AWOL occupy roof in solidarity with anti-Olympics convergence, Feb 13 2010

AWOL occupy roof in solidarity with anti-Olympics convergence, Feb 13 2010

AW@L activists occupy roof in solidarity with anti-Olympics convergence in Vancouver

As Olympics begin, protests escalate to "clog the arteries of

WATERLOO, Ontario -- Today, activists from AW@L are descending upon the heart of Uptown Waterloo, dropping a banner to protest Royal Bank of Canada's (RBC's) involvement in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and the Tar Sands.This action is occurring in conjunction with the Anti-Olympic convergence taking place in Vancouver. Convergence organizers have called for a "Heart Attack: Street March to Clog the Arteries of Capitalism" in Vancouver today. Several AW@Lmembers, alongside allies from across the province, are in Vancouver directly participating in the convergence.

The 2010 Olympics are notorious for ballooning public debt, greenwashing
environmental destruction, increasing homelessness, theft of indigenous
lands, denial of civil liberties, corporate co-option of culture, and a
disturbing billion-dollar security program.

RBC is a primary sponsor of the 2010 Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, which
both RBC and Canada are using to "greenwash" their image before Canadian and
international audiences. RBC is also one of the leading financiers of the
Tar Sands, which have been recognized by the Rainforest Action Network as
one of the most environmentally destructive projects on earth, and is one of
the reasons for Canada's shameful international environmental reputation.

AW@L spokesperson Adam Lewis describes the reasons for today's events: "As
residents in Vancouver are forced from their living quarters to make way for
expensive condo developments to accommodate the Games, and as social
services face cutbacks, corporations like RBC have been permitted to
lavishly spend on a 14-day circus masquerading as a sporting event.
Capitalism itself calls for the marginalization of the poor to squeeze the
most from the most downtrodden members of society. The Vancouver 2010
Olympics and RBC directly reinforce this capitalist spirit and must be

Lewis continues, likening the Olympics to the very form of capitalism that
has led to the economic crisis, saying: "The 2010 Olympics are a direct
example of the kind of crooked capitalism that corporations like RBC are
ready to push to make a profit. They show complete disregard for the
resulting environmental and social implications. We have been complacent for
too long. It is time to clog the arteries of the Olympic lie and corporate
disaster." As such, AW@L is here today to protest and bring to light RBC's
central role in the continuing environmental disasters that are the Alberta
Tar Sands and the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

AW@L and the Kitchener-Waterloo community have been resisting the
Vancouver Olympics since 2008, when AW@L members joined allies from Six
Nations and across Southwestern Ontario to block the Olympic Spirit Train.
This past December, over 200 people gathered to resist the City of
Kitchener's Olympic torch celebration. Currently, members of AW@L and
activists from across Canada and the United States are at the anti-Olympics
convergence, today marching in the streets of Vancouver to "clog the
arteries of capitalism".

Rooted in KW, comprised of student activists and community organizers, AW@L is a
community based direct action group that targets perpetuators of war
and environmental destruction, and stands in solidarity with Indigenous
activists who are fighting against colonialism, and all people who struggle
against oppression in all its forms.

For live updates from the convergence, see

For further information, see

 For Immediate Release: February 13, 2010