“Every generation needs a new revolution.”
-Thomas Jefferson

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Staceyann Chin, National Equality March 10/10/09 photo: Ed Needham

Friday, February 5, 2010

Not the Vancouver you remember.

Vancouver is rife with tension with the 2010 Olympic Winter Games around the corner. Citizens and community groups are upset with how the city's poor, homeless, and vulnerable have been trodden over in hopes of an economic bonanza for some. Protests have been planned for weeks and will surely be a stark contrast to the games themselves. The story has been picked up by foreign news outlets with commentary such as this from the Sunday Times of Australia “North America’s festering sore of what do with its homeless and disenfranchised is crystallized in a few short blocks.” Not a nice picture, is it? The New York Times article by Greg Bishop below provides some depth.

photo: Wendell Phillips

The New York Times.

In the Shadow of the Olympics.
Greg Bishop

"Host cities have long been accused of sanitizing rough areas in the run-up to the Olympics. Government efforts were taken to another level for the 2008 Beijing Games, as historical neighborhoods were bulldozed in a slum-clearance program. Vancouver’s actions, though less drastic, have drawn objections from some community groups; at a protest Monday they called the information center propaganda and whitewashing."

1 comment:

Helyne said...

Have you seen Amy Goodman's coverage of the Vancouver Olympics? She went to Canada a couple of months ago for an unrelated speaking engagement, and was detained for hours while the border agents grilled her about the upcoming Olympics, and went through her belongings, including her electronic devices. The Vancouver Olympics weren't even on her radar screen UNTIL THEN.
Canadian officials are very sensitive about the press coverage of these games. It appears they were so sensitive about it, they were willing to violate the rights of an internationally respected journalist to try to keep her out of the country.
I wonder if, in hindsight, that appears to have been a mistake?