Anti-Poverty Committee: Resisting Olympics

The wrecking balls of the 2010 Olympic games are in full swing. At least 350 low-income housing units have been eliminated, with the former tenants relocated to the streets by city staff. Although for the most part the closures have been conducted in a shroud of silence, mass organising has met each shutdown. Tenant committees have been formed, press conferences have been held, and city hall chambers have been occupied - all this with virtually no attention from the media or general public.

This is no doubt due to the vast array of capitalist investments in the Olympic games and the fanfare surrounding them. The continuation of colonial advancement across the province, and the intensification of social cleansing within urban centres are two of several examples of private interests setting public policies. While ski resorts are built on traditional land - displacing the people who live there - homes in the city are also being destroyed. Both of these combine to further boost the increase of homeless people in this province, among whom poor, aboriginal women number disproportionately high.

Beyond the propaganda and progressive rhetoric of ‘winter games’ and ‘revitalisation,’ struggles are being aligned to fight the realities of colonisation and urban social cleansing. Coalitions of organizations whose work ranges from representing the defenders of barricades on unceded indigenous territory, to anti-homelessness activists fighting to maintain shelter in the DTES, have united to build anti-Olympic strategies.

The Anti-Poverty Committee finds its strength in the struggles for day-to-day survival. Fighting to provide basic subsistence to our brothers and sisters we feel the movement is being strengthened. Those who have no shelter and are hungry are unable to defend themselves individually or collectively from capitalism. We see the effects of the Olympics in the rubble of torn down hotels and in the back alleys where women are made to work in the most deadly conditions. Homeless persons, drug users and sex trade workers have organised resistance to Olympic social cleansing. APC stand in solidarity with those movements.

We are an organisation of poor and unemployed workers. It is necessary for us to fight in solidarity with groups, union locals, sovereigntists and all other anti-capitalist-supremacist-patriarchal-heterosexist movements. To build a successful common front that is able dismantle the bulldozers of the Olympics, the people must continue to unite and organise a movement build on the principles of real justice, dignity and freedom for all.

For more information on the Anti-Poverty Committee’s on-going campaigns, visit Contact us by e-mailing or phoning 604-682-2726. If you are able to donate financially to our legal defense or other campaigns, deposits can be made directly into our account at any branch of Vancity (account is listed under ‘Anti-Poverty Committee). Cheques or money orders made out to the APC can be mailed to P.O. Box 1, 12 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 1N1.


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