Edmonton Protests Olympic Torch & Tar Sands
No Torch, No Tarsands
Edmontonians stand up against capitalism
by Dawn Paley
EDMONTON-- Dozens of people protested the official Olympics ceremony in downtown Edmonton this evening, an island of resistance in a sea of people out to see the big show.
Those standing together against the torch drew attention to social and environmental issues that they argue are exacerbated by the Olympics.
"Capitalism just makes me feel gross," said Megan Heather, who was leafletting in the crowd gathered at Churchill Square. "It's sort of at the backbone of what is really fucking humans up," she said.
Activsts chanted slogans including "Homes not Games," and "No Olympics on Stolen Native Land."
They also drew a clear link between the tar sands and the 2010 Olympics, but the connection wasn't clear to bystanders.
"Most Edmontonians don't agree with it, they know where the bread and butter comes from," said Ed Dykstra, referring to a banner reading "No tar sands, No Olympics on Native Land."
As for why activists would be concerned about the tar sands, Dykstra also had no idea. "The tar sands is a very minuscule part of the greenhouse gas problem," he said. "As far as mining the ground is concerned, there is nothing growing there in the first place."
"The greenest games that are supposed to be carbon neutral are heavily sponsored by the companies active in the tar sands, the fastest growing contributor to climate change," said Macdonald Sainsby, who also organizes an an annual conference about the tar sands. This year's conference will focus on the Olympics as well as the tar sands.
Three people were handcuffed and detained on the torch route for allegedly swearing at the torch. They were later released without charge.
Audio from yesterday's actions in Edmonton: http://www.mediacoop.ca/audio/2464