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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Notes for Feb 13

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

A couple notes before I head out today:

RE: protests

The media has been reporting on the protests yesterday and today. The Tyee ran an article about the one I was at, which was really peaceful. The organizers stressed non-violence there, stating that there were elders in the crowd who could get injured.

I really agree with a lot of the issues and concerns people have with the Olympics. These games were supposed to have an important social legacy and pump lots of money into the economy. Instead costs have soared, social promises have been reneged upon, and the government is planning to cancel surgeries, lay off staff and close schools to pay for this, and deal with dissent through a 15,000 member police force.

That being said, I’m totally against the use of violence and vandalism in these protests. Breaking windows doesn’t accomplish anything other than getting bad press in the media and alienating people who may have otherwise listened and been supportive.

Olympics Protest

In the middle of the protest yesterday a group of black-hoodied masked people moved up toward the police line. They had stolen some pylons and barricades from the street. I remember seeing them and thinking that if something went wrong, it would probably be these guys stirring up shit and that things could get out of hand really quickly.

Unfortunately that seems to have been the case today. Protests turned violent. Charges will be laid.

RE: Photography

I’ve been having a lot of fun so far photographing the games as I see them. Corinna Gusgreeper has been nice enough to mention them on flickr.

Also, one of my photos has been featured on The Tyee today! I started squealing and jumping up and down when I found out.

RE: knitting olympics

According to Steve I am honour-bound to blog about this. I am attempting to knit a pair of knee socks during the duration of the Vancouver Olympics. Given that I seem to suddenly have a lot of exciting things to chase down with my camera, I’m not sure if I will finish. He told me that he is planning to knit an entire sweater in Jamaican colours in honour of the lone Jamaican athlete at these games. So cheer us on, if you wish.

I will upload some photos of this later.

A shout out goes to the lovely Beentsy, who is organizing this madness.

Olympics, day 1

Friday, February 12th, 2010

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.