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Olympics, day 1

the words don't fit the picture

I do believe that this is the first Olympic games since 1968 to have an organized protest movement against it. Clearly this is history in the making so I headed out with my camera. Besides, I’m sad to say that I haven’t been to a good protest since the rallies to save the CBC Radio Orchestra, so that’s far too long.

There were people there to protest the crazy cost overruns for the games, government cuts to social services and Canada’s shortage of affordable housing. “Homes not games,” was chanted fairly often. Others marched in support of aboriginal groups that aren’t being represented in the ‘Four Host Nations’ or benefiting from that arrangement. And, as always, the tar sands, seal hunt and water privatization were thrown into the mix too.

It was fun and peaceful. There was music and it had a lot of good energy to it. Everyone behaved well, police and demonstrators, and I’m hearing from some friends outside of Canada that some of the issues raised there were covered in the news, which is good.

In the middle of it all there were three people dressed up like zombies looking a little out of place. “Huh, I thought there would be zombies here,” one of them said. It was dark by that time. I snapped a really blurry picture and one of them noticed me. She asked to see the picture. I showed it to her and she decided to pose so that I could take a better one, which unfortunately sucked too much for me to bother uploading.

Olympics Protest

Olympics Protest

It was my roommate’s birthday so she had a bunch of people over. We sat around and watched the opening ceremonies at home. I thought the show itself was impressive and I was glad that it showcased some talent that’s not usually put in front of a mass audience like opera, spoken word and tap dance. You have no idea how much I want a pair of those flaming tap shoes.

We watched in awkward silence during the cauldron fail. We talked about the crazy and outrageously expensive lengths they’ve been going to get enough snow on the runs. I partially won the bet that Rick Hansen would carry the torch. After Gretzky’s kind of long and not very exciting drive through the city to light the cauldron someone said “and that right there is why we have the HST.” It kind of summed up the general sentiment in the room.

I have resolved to take in as much of the entertainment and events as I possibly can over the next two weeks. Still, I can’t help knowing that this whole thing is going to have one hell of a nasty hangover.

Olympics Protest

Olympics Protest

giant protest salmon

Olympics Protest

I have a lot more pictures in my 2010 Olympics Flickr set.

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