Revolutionary Liberation Gospel

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There are many problems with the Olympics which will be detailed over the following days. First of all, it is not about the people at all, but a three week fling for the world's influential and wealthy at great cost to the people. Round after round of Olympics has seen the ugly head of racism raise its head targeting the athletes who do not fit the desired profile as winners. Second, the "problem" of intersex blurs the picture of who is male, who's female and what of those who don't fit in either "family values" slot. The Olympics raises the ugly head of police and state brutality and sometimes triggers terrorist attacks as a result of national deputes that can be in turn be triggered by the other conditions; i.e., the disparity between rich and poor and the meddling in the lives of the competitors and athletes. For an event that is supposed to be a joyous celebration of the athletic and skills prowess of the amateur competitors, it is anything but that.

The intersex problem is described clearly in an aritcle written for the Workers' Vanguard newspaper and part of it is quoted below covering the latest scandal to erup in the Olympic venue.

"Caster Semenya—Leave Her Alone!

Racist, Sexist Furor Over South African Runner

JOHANNESBURG, September 7—At last month’s world athletics (track and field) championships in Berlin 18-year-old Mokgadi Caster Semenya, a black woman from an impoverished village in rural South Africa, achieved a stunning victory in the women’s 800-metre race, running the fastest time this year with a huge lead over her competitors. Her accomplishment was all the more impressive given what transpired just before she ran the final: the world media was informed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that Semenya was being subjected to “gender verification” testing. After Semenya won the gold medal, an IAAF spokesman announced that she would be stripped of the medal if tests showed that she was not a woman.

Caster Semenya was able to become a world champion athlete despite growing up in a country where the degraded status of women is reflected in traditional practices such as lobola (bride price) and polygamy, which reduce women to property to be bought and sold into marriage. Yet it was in Berlin that she faced the ultimate humiliation at the hands of athletics officials and doctors who wanted to prod and poke her young body to determine whether she had an “unfair advantage” over her competitors because she is not female enough. The treatment of this athlete, who has struggled to overcome the barriers of race, sex and class in neo-apartheid South Africa, has ignited a firestorm of indignation and protest from all quarters in this country, and beyond. It has been aptly described as a modern-day version of the abuse of Sarah Baartman, a Khoikhoi woman who was taken to Europe in 1810 to be studied and exhibited as an anthropological and sexual curiosity (“the Hottentot Venus”) and whose brain and genitals remained on display in the Paris Musée de l’Homme until at least 1974.

The IAAF is well aware that there was nothing questionable about Semenya’s performance, which was slower than that of the woman gold medalist in last year’s Olympics. The vilification of Semenya, in which the Afrikaans newspaper Rapport had a hand, has everything to do with race and sex. As Semenya’s mother bluntly stated, “They’re just jealous because they don’t want black people improving their status” ([London] Guardian, 23 August).

Black South African athletes suffered “double apartheid” for many years. Under the system of apartheid segregation, the country’s white capitalist rulers denied most black athletes the material and legal means to participate in organised sport at the national and international level. This isolation was exacerbated by the international boycott of everything South African promoted by anti-apartheid liberals throughout the 1960s to ’80s. While apartheid formally ended in 1994, when Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president, sport, like other aspects of life, still reflects the poverty and deprivation of the oppressed non-white masses."

The cost and inconvenience of hosting the games, is staggering. In Vancouver, the preparations have out hundreds of people out of business due to all the massive detours and construction. A class action lawsuit arose out of this and one business person won, but this is now under appeal. Commuting in Vancouver is still a nightmare as sometimes even the detours have detours and these are sometimes blocked too. Four lanes of two way traffic are reduced to one lane both ways with road rage as the consequence. Then there are the continual cost over-runs of the Olympic venues. In the days of Ancient Greece, this was not the problem. The events were celebrated once every four years and little in special preparation was made. Use of existing venues was made. The athletes competed in the nude. None of this exists now as it is hyped up to astronomical levels of cost; even in a bankrupt world economy. On a positive note, Vancouver has been spared the worst of the current landslide into unemployment oblivion, but once the games are over, there will be some serious catching up. Major contractors are already complaining that new building projects have either stopped put on hold or that business is slowing down.

