here is something a friend of mine wrote. i’m reprinting it because, well, i’m not a big fan of the olympics here. (yet? maybe i’ll change my mind? there’s a few days yet to go …)
right now the city is in the midst of preparations, and deep collective angst, for the games that will be descending upon us in less than three weeks. things are already getting interesting. on my way back to work after lunch yesterday when i was walking over the cambie street bridge (which, for those who are not familiar with our fair city, is near both the police station and the olympic village) i saw myriad upon myriad of white cars parked below the bridge. on closer inspection i saw that they were all police cars. i have never in my life seen so many cop cars in one place! there were hundreds and hundreds of them. i guess our men and women in blue want us (some of us anyway!) to feel real extra safe during these games.
in other news i attended my first anti-olympic demonstration in the downtown eastside which is our poorest neibghbourhood and canada’s poorest postal code. the theme of this demonstration was against police brutality and oppression against anyone in this city who is against the olympics. as many of you will know many many individuals here have been targeted, visited, harassed and interrogated by the police and by border officials over their alleged opposition to the games and a lot of us are getting pretty sick of this.
it was quite an angry protest and while i can’t say that i endorse everything that was said (for example i am not about to do my part to help smash the state or overthrow the capitalist system, much as i also disapprove of them), i understand and empathize with the anger and the emotion being expressed. of course the games are being held on unceded native land and no matter how much spin we are getting from the media it appears that our first nations peoples are still getting a very raw deal, particularly with the environmental degradation, lack of respect and policies of exclusion that the games are going to foist on all of us who don’t have the money to pay for these events nor to participate in many of the celebrations.