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2010 Olympics Watch

The Bread Guy

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Olympic torch expected to be met by protesters as it travels across Canada
James Keller, Canadian Press, 25 Oct 09
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It's an image fit for a cheesy horror flick: flaming torches meeting a crowd of zombies.

That could be the opening scene of the Canadian Olympic torch relay, which begins in Victoria on Friday and is expected to draw protesters along its 106-day route leading up to the opening of the Winter Games.

The international relay ahead of last year's Summer Olympics in Beijing was plagued by chaotic protests aimed at China's human rights record, including several attempts to grab the torch itself.

But groups planning to target the Vancouver 2010 torch run say they're planning peaceful demonstrations.

In Victoria, with the Olympic flame arriving on a plane from Greece just a day before Halloween, anti-Olympic groups are planning a street festival and a "zombie march" along Victoria's streets.

"It's a chance to dress up and be silly and do some street theatre, but it's also serious," says Zoe Blunt, one of the organizers of the event.

"We're doing this to assert our Charter rights. I think the whole world is going to be watching to see what happens here, since it is basically the first official day of the Games."

Protesters representing a variety of causes have said they'll be meeting the torch along the relay, from native groups and anti-poverty activists to civil rights advocates and opponents of Canada's seal hunt.

The Olympic Resistance Network has posted a note on the web titled "Extinguish the torch!" that calls on activists across the country to "oppose and resist" the relay, although it isn't explicitly advocating interfering with the torch run....


Human Rights Campaigner Denounces "Olympics Police" Harassment
Zoe Blunt, Pacific Free Press, 26 Oct 09
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Rose Henry has had enough of the phone calls from the Olympic security police. The 51-year-old human rights advocate says an officer with the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit phoned twice a day for about a
week. The intelligence officer pressured her to "meet for coffee" and to give him information about her own work and her fellow activists.

Henry was "scared" by the calls and unsure what to do, so she asked her Vancouver lawyer for advice. "He said, 'Rose, you have done absolutely nothing wrong, and there's no reason for them to harass you. You can just tell them to f--- off,'" she reports.

"I don’t want to deal with these guys," she says. "I know I'm right in standing up for human rights. I shouldn’t have to defend them against the police officers who are supposed to protect us."

Henry also talked to fellow activists in Victoria, who offered support and advice. "I'm glad we are all on same page," she says. "All of us have done nothing wrong. It's like [the police] are trying to set us up, and putting words in our mouths."

Henry is forthright in her criticism of the Olympics. "I would support the Olympics if it was a fundraiser for people in need, and if the money they're spending was staying in the community. But it's a one-way street – all that money is flowing out to corporate investors," she notes.

"At the same time, they're chopping programs for the arts, battered women and disabled children and people with mental health problems."....


"Teach 2010" web site

This is a collaborative website for teachers to post and find resources for teaching the 2010 Winter Olympics from a critical perspective. If you have a lesson plan idea, upcoming events listings or links to articles or organizations please send us an email at contact@teach2010.org.

This website is also being developed in collaboration with the Teaching 2010 Resistance project, which has developed a critically-minded Olympics workshop for students.  This workshop is being presented in schools throughout Greater Vancouver beginning in October 2009.  For more information, please check out this page.  An overview of the workshop is available here....


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The Bread Guy

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Editorial:  Civility must be our guide as we prepare for the 2010 Games
Vancouver Sun, 27 Oct 09
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.... People who have something to say while respecting the rights of others should be allowed to go about their business, unmolested.  But people who head out looking for trouble should expect to find it .... Let's show our television viewers and visitors that whatever we think about the Games, our first loyalty is to our civil society.  If we lose sight of that, the cost of the Games will indeed have been too high.


Vancouver police chief vows to uphold Charter rights during Olympics
'There are no protest-only zones, no demonstration pens and no corrals': Chu

Jeremy Hainsworth, xtra.ca, 26 Oct 09
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Vancouverites are free to protest wherever they want during the Winter Olympics as long as their actions are legal, Vancouver's chief of police announced Thursday.

Further, says Jim Chu, Vancouver Police Department officers will not enter homes to seize signs that are political or personal in nature.

The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) says it will wait until Games time to see if Chu's statements are borne out.

The chief's statements come after recent concerns raised by civil liberties groups that city bylaws and provincial enabling legislation would restrict constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of expression....


Student legal society finance watchdog program
Group gives $18,500 to civil liberties group for Olympics legal observer training

Kalyeena Makortoff, ubyssey.ca (UBC student newspaper), 26 Oct 09
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The Student Legal Fund Society (SLFS) has put forward $18,500 to fund a program that will provide workshops, training and aid for students in the lead up to, and during, the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The society, which was established in 1998 to support advocacy, lobbying and litigation for legal matters that concern UBC students, decided to give the program the go-ahead after receiving an application for funding and partnership from the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA).

“What that looks like is 11 workshops over five months on both know-your rights and legal-observation training before the Olympics,” explained SLFS President Emily Griffiths. These workshops hope to include over 300 students.

