Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hang onto your hats kiddies. this is going to be a long one. We're two days away from the opening ceremonies, and already it's major party time out there in "rainyland". Watching the weather reports with forecasts of 4 to 10 degrees above zero at the various event locations one can only wonder how they're going to hold any outdoor events at all. Water skies maybe ???

The weather, however, hasn't put a damper on the party atmosphere. I heard a radio report today saying that "six police" and "four soldiers" had been sent packing "for disciplinary reasons". I found that somehow hard to believe. So I looked it up when I got home from work, and I found more believable numbers in an article from today's Vancouver Sun. It turns out that 16 police officers, out of a total of about 6,000 and 50 soldiers out of a total of about 4,000 were sent on their way.

In the case of the police a spokesman claimed that 14 of the 16 were sent home for "compassionate reasons" and only two for "disciplinary reasons unrelated to alcohol". Well...maybe no relation other than by marriage. A spokesman for the military refused to give a breakdown of the reasons for returning the 50 soldiers to their bases. One wonders why.

Now those sort of numbers I find much more believable. My faith in the Canadian military, nurtured by long experience, has been restored. I couldn't believe that the cops could outdrink the grunts. No, no, no, there was something wrong there. Now, unless you believe that soldiers are 4.69 times as likely to fall ill (with something other than a hangover ) or have a close relative or spouse in said condition than police officers are, then you can come up with an easy explanation of why the spokesman for the military refused to comment on the reasons for shipping the soldiers.

What can I say other than "laissez les bons temps rouler" ? One other little question arises as I have fun with these figures. According to the numbers given in the Sun the military is so far short 1.25% of its personnel. How many more will they have to send back as the party goes on and on and on. It seems to me that, by the end of the games, a lot of guys in the service will be pulling double shifts to fill the empty slots.

Ohhhhhhh, I know what's going on here. The whole scenario of using the military for Games security is actually an Al Queda plot to destroy the Canadian Army. This is obviously the work of a devious sleeper cell. When all the brown stuff settles down after being blown around by the fan look for the CIA to book a one way ticket to the 'Damascus Hilton' for those evil conspirators Stockwell "Abdullah" Day and Steven "Ali" Harper.

But on to the serious stuff. The anti-Olympic Convergence, held by opponents of the Games, has already begun. Here's a couple of press releases put out by the Olympic Resistance Newtwork in advance of the Games. Don't look to see them reported very much in the mainstream media.




The Olympic Resistance Network is receiving news of a growing number of anti-Olympic protestors and Independent Journalists being denied entry at the Canadian border.

On Tues Feb 9, U.S. journalist John Weston Osburn was detained by US Homeland Security after being twice denied by Canadian Border Officials on his way into Canada to cover the 2010 Olympic protests. Martin Macias Jr., an independent media reporter from Chicago, was rejected by Canadian border agents and held without outside contact on Saturday Feb 6. At least two delegates, arriving from California, to the Indigenous Peoples Assembly in Secwepemc Territories were denied entry into Canada. Other anti-Olympic protestors report extensive laptop and cell phone searches as well as hours-long interrogations.

In anticipation of the unfair targeting by the Canadian Border Services Agency of those viewed as Olympic dissidents, the Olympic ResistanceNetwork has set up an Immigration and Border Legal Support Line. Lawyers and legal professsionals taking these calls are deeply concerned by the pattern of arbitrary turn-backs without cause, as well as the lack of due process in allowing those who are rejected at the border to appeal the decision.

According to the Olympic Resistance Network, the series of border hassles, interrorgations, searches, and refusal are the latest in a long-standing pattern of suppressing the growing movement of dissent and opposition to the Olympic Games.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mac Scott (Olympic Resistance Network Border/ImmigrationLegal Support) at 416 999 6885

For an interview with John Weston Osburn, email ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++




The Olympic Resistance Network invites media to a panel discussion on Indigenous resistance and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics on Wednedsday February 10th at 7 pm at the Wise Hall, 1882 Adanac Street.

The panel discussion is a part of a 2-day Olympic Resistance Summit for activists to come together to organize, prepare, learn and unite as a part of the convergence against the 2010 Olympic Games. While the rest of the Olympic Resistance Summit will be closed to all media, all media are invited to attend this panel on Indigenous resistance featuring Carol Martin (Nisga'a/Gitanyow and member of Downtown Eastside Elders Council), Arthur Manuel (Secwepemc Nation, spokesperson for the Indigenous Networkon Economies and Trade), Gord Hill (Kwakwakaawakw Nation, member of the Olympic Resistance Network and maintains, and Kanahus Pelkey (Secwepemc and Ktunaxa First Nations, Native Youth Movement).

