Olympic Legacy's Early Returns: Evictions, Intimidation, Marginalization

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Olympics Update
by NOII
Dear friends, allies, and supporters: We know you already know that the 2010 Olympics are only a few short months away and are well aware that the Games are having a devastating impact on our communities - from traditional Indigenous territories to the
Downtown Eastside, from migrant workers to low-income families, thousands are being evicted, displaced, and exploited. It is undeniable that the Olympics is causing the devastation of the environment, creating homelessness, perpetuating the theft of Indigenous lands, exploiting migrant labour, forcing greater privatization, accruing massive public debt, and resulting in increased state criminalization.

For anyone who maintains any illusions of Olympic prosperity, recent Olympic budgets make clear that there is no projected Olympic profit. Instead, while thousands are loosing their jobs and access to public services such as education and arts are being cut, Olympic corporate sponsors are getting bailed out. According to a report by the Geneva-based Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, the Olympic Games have displaced more than two million people around the world over the last 20 years (this figure does not include the estimated additional 1 million displaced due to the Beijing Games).
 
Meanwhile over 13,000 RCMP, military & other security personnel will be in Vancouver during February 2010, in the largest so-called peacetime operation in Canadian history.

 
Over the past few years, No One Is Illegal has been  increasingly active in the anti-Olympics movement, offering our support to DTES  residents and anti-poverty organizing efforts, as well as Indigenous land and urban defenders and their allies in the 'No Olympics on Stolen Native Land' movement. We acknowledge that while many people are being negatively impacted by the Olympic Industry one of the most significant impacts is on Indigenous people, which is exactly why VANOC is so desperately trying to sell the idea of grassroots Native consent to the Games. Indigenous people are impacted by the pillage and theft of their lands, disproportionately experiencing poverty and homelessness in urban areas, and are the primary targets of repressive policing and surveillance from land defenders to the heavily criminalized urban poor.

At this time, we are writing to update you that over the next several months, while continuing our ongoing critical anti-deportation and anti-detention support work, No One Is Illegal will be focusing our energies and commitment to anti-Olympics organizing in building (with many others) an effective, inclusive, and disruptive movement. Given the range of social injustices perpetrated by the Games, this movement provides an opportunity for all anti capitalist, Indigenous, anti poverty, labour, migrant justice, anti privatization, housing rights, environmental justice, civil libertarian, and anti militarization activists to join forces against the 5-ring circus of oppression.

In light of the extreme levels of state repression including surveillance, intimidation, and attempts to create divisions in the
movement, we invite all our supporters to get informed, get involved, and express their public solidarity and unity with this growing resistance.   

We realize that we may have many differences in analysis and tactics and that such disagreements are healthy. However we believe such debates should remain internal and we should refrain from publicly denouncing or marginalizing the resistance movement especially to mainstream media and law enforcement.

Of course the most important thing we can all do is to continue our organizing in the shared struggle for justice, dignity, and liberation. If you have any feedback or comments or concerns for us on this, please do not hesitate to get in touch as we would love to hear your thoughts! And please stay tuned for a series of NOII-organized and NOII-endorsed anti Olympics events and monthly meeting discussions to collectively engage further.

In solidarity,
No One Is Illegal Vancouver,
Coast Salish Territories
noii-van.resist.ca

Tracey Mann
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