February 19, 2010

Statement of WFDY On the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada

The opening of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games has been met with a wide-range of protest in the streets of Vancouver, Canada. The World Federation of Democratic Youth expresses its solidarity with the popular opposition to this corporate circus.

The Olympic Games are supposed to be about peace and friendship. The Canadian government has no mandate to host the Games. It is implicated in operations to destabilize African countries like of the coast of Somalia. It has deployed thousands of police and troops into Haiti. It is providing vocal diplomatic support to the Apartheid regime of Israeli. It is engaged in an imperialist war in Afghanistan. In a reactionary affront to democracy, Canada’s Conservative government dissolved the current parliamentary session because of the Olympics - although in reality parliament was shut down to avoid a growing torture scandal involving Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

The 2010 Olympics are racist and dishonorable towards Aboriginal nations. For example, the symbol of the games is an Inuit sculpture, a people whose territory is thousands of kilometers away. But “branding” can not hide the long genocidal history of the Canadian state and ruling class towards the Aboriginal nations. Despite public pressure, the Canadian state refuses to sign the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Games will be held on unsurrendered Aboriginal land where no treaties have been signed and resistance continues. Today, one-in-two Aboriginal children, including First Nations and Metis people, live in poverty. On many Indian Reserves there is no clean drinking water. The opening of the Games coincides with a Canada-wide day of action for the over 3000 Aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered since 1980. As aboriginal peoples and their allies have said, big business and the government have no respect for aboriginal sovereignty and self-determination, no money to ‘pay the rent.’ But there are billions of dollars to spend on Olympics.

In fact, just the ‘security’ bill for the Olympics - involving US and Canadian military, as well as thousands of para-military police - is $1 billion. This is an attempt to prevent people’s democratic right to protest, free speech and association. Striking workers have been legislated back to work for the Olympics. Thousands of poor people made homeless and criminalized. Environments and ecosystems have been destroyed. The recent border interrogation of progressive US radio host Amy Goodman has brought into the public spotlight the aggressive police harassment and repression of anti-Olympic activists.

The Olympic Games have transferred billions of dollars from the working people to corporate coffers. The immense public debt generated by the Olympics represents money that should have been spent on people’s needs, like job creation, more accessible education, housing, health care, libraries, child care, and affordable transit. The WFDY salutes those who opposed this injustice, particularly sister Harriet Nahannee who died from pneumonia afflicted while unjustly jailed for protesting. WFDY calls for sports to cherish fair-play and cooperation and promote peace, internationalism and solidarity - not militarism, elitism and consumerism.

No Olympics on Stolen Native Land!
Sports for people, not profit!

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