Saturday, April 11, 2009

The 2010 Vancouver/Whistler Winter Olympics draws nearer, and as it does both the promotional activities and the protests against the games intensify. There's still about a year left to go of seeing the drumbeat for the games almost everywhere, from stamps and coins on down. Various corporations that are still making a profit in hard times are getting into the act as well. This includes the Coca Cola company who have a travelling van roaming about Ontario promoting the event. One wonders about the connection between Coca Cola and physical health, let alone athletic performance. Be that as it may this modern version of the travelling snake oil salesman was met in Waterloo Ontario by protesters against the Olympics. here's the story from the No 2010 website. AW@L ,by the way, stands for 'AntiWar at Laurier'(see our Canadian Links section)
Olympic Torch Promo Tour Protested in Waterloo, Ont:

WATERLOO—Friday April 3, AW@L activists and members of the Climate Change Containment Unit (CCCU) descended on Coca-Cola’s promotional event for the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay.

The torch relay is currently scheduled to come through Ontario in December 2009. The 2010 Olympics are occurring on stolen native land and causing dramatic environmental destruction and unconscionable gentrification and criminalization of the poor in the city of Vancouver.

The Coke van, which is travelling across the province, was in Kitchener yesterday and Waterloo today, attempting to spread hype for the Games.

However, today AW@L crashed their party—not once, but twice—sending action teams to both of the van’s scheduled stops.

For the first stop, at a local Sobey’s, AW@L dispatched the CCCU who,dressed in ‘haz-mat’ suits and armed with large fire-extinguishers, warned the Coca-cola Olympic Torch Relay team that if they were to attempt to light the flame while inside Waterloo or Kitchener, it would be promptly extinguished. “The Olympic torch must be seen as a symbol for the massive scale of the ecological destruction being caused in the building and preparation for the 2010 Games. It is all of our responsibility to refuse to participate in the brazen display of celebration for the environmentally and socially destructive behaviour that the Olympics represent,” said a member of the CCCU.

AW@L activists were also on hand with a large banner that displayed the no2010 Thunderbird and the message: “No Olympics on Stolen Native Land.”

One of the activists emphasized that the Olympics are an “embodiment of neoliberal colonialism, and that the absurd overspending on the Olympic security operation is a sign of creeping fascism and militarism in our police forces and the government’s response to land protection and the struggles of marginalized and oppressed populations.”

At the second stop, at a local Galaxy cinema, members of AW@L handed out flyers and argued with management and police before vacating the premises. AW@L activists have said that the Torch Relay, if it is to pass through Kitchener-Waterloo, will be met with resistance, as it will across the province and the country.

AW@L is a direct action group based out of Kitchener-Waterloo that works on anti-war, ecological defence, and indigenous solidarity campaigns.

AW@L’s Climate Change Containment Unit has taken up the task of shutting down some of those corporations that are most guilty of propagating climate change and environmental destruction. AW@L has endorsed the Olympic Resistance Network’s Statement on Solidarity and Unity. AW@L can be found online at and reached by email at

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