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2010 Olympics Watch

The Bread Guy

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Feel free to share anything of interest & intrigue (within OPSEC, of course) regarding the security aspects of the coming games here.

Athletes not targets of protest: ORN
Bob Mackin, 24 Hours Vancouver News, 29 Sept 09
Article link
An outspoken critic of the 2010 Winter Olympics said athletes are not the target of protesters.

"The impression is that you're against amateur sport and you're against athletes if you oppose the Olympic industry and you oppose the way that the Olympics are brought to communities around the world,” said Alissa Westergard-Thorpe of the Olympic Resistance Network. “I hope that's certainly not the impression people would get.”

Westergard-Thorpe spoke Monday in Vancouver at an Impact on Communities Coalition forum discussing the erosion of civil liberties in the Olympic city. The B.C. Civil Liberties Association said city bylaws enacted to protect Olympic sponsors from competitors are too broad because they will restrict the constitutional right to freedom of speech for the first three months of 2010.

Westergard-Thorpe said sport can be a creative means of resistance. Students against the University of B.C. hosting the 1997 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit blocked the driveway at the campus president’s mansion with street hockey games.

“Sport does not require massive, huge purpose-built stadiums and billion-dollar corporate sponsor budgets for promotions,” she said. “Sport is accessible, sport is something that everybody can do and participate and enjoy and benefit from. This should be an open, accessible thing, and if there's an intersection downtown that maybe isn't being used for what it should be, it should be probably used for sport.”....

Games foes to rally as torch relay kicks off
Sandra McCulloch and Katie DeRosa, Times Colonist/CanWest, 23 Sept 09
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Opponents of the 2010 Olympics hope to divert media attention away from the torch relay, set to begin in Victoria on Oct. 30, with a huge gathering at Centennial Square celebrating "charter freedoms."

"It's not a protest," said Zoe Blunt, spokeswoman for the "No 2010 Victoria" initiative, set to take place from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. as the Olympic torch begins its journey through the city.

"We'll celebrate the right to use public space, the right to free assembly, the right to free speech and free association" guaranteed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The event organizers promises to have clowns, a five-ring circus, shopping cart races and "poverty games," such as street hockey.

Centennial Square has not been approved by the city for Olympic protests, but Blunt said optional locations have been declined. "We said no thanks, we'd rather use this lovely square that we built with our own money for the public -- hello!" Blunt said.

Victoria police will monitor this event and any others that pop up....

Olympics promises don’t jibe with documents: BCCLA
Geoff Dembicki, Tyee.ca, 28 Sept 09
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Olympics organizers and city officials swear the 2010 Games won’t hurt free speech, but their written documents suggest otherwise, a prominent civil rights activist said Monday evening.

“If you just look at the public statements of the security forces and the city of Vancouver you would have no cause for concern around civil liberties and the Olympics,” said B.C. Civil Liberties Association executive director David Eby. “The true story is actually more complicated.”

Eby referenced several official – and publicly available – documents during a well-attended Olympics civil rights forum at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre.

The city and Games organizers must ensure “no propaganda or advertising” is captured on sports broadcasts inside or outside official venues, according to Vancouver’s 2003 “Host City Contract”.

Local politicians who would distribute pamphlets during the Olympic torch relay are a “high concern” for VANOC, says a brochure mailed to every city on the route.

No demonstration or “political, religious or racial propaganda” will be allowed inside Olympics sites or venues, reads rule 51 of the IOC’s Olympic Charter....
milnews.ca said:
Feel free to share anything of interest & intrigue (within OPSEC, of course) regarding the security aspects of the coming games here.

From the Air Force side, it seems to me that we are preparing for an invasion from the amount of resources we will have on the west coast. Is there a Russian or Chinese aircraft carrier that I'm not aware of that is floating near Canadian waters?
From the Air Force side, it seems to me that we are preparing for an invasion from the amount of resources we will have on the west coast. Is there a Russian or Chinese aircraft carrier that I'm not aware of that is floating near Canadian waters?

I'd say it's more a lack of resources in general

Invasion?  Good thing we have NORAD
Olympic security follows protester's friend
CBC.ca, 6 Oct 09
Article link
A Langara College student says she was shocked to be approached outside class by Olympic security officers and questioned about her friendship with a high-profile opponent of the 2010 Winter Games.

Danika Surm says she has nothing to do with the Olympic resistance movement, and her only connection is a friendship with protester and UBC professor Chris Shaw.

Surm said she was on her way to class at the south Vancouver campus last week when she was approached by two plainclothes police officers with the Integrated Security Unit, the force in charge of Olympic security.

She told them she had to write a biology quiz, so the officers said they would wait until she was done, she said.

When she came out of the classroom, the two officers questioned her about her friendship with Shaw, who teaches neuroscience at the University of British Columbia, and what she knew about his plans to protest against the Olympics in February....

Media gets schooled on the label 'protester'
David Beers, thetyee.ca, 6 Oct 09
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Zoe Blunt believes news people are too quick to slap the label of “protester” on anyone who goes public with their opposition to the 2010 Olympics – and the effect can be too simplistic or sensationalist.

“We're people in the community with jobs and occupations, just like everyone else,” says Blunt, who is a journalist and environmental activist with Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network.

So, in an attempt to be helpful, today she emailed a couple dozen editors in B.C. her own “Anti-Olympic Style Guide.” Here it is:

    Anti-Olympic Style Guide

    “Protester” is a word that’s over-used and generic. Better reporting identifies a person by his or her occupation, location, age, and so on. For example: “Zoe Blunt, a Victoria writer and Olympic critic …” We’re people in the community with jobs and occupations, just like everyone else. There’s no reason to deviate from the standard way any person in the street would be identified.

    Below are some words and phrases that may be more accurate and descriptive than “protester.”











    Independent journalist

    Community leader

    Indigenous activist

    Free speech supporter

    Social justice advocate

    Anti-poverty campaigner

    Human rights watchdog....

Vancouver's Downtown Eastside braces for the looming Olympic security regime
Emily Aspinwall, Stark Raven Media Collective, rabble.ca, 4 Oct 09
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February 2010 is not so far off now, and residents of Vancouver are wondering, many with grave concern, what it will actually be like during the Olympics.

Particularly worried are the homeless and those living in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.

Much of the concern is about the lack of housing. But there are also concerns about the impacts of the billion dollar Olympic security budget.

Laura Track speaks with Stark Raven about how the security of the games is impacting those in the Downtown Eastside.... (audio link available in article)
Vanoc security plan goes too far, IOC member says
Israeli says Vancouver's planned use of airport-style metal detectors is 'unnecessary'; Vanoc says the machines will stay

Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun, 7 Oct 09
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A member of the International Olympic Committee has raised concerns about the "unnecessary" level of security being planned for the Vancouver 2010 Games.

The comments were made after of a positive final report to the IOC session by Vanoc chief executive John Furlong, who said the Vancouver Games are all but ready.

