“Tourism is not welcome here."
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) – More than 200 masked Olympic protesters splattered red paint and smashed windows of a popular
downtown department store Saturday on the first day of competition at the Vancouver Games.
Police say the group marched through the upscale shopping district, vandalizing cars and stores. Witnesses say protesters threw metal newspaper boxes into the display windows of Hudson’s Bay Company, where Olympic souvenirs are sold.
Police in riot gear quickly moved in and quashed the protest. Police Chief Jim Chu said seven protesters were arrested on a variety of charges, and they were being processed. One of the protesters faces weapons possession charges. Chu said the protester had a bicycle chain wrapped around his fist and was threatening passers-by.
None of the protesters were immediately identified.
Witnesses said nobody appeared injured. Afterward, guards stood in front of the broken windows, which were cordoned off with yellow police tape while Olympic tourists snapped photos. Afterward, workers removed the newspaper boxes.
The protest was organized by the Olympic Resistance Network to "disturb ‘business as usual.’" The ORN is an umbrella group for many causes surrounding the games, ranging from environmental concerns to economic issues.
The most prominent involved native Indians who want to reclaim their property ("No Olympics on Stolen Ancient Land") and those angry over the amount of money spent on Olympics as opposed to public housing ("Homes Not Games").
Phone calls to the group were not immediately returned, but the group sent an e-mail Saturday saying 13 people were arrested that day and three the day before.
FOR THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY:
Once again colonial fascism rears its ugly head as the colonial brownshirts (vancouver police) arrested three Native Warriors on February 13,
2007 for protesting the 2010 winter olympic games, scheduled to take place in unceded Squamish Territory (whistler re: vancouver).
In yet another example of colonial terrorism, the kops arrested NYM Warrior Tselletkwe, of the Secwepemc Nation, Gord Hill of the
Kwakwaka’wakw Nation, and Lynn Highway of the Anishnabe Nation. The kops, well known for the terrorism they inflict on Indigenous Peoples,
also arrested members of the Indigenous Resistance Organizing Committee (IROC).
As the vancouver olympic organizing committee and the vancouver board of trade (businessmen) were celebrating their unveiling of a "3 year
countdown clock" in the downtown business district in vancouver, one Native Warrior stormed the stage and took over the microphone,
yelling "**** the olympics" until the kops managed to capture him and haul him away.
Indigenous People from across "british columbia" participated in this rally, along with non-natives from the Anti-Poverty Committee, who are
protesting the gentrification of the downtown eastside for the "beautiful people", which has resulted in the evictions of hundreds of people from
low-income housing in the dtes. The kops arrested seven protesters during this anti-olympic protest.
NYM Warrior Tselletkwe made a statement upon her release, stating "Our land is not for Sale, we are still at war with kkkanada, we have never
surrendered our land. We want the whole world to know not to come to our lands and to boycott kkkanada and the 2010 olympic games.
Tourism is not welcome here."
Other Indigenous people have been arrested for protesting the 2010 olympic games, like Pacheedaht, Nuuchahnulth Elder Harriet Nahanee
who was sentenced to 14 days in jail for protesting the expansion and development of the sea-to-sky highway, from vancouver to whistler.
The destruction of Indigenous Territories and Sacred Sites must be stopped.
NYM spokespeople stated in response to the arrests: "Human and Indigenous Rights violations here in kkkanada must stop. The governments,
corporations, and colonials continue to drive our People from our homelands and destroy our food and medicine-harvesting areas and basic
necessities to survive and maintain our traditional, ancestral way of life.The olympics is a global event and it will take the global community to
awaken their conscience to boycott this 17-day event."
PIC/SOURCE/STORY: PORTLAND INDYMEDIA
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