Racism has always been a way to control people under class division and the bourgeois capitalist state. Racism continues to plague the Olympics. Today, we are no better than Hitler who bemoaned the fact that a black American won the 100 meter dash. When other coloreds won, Hitler withdrew his presence when the Aryan myth of the superman was dashed over and over. Are we any different when we hound people over questions of their sex and expose everything to the paparazzi for public view? As for family values, this is just a way to restrain everyone form their own natural and true expression. Family values are really all about producing the next generation of laborers and consumers for profit. Family values means that the healthiest are culled out for slaughter and maiming in highly profitable wars that destroy other families as well. The Olympics and sports in general are a mock war that serves to build up team spirit for the times of real war. The Olympics have become an ugly distortion of what they were originally.

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Tags: Olympic, Olympics, and, business, contraversy, inconvenience, intersex, privacy, sexism

Comment by William Prest on September 17, 2009 at 11:23am
Let's look at how residents are dealing with the coming world party for the rich. They've had to endure landlord gouging with escalating rents in a time of increasing unemployment, wages that have been fixed at $8 per hour for the last eight and a half years, the $6 per hour training wage and landlords who rip apart or rip down buildings while people are still inside and haven't moved out yet. There is no provision for inflation for the majority who now work for fixed income. EI changes are left dangling while the government fiddles and dawdles over a potential election that never seems to come along with the EI changes that will only address the aristocracy of labor. During the lead up to, during the games and a few months after, mobility will be severely curtailed. People will be expected to cope with 35 percent fewer cars (which is not bad of itself) but there will also be a 40 percent reduction in mass rapid transit due to lack of funding. The answer? Hoof it and expect long detours and lots of delays. Better camp out at work and join the homeless sleeping in the alleys behind the office, store of factory. Security will be hieghtened to rediculous levels and kept that way, at least with all the new cameras. There will be little or no privacy. US secutiy policy is now present in Canada. These are all attocities and should be remebered and those who imposed them should be held to account and sentencing!
Comment by William Prest on September 23, 2009 at 1:59pm
And Now? The BC Libs are drafting a law that will curtail peoples' freedom only because they are poor due to losing their jobs in a collapsing economy. Oh yes, we are told that we are on the road to recovery, but this is only at the cost of mushrooming new unemployment. The CEOs and banks get trillion dollar bailouts and the working people get the street. Apparently they will soon be dragged off by the police, probably under threat of tasering, to an emergency shelter or jail for the "crime of poverty." The poor layed of workers in the tens of millions around the world are the victims of super powerful mega-criminals who have expropriated even the lives of their former employees. The IWW once stated and it's still true: "An injury to one is an injury to all!" Here is an article on what's coming down locally and in two days has created more storms than the HST bru ha ha.

Sweeping the Homeless Under the Olympic Carpet

It's been known for some time that the BC government has been either keeping a secret or furtively constructing a concentration camp holding facility on the grounds of a former mental hospital that was closed under the last tenure of the NDP. Since then it sat defunct and allowed to decay. But in the last year, it has been brought up to standard and a lot of new “housing” units added. The media by and large has ignored this except to mention in passing that new facilities were being built to house 30,000 people.

In BC, the world wide economic collapse has resulted in a 53 percent increase in the welfare caseload at the time the election was on. This fact was revealed just days after Gordon Campbell succeeded in getting a third majority; this now known to be based on a lie as he stated that the BC economy had never been better. The caseload on welfare represents those who do not qualify for E.I. And expanded from just over 100,000 to nearly 155,000 in about half a year. This was in May, Now the figures are much higher as more people are dumped into the streets. Under the current law, many young workers don't even qualify for welfare, so these go straight to the street.

For several years, the government just ignored the homeless problem. During Christmas of 2005, the federal minister for BC was “receiving” e-mail input about the homeless problem. The author decided to take photographs of every homeless person found between work and home and then e-mailed Hedy Fry almost a dozen pictures of homeless people sleeping outside on Christmas Day because there were no spaces left in existing shelters. Lack of shelter space still exists in the lead up to the Winter 2010 Olympics. In fact some shelters have been closed recently due to the “Not in My Back Yard” syndrome. There are even less spaces now than a few months ago. Where are these growing numbers to go?

