Home > Olympics, Riot 2010 > Lets get this party started

Lets get this party started

Crashing the 2010 Winter Games:
Anti-Olympic Convergence in Vancouver

“For security reasons I can’t confirm whether or not I myself will be traveling to Vancouver.” Thats what I told Geoff Dembicki from The Tyee, that was quoted in the article he wrote, Who are the 2010 Protesters?

The security reasons that I was referring to concern the 900 million dollar budget that has been afforded to 2010 Olympics’ Vancouver Integrated Security Unit (VISU). Of that preposterous budget, some amount of money has already been spent sending a pair of CSIS agents to the door of my apartment in Waterloo. Dozens of anti-Olympic activists and advocates have been confronted as well as harrassed in Vancouver by VISU. We also know that, in the United States, pre-emptive arrests are increasingly a strategy used to repress any mass anti-capitalist demonstration.

From February 10-15, the Olympic Resistance Network (ORN) is hosting an anti-Olympic Convergence. They have “call[ed] on all anti-capitalist, Indigenous, housing rights, labour, migrant justice, environmental, anti-war, community-loving, anti-poverty, civil libertarian, and anti colonial activists to come together to confront this two-week circus and the oppression it represents.”

AW@L has publicly stated that we are going to have people on the ground during the Olympics, participating in the Convergence.

Knowing that the RCMP and CSIS already have had their eyes on me, made me very apprehensive. To be honest, I was feeling fear about the possibility of being targetted for pre-arrest as an activist from an organization that describes itself as a “radical direct action group,” as we do.

Well, fuck it.

I am, in fact, going to be in Vancouver for the No2010 Convergence.

Fuck the police.

We have been publicly organizing against the Olympics since 2008 when AW@L’s version of the No2010 Campaign was originally designed to incorporate resistance against the G8 and the Security and Prosperity Parntership (SPP)–both then scheduled to have their meeings in Canada in 2010. Since then, the formal SPP agenda has been “de-activated.” Meanwhile, we are gearing up for the G8/20 in Toronto this coming June.

I have no intention of allowing legitimate fear (of the police and their attack tactics) to disuade me from confronting the injustice that is represented by the Olympics. Meaningful resistance tends to occur in the face of oppression.

I am not against the sports. I am against the propaganda. I am against the developement paradigm. I am against the system.

The anti-Olympic Convergence will see protests and direct action targetting corporate profiteers and destroyers of the environment, gentrification and homelessness, militarization and war, migrant justice, civil liberties, public spending, exploitation of labour, missing and murdered women, stolen native land, Indigenous sovereignty and solidarity, colonialism in general, and the capitalist system itself.

Olympic organizers and corporate sponsors, as well as politicians and pundits will tell you that hosting the Olympics is an excersice is nation building. Perhaps surprisingly, I couldn’t agree more.

The Olympics are a time during which a formal and official discourse about what the country stands for and is defined by, is presented to the world and also to Canadians themselves. In 2010, Canada, VANOC and the corporate sponsors of the Games are telling everyone that Canada is a “green” country that has a respectful and progressive relationship with First Nations and their Peoples. But we all know that is bullshit. This has all been said before.

But now I am here in Vancouver; on the ground, so-to-speak.

The other day, Bud Mercer–top cop with VISU–reported that, they “have information that there is at least one group from Eastern Canada that’s here, that’s looking to participate on the 12th and 13th.”

Thats right, Bud. We are here. And just like I told The Tyee, we are here to support the ORN and its associated groups that are defending their rights, their neighbourhoods, their lands, their nations, and indeed, their lives. As was reported, we have signed onto the ORN’s Statement on Solidarity and Unity, and that includes an endorsement of a full diversity of tactics.

Mercer says that “there are groups which are considering and planning to engage in criminal protesting during the 2010 Games.”

Im not sure what Mercer considers “criminal,” but if he wants to play a game of hyperbole, there is a long list of crimes that he and upward of 15000 other cops, soliders and security personell will be trying to prevent us from “protesting” against. They will be protecting greenwashers, gentrifiers and colonizers, and they will be participating in the largest police mobilization in Candian history and ushering in a new era of repression in this so-called country.

Does this mean that I am admitting that we will be engaging in “criminal protesting”? No. This is not admission of criminal intent. I will say, however, that I do intend to disrupt the narrative being presented by VANOC’s 2010 Olympics. We, in fact, echo one of the Olympics’ taglines; we too wish to “create a better Canada.”

We, like they, are using this moment as one for nation building, or in our case; movement building. However, our movement stands against colonialism, not for it.

As I told The Dominion recently, “I think the torch relay [and the anti-Olympics campaign have been] a major step where various forms of anti-colonial and anti-capital resistance that were rooted in very different places and different issues along those common themes [have] come together physically in several places.”

I am here in Vancouver.

See you in the streets.

ps. dont forget to follow twitter and this blog for updates from the Convergence. also check out 2010.mediacoop.ca and peaceculture.org

  1. "create a better Canada"
    February 9, 2010 at 12:11 am

    I would even say “create a better world”.

    Llevamos un mundo nuevo en nuestros corazones… ¡otro mundo es posible!

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