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2010 Olympics

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Poverty Olympics Torch Relay (onto London 2012)

by Poverty Olympic Torch Relay

2010 Olympics

Crowd gathers for the Poverty Olympic Torch Relay
Itchy the bedbug on the far left and members of the Citywide Housing Coalition
Poverty Olympics Torch Relay (onto London 2012)
Poverty Olympics Torch Relay (onto London 2012)
Poverty Olympics Torch Relay (onto London 2012)
Poverty Olympics Torch Relay (onto London 2012)
Poverty Olympics Torch Relay (onto London 2012)
Poverty Olympics Torch Relay (onto London 2012)
Artists rendition of what the Olympics are all about

The Corporate Olympics are going to London, England-- and so are the Poverty Olympics!

Poverty Olympics Torch handover ceremony took place at the dreaded Olympic Cauldron at the Vancouver Convention Center.

No surprise to many activists, since "the Olympic Cauldron" is a major symbol of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

At the Corporate Olympic Cauldron, which cost millions, their own more modest Cauldron will light a very modest Torch. A representative of the London Coalition Against Poverty (LCAP) and someone from the Vancouver Poverty Olympics. The PO Torch will then be flown to England, accompanied by the LCAP rep.

The PO Flame will be protected by a specially-designed receptacle until the handover is completed during a final inspiring ceremony in London.

"This is the first intercontinental journey of the Poverty Olympics Torch". "We hope it will be the first of many journeys by the PO Torch to future Olympic cities", says Rider Cooey of Citywide Housing Coalition.

One vocal and obvious pro-Olympic capitalist is Bob Rennie. Since his capitalistic ideals and money making schemes have made him a local hero to some, and certainly to activists in the downtown eastside - a gentrifier & capitalistic money loving ________.

Perhaps in Bob Rennie's world, the Olympics were nothing but a great corporate capitalistic win. To quote some of the venerable, but VERY misguided and perhaps ignorant capitalist: “My village!” he cries out as he spots the site of the Olympic Village. Which turns out to be a major headache for The City of Vancouver in many regards. Financially they had to borrow tons of money and rushed it through. Many who were promised social housing, which in the end, the City of Vancouver went back on from their original proposal, almost to 0% deeply subsidized. Almost all of the subsidized housing at False Creek/Athletes Village are going to civic workers. (like police/fire/ambulance) The "false promises on false creek" demonstration/rally took place at the public opening. The demonstration forced the opening to close early. See: &

More Bob Rennie quotes:

"But I think with the Olympics it was seriously a $6 billion television commercial."

"We thought we’d try it but we didn’t want to go Starbucks, we didn’t want it to be that gentrified."

"It did everything we imagined" - he is speaking about the now infamous "W" - Woodwards building project, that is now one of the linch pins of "the gentrification project" for the downtown eastside of Vancouver. Already displacing downtown eastside Vancouver residents, (many who have been there for decades) bringing in land spectulators and raising rents for low income people. (for more in-depth on this fascinating and sad tale of displacement and very negative effects of this capitalism see:

Rally during the Olympics for a national housing program:

Rennie’s critics, of whom there are many in Vancouver, were at the torch relay.

Rider Cooey(City Wide Housing, says Rennie’s pattern is to gentrify and condo-ize. The Downtown Eastside is his latest target. “This building is his vanity project,” he says, “He’s a marketer. The more he gets those quotes out about making a difference in the neighborhood, the more successful he’ll be.”

Jean Swanson, coordinator of Carnegie Community Action Project, a neighborhood community centre, has tangled with Rennie in the past. “Who does it benefit?”. Meanwhile, residents are being pushed out, rents in crummy hotels are running $800 a month.” A mapping project (See CCAP - Carnegie Community Action Project) found 95 per cent want to live here—with good housing, she says. “They like the non-judgmental nature of it; they’re stigmatized in other neighborhoods.”

In the end, many who do not "drink the coolaid" or are not totally brainwashed by our crappy corporate lying media, know all too well the rip off Olympics were. Good for some and very negative for many. Some say the very people to which all this wasted money should have gone to.

In the end, these corporate capitalism eliteist deals, like the Olympics, are one of many tools to oppress whole populations and support greed, police states and militarism.

I. as a first nations person in Canada, an activist, shit disturber, Vancouver Media Coop reporter and sustainer, am ashamed of the 2010 Olympics and all the bullshit that came with them.

I am, however, damn proud to be in the company of many activists and enlightened social justice minded peoples who came together to remind everyone of the many deeper truths of the Olympic mystique. I believe plenty paid attention and many are awakened by this truth.

Forward on "we" go!

Gratefully loving the mother earth here on unceeded coast salish territory / east Van

Tami Starlight - VMC

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