[A-List] Opposing the Winter 'Games'
tal1 at cogeco.ca
Thu Jan 14 18:49:31 MST 2010
Vancouver Groups Release Statements Opposing Games
Contributed by blackandred on Thu, 2009/12/17 - 5:12pm.
While the 2010 Olympics are still a short time away, many are well aware of
the devastating impact they are having on our communities. From traditional
Indigenous territories to the impoverished Downtown Eastside (DTES), and
from migrant workers to low-income families, thousands are being evicted,
displaced, and exploited. It is undeniable that the Olympics is causing the
devastation of the environment, creating homelessness, perpetuating the
theft of Indigenous lands, exploiting migrant labour, forcing greater
privatization, accruing massive public debt, and resulting in increased
As stated by historian George Monbiot, the Games are less about sports than
"a legacy of a transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. Everywhere they
go, the games become an excuse for eviction and displacement; they have
become a license for land grabs."
For anyone who maintains any illusions of Olympic prosperity, recent Olympic
budgets make clear that there is no projected profit. Instead, while
thousands are losing their jobs and access to public services such as
education and arts are being cut, Olympic corporate sponsors are getting
bailed out. These sponsors - such as oil and gas company Petro Canada,
military aircraft producer General Electric, chemical manufacturer Dow
Chemical, and Alberta Tar Sands financier Royal Bank of Canada - have some
of the worst environmental and social practices on record.
According to a report by the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, the
Games have displaced more than two million people around the world over the
last 20 years (not including the one million displaced due to the Beijing
Games). Meanwhile over 16,500 RCMP, military and security personnel will be
in Vancouver during February 2010. This $1 billion security operation is the
largest one in Canadian history and has been dubbed "the Surveillance Games"
by sociologist David Lyon.
No One Is Illegal has been increasingly active in the anti-Olympic movement,
offering our support to DTES residents and anti-poverty efforts, as well as
to Indigenous land and urban defenders and their allies in the "No Olympics
on Stolen Native Land" movement. While many people are being impacted by the
Olympic Industry, one of the most significant effects is on Indigenous
Indigenous people are impacted by the long-term plunder of their lands,
disproportionately experiencing poverty in urban areas, and are the primary
targets of repressive policing and surveillance resulting in countless
arrests. This glaring reality is what the Vancouver 2010 Organizing
Committee (VANOC) is trying to hide by desperately selling the idea of
Native consent to the Games through the creation of the corporate and
state-sponsored Four Host First Nations body.
In light of the extreme levels of state repression including surveillance,
intimidation, and attempts to create divisions in the movement, we invite
activists to get informed, get involved, and express their public solidarity
with this growing resistance. Over the upcoming months, No One Is Illegal
will be focusing our energies to building an effective, inclusive, and
disruptive anti-Olympics movement with our allies. Based on the call by the
Indigenous Peoples Gathering in Sonora, Mexico to boycott the Games, the
Olympic Resistance Network has called for a global anti-colonial and
anti-capitalist convergence between February 10th-15th 2010 in Vancouver,
Coast Salish Territories. While working towards this convergence, we have
been encouraged to think of human interconnectedness rather than social and
political isolation in building long-term alliances beyond 2010 to
strengthen our shared struggles for justice, dignity, and liberation.
No One Is Illegal-Vancouver is a grassroots anti-colonial and anti-racist
migrant justice group. We strive and struggle for a world in which no one is
forced to migrate against their will, and where people can move freely in
order to flourish. We place ourselves within the broader movement against
capitalism, militarism, oppression, poverty, imperialism, and other systems
of domination and exploitation. As a movement for self-determination that
challenges the ideology of border controls, we actively offer our support to
Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island.
Visit us at www.nooneisillegal.org
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