Anti-Olympic Torch Light Parade Lights Up the Streets!!!
February 12, 2009 – 00:51 — no2010
From 150-200 people participated in the Anti-Olympic Torch Light Parade marking the 1-Year Countdown to the 2010 Winter Games on Feb 12, 2009 in downtown Vancouver. After rallying at Victory Square at 6PM, where a ‘torch of resistance’ was lit and used to burn a Canadian Olympic flag, the demonstration marched to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, where a 2010 concert was taking place and dozens of police were assembled to stop any possible disruption. From there, the protest moved up Georgia St. to Burrard, stopping at various corporate sponsors, including the Hudson’s Bay Company, Royal Bank of Canada, Bell, and CTV. About a dozen torches were lit on the protest route, which ended at the ‘Countdown Clock’ located at the Art Gallery. Several targets were hit with paint bombs, including the clock as the rally ended. There were no arrests.
The protest was organized by the Olympics Resistance Network;
Resist 2010 ! No Olympics on Stolen Native Land !
Check out the image gallery at: http://www.no2010.com/node/791
Some corporate news stories:
Anti-Olympic protestors hold counter ceremony
By Jack Keating, The Province February 12, 2009
More than 150 protestors marched from Victory Square through downtown Vancouver in an anti -Olympic torch light parade Thursday night.
The parade, to mark the one-year countdown to the Olympics, was held to highlight all of the “negative social impacts” the 2010 Olympics will have on Vancouver.
The march left Victory Square where one protester burned an Olympic flag with a torch, and they marched by the Queen Elizabeth Theatre where dozens of police stood guard to prevent any attempt to enter the theatre where an Olympic gala event was being held.
The marchers, with about 10 flaming torches and chanting “homes not Games”, continued along Georgia Street to Burrard and then down Robson, stopping at some of the corporate Olympic sponsors offices, before ending up at the Olympic clock outside the Art Gallery.
Dozens of police on bicycles and motorcycles and others filming the march with video cameras kept a close watch on the parade.
There was a brief standoff between protesters and Vancouver police officers on bicycles at the clock that ended peacefully.
However, after the protest ended someone threw a red paint ball that splattered against the bottom of the clock.
Speakers from The Olympic Resistance Network, which organized the march, at Victory Square urged people to fight against the “2010 corporate invasion, police state tactics, homelessness, criminalization of the poor, ecological destruction, public debt, colonization and other negative social impacts” they say the Olympics will bring to Vancouver.
One speaker talked about the 370 per cent increase in homelessness in Vancouver in recent years while more than a billion dollars is being spent on the Olympics.
Anti-Olympic activist Garth Mullins said the parade was an alternative to VANOC’s “spin” on the 2010 Olympics.
“We’re trying to use the torches, which are the symbol of the Olympics, to actually take them and shine some light on the impacts of the Olympics on the poor and homeless people in the Downtown Eastside,” said Mullins.
“And also on the environment, indigenous people and people whose civil liberties are going to be eroded and crushed in Vancouver.”
Mullins also criticized Operation Silver, a massive security operation underway by the army, CSIS and police.
“We feel that their security plans are going to be very detrimental to people’s civil liberties and we’re also trying to shine some light on that,” said Mullins, wearing a jacket with the orange-coloured words “Resist 2010” across the back.
Alissa Westergard-Thorpe thought the rally and parade was a success.
“And I think more and more people will be concerned over the next year as you see the police state build up and you see the economic waste and the environmental destruction associated with the Olympics even more people will care when the Olympics actually and I think a lot of people care right now.”
“I think merely the fact that we’re able to go out and march in the streets and express our viewpoint is always a success, especially when they’re trying so hard to restrict our right to protest.”
Several Hundred Anti-Olympic Protesters Light up the Streets
Anti-Olympic protestors lit up the streets of downtown Vancouver during a protest parade Thursday night, carrying makeshift torches and setting fire to a 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics flag.
Several hundred people participated in the march, which stopped outside of buildings belonging to Olympic sponsors such as the Hudson’s Bay Company, CTV, and Canada Post. The protest focused on concerns about affordable housing in the city, native land use for Olympic venues, and the financial burden on taxpayers for the games.
