Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Olympic 'Spirit Train' Protests

Departure of Olympic 'Spirit Train' met with protesters in B.C.
1 hour, 9 minutes ago
By The Canadian Press


PORT MOODY, B.C. - The departure of a cross-country rail trip designed
to boost enthusiasm for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics is being
overshadowed by noisy protesters.

About three dozen protesters attempted to drown out a ceremony in Port
Moody, B.C., held to mark the departure of the Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP)
Spirit Train.

There were scuffles with police as officers tried to hold the protesters
back, and one man was arrested and carried away by his arms and legs.

With several hundred people attending the event, the group - a mix of
First Nations and non-First Nations protesters - yelled slogans about
stolen native land and housing.

The train is staging a 10-city tour, and anti-Olympic activists have
pledged to meet the train at every stop.

A group calling itself the Olympic Resistance Network says the Olympics
will displace Vancouver's homeless population, hurt the environment and
perpetuate the "theft of indigenous land."

The federal government has worked hard to counter such criticism,
signing agreements worth billions of dollars with the four bands whose
traditional territories are home to the Games.

The Spirit Train is scheduled to stop in Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon,
Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Mississauga and Smith Falls, Ont.,
before ending its journey in Montreal on Oct. 18.

The train will make a repeat journey in the fall of next year and
potentially after the Games as a tour for medallists.

CP Rail paid somewhere between $3 million and $15 million to be the
official rail freight services supplier to the 2010 Olympics.

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