'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Celebrate the 2010 Winter Olympics (Part 1) 

The Eastside of Vancouver is the epicenter of hostility to the 2010 Winter Olympics. As noted by Harsha Walia of the Olympic Resistance Network:

We see that the Games have been overrun with a budget of over $7 billion; indigenous lands continue to be exploited and stolen, with ski resort development all across British Columbia; increasing poverty and criminalization of the poor in the Downtown Eastside; a massive cutback in public spending; and an increasing budget for policing and militarization here in Vancouver. We have $1 billion that are being sunk into a military-police state in the lead-up to the Olympics.

Or, as noted by Harjap Grewal of the Network:

We don’t see the Olympics industry as being that much different than these other institutions that are unaccountable to the people of the world. The IOC is like the WTO. The IOC is like the IMF, is like the World Bank. And it encourages the transfer of wealth from public hands to private pockets.

Precisely. And, not surprisingly, you find the same kind of people, governments and corporations associated with all three of them.

On Friday night, I watched some of the opening ceremony on television. One of the most shocking things about it was the offensive expropriation of the First Nations to define the event. As with the Summer Games in Sydney in 2000, the Canadiens have been shameless in exploiting indigenous people to manufacture a facade of multicultural harmony after stealing much of their land and killing them in large numbers. It seems that the more a country has abused a particular community, the more suitable it is for a prominent role in the marketing of the Games.

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