The Olympic Resistance Network will also be holding three media briefings in the coming week - in conjunction with grassroots Indigenous land defenders and activists from across Canada - to discuss reasons for opposing the Games, upcoming resistance plans, and to provide reports on protests.

- Thursday Feb 11 at 3 pm outside 706 Clarke Drive. "Resistance Groups Converge in Vancouver". Represenatives from Olympic Resistance Network,Native Youth Movement, AWOL-Kitchener, Indigenous Environmental Network, and No Games Chicago.

- Friday Feb 12 at 11 am at Pigeon Park, Carrall and Hastings, Downtown Eastside. "No Justice on Stolen Land" with grassroots Indigenous land defenders from Athabasca Fort Chipewan, Six Nations, Statimc Nation, Secwepemc Nation, and Wetsuweten Nation.

- Saturday Feb 13 at 3 pm at Pigeon Park, Carrall and Hastings, Downtown Eastside. Representatives from the Olympic Resistance Network and 2010 Welcoming Committee.

- 30 -

==> For a schedule of events:

==> For a media press package and extensive media availabilites:

MEDIA LIASONS: Harsha Walia: 778 885 0040; Gurb Gill: 604-436-0366.

For more information on the Indigenous resistance panel, contact Alex Mah at 604.715.6990 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

For Immediate Release

February 9, 2010

'Green games' are really a greenwash:

Environmental justice organizations, First Nations communities challenge green games claim.

Major social and environmental justice organizations and First Nations grassroots leaders from across Western Canada will be hosting a press conference to address the environmental impacts of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler.

Despite claims by the BC government and the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) that the 2010 Olympics will be "the greenest games ever," these organizations have serious concerns related to the direct environmental impacts of the games in BC,the environmental records of the Game's host governments, and the environmental practices of a number of the Game's high-profile corporate sponsors, most notably those involved in extraction and transportation of tar sands bitumen from northern Alberta.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

10:00 am


706 Clark Drive (corner of Clark Drive and East Georgia St.)

Vancouver, BC


Clayton Thomas-Muller -- Indigenous Environmental Network

Eriel Deranger - Rainforest Action Network

Pina Belpario - Council of Canadians

Lionel Lepine - Member of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation

Kanahus Pelkey - Secwepemc and Ktunaxa First Nations, Native Youth Movement


Media Contact:Harjap Grewal - Council of Canadians: 604.340.2455 /


Meanwhile the protests have already begun. Last Sunday, February 7, the 'Poverty Olympics' (a takeoff of the Olympic Games) were held in Vancouver. Here's a report, originally published in The Province ,and reprinted at the No2010 website.


Poverty Olympics Draws 600-700 People:
February 9, 2010 - 04:48 — no2010

Activists stage Poverty Olympics in Downtown Eastside

The Province, February 8, 2010

Anti-poverty activists staged a successful Poverty Olympics in Vancouver's poverty-stricken Downtown Eastside on Sunday afternoon.

"If the money that was spent on the Olympics had been spent to end poverty and homelessness it could have been done by now," said organizer Jean Swanson.

She said 600 to 700 spectators took in the Games -- three skits titled The Housing Hurdles, The Broken Promise Slalom and Wrestling for Community and a mock hockey game between the Pigeon Park Eagles and the VANOC Predators. "The ref was totally in favour of the VANOC Predators, but the Pigeon Park folks won any way," chuckled Swanson.

She said the most popular skit featured four local children wrestling with "the evil developer" for control of the community. "The kids won. They ended up sitting on the developer with their hands in the air in victory," said Swanson. "The audience was cheering and cheering."

The fun and games began when the Poverty Olympics torch arrived after a one-week, 100-kilometre route through Greater Vancouver. The torch, weighing 200 pounds and standing 12 feet tall, held a sign reading, "End the Poverty." It was pushed around on a hospital gurney.

The crowd overwhelmed the site -- the Japanese Hall in the 400-block Alexander Street. "For a while we had to keep people from coming in because it was too packed," said Swanson. She said international media from Britain, France and Germany joined U.S. journalists from the Wall Street Journal and USA Today at the events.
Short Video footage from Vancouver Media Coop on Poverty Olympics


Meanwhile the Olympic Resistance Summit has begun. Here's the notice of events from the Olympic Resistance Network.


