info is by date under the events section. Hope to see you all there (in green and camo)!
Upcoming ORN general meetings: (Every 2nd Sunday)
Sunday, March 29, 6pm @ Spartacus Books, 684 E. Hastings
Sunday, April 12, 6pm @ Spartacus Books, 684 E. Hastings
(The first meeting of each month includes time for new member orientation and Olympic issues background.)
** If you are interested in ORN, but unable to attend Sunday meetings, consider getting involved in one of the subcommittees planning popular education/outreach, legal defense, fundraising, communications, etc. and contact olympicresistance@riseup.net for more information.
---------- Upcoming events in Vancouver--------------
Monday, March 23 – Friday, March 27 (now in progress)SDS-UBC conference “Resisting the University 2.0: Resistance in Action”@ UBC Student Union Building 213 + 215 and outside
Various speakers on issues of direct action, social justice,universities/education, and the Olympics planned. * Olympics speakers and a march are scheduled for Friday, March 27
Contact: sds.ubc@gmail.com .
More info and ever-changing schedule at: www.uresistance.ca
An anti-conference meant to bring people together to learn about effective means of resistance to colonialism, inequality, violence, marginalization, and exploitation. Highlights will include:
Launch: Homage to the Black Bloc, Guerilla Theatre SDS 12 - 1 pm
SUB to Knoll.
Liu Institute discussion with Brian Job (former director) and Peter Haskell (SDS) 12:30 - 2pm. Plus Rodrigo on Participatory action research at UBC 5 - 7pm.
Direct Action training with Greenpeace 1 - 3pm.
Thursday: Political Improv/Comedy plus SDS crashes Friends of the Farm Great Farm Trek planning meeting 5:30 - 8pm
Olympics Action Day with more training: "Activism 101" with WTO and 'Infernal Noise Brigade' veteran Brian Hyde (Olympia) 1 - 4pm.
Olympics Resistance Network panel with special guests 4 - 6pm and 6pm
march on Thunderbird Ice Arena (the on campus Olympics venue funded through tuition increases).
Friday Night: Resistance Existence - dance party with Joey Only Outlaw Band et. al.
Venue TBA.
Thursday, March 26
City Hall motion on CCTVs for Olympic Surveillance
Thursday, March 26,
9:30am - ?
City Hall – 12th and Cambie
Vancouver City Council agenda item #7 on installation and funding for closed-circuit television monitoring of public space during the 2010 Games. Note that previous host cities have allowed CCTV and public video monitoring to remain long after the Games were over. This is a dangerous tool of the police used to discourage and suppress uses of public space by activists, the homeless, community workers, street performers, panhandlers/buskers, commuters, families, and YOU! The only impacts on actual crimes are usually to push them around town and CCTVs are notoriously inefficient for their promoted purposes but very useful for police and city officials trying to clamp down on visible poverty and dissent.
* ATTEND to support the community or SIGN UP TO SPEAK and voice your dissent (while you still can)!For agenda see: http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20090326/csbu20090326ag.htm
and for 4 page report (Emergency Management and Public Safety during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games - Acceptance of Funding for Temporary CCTV) see:
For information, or to register to speak, please call Nicole Ludwig, Meeting Coordinator at 604.871.6399, or email nicole.ludwig@vancouver.ca
Thursday, March 26
Forum on Olympic Policing and Security – with Pivot Legal, RCMP, and City of Vancouver
Thursday, March 26, 7 – 10 pm
Strathcona Community Centre,
601 Keefer Street
The VPD, the RCMP and the City of Vancouver will speak at a public information session on how Olympic security measures will affect the Downtown Eastside hosted by Pivot Legal Society, this Thursday. The free forum, at the Strathcona Community Centre, will include a question/answer period where residents can ask questions and voice concerns. Email: mmontaner (at) pivotlegal.com
Monday, March 30
(ORN rally)
*** Protest VANOC’s “Sport and the Environment” Farce – Resist the Corporate Greenwash!March 30, 6pm
at Canada Place (Canadian Exhibition and Convention Centre )780 – 999 Canada Place (north end of Burrard)
There is vehicular and pedestrian access along the foot of Howe and Burrard streets. Easy access from the Waterfront Sky Train Station, SeaBus Terminal, and West Coast Express.