But with memories of the high level of security at the Beijing Games fresh in his mind, Israeli IOC member Alex Gilady said he's worried that Vancouver's $900-million security plan -- with its extensive use of metal detectors -- is extreme.

He noted that security was present for IOC members and heads of states at the Congress in the Danish capital this week, but expensive "mag-and-bag" X-ray machines weren't used.

"I think we have learned here in Copenhagen a magnificent lesson in security without harassment," he said. "You could see really excellent security, and yet no magnetometers and a very easy pass."

His comments mirror those made several years ago by Cesare Vaciago, the chief executive of the 2006 Turin Games, who advised Vancouver to "get rid" of plans for metal detectors because he considered them an unjustifiable expense....

Olympic critics suing city of Vancouver over Games-time security bylaws
The Canadian Press, 08 Oct 09
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Two anti-Olympic activists are suing the city of Vancouver over a bylaw that will limit protesters to specific areas during the 2010 Winter Games.

The Vancouver bylaw prevents anyone who isn't licensed to do so from carrying any signs or handing out any materials on or near Olympic venues or other designated city property.

It also limits their activities within specified protest zones that will be in place during the Games.

"When they say that I can't do anything that would interfere with someone's enjoyment of the Games, they've basically put the so-called 'right to party' and the IOC's rights, ahead of my own," said Chris Shaw, who filed the court action Wednesday with Alissa Westergard-Thorpe, of the Olympic Resistance Network.

"There's no such thing as the right to party at the expense of other people in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. There is however, the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech."

Shaw, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of British Columbia and the author of the book Five Ring Circus, said the bylaw violates the charter "at the behest of the IOC and VANOC in order to give them a sanitized, protest-free Games."...

More on litigation from Reuters (UK wire service).
From the no2010.com site:

* Route details below *

From October 31 2009 - February 12 2010, the Olympic Torch Relay “A Path of Northern Lights” will be traveling across Canada. The Olympic Resistance Network, based in Vancouver Unceded Coast Salish Territories, is calling on and encouraging our allies to coordinate efforts in over 2000 communities to oppose and resist the Torch Relay.

The origins of the Torch Relay lie in the dark history of the 1936 Games in Berlin, where it was devised as a means to spread Nazi fascism and to promote the Third Reich. The Royal Bank of Canada and Coca Cola are the main sponsors of the 2010 Torch relay. RBC is the top financier of the environmentally devastating Alberta Tar Sands, while Coca Cola has been responsible for health degradation as part of the junk food industry, massive depletion of groundwater and toxic waste pollution in India, and involved in hiring paramilitary groups to violently repress union organizers in Colombia.

It is becoming increasingly evident that far from being simply about sport, the 2010 Olympics is rooted in displacement, corporate greed, militarization, and repression. While Olympic corporate sponsors are getting bailed out, Indigenous lands are being stolen, more 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 as over a billion dollars are being sunk into security and surveillance measures....

Ontario activists oppose Olympic relay
Torch-bearing raises controversy about the Games

Laura Carlson, The Argosy, 11 Oct 09
Article link
WATERLOO, Ont. (CUP) – A Waterloo-based activist group has released a statement of protest against the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games torch relay.
The torch is scheduled to pass through Waterloo, Ont. and stop in Kitchener on December 27 for an evening celebration.

“The torch explicitly brings all the injustices and oppressions of the Olympics into our own communities,” explained fourth-year student Adam Lewis of Wilfrid Laurier University, who is a member of the activist group Anti-War at Laurier (AW@L).

Citing the negative socio-economic and environmental impacts of the games, as well as the oppression of indigenous people – resulting from the failure of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to seek the appropriate permission from native groups to hold the games on their land – Lewis and the other members of AW@L have condemned both the Olympics in general and the torch celebration.

Last week, the group sent a letter to Carl Zehr, the mayor of Kitchener, to raise their concerns.

“Some people will object and some people will support it,” said Zehr in response to this letter.

Despite the criticisms that the event has received, Zehr noted that the city is “pleased to be a part of it.”

“Generally speaking I think that the public is very much in favour of the event and will be pleased to be part of this as a celebration of sport.”....

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- edited to include first item -

Security firms crank up Olympic hiring machine
Can they recruit and train 5,000 temporary workers in just a few months? Reputations – and future contracts – are at stake

Catherine McLean, Globe and Mail, 14 Oct 09
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Jane Greene isn't a household name, but after years of dreaming and hard work, the Toronto resident has big ambitions for next year's Olympics.

You won't find her rocketing down the ski slopes in Whistler, or sprinting around the speed skating track in Vancouver. In fact, if everything goes according to plan, she will stay out of the spotlight altogether.

Ms. Greene is chief executive officer of Aeroguard Group, one of three companies that will together provide crucial security services at the Winter Games. She believes a safe and well-run security operation, not unlike an athlete's gold-medal performance, will attract worldwide attention, helping her firm expand into new markets such as the United States and Europe.

“Five years ago when I came in I had my eye set on doing Olympic security,” Ms. Greene explained in a recent interview.

“It's an important stamp of approval for what was several years ago a relatively small Canadian company. Now we're on the world stage. I really see us leveraging this opportunity to have more of a global focus.”

It sounds promising, but that payoff hinges on a rather challenging test. Aeroguard and its partners will be in charge of recruiting and training an army of 5,000 temporary security workers before the Games start in February. Those employees, who will operate the metal detectors and scour bags for banned items, will shoulder a tremendous responsibility: the safety of thousands of athletes, VIPs and visitors who attend each event ....

Olympics intelligence officers 'in a tough spot': Games security boss
By Geoff Dembicki, Tyee.ca, 13 Oct 09
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Intelligence officers that approach and question anti-Olympics critics play a vital but thankless role, the head of 2010 Games security forces suggested today.

“I hope you’d agree with me they’re in a tough spot,” RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bud Mercer told reporters. “If they approach people at home, that’s construed to be wrong. If they approach them on the street, that’s construed to be harassment. If they phone them, it’s ‘how did they get the phone number?’ If they do it at work, ‘that’s not fair.’” ....

Military setting up camp at Cal-Cheak
Olympic security plans will see soldiers housed in six camps in corridor

Jesse Ferreras, Pique Newsmagazine, 13 Oct 09
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Sea to Sky's newest residents could include burly men in camo gear as the Department of National Defence sets up a military camp in the Callaghan-Cheakamus area.

The department is deploying over 1,000 personnel for the 2010 Olympics as a supplementary force for the RCMP, which is overseeing security operations during the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Col. Graham Thornton, Deputy Chief of Staff, Support, with National Defence's Joint Task Force Game Headquarters said in an interview Friday that the department is setting up temporary, tented winter camps in the corridor through an agreement with B.C.'s Ministry of Forests and Range.

One will be located in the Cal-Cheak area, on a plot of land over which Canadian Snowmobile Adventures holds a tenure.