The new laws now being considered will force people to go where the police and other unnamed authorities tell them to go. The police apparently will be given powers to use necessary force, that could possibility include the notorious taser. It is a fact that a homeless advocate was tasered to death in the recent past, ostensibly for being mistaken for a break and enter thief making a get away from the scene of a crime. Here is a case where the homeless; the reserve army of the unemployed as defined by Marx, are victimized for the crimes of bankers who collapsed the world economy based on profiteering and high stakes real estate speculation in the current capitalist casino economy.

On Tues Sept., 22, 2009, the Globe and Mail newspaper author Jane Armstrong wrote a piece on the law under development and even speculates that this is in lockstep to the upcoming Vancouver winter Olympics. Selections are included below with commmentary in brackets where appropriate.

A proposed provincial law that would give police the right to force homeless people into shelters during bad weather has angered civil libertarians, who claim the move is a back-door bid to clean up Vancouver's streets in time for the Olympics.

The proposed law, which is the first of its kind in Canada, won't pass a Charter challenge, B.C. Civil Liberties Association president David Eby said Monday......... Housing advocates and outreach workers who work with Vancouver's homeless population said the proposed law is fraught with logistical problems: What will police do if the homeless person refuses to go to the shelter? Can shelter staff force people to stay in a shelter if they don't want to be there? Will the law force city police officers to become de facto social workers, coaxing reluctant people into shelters on rainy and snowy days?

B.C. Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman Monday attempted to allay fears, insisting that the law won't force people to stay in a shelter after they arrive. Mr. Coleman also denied that the law is a pre-Olympic bid to bolster police powers.

Rather, he said the province felt morally compelled to act following the death last winter of a homeless woman, killed when her makeshift shelter caught fire.

The proposed law – and the emotional reaction to it – has underscored the complexity of Vancouver's vexing homelessness problem. Politicians have been grappling with the issue for years. Although the provincial Liberals have purchased and renovated a number of low-rent hotels for the homeless, thousands of people live on the streets. (One of those burned down because the sprinkler system was not maintained and failed to work, forcing more than 100 into homelessness and causing one death.)....The woman killed in the 2008 fire – known as Tracey – died during a cold snap last December when temperatures plunged far below zero......Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson Monday was restrained in his assessment of the proposed law.
“We have to look carefully at the impact on our police,” Mr. Robertson said. “The police are not front-line social workers, so I'm concerned about the role they're expected to play. I'm concerned about the shelter and the role that the shelter providers play. That all needs to be clarified.” (Indeed, if the Death of Robert Dziekanski is anything to go by, the like response will be deadly force for unwillingness to comply.)

Mr. Robertson said there aren't enough shelter beds for Vancouver's homeless population, which is estimated at between 1,400 to 1,600. (This alone makes the whole program unsustainable as homeless rates have had a sharp increase due to the collapsed world economy. Estimates suggest the numbers have increased by at least 50 percent.)

Mr. Eby predicted that the law will force homeless people to hide from police, driving them further underground and away from outreach programs. (With all the police brutaility and the threat of being tasered, No Wonder!)
“It's actually going to be more dangerous to homeless people,” Mr. Eby said......Shelter workers say it's difficult to draw people indoors, even during the coldest nights. Many complain that shelters are dirty, and dens of crime. Others balk at rules that forbid pets and shopping carts.

