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Olympic protest day has arrived in Vancouver

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NorthReport
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Joined: Jul 6 2008

Oh my.

 

The Brits are being caught out with their silliness.

 

Quote:
Depressingly for those who think the comings and goings of the media are the least important and least interesting part of a great sporting occasion like the Olympics, the media has become something of a talking point in Vancouver over the last 24 hours, thanks in large part to Mark Adams, the director of communications for the International Olympic Committee, who said yesterday he did not recognise the Games as portrayed by the British press.

"You wonder which city they're reporting from," Adams said. "What they're saying bears absolutely no relation to what I've seen at the competitions. It's been amazing. You wonder where these people have been."

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2010/feb/17/winter-olympic-games-va...


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

This is good from the Rabble frontpage:

Where's That Olympic Truce?

http://www.rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/derrick/2010/02/wheres-olympic-truce

"It's now fair to speculate that the Games have been used even more cynically -- as cover for a massive new NATO offensive in Afghanistan that has already claimed many Afghan civilian lives. Operation Moshtarak, with Canadian Forces participation, was launched in the southern province of Helmand on February 12, the day of the Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver.."

"Noticeably absent from the February 12 March were contingents from the trade unions and their political party the NDP. Days before the opening ceremony, party leader Carole James reiterated her party's devotion to the Games in a joint celebration in the BC legislature with the widely hated Premier Gordon Campbell..:

Thousands Protest:

http://www.zcommunications.org/thousands-protest-opening-of-vancouver-wi...


NDPP
Online
Joined: Dec 28 2008

"I Am Not Anti-War": Gord Hill Speech at STOPWAR.CA Rally (audio)

http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/audio/2799

Greenwash: Olympics Can't Wring Clean

http://www.vueweekly.com/article.php?id=14349

"Anti-Olympic organizers have taken the tar sands issue, and the corporations supporting it, to be a central part of the campaign against the Olympics. With the Vancouver Olympics touted by VANOC and even the SUZUKI Foundation as taking great strides to become the greenest Olympics ever, citizens directly impacted by Olympic development and the environmental destruction of sponsor corporations are saying selling carbon offsets is not enough.."


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003
Red Tent Solidarity Sleepover and Rally for a National Housing Strategy

Quote:
Over the last week the Red Tent campaign has been everywhere: Tents lined the street as the Olympic torch made its way through East Vancouver, volunteers dropped a hand-painted banner from the Cambie Street Bridge during rush hour on Monday Morning, and the Red Tent campaign took to the streets in support of the Olympic Tent Village organized by the DTES Power of Women Group and Streams of Justice.

This weekend we are ramping up the call for national housing strategy and we need your help. On Friday (February 19) we are organizing a Red Tent Solidarity Sleepover on the north lawn of Science World. Come spend the night in a Red Tent to show your support for thousands of people across Canada who sleep outside every night and to help spread the message that Canada needs to end homelessness NOW!

On Saturday morning we will make our way to the Vancouver Art Gallery for the Right to the City: Rally for a National Housing Strategy. The Rally will take place from Noon until 2pm and will be an energizing, family-friendly event for everyone who wants to come out and show their support for ending homelessness. Check out the Facebook event page for the rally here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=278713499672

Not able to sleep over? You can also help us out by sponsoring a tent at http://redtents.org/sponsor.php


NorthReport
Online
Joined: Jul 6 2008

This was inevitable.

 

Pie in Face Signals Split in Olympics Protest Movement

Charged debate among resisters over tactics splatters into the open.

 

'The goal failed': Eby


On Wednesday evening, Eby wiped the pie off his face and delivered a long talk to a tough crowd. He was frequently interrupted and booed. The animosity was palpable. Eby referred to the events of Saturday as a "disaster" for any future social movement building. The actions of black bloc protesters alienated the public. They distracted media attention from legitimate protester concerns. "If the goal was to shut down the Olympics, the goal failed," Eby said.