"(The Ministry of Forests and Range) have six temporary mobile camp facilities but they use them all summer long for firefighting in the backwoods," Thornton said. "We've done a deal with them, because we frequently provide soldiers to them for firefighting.

"We have an agreement to provide six of those camps at 200 men each, winterized and suitable for occupation at higher elevations through January, February to March." ....

Harper stands up for civil rights
BOB MACKIN, 24 Hours Vancouver, 14 Oct 09
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The B.C. Civil Liberties Association may have an ally in Prime Minister Stephen Harper when it comes to concerns about bylaws banning signage and advertising during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

During a news conference at Ballantyne Pier yesterday morning, Harper was asked for his opinion on provincial amendments to enable Vancouver, Richmond and Whistler to remove signs from private property, levy fines and jail offenders.

The bylaws are to prevent marketing by non-Olympic sponsors, but the BCCLA worries that anti-Olympic signs may be removed.

"I would not support any actions in the name of security that stifle political free expression," Harper said. "That's what our country is all about."....

B.C. Civil Liberties Association condemns Bill 13
Keremos Review, 13 Oct 09
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The B.C. Civil Liberties Association last week condemned the B.C. government’s Bill 13 proposals to allow Richmond, Whistler and Vancouver to enter residences and other private property with only 24 hours notice to remove or cover up signs during the Olympic period.

The amendments to the Municipalities Enabling and Validating Act (No. 3) introduced in the legislature apply only to the three Olympic cities over February and March 2010. Another amendment changes the Vancouver Charter to permit fines for sign and bylaw violations of up to $10,000 per day and imprisonment for up to six months. Previously, people had 14 days to comply with the bylaw, and fines were $2,000 per day....

EDITORIAL: Vancouver's worrying civil liberties rollback
McGill Tribune, 14 Oct 09
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Given the recent package of Olympic bylaws passed for the 2010 Winter Games, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Games were again being held in Beijing, and not Vancouver.

In the Chinese capital - the host city of the 2008 Summer Olympics - one wouldn't be surprised to see bans on "voice amplification equipment" (such as megaphones) and signs that are not of a "celebratory nature" on city property for the duration of the Games. Or a bylaw that prohibits "any disturbance … interfering with the enjoyment of entertainment on city land by other persons." Or a piece of provincial legislation that allows authorities to enter residences and private property with only 24 hours notice to remove or cover up signs during the Olympics period, and fine offenders up to $10,000 per day.

But these are not the measures of the repressive Chinese government - rather, they are "temporary restrictions" passed by the Vancouver City Council and the B.C. provincial government this summer in preparation for the 2010 Olympics....

More via links
Second phase of Vancouver 2010 integrated transportation plan released:
TravelSmart and everyone wins in 2010
www.travelsmart2010.ca launched to help public plan ahead

Vancouver Organizing Committee news release, 14 Oct 09
News release link

VANCOUVER, Oct. 14 /CNW/ - The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT) released the second phase of its Games-time integrated transportation plan today providing residents and businesses with the most up-to-date information available on how to start planning now for their day-to-day travel needs during the 2010 Winter Games. The plan requires reducing vehicle traffic by at least 30 per cent in downtown Vancouver, the Lions Gate and Iron Workers' Memorial (Second Narrows) bridges, the Sea to Sky Highway, and in Whistler.

This phase of the integrated transportation plan, which builds on information released in March and rolled out in venue communities on an ongoing basis, includes updated information on peak hours, street and road closures, the Sea to Sky Highway checkpoint, transportation plans for the Paralympic Winter Games, Olympic bus network, and advice on the movement of goods and services for businesses. Please see attached backgrounder for details.....

Olympic road closures start in November
CBC.ca, 14 Oct 09
Article link

Olympic officials plan to start restricting traffic for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver as early as Nov. 1 to prepare the city for the international event in February, with further closures rolling out right up to the opening night of the Games....

Vancouver starts traffic closures in Nov. for Olympics
Xinhua, 15 Oct 09
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Road closures for 2010 Vancouver Olympics will start as early as Nov. 1 to allow the preparation tobe done for the event due on early next year, organizers announced Wednesday.  Sections around the Olympic Village will be the first to shut down with further closures starting in January, according to the updated Olympic transportation plan released by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games ( VANOC) ....

Olympics street closures to relocate homeless in early Feb.
Geoff Dembicki, Tyee.ca, 14 Oct 09
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February 5, 2010, is eviction day for homeless people sleeping near the Georgia Viaduct, Vancouver’s city manager said today.

Starting then, the busy thoroughfare connecting downtown to east Vancouver will be closed to normal traffic. It's part of the 2010 Games transportation plan. And Penny Ballem confirmed anyone sleeping near or under the viaduct will have to leave.

“If there are any homeless people there we will be working with our host of community agencies and our outreach teams to make sure that they’re aware of what’s happening,” Ballem told reporters.

The city manager gave repeated assurances that any dislocated people would be connected with a wide range of support services and shelter. Vancouver already has an extensive outreach network that helps people on the streets find housing, she added....

Teachers' union touts Olympics resistance event
Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun, 15 Oct 09
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A B.C. teachers' association is promoting an event by an anti-Olympics group that urges them to lecture their students about corporate greed, exploitation, misuse of public funds and environmental degradation.

The Vancouver Elementary School Teachers' Association is promoting an October event called Teaching 2010 Resistance.

The event is organized by the Olympic Resistance Network and Teach 2010, a website that encourages teachers to share resources critical of the Vancouver Games.

The organizations argue the Olympics is more than a sporting event.

"The Olympics are not about the human spirit and have little to do with athletic excellence," the Olympic Resistance Network says on its website. "They are a multibillion-dollar industry backed by real estate, construction, hotel, tourism and media corporations, and powerful elites working hand in hand with government officials and the International Olympic Committee."....

Legal observers train for 2010 Olympics
Carlito Pablo, Georgia Straight, 15 Oct 09
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They’ll be highly visible during the Olympics with their orange shirts marked “Legal Observer”. But they’ll have no more special rights than any ordinary citizen.

Worse, as some incidents in the U.S. have shown, volunteers like these may even be targeted by the police. They may be arrested and charged with anything from mischief to obstruction of justice. They may also get hurt or even killed if a violent confrontation breaks out between protesters and security forces.

Nat Marshik was made aware of these risks when she attended a recent workshop for civilians interested in monitoring protests and potential hot spots during the 2010 Olympics. At the end of the training, conducted by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and Pivot Legal Society in East Vancouver on October 11, she handed in her application to become a legal observer....

Expect jets, warships during Olympic security test
Jeff Nagel, BC Local News, 14 Oct 09
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Police and military forces will take to the sky and waterways next week to rehearse their response to security threats during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Canadian Forces naval warships, helicopters and fighter jets will be used in the Oct. 19-23 operation dubbed Pegasus Guardian 3 and Spartan Rings, organized by the RCMP-led Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit.

"The public should expect to see increased activities in Burrard Inlet, False Creek, along the coast line and at times in the air above the Greater Vancouver area," RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bud Mercer said....