As for resources available during the Games, a direct hotline to pro bono lawyers will be provided, who will be on standby to provide assistance to any students arrested or in need of legal advice....


Mobilization Against Start of Olympic Torch Relay, Victoria, 'BC' Oct 30, 2009
no2010.com, 23 Oct 09
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Against the Tyranny of the Olympic Regime & the Terror of the Torch Relay:

Join the Anti-Olympic Zombie Army for the First Ever ZOMBIE March Against the Olympic Torch Relay

On Friday, October 30, the Olympic Torch Relay begins in Victoria, BC...

2 PM: Anti- Olympic Festival of Resistance
Centennial Square (Government & Blanshard St)

4:30 PM: ZOMBIE March from Centennial Square. Wear Scary costumes (or just costumes!)

From Vancouver to Victoria:
Friday Oct 30, 2009
In Vancouver: 9AM at Safeway (Broadway @ Commercial) for Carpool/Transit—Pay Your Own Way Soldier! [Est: $40 Roundtrip] .

The Olympic Torch relay is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Canada & Coca Cola.

The RBC is one of the main financiers of the Tar Sands oil project in northern Alberta, which is an act of genocide against the Indigenous people of the area, who are suffering extremely high rates of cancers, toxified water and land. The Tar Sands must be shut down & RBC must stop funding genocide!

Coca Cola factories in Columbia have been linked to paramilitary death squads & repression of union organizers; factories in India cause water depletion and environmental contamination. Coca Cola must stop repression of its workers & end its destructive production practises! ....


Native Activist Threatened With "Rendition" by Olympic Cops
Attributed to Gord Hill, contributed by blackandred via mostlywater.org, 24 Oct 09
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The JIG is up! Gord Hill Threatened with Rendition by Olympic Cops

By Gord Hill; October 20, 2009 - Vancouver Media Co-op
http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/story/1985

[Note: See also Statement by Gord Hill Regarding Visits by Olympic Police Agents.]

Occupied Coast Salish Territory

Yo Weeksus,

I, Gord Hill, am proud to announce yet another encounter with the Olympic police as a result of my 'controversial' statement to CBC News and my views on sabotage. This evening (Tuesday, October 20, 2009), at around 9:30 PM, I was approached by plainclothes officers of the Incredibly Stupid Unit (Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit). I can now confirm that they are, in fact, incredibly stupid.

I was walking westbound on Pender to Columbia Street in the Downtown Eastside, when I saw two males loitering around the corner. One look at their sad faces told me they were pigs. As I waited for the light at the crosswalk (jaywalking being illegal...) they approached me, with one flashing his badge and announcing he was an RCMP officer with 'JIG' (Joint Intelligence Group). He said he wanted a couple of minutes to talk to me and I said no. I crossed the street & began walking north on Columbia to Hastings, with the RCMP agent walking alongside me, the other cop, who said not a word, to our right rear (about 4 feet behind).

The RCMP agent walking with me, a white male in his 50s, maintained a rambling monologue about how my statements to CBC on Oct 13 (the power lines scenario) had hurt a lot of people, about how some of his friends were aboriginals, that he sympathized with my cause about helping the homeless, etc. He told me that from this day until the Olympics, every time I looked over my right shoulder he would be there.

What was most interesting were his comments regarding my attempted entry into the United Snakes of Amerikkka on Oct 17; the RCMP agent told me that because of my statement to CBC I would never again be allowed entry into the US, that their national security would arrest me and put me in a far, far away place, so far away it would be beyond my mind (or something along those lines).

I take this as implying the practice of rendition, where prisoners in US custody (including Canadian citizens) have been transferred to other countries and tortured (i.e., Mahar Arar). It seems odd for an RCMP agent to be delivering such a threat on behalf of another country's security apparatus (but that's how the pigs roll these days, I guess)....


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CEhopeful

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVhu7sHtcnM


The right to protest, great go ahead. The right to be an idiot and disrupt  a persons dreams, such as carry the torch in your home town,should not be something to be proud of or be practiced. :mad:
 

Otis

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Has anyone else been following the actions of these idiots in Vancouver?

Now don't get me wrong ... I have no objections about protesting those things you're against or you feel aren't right in the world. I've been part of a few myself (protesting tuition hikes in University ... marching to support the installing of a crosswalk in front of a school) but THESE people?

On what planet did you figure that covering yourself from head-to-toe in black WOULDN'T attract the attention of the authorities? If you feel strongly enough to protest something, you should feel strongly enough to identify yourself if you're not actually intending to do anything illegal. I KNOW it's legal to march, I know it's legal to wear a mask in public, but if I did that and walked into a BANK you don't think someone would take note?

And the argument that the protests weren't violent and therefore the police shouldn't have gotten involved? Breaking windows isn't violent? REALLY? So, if we head over to your house and start breaking stuff, you're OK with that as long as we don't attack a person? You'll be perfectly happy if the police don't respond?

