Saturday, December 05, 2009
CANADIAN ANARCHIST MOVEMENT-KITCHENER WATERLOO:
AGAINST THE OLYMPICS IN ONTARIO:
As the Olympic flame continues to sputter its way across Canada it is net with protests in every region. When it comes to Kitchener on Dec. 27 it will be no exception. The following is originally from the Anti War at Laurier group. It came to Molly's attention via the Common Cause/Linchpin site.
A public mobilization against the Olympic Torch Relay:
Kitchener-Waterloo Rally, Dec 27th 2009.
Please forward widely!
“No Olympics on Stolen Native Land”
A public mobilization against the Olympic Torch Relay
AW@L and friends from across the region are sending an open invitation for a participatory public event to coincide with the arrival of the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay in Kitchener on Sunday, December 27.
A family friendly rally, march and demonstration against the 2010 Vancouver-Whistler Olympics. We intend to create a festive atmosphere that is safe and inviting for activists as well as families. Our goal is to educate and to deliver a message. We will start with interactive events, free hot coffee and food at a rally at the entrance to Victoria Park in downtown Kitchener featuring speakers from the Olympic Resistance Network-Ontario (ORNO) as well as prominent Six Nations youth activists. Then we will all march to City Hall for a public demonstration during the Olympic Torch Celebration.
Sunday December 27, 4-8pm.
Rally at the Victoria Park Clock Tower, downtown Kitchener, off Gaukel Street.
In response to callouts from the Olympic Resistance Network (ORN) and the Native Youth Movement (NYM), AW@L—a community-based direct action group, along with some of our allies are teaming up to co-host a peaceful rally during the Olympic Torch Celebration. We invite all of our friends and allies from across the region to converge in Kitchener in order to send the message to VANOC and to Canada that they can neither whitewash the ongoing colonization of First Nations, nor can they greenwash this country’s abysmal environmental record. We will use their Olympic circus as an opportunity to shine the international spotlight where it belongs, on the truth.
We are calling for this gathering because VANOC, Canada and the Olympics’ sponsors are trying to use the Olympics and the world media spotlight they bring to cast Canada’s international image in a certain light; as a “post-apology” country where the State’s relationship with First Nations is positive and progressive. But this official presentation is a tragic farce. The truth is that this country’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples is shameful. Canada is one of only three countries that has not signed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission collapsed. Our land claims process is so backed up that at the current rate active claims will not be solved for more than another two centuries. Canada and the provinces have repeatedly and endemically violated treaty after treaty. The Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Winter Olympic Games are taking place on unceded Territories of the Coast Salish people. Kitchener is on the Haldimand Tract, which is part of the Grand River Territory, which is Six Nations Land. Kitchener-Waterloo, like Vancouver-Whistler, is stolen land.
VANOC, Canada and Olympics’ sponsors are trying to use the Olympics to cast themselves as “green” global citizens, when in fact that is a sham. Canada as well as the Royal Bank of Canada (one of the Olympics’ and the Torch Relay’s primary sponsors) have been identified by major Environmental NGO’s as among the world’s worst climate change offenders. Canada has made the least progress of all developed countries on our Kyoto Protocol commitments, and Canada has been one of the most disruptive and uncooperative countries when it comes to international climate change talks. Canada’s Tar Sands collectively comprise one of the most environmentally destructive projects on earth, and RBC is the leading financier of Tar Sands projects, which like many environmentally destructive projects has a disproportionate impact on Indigenous communities. In the Vancouver-Whistler corridor, the environmental impact of the 2010 Games is incalculable.
VANOC, the City of Vancouver, Torch Relay host cities and Olympic sponsors are trying to use the Olympics to make themselves appear socially responsible to their constituent communities. This is yet another lie. In Vancouver, in preparation for the 2010 Games, neighbourhoods have been brutally gentrified, drastically increasing homelessness and the marginalization of the urban poor. And to make matters worse, new bylaws have been passed in Vancouver that essentially criminalize homelessness and poverty. In Torch Relay host cities, as on the West Coast, public funds are being diverted to pay for a corporate party; while in Kitchener the City’s New Years eve budget is being redirected to pay for VANOC’s Torch Celebration at City Hall, in Vancouver over six billion dollars of tax payer money is being used to pay for the 2010 Corporate Circus.
The 2010 Olympics are ushering in a new era of militarization and police repression. Activists across the country have been routinely harassed by CSIS and the RCMP in the lead up to the Olympic Games. During the games, new high-tech weaponry has been purchased for use against protesters and American military personnel are being brought in to help police the crowds. The security budget for the games is going to total over 1 billion dollars — during a financial crisis, no less.
So, as long as you are willing to abide by reasonable standards of “family friendly” behaviour, we urge everyone to attend this educational and festive public rally, march and demonstration against the 2010 Olympics. Bring warm clothes and things like banners, placards, costumes, noise makers, and oh yeah... lots of energy.
This event is less than a month a way, so there is much to do. If you would like to help out in any way, please contact No2010@peaceculture.org. That’s the same email to query if you want more info. We will have point people in Six Nations, Hamilton, Brantford, Guelph, Stratford, Toronto and London to coordinate carpooling, so if you need a ride, or have room for people in one, please let us know.
See you in the streets!
AW@L Olympic Resistance Committee
AW@L’s website is http://peaceculture.org
Contact for more info: No2010@peaceculture.org
For more info on the Olympics visit