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Subversion of Olympic Propaganda in Winnipeg, Manitoba

by anonymous

Subversion of Olympic Propaganda in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Also posted by weweremadeforthis:

On the night of Wednesday, December 23, we crept out into the city armed with only paper and paste to make war on Olympic propaganda. We vandalized four bus shelter advertisements for Zellers/HBC Olympic fashion with our alternative message: RIOT 2010. “We were made for this”.

View the photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/weweremadeforthis/

The Olympics are capital accumulated to the point of becoming image – just as there is now more money in the world than there is actual currency to represent it, the human actors in the theatre of the Olympic Games cannot bear the weight of the capital invested in their performance. Hence VANOC’s request of the VSO to allow their music to be taped and mimed during the opening ceremonies’ “live” broadcast, hence VANOC’s insistence on having pre-recorded video of indigenous dance rather than live — when probably billions of dollars are invested in the ritual of the games being performed convincingly, “authentically,” the danger in having real people participating in this display is too great: they might cough, hit the wrong note, look at the camera in the eye at the wrong time, thus causing the whole edifice of Canadian nationalism to come crashing down for a fraction of a second.

Worse yet, these uncontrollable elements might say a few words about the actual material effects of the games: 2400 people made homeless by skyrocketing rents as a result of Olympic gentrification, vast tracts of unceded native land devastated to build highways and ski resorts, laws passed that prevent free speech, and close to a billion dollars spent on “security” surveilling, intimidating, and arresting those who act against this colossus of oppression.

But the icy tentacles of Olympic social control reach deeper than this. By presenting the games as a festival of international peace and friendship, the IOC allows the nations of the world to deny any internal conflict, pretending to represent their people as anything but discontented. This is a lie; people of every country are sick of the totalizing effects of capital, state, and culture, and Canada is no exception, yet it is only by dropping their specific indigenous nationality and assimilating themselves into a colonial Canadian identity that native athletes can compete.

At the same time, this “Canadian identity” is bought and sold by global corporations (get a free Team Canada flag with the purchase of two 591mL bottles of Coke) so that one’s sense of self becomes predicated on consumption: the perfect merger of capital and state.

Meanwhile, the culture of athleticism reduces physical activity to a reified category (“exercise”), devoid of the danger of death, and conflict into a meaningless ritual with arbitrary goals (“sport”) preventing us ever from experiencing the real freedom of survival as our bodies desire it. Any semblance of empowerment under such a regime is impossible.

However, there is hope for revolt. Clearly, image is more important to VANOC and the IOC than anything else, as illustrated by the bylaws erected that make it illegal to display a sign within downtown Vancouver during the games and that give police the right to invade any home displaying anti-Olympic messages without warning.

Therefore, we resolve to sabotage their messages as they attempt to suppress ours. We refuse to allow their colonial capitalist imagery to pollute our environment.

We will subvert their bullshit at every turn.

RIOT 2010

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