Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The 2010 Vancouver/Whistler Winter Olympics are almost upon us. Out there on the west coast they are desperately trying to find snow for many of the events, and the population is gearing up for the mother of all traffic jams as road after road is closed to local traffic. The Games will be held (frozen precipitation permitting) from February 12 to 28. Meanwhile the anti-olympic forces are gearing up for their own party. From February 10 to 15 there will be an 'Anti-Olympic Convergence' . Here's a checklist of details from the Olympic Resistance Network.
Updates on Feb Anti Olympic Convergence‏
EMAIL: (preferred)
PHONE: 604-723-1206 (no voice mail, and not for media inquiries)
Here's some more info on some events that have been added to the calender of anti-olympic efforts.
Actions added to Calender‏
Please make note of updated schedule (details below)
1) Feb 13th - 2010 Heart Attack
2) Feb 15 (ONGOING): Rally for Homes and Support an Olympic Tent Village
3) Feb 15 - Anti War and Anti Militarization Moving Spectacle Full Convergence update at the bottom.
2010 Heart Attack!
You are invited to a March on Saturday, February 13th at 8:30am in Thornton Park. This demonstration will respect the diversity of tactics and aims to disturb "business as unusual" on the first day of the Games!
What do you mean by diversity of tactics?
Diversity of tactics means support for each others' chosen method of resistance while not threatening the lives of those around us. It is a way by which we hope to create space for the realization of tension, uncertainty, action, humour and beauty as we strive for new ways to engage with each other and against a common enemy. While we may practice one tactic or action, we do not chose yours. As participants we agree to leave the policing of tactics to our oppressors, not our comrades; we will not attack each other for using methods that are not our own. Through a diversity of tactics we are stronger and more cohesive towards our goal of giving Capitalism a massive coronary.
What should we bring?
* A Nalgene or bottle of water
* Sharpies
* Band aids
* Money to take a cab
Do you have an affinity group ?
Then you should register to attend the spokescouncil:
- please forward widely -
No More Empty Talk, No More Empty Lots.
* February 15th, noon at Pigeon Park (Carrall and Hastings, Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories).
Large and inclusive rally of all our neighbours and supporters.
Organizedby DTES Power of Women Group with the DTES Justice for All Network. Visit:
* Support the "Olympic Tent Village". Endorsed by Streams of Justice.
The upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics has escalated the homelessness crisis in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and the Greater Vancouver area. Since the Olympic bid, homelessness has nearly tripled in the GVRD, while real estate and condominium development in the Downtown Eastside is outpacing social housing by a rate of 3:1. Meanwhile, a heightened police presence has further criminalized those living in extreme material povertyin the poorest postal code in Canada.
With the eyes of the world on Vancouver, residents of the Downtown Eastside and our supporters will be taking the streets to affirm our call for justice and dignity.
We want:
1. Real action to end homelessness now!
2. End condo development and displacement in the Downtown Eastside
3. End discriminatory ticketing, police harassment, and all forms of criminalization of poverty. No more empty talk and no more empty lots.
February 15th, 2010
*Come out and be part of an anti-war and anti-militarization moving spectacle. This event is a festive and creative demand for the Canadian government to respect and uphold human-rights, international law, the right to self-determination and civil rights. This event will also feature Gold Medal Award ceremonies for human rights violations, war mongering, and police brutality. *Meeting Point:*
Vancouver Art Gallery, Georgia side.
*When: * Monday February 15th, 2010 Gathering at 6:00pm and leaving at 6:30pm
The 2010 Winter Olympic Games reveal the same consistent, predictable and historical pattern of militarization and anti-democratic acts as they have everywhere that they are hosted. StopWar is especially concerned with the militarization of Vancouver and Whistler during the Games, with its accompanying restrictions on the democracy and safety of our community.
Enormous resources, including one billion dollars of spending, considerable military personnel and equipment, and countless thousands of police and private security personnel are being deployed. The Games are accompanied by the largest domestic military and security operation in Canadian military history. Featured among the identified “threats” to the Games are domestic protest.
The Olympic Truce movement has similarly revealed the hypocritical and rhetorical commitment of the Canadian government to peace that is contradicted by action. Despite Canada being in its 9th year of waging war on the people of Afghanistan, the Canadian Olympic Truce is calling on the world community “to cease hostilities during the Games and promote the ideals of peace through sport”, however, Canada has no plans to cease causing death and destruction in Afghan society. In an ironic twist of history, we remember that the 1980 Olympic Games hosted by the Soviet Union were boycotted by over 60 countries, including Canada, in protest of the Soviet occupation and war in Afghanistan that had begun a year earlier in 1979.
Bring your costumes, signs, banners and musical instruments! Join us in calling attention to the Canadian governments disregard of human rights, international law, the right to self-determination and civil rights.
We call on the Canadian government to end the occupation, war crimes, and human rights violations from Afghanistan to BC, to sign the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights, and to abide by International law. To bring aid not militarization to Haiti. To bring equity not militarization within Canadian communities. Sponsored by: Stopwar.caFor more information contact:
Here's a special volunteer appeal for people living in the lower mainland out west way. The organizers of the anti-Olympic convergence need more billeting space. If you live out there help out of you can.
We need more billeting offers!‏
With just over a week to go spaces are still needed to house visitors coming to Vancouver to partake in anti-olympics protest and action. So, if you have a couch, or a floor, or a backyard, if you live in a co-op and you have common rooms, or know of church basements or other faith-related spaces, studios, gyms, warehouse spaces, offices, schools, rec centres, etc. please get in touch. Either send an email to: or call: 604-723-1206. Our form is available at:
Visitors have been informed that they will need to bring all their own sleeping gear. Any other requirements, needs, concerns or questions please get in contact. Thank you
Coming up from the States for the Convergence ? Here's some essential border information that the Olympic resistance Network would like to share with you. Gotta do it; the joke mandate is demanding to be heard.

