Skip to content

Ahead of Olympics, Vancouver assaults civil liberties

Daniel Tencer
Raw Story
Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Vancouver may be the world’s most livable city, at least according to one survey, but many of its residents are upset by what they see as an assault on civil liberties intended to silence critics of the Olympic Games.

For months, this picturesque metropolis of 2 million people, sandwiched between forest-covered mountains and the Pacific Ocean, has been the site of an increasingly bitter dispute between the city’s Olympic organizing committee and civil rights activists who say the city has stepped over the line in its efforts to keep dissent as far away as possible from international news cameras.

The controversy began in earnest last summer, when a group calling itself the Olympics Resistance Network accused the city’s Olympic security unit of harassing their members by showing up at their homes and issuing “thinly veiled threats to interfere with their jobs and invasions of personal spaces,” Vancouver’s The Province reported.

Concerns over civil liberties were ramped up when the provincial government of British Columbia passed a law allowing Vancouver to ban anti-Olympic signs, even when they are on private property. Under that law, residents can be imprisoned for six months and fined $10,000 ($9,500 US) for not removing “offensive” signage. Equally alarming to some was a provision that allows police to enter private property without a warrant to remove the signs.

“It used to be that a person’s home was his castle, but now the local governments want to storm the citadel of every castle to take down signs they regard as offensive to their Olympic plans,” said Robert Holmes, president of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.

“Telling people who exercise free speech that local authorities may barge in, rip down signs inside your property, fine you or throw you in jail will underscore the growing impression that our governments care more about their own camera appearances at Olympic events than about people’s rights,” Holmes added.

Meanwhile, Canadian border guards have been accused of using their powers in an effort to keep out American activists who may criticize the Olympics.

In a widely-reported incident last fall, Amy Goodman, the host of Democracy Now!, was detained at the Washington State-British Columbia border and grilled over whether she planned to discuss the Olympics at public appearances in Canada. Goodman was not; she was scheduled to give a talk about her new book at the Vancouver Public Library.

In a column, Goodman wrote that her treatment at the hands of Canadian border guards was “a flagrant violation of … freedom of speech” that has “serious implications for the freedom of the press in North America.”

Earlier this week, Vancouver’s poet laureate declared he would not participate in the Olympics because of civil rights abuses, as well as attempts by the city to control what Olympics-linked artists do.

“Vancouver is the most politically progressive city in North America with a strong history of political activism which most Vancouverites are proud of,” Brad Cran wrote. “Rather than finding a way to celebrate these important attributes, [the Vancouver Olympics committee] has gone the other way and tried to suppress them.”

vancouverolympicmural Ahead of Olympics, Vancouver assaults civil libertiesMany residents of Vancouver were upset when the city ordered a number of popular and long-lasting murals to be painted over because of concerns it could reflect poorly on the city’s reputation. Vancouverites responded by painting a new mural over the site of one of the old ones, with the words “With glowing hearts, we kill the arts.” That’s a pun on a line in Canada’s national anthem, “With glowing hearts, we see thee rise.”

Residents were further upset when it was reported that the Olympic security unit was planning to ban photography in public spaces around Olympic venues. After a public outcry, officials appear to have backed off that decree.

Some political activists fear the police will use agents provocateurs during anti-Olympic protests — officers dressed as protesters who incite violence so that protesters can then be arrested.

That’s more than a conspiracy theory; in recent years, Canadian police forces have developed a reputation for using just such tactics. Most famously, during a 2007 meeting in Quebec between President George W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon, a masked protester who was inciting violence was outed as a member of Quebec’s provincial police force. His standard-issue police boots gave him away.

Yet Vancouver’s civil rights transgressions are relatively minor compared to what some other Olympic venues have been accused of doing in the name of a picture-perfect Olympics.

In a statement released Friday, Human Rights Watch warned that Olympic Games have been used in the past to crush political dissent, and may be used that way again in the future.

“One ugly legacy of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games is the continued imprisonment in China of those who protested forced evictions or called for human rights improvements there,” the group stated.

“The next Winter Games are scheduled to take place in the Russian town of Sochi, where preparations for the Olympics have already generated concerns about the potential for rights violations linked to these preparations.”

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Civil Rights and Privacy.

Tagged with , , .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's all happening now big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale". This site must be on some list at GCHQ/NSA as my AdSense revenue which I rely on has gone down by a third. Either people are not helping out by visiting sponsors sanymore or I am being blackballed like many YouTube sites.

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally I know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know some people in prison now for the content they had on their "secret private group". Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. If you really need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA/GCHQ to hack into. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and that the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install or other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day - your smart phone. If you are paranoid ensure that you can remove the battery when travelling around and do so to prevent GPS tracking or phone mast triangulation. Even with your phone in Flight mode or turned off, it can be turned on remotely and any features like front or back cameras, microphones and keylogging software can be installed to trace you.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering rubbish) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.


Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?