Not everybody supports the Olympics

Not everybody supports the Olympics

warning: low quality photo above and poltical rant below

A small number of people with the Olympic Resistance Network (ORN) circulated through the crowd, handing out pamphlets. They wore masks, were repeatedly questioned and continuously followed by a group of police officers. So much so, that at first I mistakenly thought they were under arrest and being led away.

ORN has advocated and engaged in disruptions of the torch and other Olympic events in other cities. So, the police have justification in taking some action.

But sadly, police throughout Canada have systematically harassed almost any suspected Olympic critic. So, mainly the diehards, who are usually the most radical, are left. Like most major global movements, there’s lots good and bad about the Olympics, and it’s sad there is so little intelligent debate.

Personally, I disagree with all of ORN’s disruptive tactics, and most of it’s agenda (for example I don’t consider myself an "illegal occuppier" in the land of my birth, as they do). But, I also see a danger when police abuse their powers.

A scary fact, is that BC actually passed a law making it illegal to hand out leaflets, or display signs that aren’t pro-Olympics during the Olympic period in the host communities. Police can walk on to private property (even residential), and remove such signs, without a warrant. People leafleting (like these people) could be arrested, and have their material confisicated, again with warrant. These police state laws were a condition imposed by the IOC.

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Flame arrived in Calgary on Monday, January 18. One of the welcoming events was held in the evening at Olympic Plaza in the downtown. Due to heavy crowds, I did’t get any good photos of the Torch or even the main stage. So, instead, I took in the surroundings.

Photographer: Robert Thivierge

Date Taken2010-01-18 18:46:22
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Location51.045427,-114.058803

This page was created by Rob’s FlickR Importer on May 20, 2021 @ 11:38 am EDT.