*For an American tourist in Canada forewarned is not forearmed.

*American border guards may beat the living crap out of you while calling you every possible foul name. Canadian border guards may beat the living crap out of you, but they will call you "sir" or "ma'am" all the way through it.

*American border guards may threaten to take away your first born in the name of 'Jeesas'. Canadian border guards may threaten to take away your first born in the name of multiculturalism. Doesn't that make you much happier ?

*Don't drink the water in Mexico. Don't drink the beer in Canada. Both are more than you can handle. Speaking about things you can't handle take your first taste of BC Bud in small doses.

*If you get into a bar fight in Canada remember to say "excuse me" before you hit the other guy, not after.

*Don't try out your incredibly bad French in Calgary. Don't go anywhere near Calgary for that matter. This goes double for Regina. Hit the gas pedal on the bypass.

*Bring tire chains. It actually might snow in the mountains in BC. On the other hand it probably won't at the Olympic venues where they want it.
Border Information for entering Canada from the US‏:
Border Information for those entering Canada from the U.S.
Prepared by the Olympic Resistance Network, Jan. 2010
As the Olympics approach, American and Canadian Border Services Agencies (Homeland Security and CBSA) have teamed up to tighten what they call "security," particularly along the BC/Washington border. This means not only an increased level of militarization at border crossings, but also an intensification in the profiling of "suspicious persons." Border agencies are working hard to expand their range of targets from migrants, people of colour and indigenous people, to political dissidents at large.
Unfortunately, the Olympic Resistance Network (ORN) cannot predict exactly what kind of security measures will be in place at the border in February. This communique is an effort to offer as much guidance as possible to those needing to cross the border in order to attend the Anti-Olympic Convergencefrom February 10-15. While you may very well get through with no problem at all, do bear in mind that the border is a militarized zone, so people with sensitive personal histories, documentation issues, or health needs should assess the risk to themselves and act accordingly. Please be in touch with any questions to or contact us at 604-723-1206. Good luck and see you in February! *****************************************************
1. Required documentation for crossing Canada Customs:
(a) "When you enter Canada, a border services officer may ask to see your passport and a valid visa (if you are arriving from a country from which one is required).
*If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need a passport to enter Canada; however, you should carry proof of your citizenship such as a birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization or a Certificate of Indian Status, as well as a [government issued] photo ID.
* If you are a permanent resident of the United States, you must bring your permanent resident card (i.e. green card) with you. For more information on admissibility into Canada, read the fact sheet called Managing Access to Canada:"
(b) "Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada carry both proof of citizenship and proof of identity. A valid U.S. passport, passport card or NEXUS card (see below) satisfies these requirements for U.S. citizens. If U.S. citizen travelers to Canada do not have a passport, passport card or approved alternate document such as a NEXUS card, they must show a government-issued photo ID (e.g.Driver's License) and proof of U.S. citizenship such as a U.S. birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or expired U.S. passport."
From U.S. Department of State. Bureau ofConsular Affairs. Canada -- Country Specific Information
2. Reasons the CBSA can refuse a person entry - in particular note criminal records:
3. CBSA's "Olympics" page: *******************************************************
Information from the ORN (disclaimer: this is not legal advice)*******************************************************
*Things to bring:
* 1. You cannot go through Canadian customs with only a driver’s license. Bring a valid passport, green card, Status card or government-issued photo ID plus birth certificate (see CBSA guidelines above).
2. Return travel tickets (if not traveling by car).
3. Relevant vehicle documentation (if going by car).
4. Contact information for where you are staying. You may be asked for this at the border, so confirm with your host whether it's ok to give their address out. If you are receiving housing through the ORN, you are asked NOT to give out the address you will be staying at *unless* you have the express permission of your host to do so. Please see a list of hostels (in appendix below) whose addresses you can provide instead.
