February 11, 2008

Indigenous Protest 2010 Olympics: Raw Footage


Scroll down to "BC Audio & Video". Titled "Olympic Protest - Raw footage of confrontation, with comments by Ange Sterrit."
The follow was passed around in email lists.

Quick Report on Feb 11, 2008 Anti-2010 Rally

Natives Lead Protest Against 2010 'Corporate Countdown'

On the same day as a fourth highway in the province was closed due to avalanche threats, and on the eve of the two-year countdown to the 2010 Winter Olympics, some 150 mostly Native protesters took to the streets in downtown Vancouver to express their opposition to the Olympics.

After rallying at the Art Gallery, the march then went to the Countdown Clock led by elders from the Downtown Eastside Women's Center, where more speeches were made, then on to the Hyatt hotel, where government officials, VANOC, and corporate sponsors were gathered for a luncheon to mark the 2-year countdown to 2010.

At the hotel's entrance police lined up to block their entry as protesters, led by the Native elders, sang songs and made speeches denouncing the negative impacts of 2010 on Indigenous people, women, the poor, and the environment.

While only 20 or so cops were visible, numerous passenger vans and trucks parked on a side-street indicated the presence of the Vancouver Police crowd control unit in the hotel, some commanders of which were seen in the main entrance to the hotel. Police also conducted extensive surveillance of protesters.

After rallying for another hour at the hotel, the protest dispersed.

Although lacking the militant direct action of last year's protests, this protest was an important historical event in that it strongly demonstrated Indigenous opposition to 2010, led by Native elders (including Wolverine, Secwepemc nation and veteran of the 1995 Gustafsen Lake standoff).

More to follow from me soon.


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