** Please promote this event widely and help use this chance to highlight the ecological destruction and corporate hypocrisy behind the ‘Green Games.’
Protest the Olympics’ “Sport and the Environment” Farce!
Resist the Corporate Green Wash of the Games!
On March 30-31, the International Olympic Committee, along with VANOC and corporate sponsors, are hosting the 8th World Sport and the Environment Conference in Vancouver, Canada. Their goal is to promote the 2010 Winter Games as making positive contributions for "social, economic and environmental benefit."
In reality, the Olympic Industry causes large-scale environmental destruction and negative social impacts, as do many of its corporate sponsors. Many politicians (mayors of Vancouver and Whistler, BC Premier Campbell, and BC and Federal Environment Ministers), VANOC/IOC officials, and executives of major corporations (such as Coca-Cola, Teck Cominco, BC Hydro, RBC, and GE) will be speaking.
The 2010 Games will be one of the most ecologically damaging in history, featuring clear cuts, mountain blasting and destruction of vital habitats, road construction (and expansion of traffic), gravel mining (major damage to fish stocks), massive consumption of steel, plastics, cement, water,wood, etc., threats to animal populations, unnecessary luxury buildings, and expanded infrastructure (with accelerated approvals) for mining, logging, oil and gas exploration, ski resorts, and tourism. Construction, air travel, local traffic and other activities for the BC Olympics are expected to generate more than 3,700,000 tons of carbon emissions (that is about 5% of what all of British Columbia would produce in one year). At least 100,000 trees have been destroyed for a 17-day event. VANOC and the BC government also violated the International Olympic Committee’s stated requirement that the host city carry out environmental impact studies before starting work.
This damage and waste is occurring on unceded Indigenous land and the environmental and financial costs will burden future generations.The RBC (Royal Bank) is a major financier of the destructive Alberta tarsands projects and the 2010 Olympics. The mining giant Teck Cominco operates the largest open-pit copper mine in Canada (located on unceded Secwepemc territory), damages communities and the environment across Canada and into the USA with mine waste, and also funds the tar sands. General Electric is a major manufacturer and exporter of security technology and weapons systems and is invested in controversial hydroelectric projects in BC’s Toba and Bute Inlets. BC Hydro is facing strong community opposition to the $3.5 billion Site C hydroelectric project which would flood out large sections of the Peace River Valley. Coca-Cola factories violently repress workers and union organisers, deplete ground water, and contribute to environmental waste and destruction.
These companies, and more, will be represented by executives at the World Sport and Environment Conference. Join the Olympic Resistance Network (ORN) and other concerned groups and individuals to oppose the corporate green wash of the Olympic Games. ORN asks that this event be widely distributed throughout the Indigenous ,environmental, and anti-Olympic movements, as it is a chance to focus on the community and ecological damage and corporate irresponsibility that marks BC development, especially during the Games. We will address issues on Eagleridge Bluffs and other Games construction, Gateway projects, water and energy in BC, tar sands and BC pipelines, proposed dam construction, and Olympic corporate sponsors with a diversity of speakers.
Stand with your community and for your environment on March 30 as we protest during their 'gala' dinner reception!
Email alissawt(at)shaw.ca for the ORN event poster or make your own.
Facebook event listing -
Promotional info, schedule and full speakers list for the Sport and Environment Conference is available at: www.wcse2009.com
Wednesday, April 1 UBC dialogues: Richmond
How will the 2010 Games affect the environmental, social and economic vitality of our communities?
Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 6:30 – 9pm
Richmond Olympic Oval (Legacy Room)
6111 River Road, Richmond, BC
[This event is promoted by UBC, which is holding Olympic events, cooperating with VANOC restrictions on signage and assembly on campus, and providing VANOC with friendly ‘impact reports’ on the Games (written by the Kinetics and Athletics crew, not by sociologists, political scientists, social workers, environmentalists, urban studies experts, or Indigenous academics). A critical presence from Olympic opponents would be a welcome break from corporate promotions … REGISTER ASAP!]
Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free, but advance registration is required.
***RSVP by Wednesday, March 25, 2009.
For information contact: samantha.diamond@ubc.ca or by phone at 604.822.9977.