"If the goal was to increase awareness of protest messages, that goal failed too." The most likely legacy, he said, was an erosion of credibility in community organizing. Black bloc protesters were unaccountable in their masks and destructive in their actions. In effect, Eby concluded, they "mirrored all the worst qualities of those currently in power."

Shaw also gave a critique Wednesday evening. The broken windows and subsequent media coverage were a "wet dream" for Olympics security forces, he said. If black bloc protesters wanted to vandalize and destroy, Shaw added, they should have detached from the main Saturday demonstration. That would have shown a respect for the diverse groups within the movement, he said. Instead, media attention painted all 2010 protesters in one broad stroke.



A legacy of division



Others appeared to think the black bloc contingent wasn't radical enough. "In terms of direct harm to the corporations, smashing (insured) windows and knocking over newspaper boxes is of absolutely no consequence whatsoever," wrote Andrew Loewen on the Vancouver Media Co-op.

Many of these views -- and more -- were argued Wednesday evening. Much wrath was centred on Eby's speech. People jeered, heckled and hurled invectives when he took the stage.

Such an experience can be good for clearing the air when emotions run high, Shaw said. He's worried people will declare enemies that could last for years.

"David knew he was walking into an extremely hostile audience and I think he deserved a more gracious hearing," he said. "The constant heckling didn't advance movement building. It simply reinforced cliques. Sadly, that may be all we have left after these Games."  [Tyee]

http://thetyee.ca/News/2010/02/19/OlympicsProtestSplit/


Kaspar Hauser
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Joined: Aug 15 2004

Chris Shaw's analysis was excellent. It's worth watching in full.


E.P.Houle
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Joined: Feb 2 2009

VK, 'burning cars is at post#45, an assault rifle is fully automatic and effective up to 1km and is a machine gun to me, ask the 300 dead at the Mexico Olympics('68). The tragedy of this circus is that 8B$ missing from public works credit, the slide into 'star chamber' gov't making proof that socialism doesn't have a place in a world owned by corporations in their race to the bottom. I certainly support Ms. Mori's choice of venacular; perhaps I need a forum on epithets but I've couldn't express her feeling better. At least she was there and did right action; she's at least one up on me for I've not expressed how the IOC is a tool for bankrupting social democracy.


Kaspar Hauser
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Joined: Aug 15 2004

The heckling at Eby during his statements was truly disappointing.  It demonstrates that the manichean, narcissistic and testosterone-driven mentality dominating the Tea Party movement is, sadly, not restricted to the political right. Except, of course, I'haven't heard Tea Partiers applauding the possibility of bombing buildings or kidnapping anyone.

Anyway, I wrote an article about this mentality, which I believe is essentially religious, in an article for The Republic a while back: http://republic-news.org/archive/183-repub/183_nenonen.html

 


NDPP
Online
Joined: Dec 28 2008

E.P.Houle wrote:

 The tragedy of this circus is that 8B$ missing from public works credit, the slide into 'star chamber' gov't making proof that socialism doesn't have a place in a world owned by corporations in their race to the bottom. I certainly support Ms. Mori's choice of venacular; perhaps I need a forum on epithets but I've couldn't express her feeling better. At least she was there and did right action; she's at least one up on me for I've not expressed how the IOC is a tool for bankrupting social democracy.

NDPP

But how can this be true when former NDP Premier Harcourt tells me otherwise? I thought he was supposed to be all for socialism? What gives?

Olympics Well Worth It: Harcourt

http://thetyee.ca/News/2010/02/05/OlympicsWellWorthIt/

"he has nothing to say to people who claim the Games are a tax payer ripoff..."


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Michael Nenonen wrote:

The heckling at Eby during his statements was truly disappointing.  It demonstrates that the manichean, narcissistic and testosterone-driven mentality dominating the Tea Party movement is, sadly, not restricted to the political right. Except, of course, I'haven't heard Tea Partiers applauding the possibility of bombing buildings or kidnapping anyone.

