Protestors Converge on B.C. Olympics
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[I've expressed my own view of the Olympics here:
Protesters converge on B.C. Olympics
A Halloween-themed protest that disrupted the Olympic torch in Victoria
Oct. 30 is only a warmup for opening ceremonies Feb. 12.
January 26, 2010 1:00 PM
What does the Delta-Richmond Council of Canadians have in common with
the Workers Communist Party of Iran?
Both are among the dozens of protest groups who plan to gather in
downtown Vancouver for a rally on the opening day of the Olympics Feb. 12.
The coalition calling itself the 2010 Welcoming Committee includes
homegrown activists such as the Anti-Poverty Committee, already known
for disrupting pre-Olympic events, the Bus Riders' Union, the East Van
Abolitionists and GatewaySucks.org.
B.C. residents may be less familiar with Check Your Head, Food Not
Bombs, Industrial Workers of the World, the Freedom Socialist Party, the
Progressive Nepali Forum in Americas, Justicia 4 Foreign Workers, Pink
Resistance, the UBC Network of Sri Lankan Law Students and the
Solidarity Notes Labour Choir.
"This is a chance for the people of British Columbia to make their
voices heard in an alternative to the made-for-television opening
ceremonies and to provide a different greeting for the Olympic torch
when it arrives," said Robert Ages, a member of the Council of Canadians
and spokesman for the 2010 Welcoming Committee.
The group's announcement touches on the same vague themes used to
justify the disruption of the Olympic torch run in Victoria on Oct. 30:
poverty, restriction of free speech and "the consequences of staging the
event on unceded First Nations territories."
Vancouver's Pivot Legal Society has another protest plan that involves
hundreds of red tents. Inspired by a 2006 homeless protest in France,
the group plans to distribute tents to people so they can camp on city
sidewalks to vie for the attention of Olympic visitors and thousands of
Pivot executive director John Richardson wrote to Vancouver city council
Monday to announce the tent plan. The society also released an opinion
from Vancouver lawyer Joe Arvay arguing that homeless people have a
right to camp on public property.
A similar argument was recently upheld by the B.C. Court of Appeal
regarding camping in Victoria parks and public areas.
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Skipper: Professor, will you tell these people who is
in charge on this island?
Professor: Why, no one.
Skipper: No one?
Thurston Howell III: No one? Good heavens, this is anarchy!
-- _Gilligan's Island_, episode #6, "President Gilligan"