Info found online at
Hear Margot Young, BA’83, UBC Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law; and Robert Van wynsberghe, Lecturer in the School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Education and Principal Investigator of the Olympic Games Impact Study; discuss their views on this relevant topic, all moderated by Wendy Frisby, UBC Chair of Women's and Gender Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Professor in the School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Education.
Interested in engaging with UBC in your community? Want to find out how UBC's research and teaching are addressing complex social issues? Join us in your community for UBC dialogues - a new series of events designed to ask tough questions and spark a provocative dialogue about the issues that matter to you and your community.
Are the 2010 Games just an opportunity for the rich to get richer?
Will the average taxpayer be burdened with Olympic-sized cost overruns?
What can be done to ensure that all Vancouverites benefit from the legacy of the games?
Explore this timely topic as you join fellow UBC alumni and friends at the new Richmond Olympic Oval for an evening of conversation and enlightenment.
Saturday, April 4
Grand March For Housing on Saturday April 4th.
Join us at 12 pm at one of the following locations:
-Peace Flame Park (south side Burrard Bridge)
-Main & Hastings (DTES contingent, wear a blanket!)
-Thornton Park (Main SkyTrain Station)
Or meet us at 1:30pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery (Georgia Side) for
speakers and entertainment.
The event is Citywide Housing Coalition's kick-off to the provincial election campaign to demand an end to homelessness, new social housing construction, increased protection for renters and Living Wage increases to minimum wage and welfare. If you have any further questions, would like to volunteer or receive a poster for the event please do not hesitate to contact us at grandmarch@gmail.com.
Saturday, April 4
Counter VANOC’s Olympic promotions at Britannia Community Centre!
Saturday, April 4,
2 – 4pm
Britannia Community Centre’s Olympic promotional event at Britannia Community Centre on the Drive at Williams.
Urging Olympic opponents and critics to attend and offer an alternative to VANOC’s corporate ‘celebrations’ of the Games. No Olympics at Britannia group and ORN plan to be there, I hope you will too!
from the Britannia Community Centre site -OLYMPICRAZE -
"Pulse to the Podium Get into the Olympic spirit with your family, friends and neighbours! Try out a winter sport on the Nintendo Wii, play some Olympic-themed carnival games, make a medal, pose on the podium, chick out some cool displays and more - something for everyone. Free to participate. Made possible by Hosta City Happening Grants, sponsored by Britannia Centre and the Vancouver Park Board."
Sunday, April 19
The People v. The City of Vancouver
– one community’s fight for justice
Sunday, April 19, 1 – 4 pm
@ Pigeon Park (Hastings and Carrall)
*Food and drinks will be served at 1pm, the trial starts at 2pm sharp!
**Community folks are encouraged to come out and testify!
Accused: The City of Vancouver
Charge: Social Cleansing
Offense Date: July 2003
- Present Synopsis:
Since the Olympic Bid of 2003 the City of Vancouver has waged a violent war on the community of the DTES. While it boasts 'revitalization' and it's 'Civil City' campaigns as progressive, such activities in fact terrorize and displace those most marginalized in our city. Community members have been literally forced onto the streets as homelessness has more than tripled in the neighbourhood. Once evicted from their homes residents are further brutalized with ticketing for sitting or lying on the street & asking for spare change among other by-law 'offenses'. The City of Vancouver has literally criminalized the poverty it has created.The Community is fighting back!
*Past Olympic Host Cities: “The desire to show off a city & make it an attractive tourist destination is often accompanied by a process of sanitation- clean-ups of public areas facilitated by criminalization of homelessness & increases in police powers… to make it more attractive for the local, national and international elites.”
*The Safe Streets Act: BC passed the Safe Streets Act in 2004 to prohibit panhandling “in an aggressive manner,” such as obstructing the path of a person, using abusive language, or following behind, alongside or ahead of a person being solicited for spare change. The act included persons in motor vehicles being solicited, such as by ‘squeegee cleaners’ who wait at traffic lights to ‘clean’ driver’s windows. Police are authorized to arrest persons violating the act without warrant. Although a provincial act, the legislation is directed primarily at downtown areas of cities, and in particular Vancouver.
A coalition of business groups (downtown hotels, banks and corporations), including the Vancouver Downtown Business Improvement Association and the Vancouver Board of Trade, were the main promoters of the Safe Street Act (SSA). The act has been severely criticized by civil liberties and anti-poverty groups.
