Native Youth Block Olympic Torch Relay, 8 Arrested During Shut Down of Highway

5 01 2010

Passing on some news from the native brothers and sisters in Canada.

ORN-O [Olympic Resistance Network-Ontario] Blockades Olympic Torch Relay, 8 People Arrested During Shut
Down of Trans Canada Highway

For Immediate Release,  January 2, 2010

Contact: Attorney Davin Charney – 226 747 2317 or No2010@peaceculture.org

Aboriginal protesters counter Canada and VANOC’s claims that the 2010
Games are supported by First Nations

Nairn Centre, Ontario—Today just before 1pm a group of aboriginal
youth and allies briefly blockaded the Trans Canada Highway bridge
over the Spanish River (west of Espanola), disrupting the Olympic
Torch Relay on its way from Sudbury to Sault Ste Marie. Youth from
several different First Nations attempted to erect a 20ft tripod to
block the Torch Relay. All eight have been arrested by local police.

Today’s blockade was to draw attention to the real injustices being
perpetuated by VANOC and the IOC for the 2010 Olympics; to draw
attention away from the sanitized and greenwashed version of Canada
that the government and the Games are trying to present. Olympic
Resistance Network protests across the country have highlighted the
ongoing colonization of unceded Indigenous territories, environmental
destruction caused for the Games, and the displacement and
criminalization of the urban poor in Vancouver, the squandering of
public resources to pay for the Games, and the instigation of a
contemporary police state to secure them.

Anishinabe youth Mark Corbiere, said that, “VANOC and the government
of Canada can no longer whitewash Canada’s brutal legacy of ongoing
colonialism, nor its abysmal environmental record; these are the
things Canada and VANOC really represent, and we will not let them use
the Olympic spotlight to put their lies unchallenged before the global
public.”

This peaceful blockade, conducted in solidarity with communities
affected by the Olympics in British Columbia, comes on the heels of
direct actions across southern Ontario, including at Torch Relay stops
in Kingston, Toronto, Hamilton, Six Nations, Oneida, London,
Stratford, Kitchener, Guelph and Barrie. At all of these stops, one of
the main messages has been, “No Olympics on Stolen Native Land.”

The group explains that this anti-Olympic slogan counters recent media
claims that Canada’s aboriginal communities support the Games: “VANOC
and the government of Canada want Canadians and the world to believe
that they have worked with First Nations people in allegedly
meaningful ways to create a so-called joint partnership for the
Games,” said Corbiere. “However,” he continues, “the reality is that
the organizers of the 2010 Games have taken every opportunity to
profit from the destruction of Indigenous lands, appropriate
Indigenous culture, create division within Indigenous communities, and
generally forward the destructive myth that First Nations are treated
with respect and dignity by the Canadian government; we resist against
these lies, we resist against Canadian colonialism, and we support
those who say no to the tidal wave of Olympic development on our
lands.”

All Eight people have already been released. ORN-O’s legal and media
teams are waiting for updates.

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One response

6 01 2010
Marie

Keep up the good work!! I sincerely hope no one was hurt.

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