Kick off the Convergence week at the 2010 Olympic Resistance Summit! ******************************

February 10th and 11th, noon to 10pm East Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories. The 2010 Olympics Resistance SUMMIT is a space for all anti-capitalist, indigenous, housing rights, labour, migrant justice, environmental, anti-war, community-loving, anti-poverty, civil libertarian, and anticolonial activists to come together to confront this two-week circus and the oppression it represents. During these 2 days we will organize, prepare, learn and unite to create a convergence against the 2010 Olympic Games! The schedule of workshops, panels, and other activities is posted below.


Tabling space: If your organization would like to have an information table set up at the Wise Hall during the conference, please email .

Accessibility information: Please note that lunch and dinner will be provided. The Wise Hall is wheelchair accessible, but the Center for Socialist Education is not. On site childcare will be provided at the Center for Socialist Education.

For more information: call 604.723.1206 or email

DAY 1 : Wed Feb 10th The Centre for Socialist Education - 706 Clark

12:00 - 1:00 Welcoming and Lunch

1:00 - 2:00 Creative Resistance Workshop

2:00 – 4:00 Open Creative Space The Wise Hall - 1882 Adanac

1:30- 2:30 Know Your Rights Workshop

2:45- 3:45 Corporate Resistance Workshop

4:00-5:30 Defending the Land Teach-in

5:45 – 6:45 Dinner

7:00 –9:00 Panel: Indigenous Resistance and the 2010 Olympics

DAY 2 : Thurs Feb 11th The Centre for Socialist Education -706 Clark

12:00 - 1:00 Welcoming and Lunch

1:00-2:30 Medics Training

2:30 - 4:00 Medics Logistics Meeting The Wise Hall -1882 Adanac

1:30- 2:45 Post-Convergence Movement Building

3:00- 4:30 IOC and Global Anti-Olympics Movement : Sochi and Chicago

4:45- 7:00 Convergence Planning

7:00 – 8:00 Dinner

8:15–10:00 Caucus Group Discussions


A few days before this the No2010Victoria held their own "welcome party" for the Olympics in the provincial capital across the straight. Here's their press release. Once more don't expect to see much of this in the mainstream press.


Victoria Protest and Mock Eviction of Vanoc Offices:
February 8, 2010 - 05:09 — no2010

Press Release
Demonstration and street feast mark opposition to Olympic overspending and escalating poverty
February 6th, 2010 - Coast Salish Territories - Victoria B.C.

- The Victoria Coalition Against Poverty (VCAP) and No2010 Victoria organized a loud and colourful rally that wound through downtown Victoria this afternoon. The demonstration began at Bastion Square with a peoples' eviction of the 2010 Winter Games Secretariat office.

“The Secretariat is VANOC's partner and oversees B.C.'s financial commitment to the Games”, said organizer Shannon Lucy. “We evicted the Secretariat because we should not be spending billions on the Games in the midst of massive cutbacks to housing, essential services and other basic human needs.”

The march continued on to the downtown branch of the Royal Bank of Canada for a “sound-off”. “RBC is an Olympic sponsor and major investor in the tar sands”, said organizer Mik Turje. “The tar sands have led to pollution and high cancer rates in the Fort Chipewyan First Nation located downstream. We went to let RBC customers know what their bank is really about.”

The march stopped at the tragedy-laden corner of Pandora and Quadra to highlight critical poverty rates in Victoria. “The Olympics have cost twice as much as it would take to bring everyone in province above poverty line”, said organizer Shane Calder. “It only takes $2.8. billion to bring everyone in B.C. up to the poverty line, but the Olympics have cost us at least $6 billion. Unless we get services and supports to the levels we need, we can expect more tragedy on this corner”.

The march ended at Centennial Square with a street feast. “This afternoon's rally is an indication that the people of British Columbia will not continue to stand by as the Liberals gut the Province's social services in order to boost corporate profits”, stated organizer Tamara Herman. “We'll be in Vancouver next week to make sure our message is heard.”

The Victoria Coalition Against Poverty (VCAP) is a coalition of grassroots organizations that together are demanding an immediate end to poverty.No2010 Victoria is a local collective opposed to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.
Email: and
Two YouTube Videos


Here's a couple more events that have just been added to the ever busy anti-Olympics schedule by the Olympic Resistance Network.