 

David Eby was not elected by the protest movement on this coast to be arresting officer, prosecutor and judge. He has no authority to enforce his sentence of public humiliation.  His group was supposed to be neutral ovbservers so I can see why many people are pissed at him.  By publ;icly denouncing the idiotic but not violent property damge he is inviting police violence against a group he doesn't agree with.

Actually the tea party's new Senator showed his outrage over the actual suicide bombing of public service employees.

 

Quote:

When does it become somewhat understandable to want to fly planes into buildings?

 

Appearing on Fox News, newly-minted Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) showed notable sympathy and scant outrage for Joseph Stack, who crashed his airplane into an IRS building Thursday in an apparent suicide bombing Thursday.

"You don't know anything about the individual," Brown said. "He could have had other issues. Certainly, no one likes paying taxes, obviously."

Stack's writings strongly suggest he was motivated by anti-government outrage as he had written fuming anti-tax, anti-IRS, and anti-health care reform screeds in internet message postings.

He even wrote what appears to be a politically charged suicide note dated the day of the bombing and signed "Joe Stack (1956-2010)." It contained the words, "Well Mr. Big Brother IRS man... take my pound of flesh and sleep well"


Kaspar Hauser
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Joined: Aug 15 2004

You know, kropotkin1951, not everyone sees "solidarity" as being synonymous with telling someone with genuine and well-thought out ethical concerns about a movement to sit down and shut up.  Listen to the hecklers again: they were endorsing bombings and kidnappings. You're nose must be stuffed up, because you don't seem to be able to smell the cesspool here.

Edited to add: Listen to Eby's statements--these imbeciles went out of their way to assault police who had not attacked them, and who showed no evidence of being about to attack them. And these actions were applauded by the hecklers.  It seems to me that they're the ones responsible for inviting police antagonism, NOT Eby. 

A note to the Black Bloc: If you're going to engage in adolescent assaults on police who aren't threatening you, and thereby discredit the struggle for justice conducted by people whose ethical depth descends hundreds of fathoms beneath your own puddle of consciousness, you deserve to be publicly humiliated, and it's about time that someone told you that your idiocy isn't just endangering yourself, it's endangering all of us.


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Eby is not their boss or supposed to be their parent. Charter rights according to Eby!!!  Everyone listen up he is the only authority. Don't disobey him he will speak publically against you in a self rightious manner. Waa he using the legal observers information when he made his public accusations about some people.  If he is using the Lagal Observer info against others in the activisit community they will not be welcome at ralleis anymore than any other group taking notes that will eventually be used not to defend middle class white protestors who don't need protection from the police but to punish those that don't agree with Eby's views. He should go back to advocating for death panels for disabled people.

And I love the way you ignored my response to your slander that these people are worse than right wing nut jobs who do violence against people not corporate property.  I have never said I was really impressed with it as a tactic  however they did not endanger other protestors when they decided to rage against the machine.  No one got hurt and they didn't try to injure anyone.

Also when I read blogs and posts talking about the young people in black's excess testosterone it is obvious they knpow little about  the group I saw in the streets not in my imagination and they were at least a third young women. I don't know their individual stories but I know that when I was a young man I equated the police and authorities with the same system that produced the paedophile priest who had authority over me when he abused me.  So walk a mile in these peoples skate shoes and shit kickers before you judge them so harshly from whatever middle class comfort you live in


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

E.P.Houle wrote:

 she's at least one up on me for I've not expressed how the IOC is a tool for bankrupting social democracy.

I forget whether it was Detroit or Chicago, but last year one of these cities was passed over as the site of a future Games venue, and there was a huge sigh of relief from those opposed to their city being held hostage by the IOC.


Sven
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Joined: Jul 22 2005

Isn't it about time to start reusing existing Olympic facilities which were built at enormous expense?


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Sven wrote:

Isn't it about time to start reusing existing Olympic facilities which were built at enormous expense?

Definitely!