INTERVIEW-Olympics-Vancouver torch ceremony will be safe - HOC
Karolos Grohmann, Reuters, 15 Oct 09
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The Vancouver 2010 Olympics torch-lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia next week will see none of the protests that tarnished the Beijing Games event two years ago, the Greek Olympic Committee (HOC) said on Thursday.

Human rights activists disrupted the globally televised ceremony in the ancient Olympic stadium in southwestern Greece in 2008, triggering a chain reaction of protests which followed the Beijing torch relay on its journey before the Games.

"This will not happen this time. Greek police have a plan to make sure that everything runs smoothly," new HOC President Spyros Capralos told Reuters.

The ceremony is set for Oct. 22 with a brief relay in Greece before the flame flies to Canada at the end of the month....

Editorial:  Olympic security overload
Bob Barnett, Pique Newsmagazine (Whistler, B.C.), 14 Oct 09
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If there's a successor to the overused, under-explained, now ubiquitous term "sustainability" it might be "security."

Whistlerites are going to hear a lot about "security" in the next few months, as final preparations for the 2010 Olympics wind up and the Games themselves take centre stage. In fact, it came up at last week's council meeting, where the idea of keeping Whistler's licensed establishments open one extra hour during the Olympic period was opposed by the local RCMP.

"We have limited resources during the Games and policing the Games will already be challenging because our members will be responding to calls for service at the venues as well as in the village... and we don't want to give up having a presence on the road or in the community," Sgt. Steve Wright told council....

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Anti-Olympic protester supports violent opposition
Olympic torch relay said to be target of disruptive protest

CBC.ca, 14 Oct 09
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A self-described "native warrior" and proponent of what he calls "direct action" has told CBC News that he supports virtually any effort to disrupt the 2010 Olympic Games, including acts of violence.

"By any means necessary," said Gordon Hill, who admitted that even the bombing of power lines is an action he would endorse.

Hill said he would not plant bombs himself, but would support and sympathize with those who did.

"You wouldn't be opposed to somebody bringing down a power line, cutting power to the Games?' he was asked in a CBC News interview.

"I would not be opposed to it, no," Hill said.

Acts of vandalism and violent protest have already marked the lead-up to the Vancouver Games.

Protesters, including Hill, stormed the podium and had to be carried away by security personnel when the five-metre-tall Olympic countdown clock was unveiled in February 2007.

The clock itself was twice spray-painted with graffiti, and the Olympic flag was stolen from the flagpole in front of Vancouver city hall. Anti-Olympic protesters barged into the B.C. cabinet offices in Vancouver in May 2007, and vandalized some areas before police stepped in and arrested them.

Hill would not say what kind of resistance he might be involved in when the Games begin in four months, but said he's already planning to disrupt the Olympic torch relay, set to begin on Vancouver Island next week....

October 30 Torch Kick Off
Olympic Resistance Network, 7 Oct 09
Blog post link

The Canada-wide Olympic Torch Relay officially begins in Victoria, Lekwungen and WSANEC Territories, on October 30th and the Anti-Olympic Festival will be there to greet it.

Join us in the spirit of creative resistance to ongoing colonization,
cut-backs in social services, environmental destruction, the privatization of public space, the quashing of free speech, and the corporate spectacle.

1. Early: The exact location, route and time of the torch kickoff is still a mystery, but officals have said that the torch will be lit in downtown Victoria and paraded around Victoria until later in the day. Exact details will be released closer to the date.

2. 2:00pm, Anti-Olympics festival of resistance in "Spirit Square"
(formerly known as Centennial Square) downtown Victoria on Pandora between Government and Blanshard.

3. 4:30pm: "Zombie March" In memoriam of Olympics past, hosted by the Anti-Olympics festival. Depature from Spirit/Centennial Square. People are encouraged to bring scary costumes, or just costumes!

4. 5:30pm: The Torch will be blessed during an officially planned ceremony at the Legislature buildings.

Does your group want to get a message to the world on October 30th? Over a thousand media people can't be wrong. Get in on the fun! Organize a friendly competition, step up to the soapbox, take over a ring of the Five Ring Circus! Music, art and theatre especially welcome. Join us, don't sit this one out! ....

Civil liberties? What civil liberties?
Arielle Friedman, ubyssey.ca, 15 Oct 09
Article link

Chris Shaw and his acquaintances are only the most recent targets among critics of the Olympics who have been accosted by the Integrated Security Unit (ISU), the RCMP and the Vancouver Police Department. These violations of personal privacy are one facet of a coordinated and increasingly intensive security crackdown leading up to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Aside from intimidating and spying on individuals who have broken no laws, the city is busy inventing a whole host of new laws to criminalize dissent and opposition to the Olympics. The province has recently proposed legislation that would allow police to seize illegal signs and penalize the offenders with fines of up to $10, 000, or six months in jail. Let me repeat that: fines of $10, 000 or six months in jail. For putting up a sign. And what would constitute an illegal sign? Any sign that isn’t authorized by the Olympics, of course! We’ve seen the same thing here at UBC, where residents were forced by the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) to sign a clause in their contracts, limiting the content of material they could display. The city is already setting up fenced-in “free speech zones.” What does that make the areas outside the fences?  Authoritarian police-state zones? ....

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RCMP's query to Olympic sweater protesters "due diligence"
Sandra McCulloch, Times Colonist, 16 Oct 09
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After interviewing an organizer, the RCMP is satisfied that an upcoming protest in Duncan will focus more on knits and purls than hollers and brawls.

An officer from the Duncan/North Cowichan RCMP paid a visit to Dianne Hinkley to see what the force could expect from a tuque-and-sweater protest Oct. 31 during the Olympic torch relay event in Duncan.

"[Police asked] me about the protest and if there was going to be trouble," said Hinkley, who told him the rally will involve wearing locally knitted items to quietly make a point.

Some Cowichan residents are upset at the Bay's decision to outfit the Canadian Olympic team in hand-knit sweaters from eastern Canada and not in iconic sweaters created by Cowichan Tribes' knitters, Hinkley said.

She suggested people could support the First Nations knitters by wearing Cowichan sweaters, vests and tuques to the event.

"Wearing a sweater is simply to show that the individual wearing that sweater thinks Cowichan sweaters are beautiful and that VANOC and the Bay missed a great opportunity," she said ....

Turnout low at Olympics security job fair in Edmonton
Elizabeth Withey, Canwest News Service, 17 Oct 09
Article link

How interested are Edmontonians in working at Vancouver’s Olympic Games?

Not very, if Saturday’s turnout at an Olympics security job fair is any indication.

Contemporary Security Canada, the firm contracted to provide security at the 2010 Games in February and the Paralympic Games is March, is in town this weekend recruiting people to work as security screeners at Olympic venues in Vancouver and Whistler.

But only 35 people turned up at the recruitment fair in northeast Edmonton at the Oteenaw Employment Centre.

