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Corporate Olympic Torch Relay Blocked in East Vancouver

From No 2010.

On the final day of the 2010 Winter Olympic Torch Relay, the torch was blocked twice in East Vancouver. The first blockade occurred at around 9:30AM when some 100 protesters successfully blocked the torch at Victory Square (Cambie and Hastings). Despite having a large number of police, including motorcycle and horse-mounted cops, protesters were able to block Hastings Street and force the torch to change its route, completely bypassing the scheduled event at Victory Park and abandoning all their ‘pro-Olympic supporters’ there as anti-Olympic protesters chased the torch down Pender Street.

Shortly after, scores of protesters on Commercial Drive were able to blockade the torch and forced it to reroute along Clark Street. Protesters strung twine and barbed wire across Commercial Drive, then moved to intercept the torch after it had been rerouted. Vancouver horse-mounted police blocked Commercial Drive while dozens of foot and bicycle cops mobilized in the area.

In both cases community members and those participating in the anti-Olympics convergence were able to organize and disrupt the last leg of the torch relay prior to the opening ceremony held later that day at BC Place Stadium. Read the rest of this entry

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Opposing the Olympics

“There are ample grounds to resist the Olympics,” writes Harold Lavender from Vancouver in the first of two articles on the Olympics and activism. Special to newsocialist.org

Movements opposing the 2010 Winter Olympics appear to be gaining momentum with the much-hyped spectacle only a couple of weeks away. While a campaign of intimidation and harassment by security forces has made Vancouver the front line in the criminalization of dissent, this has failed to quell opposition.

A series of activities will be staged during the Olympics, including a February 10 to 15 convergence organized by the Olympic Resistance Network, and an opposition festival and march on February 12, the day of the opening ceremonies (see the end of this article for a calendar of actions).

How wide is the opposition?

Many in BC are not at all happy with the games. Despite a massive government, corporate and media propaganda campaign, recent surveys showed 69 per cent of BC residents felt governments had spent too much on the Olympics. Only 50 per cent thought the Olympics were good for BC, while 30 per cent thought they were bad. There is also considerable resentment in Vancouver about the disruptions of daily life imposed in the name of staging the Olympics.

But will resistance be confined primarily to the radical left and a few affected communities? The still-to-be-answered question is the size, scope, public impact and future legacy of anti-2010 organizing. Read the rest of this entry