*Project Civil City: In 2006, Vancouver City Hall launched ‘Project Civil City’, a broad-ranging initiative focusing on homelessness, panhandling, policing and public disorder. According to former Mayor Sam Sullivan, it seeks to reduce by 50 % homelessness, aggressive panhandling, open drug use, and excessive drinking & fighting in the downtown area (all by 2010). Along with a proposal to hire more by-law officers & prosecutors, there are also actions to increase CCTV video surveillance of streets and the city’s anti-graffiti campaign. To accomplish these tasks, the city allocated some $1 million from the 2007 Olympic Legacy Fund budget to expand policing and by-law enforcement, and $300,000 to directly fund Project Civil City.
The corporate media has assisted the government in this process by running sensationalist stories on street crime, aggressive panhandlers, and drunken partiers in the downtown area. Although Sullivan claims Civil City has nothing to do with the Olympics, previous statements have contradicted this:
“There is no question that we must act swiftly & decisively to solve the public disorder problems that affect our city. I believe we have a tremendous opportunity to use the upcoming 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Games as a catalyst to do just that.”
*GVRD Homeless Count: Greater Vancouver's homeless crisis continues to grow at a "stunning" and"shocking" rate, with a 373-per-cent increase in street homelessness since 2002. The number of homeless in Metro Vancouver is now approaching 3,000 --there were at least 2,660 homeless people in Metro Vancouver on the official day of the count on March 11 2008. The report's key findings include:
- Street homelessness increased by 373 per cent since 2002.
- The number of people who were homeless for a year or more rose by 62 percent from 2005. Almost 50 per cent of homeless people found during thecount had been homeless for a year or more.
- Native people, despite representing just two per cent of the population, comprise 32 per cent of the homeless, up from 30 per cent in 2005. Close to 45 per cent of homeless women and 41 per cent of unaccompanied homeless youth were native.
- The vast majority (84 per cent) of homeless people had health problems such as addiction (61 per cent), mental illness (33 per cent) and physical disability (31 per cent).
- The so-called working poor are being forced into emergency shelters.
*Street Sweeps: Aggressive street sweeps have been raging through the DTES from increased and aggressive ticketing for things like panhandling or jaywalking to "illegal" vending.
-VPD year-end performance report: officers issued 467 tickets for violations of the Safe Streets Act in 2008, compared to 202 tickets in 2007; 133 tickets for violations of the Trespass Act, up from 95 in 2007. Tickets for city-bylaw infractions, including tickets for vending, panhandling, and loitering, shot up to 439 tickets in 2008 compared to 247 tickets in 2007.
Results: These brutal acts are clear evidence that the City of Vancouver has and will continue to commit the crime of Social Cleansing against the DTES Community. The City-sanctioned police harassment of poor people is something that has been increased steadily in conjunction with increased gentrification. As the colonial legal system promotes this injustice the community has no choice but to take justice into its own hands and try the perpetrators for their REAL crimes!
We are hoping as many people as possible will come out to testify against the city, and/or endorse this attempt to smash the “broken windows” theory, and tell the City and its goons to back off.
Come out to support!
Contact: 2010.homes.now@gmail.com for more info!
Figured people might have contacts, personal stories, ideas, etc. to send to the Renters At Risk group who want to collect some of the housing impacts of the Games:
Renters At Risk Campaign
- Subject: renters on video"I'm looking for BC renters who have been affected/experienced evictions, renovictions, and/or huge rent increases in the lead up to the Olympics. If that's you, are you willing to allow me to film you in a short 15-45 sec segment?
If you're interested in hearing more, please write: rentersfightback@gmail.com "
Olympic Resistance Network:
The Olympic Resistance Network is primarily based in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories and exists as a space to coordinate anti-2010 Olympics efforts. In doing so, we act in solidarity with other communities across 'BC' - particularly indigenous communities who have been defending their land against the onslaught of the Olympics since the bid itself. Our organizing is largely being done under the slogan of "No Olympics on Stolen Native Land," while creating an opportunity for all anti-capitalist, indigenous, anti-poverty, labour, migrant justice, environmental justice, anti-war, and anti-colonial activists to come together to confront this two-week circus and the oppression it represents.

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