i know that i already posted this, a long long time ago, but given that the olympics have now officially started, i thought i'd post it again.
The Opening Ceremonies were last night, and yesterday afternoon/evening there was a huge march from the Vancouver Art Gallery to BC Place, where the opening ceremonies were. i was so amazed and inspired by how many people were there, and despite what mainstream media is reporting, the vast vast majority of the people marching were united in their reasons.
a lot of the time we get ourselves into a position (we being the left) of being really divided, because we all focus on different things. but yesterday was definitely about the games, about the games taking place on unceded native land, about the need for low income housing, about broken promises of using athletes housing for low income housing, about the environmental impact of the games, about the massive government cuts to social services and the arts, just in time to show off the sanitized and stolen "arts and culture" of this area, about the refusal to provide additional funding for social programs that will experience a huge increase in use during the olympics (such as battered women's support) due to the influx of tourists, about the "cleaning up" of the downtown eastside (poorest postal code in canada, for those that don't know) by physically moving homeless people to other areas, into shelters against their will, or arresting them for things like jaywalking just to get them off the streets so that the tourists don't have to see them, about the massive overspending and the debt we will be left with, and finally, the compromises to our civil rights and the huge amount of military and security personnel in vancouver waiting to enforce them. and that's just the short version of it, really! if you're interested in learning more, the vancouver media co-op has lots of pretty current updates on their site, as well as some explanatory videos.
i tried to take some pictures, but frankly, i'm freaking short! i ended up getting a lot more pictures of people's heads than i'd have liked. but i did get pictures of some of the signs, there were so many more! there were a lot more about native land, but most of them were banners, and banners were the hardest to get clear photos of.
the vancouver art gallery. this barely barely shows the people there. there were so many more behind us and on the other side of the lawn.
blurry, i know, but it was one of the more creative signs. plus, we talk a lot about the child poverty rate, which is atrocious, but we don't talk nearly enough about our seniors and our elders and their inability to access resources. i am so thankful that my relatives don't live in this province.
(you might think it looks like a joint that they've drawn here. no, that's the olympic torch. it just happens to look like a joint, that's all!)
this is what greeted us at the end of the march. rows and rows of cops in riot gear.
for a peaceful protest. see above re: civil rights.