“It’s unusually quiet,” Darci Gardner, CSC’s venue staff recruitment manager said Saturday. “This is definitely a low number for us.”

CSC needs to hire about 5,000 people to run its security operations at the Olympics....

The anti relay
Olympic torchbearers will have company

Stewart Bell, National Post, 17 Oct 09
Article link

When the Olympic Torch Relay begins in Victoria this month, Marla Renn intends to be there. She won't be carrying the flame, she'll be protesting it.

"We're definitely going to be there, just like a whole lot of other groups," said Ms. Renn, a teacher and activist, and a member of the Vancouver-based Olympic Resistance Network.

The Olympic flame starts its journey in Greece on Thursday, then hops the Atlantic to British Columbia's seaside capital, the starting point of its trek across Canada and back again.

For 106 days, 12,000 torchbearers will haul the flame through 1,000 communities before arriving at B.C. Place stadium for the Feb. 12 opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Games.

At least, that's the plan. While Olympic organizers have been mapping out a 45,000-kilometre relay to "touch the soul of the nation and inspire the world," anti-Olympic activists have been making plans of their own.

An Anti-Olympic Festival is scheduled for Victoria on Oct. 30, the start of the torch relay. "Extinguish the Olympic Torch!" read an Olympic Resistance Network bulletin posted online this week that called on protesters to "oppose and resist" the relay. Activists have already targeted the relay's main corporate sponsor, RBC. Vandals smashed windows at RBC offices in Vancouver, Victoria and Ottawa. Their claims of responsibility called the Olympics "genocide and ecocide" and protested hosting the Games on "stolen" native land ....

“Protest zones” leave critics doubtful
Ashley Whillans, ubyssey.ca, 16 Oct 09
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Olympic protests are almost as much of a tradition as the Olympic Torch itself. From the Irish boycott of the 1908 London Olympic Games to the controversial protests of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the games have always attracted world class protesters in addition to world class athletes.

One of the ways in which organizers are hoping to ensure safe protests during the 2010 Olympics is through the use of protest zones, also known as safe assembly areas.

According to a Vancouver 2010 press release, these zones or areas will be used as “areas for demonstrations that are options for demonstrators to ensure they have a space reserved for them which is in plain view of the public and the media accessing the venues.”

“Demonstrators are not required to use the safe assembly zones, but they will be made available to ensure a clear space is maintained for demonstrations in the busy environment around each venue.”

These safe assembly areas will be guided by principles set in motion by the Hughes Commission—an investigation into the actions of the RCMP after the protests at the 1997 Asia Pacific Economic Summit (APEC) in Vancouver, BC.

APEC saw the unlawful and unconstitutional arrest, injury and abuse of UBC students during an ugly confrontation between law enforcement and demonstrators, which came to a head when a security fence fell over during a protest....

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RCMP prepared for torch relay trouble
Stephen Thomson, Ladysmith Chronicle, 19 Oct 09
Article link

Security officials are prepared to make sure everything runs smoothly when the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay passes through Ladysmith and Chemainus at the end of this month.

Cpl. Darren Lagan, an RCMP spokesman on Vancouver Island, said local police forces and the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit have been planning their response for months.

The torch convoy is set to pass through the area on Halloween, marking the second day of a more than three-month journey that will criss-cross the country before ending in Vancouver on Feb. 12.

There have been worries about possible protests from anti-Olympic groups along the route. But Lagan said he expects a peaceful crowd when the convoy passes through the mid-Island area....

Police practice escorting Olympic flame
Vicnews.com, 19 Oct 09
Article link

A number of police cars and motorcycles will make there way through the Capital Regional District today to train for the Olympic torch event.

They were winding their way through Esquimalt Monday morning, and will also be training in Victoria and Saanich later in the day.

Victoria police spokesperson Sgt. Grant Hamilton said the training will prepare the department to escort dignitaries or the Olympic torch itself during the torch relay....

Largest Olympic security rehearsal on tap this week
It's called Pegasus Guardian 3 and the Spartan Rings

John Ackermann, News 1130 (Vancouver), 19 Oct 09
Article link

Another round of pre-Olympic security drills kicks off in Metro Vancouver today. You can expect plenty of action in the air and on the water this week, as the 2010 Integrated Security Unit carries out its third and largest dress rehearsal yet.

The exercise, dubbed "Pegasus Guardian 3 and Spartan Rings," will feature police and military boats as well as aircraft. The task force will hold practices in Burrard Inlet, False Creek, along the coast, and in the skies above the Lower Mainland.

The drills are meant to prepare the unit for all sorts of emergency scenarios that could pop up during the games.
An even larger drill called "Exercise Gold" will be carried out in the first week of November.

UN General Assembly passes Olympic Truce movement ahead of Vancouver Games
The Canadian Press, 20 Oct 09
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The United Nations has adopted the so-called Olympic Truce, calling on countries around the world to use the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver to promote peace.

The resolution, approved Monday by the General Assembly in New York, has been dismissed by critics who say it is little more than symbolism with a tenuous connection with the ancient Games.

But the head of the Vancouver Olympic organizing committee, John Furlong, said the resolution carries an important message of unity that extends far beyond the 17 days of the Games.

"It's easy to dismiss the value of it, but just sitting in the hall today - every country there signed on and supported it, it was very special," Furlong, who presented the motion in a speech to the General Assembly on behalf of Canada, said in an interview.

Furlong told UN delegates that sport and the Olympics have the power to encourage development around the world while promoting unity and inclusion, particularly among youth who can learn respect and co-operation through athletic competition....

Olympic Truce won't hold in Afghanistan
Rod Mickleburgh, Globe & Mail via ctvolympics.ca, 19 Oct 09
Article link

There will be no stilling of Canadian guns in Afghanistan, even as Canada urges all nations in the world to observe an Olympic truce while the 2010 Winter Olympic Games go on.

Canada's awkward plea for Olympic peace was the cornerstone of its resolution introduced yesterday at the United Nations General Assembly. The motion was passed unanimously by delegates, many representing countries with long histories of military conflict.

Afterwards, VANOC head John Furlong said he saw no contradiction in Canada's position, despite continuing hostilities in Afghanistan.

"I have always felt that Canada is fighting for peace, and doing what it can for peace, wherever it can, and this is an extension of that spirit," Mr. Furlong said in an interview from New York.

"This is about something bigger in many ways than one thing," he said, noting, for instance, the "heartbreaking" fact that Afghanistan has never had a women's athletic facility. "Hopefully, we can change the course of events for that country." ....

Start: 2009-10-30 09:00
End: 2009-10-31 20:00
Timezone: Canada/Pacific
Victoria, B.C.
Starting in Downtown Victoria (see map link)
Web address:
No 2010 Victoria
Email Contact Form


HALLOWEEN Convergence
October 30-31, Victoria BC
NOlympic Torch Relay
Coast Salish Territory

Get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share the spotlight with the world's biggest circus of misspent public resources! Deliver a message to the world for justice and equality in Canada! Exercise our right to free speech and free association in the face of a police clampdown and come PARTY on Halloween! Ninjas, zombies, pirates, and superheroes welcome! Plan your own surprise party!

