On Thursday, January 21st, four guys from Canada- Testament, Illogik, and the Outspoken Wordsmiths, presented to a group of about a dozen young folks in Petaluma. They were on a tour through the west coast to spread the word about the resistance to the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, which will take place on unceded Native territory. Many groups, from indigenous tribes, to environmental activists, from homeless advocates to anti-police abuse groups, will be organizing protests for the two weeks that the games will take place this February.
Testament broke down the concerns behind the Olympics, which range from the fact that the games are taking place on stolen Native land, to the massive displacement of low-income and homeless people from Vancouver. He also discussed the massive spending ($6 billion dollars!) to host the Olympics, money that is simultaneously being denied to people in need of social programs, education, health care, etc. Furthermore, although this Olympics is being billed as the "greenest games ever," over 100,000 trees have been cut down in preparation for the games, and much land has been paved over to build roads. Lastly, draconian laws have been passed to prevent any protest, and hundreds of high-tech cameras have been installed all around the city to monitor any "suspicious" activity. The Canadian military is sending thousands of soldiers, calling this their "biggest operation in history." We can only guess what this means- suppression of free speech.
After talking about the Olympics, Testament joined Illogik and the Outspoken Wordsmiths for a half hour spoken word and hip hop performance, with poignant pieces about police brutality and protest. Following that, Illogik led a brief self-defense introduction and taught the participants how to break free from several different holds.
We thank our Canadian comrades for stopping by to share their stories, music, and knowledge with us. We wish them luck as they take to the streets next month in protest. "No Olympics on Stolen Native Land!"
visit www.no2010.com for more information about the resistance