5. Proof of ties to your country of origin: This can include contact info for your place of employment, if any, or documents like a housing lease. However, be advised that appearing "too prepared" can sometimes attract more attention!
6. Travel insurance, if any.
*Medications & Traveling with Minors:*
1. If bringing prescription drugs of any kind, they must be in the original bottle with a valid prescription printed on it. Avoid any things that will bring extra scrutiny to you, such as vitamins, especially those in gelatin capsules - they may be seized or cause a thorough and time-delaying search.
2. Minors also need to present ID (Birth certificate sufficient). Even if accompanied by one parent or guardian, minors must have a letter from absent guardian(s) stating that it is alright for the minor to travel, specifically across the international border into Canada, and listing who they are travelling with. Otherwise, the minor will be turned away at the border.
*Things NOT to bring:*
1. Don't bring any restricted items, such as fruit, soil, drugs (see CBSA site for details).
2. Don't bring any anti-Olympic or otherwise "subversive" materials – these things can be used as an excuse to detain you.
3. Avoid bringing materials that could be perceived to be for commercial purposes -- eg. lots of something to be distributed. Without proper licenses, the possession of commercial goods/merchandise can be grounds for refusal of entry.
4. Do not bring any electronics that are really precious or contain sensitive information. Be aware that cell phones can be searched/your address book recorded, and in some cases, police & intelligence agencies have been known to implant tracking or listening devices in phones.
5. We recommend against bringing laptops. Border agencies have the power to seize, search and hold laptops if you refuse to provide passwords or access to encrypted documents. Please contact us for a mailing address if you wish to send up non-electronic materials, like pamphlets, posters, T-shirts, etc.
*Getting through:*
1. Remember that border guards are likely to question people who fit their idea of an "activist" (or other "subversive") profile. Keep in mind that there will be many gung-ho tourists coming up as well, and use that to your advantage -- if you can, buy a hockey jersey and blend in! If you are traveling in a group then remind others of this too.
2. It is in your best interests to be as truthful and straightforward as possible when speaking to border guards about your reasons for travel. So for your convenience, we are providing a list of free entertainment and "Cultural Olympiad" events that you might like to include on your planned trip itinerary to reference. (See appendix below.)
3. Keep travel plans off line. Whenever possible, avoid communicating over email or through social networking sites, especially for final travel logistics. In-person communication is often ideal.
4. Discuss in advance with your travel buddies what you will do in the case that one or more should be refused entry.
5. If traveling alone, make sure someone knows where you are going, when you should arrive, and how to contact you or your hosts in Vancouver.
*Need a ride?*
The Cascadia Convergence Network ( ) is organizing carpooling for folks heading up to Canada from the Cascadia Bioregion (Pacific Northwest). If you need a ride please email . Please detail if you are associated with any organizations and why you are interested in carpooling to the games.
****************ORN Support:****************
1. ORN has arranged to have a lawyer on-call in Vancouver during February in order to assist with difficulties as they arise at the border. Check back for updated contact information closer to the date, or contact us for more details.
2. Please contact the ORN so we can keep track of any problems that occur at the border: 604-723-1206 or . For legal questions you can also email .
3. We will be updating our website in early February with more information on the legal rights of non-citizens and youth.
Columbia Hotel
303 Columbia Street
Vancouver, BC V6A 2R7
(604) 683-3757
Everett House B&B
1990 Everett Road
Abbotsford, BC V2S 7S3
(604) 859-2944
Country in the City B&B
32985 Harwood Place
Abbotsford, British ColumbiaV2S 7C2
Phone : 1 (778) 808-4827
Backpacker's Hostel
927 Main Street
Vancouver, BC V6A 2V8
(604) 682-2441
Cambie Hostel
515 Seymour St.Vancouver, BC
SameSun Backpacker Lodge
1018 Granville St
Vancouver, Canada
Hi-Vancouver Hostel
1114 Burnaby Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6E1P1