The official 2010 Olympic Torch Relay begins Friday morning, October 30 in downtown Victoria. On October 31, the relay goes through Sooke, Metchosin, Langford and beyond. Stay tuned for event announcements. Media convergence organizing is underway. Everyone welcome! Canada is a Free Speech Zone! View the relay route on an interactive map here:


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I have to wonder if the BC government is willing to break up a blockade by the Squamish or Mt Currie band on the highway All they have to do is block it at a peak time for a couple of hours to cause mayhem.

This Bill 13 really sticks in my throat, it's clear that they want to muzzle any protest and I suspect that using the bill to enter peoples homes to take down protest signs will volatile the Charter.
Test of Olympics anti-terror tactics ends in farce
Damian Inwood, Vancouver Province, 20 Oct 09
Article link

The first major exercise to test the response to a terrorist "security breach" at the Olympic athletes' village turned into something out of a Keystone Kops movie.

And RCMP officers from the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit were left red-faced Tuesday, after efforts to get an emergency-response team into the village got stalled for more than 20 minutes.

They tried to put a brave face on it, saying that they'd "learned lessons" from the practice session.

"This is to test our plan," said RCMP Staff Sgt. Mike Cote, before the exercise began. "We're going to put it into practice and see if it works as well in real life as it does on paper."

But when a Canadian Forces Griffon chopper arrived for the anti-terror exercise, it was left circling the muddy construction site where an excavator blocked the landing zone.

Police officers on the ground were on their phones and talking on radios, trying to figure out what to do next.

The Griffon circled again and again as reporters quipped that if there had been any hostages in the building, the rescue effort would have been too late.

The pilot made an attempt but aborted the landing about 10 metres off the ground.

Cote then gathered media and told them the exercise had been cancelled and would be moved elsewhere....

Security exercise at Olympic Village goes awry when helicopter landing impeded
Carlito Pablo, Georgia Straight, 20 Oct 09
Article link

Had the make-believe Olympic security exercise conducted today (October 20) by the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit played out in real life, the consequences would have been messy.

Watch the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit's October 20 exercise. Carlito Pablo video.

According to the scenario practiced by security forces, “criminal” elements were spotted at a building in the tightly packed Olympic Village. These were apparently no ordinary delinquents armed with spray paint cans. The threat was such that the ISU commander at the site decided it was necessary to call in the heavy hitters—the RCMP’s elite emergency response team.

From somewhere, the heavily armed ERT troopers boarded a Griffin helicopter from the Canadian Forces. And off the chopper went to Southeast False Creek.

As the scenario was originally scripted, the aircraft would have then landed on a strip of earth a few hundred metres away from the target building—no rappelling here, though this would have been dramatic. The team would have rushed out, crossed a playground, and stormed into the target building.

The exercise, preparation for the $1-billion Olympic security operations, had all the makings of a Hollywood action thriller.

The V2010 ISU’s media staff repeatedly told reporters and camera operators—watching from an open-air second-floor garage at West 1st Avenue and Cook Street across from the exercise area—that it was going to be fast and quick.

How it played out was quite different. The chopper had to circle the site a number of times as precious minutes went by. The designated landing site was between a mound of earth and an orange backhoe. The backhoe was supposed to have been removed by construction crews but somehow it wasn’t.

The pilot made an initial attempt to land his bird but backed out and flew off.

With about 30 minutes gone and the chopper remaining airborne, RCMP Staff Sgt. Mike Cote then started to tell reporters that the exercise has been aborted because of the tight landing space ....

- edited to add second story on same topic -
Halloween will be no treat for Olympic torch security
Joanne Hatherly, Times Colonist, 21 Oct 09
Article link

Could ghosts and goblins hobble the start of the Olympic Torch Relay on the streets of Victoria? Police are asking that question and girding for trouble.

The cross-country torch relay, promoting the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, starts here on Halloween eve -- Friday, Oct. 30. That could cause security headaches for police trying to contend with protesters wearing costumes and masks.

"We can't just stop and search people because they're in costume, but you can see how a person dressed up in a black cape and hoodie, a mask and a bag can get close to the relay," said Sgt. Grant Hamilton, spokesman for Victoria police. He said Halloween is second only to Canada Day in resources required of police.

While protest organizer say they have no plans to intercept the torch, they caution that it's a possibility.

Tamara Herman, spokeswoman for No 2010 Victoria, which is organizing an anti-Olympic festival to coincide with the torch-relay launch (details in last item of linked post), said their events "don't involve trying to go and grab the torch ... but there might be people who have different plans that go along those lines."....

Olympians high-risk flu group, says team doc
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press, 21 Oct 09
Article link

Some members of Canada’s women’s hockey team lined up for their regular flu shots this week and head coach Melody Davidson was one of them.

But she says she won’t push the swine flu vaccine on her players once it becomes available.

"What you put in your body is a personal choice," she said.

"I’m not about to tell our players what they can put in their bodies and what they can’t."

Bob McCormack, the Canadian Olympic team’s doctor, would like to see all of Canada’s athletes at the front of the queue for the H1N1 flu vaccine because he says they are a high-risk group.

"I have been trying to make the case that because they are in a high-risk group, that we should make sure they get access soon," the Canadian Olympic Committee’s chief medical officer said in a recent interview from Vancouver. "Many of our teams are leaving Canada in early November to go to Europe to compete in World Cups. If they leave in the first week of November and are gone for six or eight weeks, they may miss the entire vaccination program, be exposed that whole period of time and I’m concerned they might actually be missed."....

Olympics' Top Cop Helped Blow up Truck at Gustafsen Stand-off
RCMP's Bud Mercer was in the thick of several famous clashes with dissenters. This story, with video of the exploding truck, is first in a series.

Geoff Dembicki and Bob Mackin, Vancouver 24 hours via TheTyee.ca, 20 Oct 09
Article link

Bud Mercer pictured rifles aimed at him as he pushed deeper into the forest. A short run behind him, past mid-sized poplars and aspens and scraggly bush, lay the smoking remains of a red pick-up truck, destroyed minutes earlier by RCMP explosives. A yellow Labrador retriever was slumped close to it. Two police bullets had cut the dog down as it fled on the rutted gravel road. Mercer feared an ambush in the sparse forest. He strained the leash to keep Lukar, his German shepherd police dog, from running too fast. He was flanked by three other officers. The team squatted close to the forest floor every 12 metres, muscles tense. Within minutes, they broke through the bushes and onto the grassy shoreline of Gustafsen Lake. Mercer saw the two fugitives, stripped to their waists, wading into the water. He went to unclip Lukar, knowing the police dog would attack.

But before he could do it, buzzing, whining bullets ripped through the air above him. He hesitated.

