News Release

Protesting the Olympics?


Sportswriter Zirin’s latest book is “A People’s History of Sports in the United States.” He just wrote the piece “When Snow Melts: Vancouver’s Olympic Crackdown,” which states: “News Flash: Winter Olympic officials in tropical Vancouver have been forced to import snow — on the public dime — to make sure that the 2010 games proceed as planned. This use of tax dollars is just the icing on the cake for increasingly angry Vancouver residents.”

Walia is a member of the Olympic Resistance Network. She cites a number of problems with how the Olympics are being run, including their “overt militarization, with visible troops, helicopters and jet fighters [and] the criminalization of poor people and street vendors who are being forced out of the city center.” Another issue is the environmental impact of the games, such as forest clearing, as well as “greenwashing” by oil companies sponsoring the games, including companies involved in the Alberta tar sands.

The group has also criticized the Canadian government for barring some journalists and indigenous rights activists from Canada; and the Canadian government’s general treatment of indigenous people.

For background, see:

NPR, “Olympics Met With Mixed Emotions By First Nations

France 24, “Vancouver’s poverty Olympics

Democracy Now, “Vancouver Activists Greet Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony With People�s Summit, Protest

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.