Below is a list of events happening during the convergence which you may wish to add to your trip itinerary. The events listed below are free and do not require tickets or reservations. More event listings can be found here:
February 10th & 11th, 2010
CUE: Artists’ Videos
When: 1/23/2010 - 3/21/2010
Daily: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Tuesdays: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery, Robson Street façade
750 Hornby Street, Vancouver
February 12, 2010
Place de la Francophonie 2010:
Type: Music
When: Friday, 2/12/2010 at 9:30 pm
Where: Place de la Francophonie
Performance Works,
Granville Island
1218 Cartwright St.,
February 13, 2010
Place de la Francophonie 2010:
Damien Robitaille
Type: Music
When: Saturday, 2/13/2010 at 9:30 pm
Where: Place de la Francophonie Performance Works,
Granville Island
1218 Cartwright Street,
Vancouver February 14, 2010 - February 15, 2010
Whistler Live! Karkwa
Type: Music
When: Saturday, 2/14/2010 at 2:45 pm
Where: Whistler Live!
Whistler Village Square
Let's close this out with the latest press release from the Olympic Resistance Network about their "press scrum" on Thursday, February 4. I truly hope they get a decent media turnout, but I seriously doubt it. I am almost "joked out" , but I still have a few rabbits in my hat. A poor turnout will not necessarily be because of some prejudice against lefty events on the part of editors. To say the least the average lefty "press conference" can hardly compete with others for the enthusiasm of reporters to press their editors so that they can attend. Free booze ? Forget it. The best that a reporter could hope for would be a marijuana leagalization event. Free food ? All that I can say on that subject is that it is doubtful, and, in any case, no food is better than a "vegan brunch" to those who are not true believers. But, all cynicism aside, here's the press release.
Release: Anti-Olympic Resistance Unleashed!‏
What: Olympic Resistance Network Press Scrum
When: Thursday February 4 at 2 pm
Where: Pigeon Park, Carrall and Hastings, Downtown Eastside of Vancouver
==> Schedule of upcoming anti-Olympic activities available at:
==> Comprehensive list of daily and issue-specific media availability:
February 3 2010,
Vancouver Unceded Coast Salish Territories
– Over the past three years, the Olympic Resistance Network has coordinated anti-Olympics efforts in Vancouver and across the country. Due to a growing and vibrant movement to oppose the Olympic Games, VANOC and government officials are no longer able to host large public Olympic events in Vancouver without being shamed. During the RBC and Coca-Cola sponsored Olympic Torch relay, protesters in over thirty cities, towns, and Indigenous communities brought forward their message of “No Olympics on Stolen Native Land”, “Get your torch off our land, we don’t want your Olympic scam” and “2010 Homes not 2010 Games”.
In many instances, activists successfully disrupted the Torch Relay, forcing delays and route cancellations, with at least thirteen arrests associated with anti-Torch related actions. Anti-Olympic activists note that the Olympics are not simply about the athletes. According to Harjap Grewal, “With public funds invested by all levels of government nearing $7 billion, VANOC and their corporate cronies are escalating their propaganda to the world and international media about the positive legacy of the Games. The reality is that residents are increasingly disenchanted with the Games and we will not be silenced despite harassment and intimidation by the Vancouver Integrated Security Unit and ongoing attacks on our basic civil liberties.”
On Thursday February 4, representatives from the Olympic Resistance Network and allied groups will be hosting a press scrum. The Olympic Resistance Network notes: “While Olympic corporate sponsors are getting bailed out, Indigenous lands are being stolen, people are becoming homeless, thousands are losing their jobs and access to public services, the environment is being destroyed, and civil liberties are being eroded with almost a billion dollars sunk into surveillance. This negative Olympic legacy is turning into a growing anti-Olympic legacy of resistance across the country.”
According to Gord Hill, a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw nation, “The 2010 Winter Olympics are taking place on unceded Indigenous land. As a result of the negative social and environmental impacts of the 2010 Olympics on Indigenous peoples our struggle against colonization has only increased, which poses a significant threat to Canada and Canada’s image.” - 30 –MEDIA LIASONS:
Harsha Walia: 778 885 0040,
Gurb Gill: 604-376-0366

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