On Sept. 11, 1995, up to 7,000 police gunshots climaxed a month-long standoff with natives in the backwoods of interior B.C. Fifteen people were convicted for their armed defence of sacred land they said was never ceded to Canadian settlers.

Mercer now commands a $491.9 million RCMP-led force, tasked with securing the 2010 Winter Olympics. He's a central figure in the biggest peace-time security operation in Canada's history. When athletes and officials arrive next February, many observers wonder if -- and how -- he'll unleash that force ....

Sun shines for Olympic flame lighting rehearsal
NICHOLAS PAPHITIS, The Associated Press, 21 Oct 09
Article link

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece — In the wildfire-ravaged birthplace of the ancient Olympics, Greek officials held a final rehearsal Wednesday for the kindling of the flame that will burn at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Standing in front of the 2,600-year-old Temple of Hera, an actress dressed as an ancient priestess used a concave mirror to focus the sun's rays on a silver torch. After a brief delay, it blossomed into flame.

That flame will serve as a backup if clouds hide the sun at Thursday's official lighting ceremony in this verdant, riverside sanctuary — despite a formal prayer the High Priestess offers to Apollo, the ancient Greek god of light.

Bad weather disrupted the ceremony for the 2000 Sydney Summer Games, along with the past three Winter Olympics — in Turin in 2006, Salt Lake City in 2002 and Nagano in 1998.

The flame ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Games encountered more serious trouble, when pro-Tibetan protesters unfurled a banner and tried to stop the torch relay.

There will be a strong police presence at Thursday's lighting — which IOC president Jacques Rogge is scheduled to attend — amid fears animal rights activists might target the Feb. 12-28 Vancouver Games.

The PETA group held a small peaceful protest under the Acropolis in Athens on Wednesday, holding banners against seal hunting in Canada. Canadian officials say they are aware there might be protests, and have discussed the matter with Greek police.

"Anyone who's going to use the relay to attract media attention to their cause is unfortunate," said Jim Richards, program director for the relay in Canada. "A protester with a sign is not a threat for us, but someone trying to harm a torchbearer is."....

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milnews.ca said:
But when a Canadian Forces Griffon chopper arrived for the anti-terror exercise, it was left circling the muddy construction site where an excavator blocked the landing zone.
I await the detailed first-hand story when the guys get back.
Loachman said:
I await the detailed first-hand story when the guys get back.
That's why I like sharing this stuff - in hopes of getting the REST of the story.
I am awaiting the suggestion by journalist or anonymously-commenting asshat that the hel overshot because there was no A&W at that site.

Check out the CBC version of the story on the website....and the reader comments below.
Olympic Flame En Route To Vancouver 2010 Games
Gamebids.com, 22 Oct 09
Article link

With one hundred and thirteen days until the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games the Olympic flame was lit Thursday in Olympia, symbolically marking the start of the Torch Relay that will bring the flame to Vancouver.

The ceremony kicked off an eight-day torch relay throughout Greece, including the country's ski resorts, before the torch is handed over to Vancouver 2010 Games organizers in the Panathenian stadium in Athens, site of the first modern Olympic in 1896.

The flame will arrive in Canada for the largest ever domestic relay which covers 45,000 kms and ends in Vancouver on February 12 for the Opening Ceremony and will burn at the 2010 Games February 12-28. Over 106 days the relay will span Canada, being flown as far north as the Alert forestry station in Nunavut, which is the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world.

The flame will travel through all 13 provinces and territories in Canada, involving 189 community celebrations and cover about 45,000 kms.....

Blog: Riot 2010 protesters aim to disrupt Games
Rod Mickleburgh, The Globe and Mail, via ctvolympics.ca, 22 Oct 09
Article link

Some of those involved in the Winter Olympics are getting mad as hell and they're not going to take it any more. Their new-found ire is directed at those anti-Olympic protesters who aren't much interested in marching but would rather cause chaos and mayhem at the Games.

In the past, they've stormed stages, yelled obscenities, hurled paint bombs, broken windows, stolen the Olympic flag from city hall, drowned out school choirs and rallied under the slogan: Riot 2010.

Peaceful Olympic critics like Chris Shaw, an erudite opponent of the Games for as long as they've been on the city's horizon, is not among them. But many in the Olympic Resistance Network endorse the call for "direct action" to disrupt the Games, including "native warrior" Gord Hill. He recently told CBC News that he had no problem with someone bombing transmission lines to cut power to the Olympics, though he wouldn't do it himself.

Mr. Hill's remarks may have been the last straw for Tewanee Joseph, executive director of the Four Host First Nations, consistently strong supporters and partners of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

"How are smashed windows, military fatigues and balaclavas helping to address Canada's long-standing ‘Indian problem'?" Mr. Joseph demanded in a hard-hitting speech this week at an aboriginal business achievement awards banquet.

Citing a host of tangible benefits that First Nations are getting from the Games, including development projects, jobs, prominence for their culture and renewed pride, Mr. Joseph said the Olympics have been good for aboriginal people.

"Do the protesters really want us to remain forever the Dime Store Indian, the lone figure at the end of a gravel road, trapped in the isolation of an inner city nightmare?

"Do they not realize they are forcing, yet again, aboriginal people into a dreadful mould, a stereotype that takes us back to a shameful chapter in Canadian history?"....

Mayor promises to protect free speech during Olympics
2010 GAMES / BC Civil Liberties Association says major just stalling

Jeremy Hainsworth, xtra.ca, 21 Oct 09
Article link

The BC Civil Liberties Association is calling foul on the City of Vancouver's announcement that it will amend proposed Olympic bylaws to protect both free speech and Games' sponsors during February's Olympics.

It's the latest salvo in the war of words between lawmakers and civil rights activists on when, where and what kind of protests will be allowed during the Winter Olympics.

Mayor Gregor Robertson announced Tuesday that respect for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is paramount.

"Our council is absolutely committed to protecting Charter rights and freedoms.

"We'll do all we can to ensure we deliver on that commitment," Robertson says in a news release.

Robertson says he understands the concerns of those who fear the bylaws would be open to abuse.

The civil liberties association, however, says the move is a cynical one aimed at thwarting a court challenge to the bylaws ....

Olympic Security Chief Likes to 'Be out Front'
In command of 6,000, Bud Mercer will be making decisions under a global microscope.

Geoff Dembicki and Bob Mackin, TheTyee.ca, 21 Oct 09
Article link

The 2010 Winter Olympics are all about numbers. RCMP Asst. Comm. Gary Russell "Bud" Mercer stops to consider the size of his team, which vastly outnumbers the 2,500 athletes from more than 80 countries who are destined for Vancouver and Whistler in February.

"If you think about mobilizing a workforce approaching 6,000 individuals, that's just the law enforcement side," says the chief operating officer of the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit. "There's 4,200-ish that are RCMP, there's 1,800-ish that are municipal or provincial police officers other than the RCMP. Just coordinating that, it's like a three-dimensional chess game and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra all at once."