The woman who burned to death in her makeshift shelters refused offers of help from several people the night she died. Police later released statistics that showed that police offered help to 101 homeless people that night Tracey died. Only 12 accepted offers of shelter, and six took blankets.”
Comment by William Prest on January 14, 2010 at 12:14am
For Olympic Athletes; Against Exploitation of the Athletes for Profit and State Repression

We stand fore-square for the friendly competition of skills by various athletes in various skills from around the world whether from Canada, the US, Africa, Europe, S. America, Australia, Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Korea, Cuba or wherever. This is a world class event featuring the great physical cultural skills of peoples around the world and all should be treated as equals in a fair and safe environment. The Olympics have often been used as a political football to promote various ideas, such as Nazism and capitalism. However, when held in the former USSR, many countries decided to boycott the Olympics, thus demonstrating the bias that exists in what should be an equal playing field of sporting competition. I have submitted cartoons that can be construed as anti-Olympic; but in context, they actually comment on the repression suffered by the working person who is footing the bill, but can't afford to attend, and further, is encouraged to stay away. The wealthy tourist is encouraged to attend while local politicians attempt to clean up Vancouver's dirty image, such as the term “Gancouver” that emerged from all the drug turf wars of 2009, the beggars and homeless. Meanwhile, an opportunist flood of sex workers and beggars are descending on the city in a bid to make some income from the games.

There are those with good historical reason that suggest that the upcoming Vancouver winter Olympics may be a cover for a false flag operation. Though this is possible with the occurrence of atrocities in the past, such as in the Munich hijacking and murder of young Olympic competitors, this would not be as counter productive as thought. BC has the highest child poverty in all of Canada and the lowest minimum wage. The police are actively involved in illegal profiling and brutality against the poor and homeless. Thousands have been fined on misdemeanours that are usually ignored in the rest of the population. Some suggest that this is a bid to arrest and deport people for non-payment of fines that lead to outstanding warrants for arrest as a result. These “criminals” would be deported to provinces and cities they came from.

Small businesses have been driven out by a four year long event that restricted customer access with major construction projects that were poorly organized. There are still many detour delays. One business person managed to successfully sue for the loss of business for $600,000, which was then appealed. Projections suggest that much of downtown Vancouver will be cordoned off from the rest of the city and province. This is viewed by businesses in the area in the same way that businesses suffered in the Cambie corridor in the previous four years. Vanocurver residents are suggested to cut vehicle use by 35 percent while transit is cut back by 40 percent. We are told to work at home, which is impossible for those who work as clerks, security or in other support situations such as transit drivers and paramedics who can't work at home. Not all people can do computer jobs at home!

Local politicians have designed the event to be maximally frustrating. This began a long time ago when people who fell into economic duress under the reign of the New Democratic Party (NDP) during the 1990s, were forced to sign a waiver of civil rights and privacy just to obtain welfare payments and the privilege to live. Refusal to sign the waiver meant the streets and-or crime as an alternative. We were told that welfare was not a right, but a privilege that could be rescinded at any time, and it was during the purges of the Campbell Liberals in the 2000s. With the economic crash of 2008-2008. the roles ballooned while the real estate and job market imploded. Campbell, et al, won the election on a lie, supported by the same press that revealed the true stats three days after the election, i.e., a 57 percent increase in welfare roles during the election. The same Liberal government restricted free speech in the run up to election, that was later overturned by the Supreme Court of BC. Interestingly, the local Vancouver City Government, headed by a former NDP MLA has enacted censorship, threatening police state home invasions where anti-Olympic signs are found, fining residents $10,000 per day and-or a 30 day jail term, all for exercising free speech.

Over a billion dollars meanwhile, has been spent on high end security and venues. The people have been informed that they will have to pay for the tab, even though many have lost jobs and most others still working, earn income well below the established poverty line. The Liberal enacted $8 per hour minimum wage, which still stands after a decade of inflation, as well as the unconstitutional $6 per hour training wage for the first 500 hours of employment. Endless detour and regulation of life has frustrated many to the breaking point. Rumours about the kidnapping of the homeless and shipping them off to mines in Trail BC and the Kamloops desert, as yet unverified, have caused a buzz among the masses. Also, the verified fact that the police will use deadly force with tasers that abounded in the lead up to the games and the acquisition of a crowd control sonic weapon served to raise concern. On top of this, we get the snide remarks of Gordon Campbell who tells us “These are your games”, while the poor cannot access them and the cost of tickets and rents skyrocket.

This then lays the ground work for the current Olympiad. We give complete and unbiased support to all the athletes that are about to compete in what should be equal access games. We do not support the profiteering from these events and the economic vise that the people are being squeezed in during a time when most are concerned about the economy.


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