TML Daily, January 27, 2010 – No. 19
VANCOUVER is rapidly being militarized. On January 22, fighter jets roared overhead. The following day a cruise ship housing military and police forces dropped anchor in English Bay. The Canadian Forces have also deployed an air balloon to conduct aerial surveillance, similar to ones used by occupation forces in Afghanistan and the Gaza Strip. Double rows of four metre high steel fencing have been erected around several sites downtown including the Westin Bayshore Hotel just outside Stanley Park, the Convention Centre and the main arena, GM Place. Large concrete blocks are being placed everywhere and roads and pathways have been declared off-limits to the public. False Creek and Burrard Inlet are full of police and military boats and large areas around the athletes’ village are no-go areas like the U.S. Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq. Even the False Creek harbour ferry service is to be shut down for an extended period.
Stories abound of small businesses being harassed by the Olympic financial oligarchy. One small distributor of chemical heating packs in business for years received a threatening letter from the Vancouver Olympic Committee telling it to stop using a flame on its packaging claiming it resembled the Olympic torch! A memo went out to the public libraries warning them that non-Olympic brands are prohibited from appearing on library grounds. Non-Olympic brands are those that have not given money to the Olympic financial oligarchy.
Demonstrations in Six Nations on December 19, 2009, against the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, part of growing opposition across Canada to dispossession of the First Nations in BC and theft of social wealth for high-profile events like the Olympics that benefit the monopolies at the expense of the people.