December 22, 2009
Since the announcement that Vancouver would have the honour of hosting the 2010 Olympic Games, Native protestors have been threatening to interfere for a variety of ridiculous reasons, but yesterday the Olympic Caravan succeeded in giving the people of Six Nations the chance to see the Olympic flame by thinking on their feet to avoid a blockade by selfish protestors who wanted to deny everyone the chance to see this spectacle.
The most common excuse for them to try to shut down this international event has been the assertion that Vancouver is “stolen native land”. As those who have been paying attention have learned, anywhere that they decide to break the law suddenly becomes “stolen native land” at which point the police and government step aside so that the extremists can get away with criminal and or terrorist behaviour depending on their mood.
It’s like having a password to join a secret club really but that is not the point of this story.
In the months leading up to the Olympics, the Olympic torch is lit in Greece and travels around the world en route to the location of the latest games. Right now the torch is being run across Canada through lucky communities who flood the streets to see this great spectacle.
Yesterday it was to pass through Six Nations, but Native protestors saw an opportunity to get some media attention so they waited on the highway to block the torch bearers. Worth noting is that among the torch bearers are people with disabilities who are given a chance to do something extraordinary. The Olympic caravan made what I would submit was a brilliant decision by simply changing their route at the last minute.
Some might call this backing down, but I disagree strongly. Facing the prospect of a showdown that would have brought international media attention to this group of rabble rousers, they took away their excuse to protest by agreeing to a slightly different route. This left the protestors with what they felt was some sort of victory and thus the flame was allowed to pass without incident, and their battle cry of “me me me, gimme gimme gimme” was left unheard by everyone but local media.
Several amusing statements were made to the local media by the deflated protestors while the torch ran its new course, but I will address those separately as at least one of them was so absurd, it’s worthy of its own story.
Chief Bill Montour however clearly understood the significance of the torch run as he told the Hamilton Spectator “This is for the community… It’s a celebration of its accomplishments.”
Kudos to the Olympic caravan for their ingenuity and for succeeding despite overwhelming odds against them. With a police force that refuses to uphold the law and a government that funds those who wreak havoc on their neighbours, many would have abandoned that portion of the run entirely and gone elsewhere.