And I LOVE the guy who's been publically giving lessons on the web on how to protest and resist the police without getting in too much trouble ... and THIS guy is some big-shot instructor at UBC ... teaching university students how to not be responsible for their own actions in the public ... A**HOLE.
 

The Bread Guy

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.....here, via Canadian Press.
They go by the name Black Bloc, but even the masked, black-clad protesters who trashed store windows during an anti-Olympic march on the weekend wouldn't call themselves an organization.

The self-appointed "ninjas" of the anarchist movement have been a factor in European radical politics for decades but appeared spectacularly on the radar in North America during the 1999 World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Seattle.

Police cracked down hard and a peaceful march and blockade by 50,000 anti-globalization protesters degenerated in a cloud of tear-gas and pepper-spray.

With no structure and no purported leaders, they're maddeningly hard for authorities to pin down.

"What we know is what we pulled up on the Internet," said a spokesperson with the RCMP-led Olympic Integrated Security Unit.

Funny, but close to the truth, says Michel Juneau-Katsuya, an anti-terrorism expert and former member of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

There's a lot about Black Bloc actions on the web but little to help track individuals. They may belong to other groups or none at all, and need only show up at protests in the basic uniform - black clothing and a scarf or balaclava - and ready for action.

"Not having any sort of structure to that kind of organization makes it very difficult because basically you're just trying to chase dust," Juneau-Katsuya said from Ottawa .... The Black Bloc has an uneasy relationship with those it ends up marching beside. Some of the groups opposing the Vancouver Winter Olympics won't disavow the violent actions they took on Saturday.

Adherents say it gives their causes an attention-getting edge but others worry it muddies their message and alienates would-be supporters among the public.

The Black Bloc strategy is simple: Show up at demonstrations and attack the prominent symbols of capitalism. Then hope the police react, or over-react, while they shed their black clothes and melt into the crowd ....

More on Black Bloc tactics here (Wikipedia caveat), here (what appears to be a more detailed "tactics communique") and here (apparently a background page for anarchist protests of a 2001 IMF meet in Washington D.C.).


MODS:  May be worth pulling this stuff
http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/92121/post-911016#msg911016
into here, no?
 

The Bread Guy

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....according to ABC News:
As the winter Olympics begin, the Department of Homeland Security has disclosed that it will be monitoring the comments and posts on websites and social media like Twitter for information on possible terror threats. Among the sites listed in a privacy impact statement filed Friday afternoon by DHS are the Drudge Report, the Huffington Post, Twitter, Google and this web site, the Blotter.

The National Operations Center of DHS will watch the web for information, according to the statement, to "provide situational awareness" in the event of natural disaster, an "act of terrorism, or other manmade disaster."

"The Olympics are a potential target for such events," said the statement. The statement did not list all web sites and social media that the NOC will monitor, but provided 31 examples, many of them, like the Blotter, sites that cover breaking news, security, or terror ....

Ya think?  Assessment attached.
 

Northalbertan

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About a week before the Olympics began I was flipping through my satellite radio channels and came upon CBC one.  They had an Olympic "activist" dispensing advice on how to get through security at Canadian customs.

They dispensed advice on how to behave, what to wear, what not to wear, even phrases to say as you are going through security so as to not to arouse suspicions. 

What makes me mad is I paid for this BS.  How can our "national broadcasting service" begin to think this is a good idea.  Someone should be fired, perhaps charged.
 

The Bread Guy

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Pirate flash mob to protest working conditions on Olympic security cruise ships
Carlito Pablo, Straight.com, 23 Feb 10
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The Pirates of Justice are coming back.

On Saturday (February 27), they’ll hoist the Jolly Roger flag in downtown Vancouver to raise awareness about the plight of workers on the three cruise ships housing police and military personnel providing security for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

In July of last year, flash mob organizer Craig Greenfield recalled, the group held a similar event at Canada Place to highlight what he described to the Straight as the “situation of justice in cruise ships”.

“A lot of people know about sweatshops in Asia but we don’t realize that we have ‘sweatships’ in our own backyard,” Greenfield said in a phone interview. “Basically we have people being paid sweatshop wages in our own city because they are not subject to the labour laws of our country.”

More than 5,000 RCMP, other police, and Canadian Forces personnel are staying on the cruise ships Statendam, Oosterdam, and Carnival Elation. All owned by the multinational Carnival Corporation, the ships are reported to have been leased for $76 million.

Greenfield claimed some of the lowest level employees, especially Indonesian and Filipino workers, on such cruise ships are known to get only $50 in monthly pay.

The February 27 flash mob is being promoted through YouTube and Facebook. Greenfield said that the exact location of the event, which will take place at noon, will be known to those who join the Facebook event page.

“We plan to abide with the law,” Greenfield said when asked if there are concerns about police interference. “It’s a family friendly event. We simply want to raise awareness in a humorous way.”

As the group’s promotional YouTube video says, if you hate injustice and love wearing silly hats, this might just be the event for you.
 

PMedMoe

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What has this got to do with the Olympics?  Nothing.  Protest to Carnival, you morons.  ::)
 
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