CTV reported Thursday night that protesters also paint-bombed the Olympic clock, just as the demonstration ended.
Olympic protests during one year celebrations
Not everyone greeted the countdown to 2010 celebrations with cheers.
About 100 protestors, some carrying torches, marched through the downtown core to protest the Olympics.
Despite a heavy police presence, the Olympic countdown clock at the Vancouver Art Gallery was vandalized. It had red paint thrown on it.
Damage is minor and no arrests have been made. The vandals took off right away – leaving behind hoodies.
This is not the first time the clock has been vandalized.
No-Fun City tag sticks as 2010 parties go elsewhere
In Whistler they are partying. But Vancouver, it’s a much different story.
For years, the 2010 host city has celebrated every milestone on the Olympic journey. Not anymore. There isn’t a single public event planned for the one-year countdown day for what some call the No-Fun City.
The city had been celebrating since it won the Games, but Vancouver’s mayor, Gregor Robertson, dropped the puck on this one.
“Tomorrow there isn’t big parties all across the city. There’s so much energy focused on pulling the Games together, and the venues specifically, so all of the focus has been there in preparing. Unfortunately no work has been done for the big public celebration,” he told CTV News on Wednesday.
While there’s no special one-year countdown celebration in Vancouver there is one at the Richmond Speed Skating Oval. This is where Vancouver’s mayor will be, along with Premier Gordon Campbell and IOC president Jacques Rogge. There’ll be special performances and Olympic Athletes, but it is not a public
No parties in the host city? Beijing had a big bash for its one-year countdown — why not us?
“That’s a good question,” said Robertson. “We gotta kick the fun into gear here.”
There will be a public celebration in Whistler — an outdoor concert in village square. Could it be previous protests have made Olympic organizers gun-shy about Vancouver?
“It’s really a case of trying to manage crowds — there’s tremendous interest but only limited number of seats,” said Colin Hansen, the provincial minister responsible for the Olympics.
“There are some challenges that come from the amount of size, scope and the amount of security in terms of safety, not even necessarily in regard to protest,” said Maureen Douglas of VANOC.
But if you are looking for something to do, you can ride SkyTrain — TransLink wants you to bring your “horns, cowbells and tambourines” and make some noise at 6 p.m. Or you can head to Canada Place where the heritage horns will blow at 6 p.m. and you are encouraged to “clap, sing, whistle or cheer.”
They’re having way more fun in other provinces — flag raising in Parliament Hill, torch lighting in Calgary — but nothing in Vancouver.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Shannon Paterson.
by no2010 & more 12:47am, Saturday February 14 2009
|Anti-Olympic Protests Spread: No Olympics On Stolen Native Land!
by Tar 03:31am, Saturday February 14 2009
Feb. 12th, 2009. – Protestors in Toronto, Hamilton, Guelph, Kitchener, Stratford and London will mark the one year countdown to the Vancouver Olympics with a series of road side actions and related events. Between 7am and 9am, tens of thousands of commuters on major Ontario highways can expect to see large banners bearing anti-Olympic messages. The protestors – friends and members of Anti-Racist Action – specifically aim to highlight concerns that the Olympics are accelerating development on unceeded indigenous territories in British Columbia (BC).
With the Olympics, there is a frenzy of development in BC – the Olympics are the new ‘gold rush’ – bringing displacement and destruction to indigenous communities and culture. The Province of BC was carved out of land that was never surrendered by the indigenous peoples, and was never part of any treaty. Today, most of the province remains as unceeded land. Despite this, the government continues to sell, lease and allow development on Native land for mining, logging, oil & gas, ski resorts, and other industries. The Vancouver Olympic Committee (VANOC) has gone to great lengths to hide the negative impact that the Olympics will have on indigenous people, by obscuring the facts on their participation in these games. VANOC would suggest that “participation” means appropriating and marketing indigenous imagery and culture, and also making a series of multi-million dollar business deals that funnel money through Band Councils. Grassroots movements in indigenous communities are saying no to the Olympics. They see their land being irreparably damaged by expanding Olympic developments. Anti-Racist Action supports grassroots, indigenous, protesters, and we unite to say “No Olympics on Stolen Native Land!”