Mercer has to approach the biggest task of his 34-year career like both a contemplative chess grandmaster and a conductor of symphonies that have never played together. Don't tell him that practice makes perfect. V2010 ISU is party to 100 pre-Games rehearsals. The two biggest will be held in the next several weeks and will be Vancouverites' first taste of how big the Olympics really are....

Mercer Blasted APEC Protesters with Pepper Spray
Commission slammed Mounties' hair trigger use of force at 1997 summit. Third in a series profiling the 2010 Olympics' top cop.

Bob Mackin & Geoff Dembicki, TheTyee.ca, 22 Oct 09
Article link

Eighteen Pacific Rim leaders posed in their shiny, leather Roots jackets given as a gift from prime minister Jean Chretien at the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology on Nov. 25, 1997.

It was the obligatory "class of 1997" photo at the end of the biggest, most-expensive private meeting in Canadian history.

But as it turned out, the sight of RCMP officers pepper-spraying anti-globalization and pro-human rights protesters instead became the everlasting image of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' summit.

And one of the faces in that advancing line of Mounties belonged to Cpl. Gary Russell "Bud" Mercer, now the top police officer in charge of maintaining order and security at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler....

Resistance 2010: No Olympics on Stolen Native Land, Disrupt & Abolish the G8 & SPP
Attributed to "blackandred", http://mostlywater.org, 17 Aug 08, retrieved 22 Oct 09
Posting link (PDF of full post also attached)


- No Olympics on stolen land!
- Disrupt and abolish the G8 and SPP
- Active support and solidarity for local struggles of self-determination, justice and dignity*

[August 2008 – OTTAWA]

In the year 2010, three major international events will be taking place in the Canadian state: the Winter Olympics in Vancouver/Whistler (between February 12-28); the G8 Leader's Summit in Huntsville, Ontario (most likely in June or July); and the meeting of the NAFTA leaders as part of the so-called "Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP)" (date and location not yet known).

Already, groups and individuals on the West Coast have come together under the banner of "No Olympics on stolen native land." They have been organizing and raising awareness, from an anti-colonial and anti-capitalist perspective, against the 2010 Olympics, for several years. More info
available at www.no2010.com - http://harrietspirit.blogspot.com

Inspired by the mobilizing on the West Coast, organizers across "Canada" have begun awareness-raising efforts. Building on the call from the West Coast for anti-capitalist and anti-colonial resistance to the Olympics, some organizers affiliated with the People's Global Action Bloc (PGA-Bloc) in Ontario and Quebec have begun mobilizing around "Resistance 2010", linking anti-Olympics efforts to organizing against the G8 and SPP, and the day-to-day systems and institutions of power and oppression they represent.

With more than one-year before the Olympics begin, there is a huge opportunity for coordinated and developed campaigns against the Olympics, G-8 and SPP: campaigns that are rooted in our every-day mobilizing, and survival; and campaigns that understand that the institutions of oppression and power function daily in our own communities.

The PGA-Bloc is organizing within the framework of the People's Global Action Hallmarks, which are linked at: www.agp.org ....

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Text of Vancouver Police Chief Chu's statement regarding  attached (PDF)

No corrals for 2010 Olympic protesters, Vancouver police chief says
Steve Mertl, The Canadian Press, 22 Oct 09
Article link

Assurances Vancouver police won't clamp down on anti-Olympic protesters during the 2010 Winter Olympics haven't comforted Games critics.

Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu said Thursday his officers won't be setting up Beijing-style protest corrals or barging into people's homes to rip down anti-Olympic signs.

"There are no protest-only zones, no demonstration pens and no corrals," said Chu.

"No extraordinary efforts will be made to restrict protests or contain them because of the Olympics ... Protesters are free to gather in any public space as long as their actions are legal." ....

Vancouver will not corral Olympic protesters
Damian Inwood, Vancouver Province, 22 Oct 09
Article link

Vancouver police vowed Thursday there won't be Olympic protest zones during the 2010 Games.

"No extraordinary efforts will be made to restrict protests or contain them because of the Olympics," said police Chief Jim Chu. "We will uphold the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms before, during and after the Games."

During the 2008 Beijing Games, protesters had to apply for permission to hold demonstrations. If their application was approved, demonstrators were forced to protest many kilometres away from the Olympics site.

But in Canada, Chu said police will just "stand by and keep the peace."

"Protesters are free to gather in any public space as long as their actions are legal," he said.

Chu held a news conference Thursday to "clear the air" about the allegations that Vancouver officers were going to become the "sign police" during the February Games....

Protest okay at Olympics, but not violence say police
By Mark Hume, The Globe and Mail via ctvolympics.ca, 22 Oct 09
Article link

Amid growing concerns that political protest will be stifled when the world comes to Vancouver this winter, police have taken the unusual step of assuring the public that anti-Olympic signs and demonstrations will not be repressed during the 2010 Games.

But if you advocate violence or other illegal actions, you can expect a visit from an investigator, Vancouver Police Department and RCMP officials said at a joint news conference yesterday.

"I would like to make the record perfectly clear. Our goal for the 2010 Olympics is that they be safe, accessible and welcoming," said Police Chief Constable Jim Chu.

"We want the world to appreciate that Canada is an open and free society that places the highest values on the rights of the individual, not the least of which are the rights to free assembly and speech."

He said police needed to make a statement about their intentions because of increasing criticism from groups that have been warning about a crackdown and loss of human rights during the Games....

Police train for all scenarios
MATT KIELTYKA, vancouver.24hrs.ca, 23 Oct 09
Article link

Military helicopters and police emergency response teams were mobilized yesterday after a plane full of deviant protesters invaded restricted Olympic airspace.

While the heavy equipment was real, the scenario at Pitt Meadows airport wasn't. It was the latest security exercise by the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit.

"We often say we prepare for the worst and hope for the best, but we're not in a position where we can stand back," said V2010 ISU spokesperson Cpl. Bert Paquet. "Exercises like this are a good chance for us to utilize the resources we have here."

The drill involved military aircraft forcing an unauthorized airplane to land.

ERT officers then had to deal with the group of "protesters" handcuffing themselves to a fence.

On a day when Vancouver police made it loud and clear they would not impede lawful public protests during the Olympics, the ISU exercise showed what might greet more extreme dissenters.

"The situation we were responding to was a criminal offence," Paquet said. "That allows us to practice security and enhance safety for everybody." ....

Torch Relay Security Team ready to protect Olympic flame
RCMP and 23 other police forces will protect flame over 106 day journey to Vancouver and Whistler

Andrea Macpherson, www.news1130.com, 22 Oct 09
Article link

The Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit (ISU) is gearing up to protect the Olympic flame and the torchbearers when the 2010 Torch Relay gets underway in Victoria.  A police security team will follow the flame across Canada for 106 days.

Corporal Jen Allan says the Torch Relay Security Team will be made up of members from the RCMP and 23 other police services, including the force in the jurisdiction where the torch is passing through.  They'll be responsibility for all security, public order and traffic issues ....

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