#101 - 2010 Olympics: gold medal for activism

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Protesting the Vancouver Olympics: homes not games!

In this podcast: Why protest the Olympics, Aboriginal activists speak out, talking diversity of tactics, and all about Vancouver's Red Tent campaign for housing.



(2:38 - 6:29) The Olympic torch was intended to sail through the city on a sea of goodwill. But the celebrations hit rough water in a rising tide of protest. Protestors and celebrants alike lined the route, but in the end, Olympic organizers changed the torch relay's intended course up Vancouver's Commercial Drive. Here are some of the voices from the protest as the torch approached the Drive.

(6:55 - 9:11) Thousands of protesters also convened at the Vancouver Art Gallery just before the start of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, to kick off a march through Vancouver's downtown. One group with a significant presence there was No Olympics on Stolen Native Land. Meagan talked with a spokesperson from the group. Here's what she had to say about why it has been necessary to protest the Olympics.

(9:37 - 10:10) Not everyone was in favor of protesting the Olympics. As the square at the Vancouver Art Gallery filled up with banners and the speeches began, spectators gathered as well. Here is what one of them had to say:

(10:52 - 11:18) If you remember, last episode we told you that the first caller would win an ipod nano. Well, the calls streamed in from as far away as Tokyo, but the person who was quickest on the draw was someone a little closer to home... well, my home anyway. Here's what our nano winner had to say. We'd love to hear your comments too. The number is 360-566-2214.

(12:44 - 14:44) On February 13th, a planned demonstration protesting the corporate interests of the Olympics led to a broken window at the Hudson's Bay Company which many activist link with Canada's historical corporate oppression of First Nations people and other Canadians. The event got a great deal of publicity from mainstream media outlets. It also sparked a debate about the effectiveness of using a Diversity of Tactics, including direct action, within the broad spectrum of activists protesting the Olympics in Vancouver. To create a space where Diversity of Tactics could be discussed in greater detail, rabble.ca along with Working TV broadcast a discussion between Harsha Walia of No One Is Illegal, and Derrick O'Keefe, former rabble editor and member of stopwar.ca. For just over an hour and a half, panelists Walia and O'Keefe responded to questions from the live audience and online participants. The full discussion is available at rabble.ca/rabbletv. Walia spoke to the question of whether direct action is an effective method of protest, and how other types of protest do not engender the same kinds of questioning.

(15:56 - 17:59) That discussion on Diversity of Tactics was held at the W2, which is an exciting new development in Vancouver. It's a media arts centre that brings together independent media outlets like ours, media artists, and social innovators into a space where ideas can be exchanged and new plans can be hatched. The centre opened just days before the Olympics, and has become a media hub for the activism and independent reporting during the games. From the launch event for the W2, this is Irwin Oostindie speaking about his vision for the centre.

(18:44 - 25:54) Following on similar actions in Europe the Pivot Society has created a space for homeless people to sleep during the Olympics by providing them with red tents, each one housing one or two people. Am Johal is Chair of the Impact of the Olympics on Communities Committee. Here he is, speaking to the rabble podcast network's Pivot podcast.

If you have comments about the show, an idea for us, or a documentary that you whipped up at home, tell us about it. You can email me at , or you can call us too at 360-566-2214.






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