Kaspar Hauser
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Joined: Aug 15 2004

Kropotkin1951: I said that I hadn't heard Tea Partiers endorsing bombing or kidnapping. I still haven't.  Do you have any evidence that Tea Partiers are saying that what the suicide bomber did was a good thing?  Scott Brown certainly hasn't.  In any case, Scott Brown is a Massachusetts Republican, which means he's a moderate Republican--he's hardly a Tea Partier.

 

It's altogether possible that there are Tea Partiers who have applauded terrorist actions on behalf of their cause.  I just haven't heard them do so.  I have, however, heard Eby's hecklers applaud the idea of bombing and kidnapping. Mind you, Brown's defense of the suicide bomber..."You don't know anything about the individual"...sounds a lot like your "So walk a mile in these peoples skate shoes and shit kickers before you judge them so harshly from whatever middle class comfort you live in". Thanks, by the way, for making assumptions about my own class position and comfort level. And haven't we learned that at least one of the arrested protestors was, in fact, a white middle class kid? How do you know that the people committing the violence weren't from privileged backgrounds themselves? I saw a lot of people in the protest on Friday who didn't look like they came from white, middle class privilege. I can't say the same about the Black Bloc protestors because, of course, they disguise everything about themselves. They have intentionally made it impossible for anyone to walk anywhere in their shoes. You can't conceal your identity and then ask people to empathize with you.

 

Regarding the BC Civil Liberties Association: they have always been pretty damn clear that they do not support criminal actions like unprovoked assaults on the police. No one consulted with them or with any of the other protestors about these actions beforehand. Have you even listened to Eby's statement?

 

As for your assertion that they didn't endanger or try to injure anyone...a number of them went out of their way to assault police officers who were not posing a threat to them, for Christ's sake!  You don't think that endangers everyone at the protest?  You don't think that hands the authorities the public support to intensify the police state apparatus and crack down harder on peaceful protestors in the future? 

 

And frankly, I don't care if their past experiences with authority figures have led Black Bloc protestors to demonize all police. Demonization, especially when coupled with the disinhibiting effects of anonymity, is poisonous for any social justice movement. It encourages people to act out their own rage theatrically and cathartically, without consideration of either the ethical or strategic value of their actions. Once they've crossed these ethical and strategic lines, they feel compelled to justify their actions and to silence anyone who threatens to make them critically reflect upon their own behaviour.  "Solidarity" becomes code for collusion, censorship, and thuggery. It's a recipe for stupidity, which can only increase the authoritarianism, isolation, and vulnerability of the movement.

 

Edited to add: One more thing about empathy...how do we know that the people who smashed the windows and assaulted the cops were not themselves Agent Provocateurs? We don't know, and in fact we can't know. What we do know is that Eby's hecklers completely support these actions as well as, apparently, kidnapping and bombing.  As paranoid as it sounds, it seems like it would be really, really easy for the police to undermine the public support for any anti-poverty movement: all they would have to do is have an Agent Provocateur do something ethically reprehensible, knowing that whatever the Provocateur does will be supported by a significant chunk of the activist community out of "solidarity" and, of course, out of the latent self-contempt of those protestors who do not engage in thuggery and who idealize those who do.


Sven
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Joined: Jul 22 2005

Michael Nenonen wrote:

It's altogether possible that there are Tea Partiers who have applauded terrorist actions on behalf of their cause.

And, it's probably "altogether possible" that there are progressives who would have applauded the assassination of GWB.

But does either statement say a helluva lot about Tea Partiers and progressives generally?  No.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I think the IOC needs to be disbanded, some simpler kind of organization needs to take its place, and permanent Olympic venues need to be considered - using facilities already built.


Kaspar Hauser
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Joined: Aug 15 2004

Boom Boom wrote:

I think the IOC needs to be disbanded, some simpler kind of organization needs to take its place, and permanent Olympic venues need to be considered - using facilities already built.

Amen.


Maysie
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Joined: Apr 21 2005

Closing for length.


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