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Resistance Casts Pall over 2010 Olympic Festivities

By Anthony Fenton. From IPS.

VANCOUVER, Feb 15, 2010 (IPS) – The 2010 Winter Olympics opened with the largest protest convergence in the history of the Games.

Approximately 3,000 protesters of diverse backgrounds converged on Vancouver Friday afternoon, assembling for a peaceful yet boisterous rally and march through the downtown streets to the steps of BC Place, the site of the Games’ opening ceremonies.

As throngs of activists filled the Vancouver Art Gallery – indigenous, anti-capitalist, anti-corporate, environmentalist, anarchist, anti-war, pro-civil liberty, and anti-poverty alike – speakers laid out a laundry list of grievances against the Games.

The speeches opened with homage to the Coast Salish people, on whose unceded territory the demonstration took place. The march itself was led by Native Elders, while the most prominent chant heard was “No Olympics on stolen Native land.”

Olympic Resistance Network organiser Sozan Savehilaghi said, “The Olympics are taking place on lands that have never been surrendered. The people that are going to be impacted in a negative way the most are indigenous people; they have the highest rates of poverty, of abuse, and they are highly over-represented in prisons.” Read the rest of this entry

Could the Sword Hanging Over Canada Suddenly Fall?

Mohawk Nation News
http://www.mohawknationnews.com

MNN. Feb. 13, 2010. The Vancouver 2010 Olympics had to retreat on the native land issue and to allow public political demonstrations. At least 5000 took to the streets to protest “No Olympics on Native Land” in the face of a militarized city. People can see injustice and they want to correct it.

The opening ceremony told the world that this is native land.

Two Mohawks did an amazing job commenting on the opening ceremony on APTN. They were not subservient and confidently spoke on equal terms as our people welcomed foreign nations to our land.

Ongwehone must be respected. We produced the spirit of equality and a voice for everyone. We welcomed the dispossessed, oppressed, poor and refugees who had no place else to go. Great Turtle Island has been a sanctuary from tyranny for the entire world.

For 500 years there has been a tremendous attempt to subjugate us and our territory. Even if we are outnumbered a million to one, this land is our birthright. Everybody in the world knows that. Read the rest of this entry

Olympic Tent Village: Rally for Homeless

VANCOUVER POET LAUREATE JOINS OLYMPIC TENT VILLAGE

RALLY FOR HOUSING AND OLYMPIC TENT VILLAGE BRINGS ATTENTION TO DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE HOMELESSNESS AND EMPTY HOUSING PROMISES

Monday Feb 15th at Noon at Pigeon Park (Carrall and Hastings)

Monday Feb 15th – 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 Greater Vancouver Regional District, 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 Women Centre Power of Women Group and supporters are organizing a rally for housing on Monday Feb 15 at noon at Pigeon Park (Carrall and Hastings). An Olympic Tent Village will also be going up to affirm the call for justice and dignity. Read the rest of this entry