New Additions! to the Calender of Events:‏
Vancouver Call to Action Against 2014 Sochi Olympics on the Land of Circassian Genocide:

Saturday, the 13th – Demonstrations will be held in front of the Russian “Sochi House” at Science World between 12-5pm at Thornton Park.

Join the No Sochi 2014 Committee!

After the five ring circus of the Vancouver Games, the next Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi, Russia in 2014.

• The Circassian Genocide claimed the lives of 1.5 million men, women and children- over 50% of the entire Circassian population .

• Sochi, once Circassia’s capital, was the point of exile for over one million Circassians.

• Circassians have no rights, no freedom and no justice on the land they have lived on for over 5,000 years

• Russia today is still responsible for multiple human rights abuses, environmental destruction and international provocation

Thirty Circassian organizations worldwide as well as millions of Circassians resist these games because they will occur on the greatest tragedy in their history on the site of the Circassian genocide.


- 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).

Rally with all our neighbours and supporters.

Organized by DTES Women Centre Power of Women Group.

Food will be served. For information, email or call 778 885 0040.

* Support the Olympic Tent Village!

Endorsed by Streams of Justice.

Stay the evening, night, and/or morning after the rally to protect the Tent Village, especially the first 24-72 hours. To find out how to support,visit or email or call 604-253-1782.

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 poverty in 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.

Rally endorsed by: (take a deep breath-Molly )Carnegie Community Action Project, DTES Elders Council, Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, Impact on Communities Coalition, Streams of Justice, Vancouver Action, Walk 4 Justice, Community Advocates for Little Mountain, Anti Poverty Committee, DTES Community Arts Network, Indigenous Action Movement, Citywide Housing Coalition, Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity Society, Solidarity Notes Labour Choir, No One Is Illegal – Vancouver, Food Not Bombs, Vancouver Status of Women, Indigenous Environmental Network, Organizing Centre for Social and Economic Justice, Bus Riders Union, Alliance for People's Health, Women Elders in Action, Canadian Union of Postal Workers –National Representative, UBC Students for a Democratic Society, East Van Abolitionists,, Justice for Girls, W2 Community Media Arts Society, Submedia, Vancouver Catholic Worker, Pivot Legal Society, UBC Centre for Race, Autobiography, Gender, Siraat Collective, The Rational Coop-Radio, Bulland Awaaz- Coop-Radio, Pink Resistance, CIPO–Vancouver (Popular Council of Indigenous Nations of Oaxaca in Vancouver), Rhizome Cafe, Native Youth Movement, Network of Sri Lankan Law Students, Oxfam Canada, Whistler Watch,, Warrior Publications, Workless Party, Teaching Support Staff Union, 2010 Welcoming Committee, Latin America Connexions Collective, Servants Vancouver, Building Bridges Human Rights-Vancouver, Check Your Head, SFU Interfaith Institute for Justice,Peace and Social Movements,, Headlines Theatre, Student Christian Movement-UBC, Community Olympics Watch, Rain Zine, Industrial Workers of the World, The Press Release Collective, Simon Fraser University Public Interest Research Group, 2010 Homelessness Hunger Strike Relay, Friends of Women in the Middle East Society, Iran Solidarity-Vancouver, Federation of Iranian Refugees, Wake Up With Co-Opat CFRO, UBC Colour Connected Against Racism, Women Against ViolenceAgainst Women. ( Uh, can we say they have a few sponsors ???-Molly )


Let's end this post with an interesting article from the Vancouver Sun on native resistance to the Games. Don't worry, I'll be back later with more from Vancouver and the anti-Olympics movement. For now, however, it should be noted that the Canadian government has made Herculean efforts to have us many public "sign-ons" from the Canadian aboriginal community as is humanly possible. This is no doubt a very conscious decision, given that the facts of Cnada's treatment of its native population are the dirtiest of Canada's dirty linen, and it was no doubt identified long ago that airing these scandals would likely be the greatest possible public embarassment during the hosting of the Olympics.
Well, the federal Conservayives, being, after all the federal Conservatives(and doubtless advised by their corporate friends), judged that it would be far cheaper (in many ways) to hold a massive public relations exercise rather than actually doing anything substantial about the problem. Hence the numerous trips to reserves of the Olympic Flame and the equally numerous public statements (encouraged ?) of native leaders in support of the Games.
Unfortunately for the Cons not all aboriginals have taken the bait. While the campaign has been more of less successful there is still a substantial minority of native leaders who are willing to publically express their doubts. In British Columbia this minority is particularily visible. The following article explores the questions that some aboriginals have raised. In the great post-games hangover it is entirely possible that the opinions of these dissidents will carry even more weight.
Not All Native Band Councils in BC Support Olympics:

Aboriginal groups divided on whether to support Olympics80 of B.C.'s 203 bands refuse to participate because government and Vanoc ignore 'horrific levels of poverty,' their leader says.
By Kim Pemberton, Vancouver Sun, February 6, 2010
The head of the Four Host First Nations, Tewanee Joseph, has been criss-crossing the country since 2003 selling the Olympics to first nations communities. He's achieved signed agreements with more than a dozen provincial and national aboriginal groups setting out their involvement with the 2010 Olympic Games. (Is it possible that we may one day say "Senator Joseph" if the Conservatives end up with amajority government ?-Molly )

But despite his efforts, aboriginal groups are divided.

No where is that more noticeable than here at home with the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, representing 80 of the 203 bands in the province, refusing to participate in the games.

The union's longtime president Chief Stewart Phillip said he will not be at Monday's opening ceremony for the Aboriginal Pavilion nor at any of the Olympic 2010 sponsored events.

Instead, his goal is to make a political statement.

He arrived in Vancouver on Thursday to meet with organizers of the 19th annual Feb. 14 Memorial March to commemorate women murdered or missing on the Downtown Eastside and the Highway of Tears in northwest B.C.

"I can't stand alongside the premier and John Furlong [Vanoc director] at the grand opening ceremony and give the impression that everything is okay. It's a moral decision. I'd much rather stand with the people who have to endure the tragic dimensions of the poverty imposed on the aboriginal people in this province and the tragic dimensions of that poverty in terms of our high suicide rates and homicides," said Phillip.

"We're deeply concerned about the concerted and aggressive marketing campaign advanced by Vanoc which suggests the indigenous people of B.C.and Canada enjoy a very comfortable and high standard of living. The Disneyesque promotional materials suggests a cosy relationship between aboriginal people of the province with all levels of government and it completely ignores the horrific levels of poverty our people endure on a daily basis."

Phillip added the Olympics will come and go "in a blink of an eye" and aboriginal communities will still be dealing with massive unemployment, epidemic youth suicides, terrible health care and massive housing shortages, to name a few of the problems.

"If government would act on our constitutional rights, human rights, land use we'd be directly involved and in a position to address these appalling conditions of our people."

He said native groups throughout B.C. and Canada are divided on whether to support the games.

And while he doesn't take issue with the Four Host First Nations going into partnership with the International Olympic Committee and Vanoc, and benefiting economically from the event, he is concerned with how the "government is absolutely consumed with the Olympics" and ignoring the harsh conditions experienced in most aboriginal communities.

Joseph said the Four Host First Nations has never denied problems exists in aboriginal communities and he's also heard the comment the Four Host First Nations are "corporate sellouts."

His response to that is a world event is coming to their traditional territory and "do we really want to be on the outside looking in?"

"We've all been poor. We've lived these issues ourselves. We come from the same place," said Joseph. "There has been over 100 years of shameful treatment, anger, conflict, tragedy. My late grandmother said understand the past but don't dwell in it."

He added their message to all aboriginal groups is they can tell their story at the Olympics. But he cautions "if you had one minute to tell the story of your people worldwide, what would the picture be?"

Among the aboriginal groups who did sign partnership agreements with the Four Host First Nations to be part of the Olympics celebration are the First Nation Summit, which represents 106 aboriginal bands in B.C. and the Yukon involved in the treaty process, Treaty 6, Treaty 7 and Treaty 8 in Alberta, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nation, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Chiefs of Ontario, Grand Council of Cree, the Atlantic Policy Congress, the Dene Nation, the Council of Yukon First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Metis National Council, the Metis Nation of B.C., the Assembly of First Nations, Nisga'a Nation, Sto: lo Nation and Tsawwassen Nation.

Metis Nation of B.C. president Bruce Dumont said their organization is excited to be part of a theme day on Feb. 15 called "Metis Day" at the Aboriginal Pavilion in downtown Vancouver.

1 comment:

Werner said...

Speaking of phony green games David "you know who" of CBC fame has been peddling this stuff on his various sites and facebook.