Thursday, October 16, 2008

Protest greets Spirit Train

Protest greets Spirit Train
by Denis St. Pierre, The Sudbury Star, October 13, 2008.

While hundreds of city residents enjoyed hard-rocking live entertainment delivered from a railway box car Saturday, a few protesters held a quiet demonstration nearby to denounce the 2010 Olympic Games' impact on the environment, the homeless and aboriginal rights.

"We're bringing a voice to those who have been silenced by the process of the Olympics," said Will Morin, who is running in Sudbury in the federal election as a First Peoples National Party candidate.

Morin was among the demonstrators who passed out literature to residents who attended the Sudbury stop of the Canadian Pacific Spirit Train. Carrying well-known artists such as bluesman Colin James, who performed during the Sudbury stop, the train is rolling across the country to promote the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler, B. C.

Anti-Olympic activists, who claim the 2010 Olympics will displace Vancouver's homeless population, hurt the environment and perpetuate a theft of aboriginal land, have pledged to meet the train at every stop.

On Saturday, the train stopped on a section of CP Rail line off Lorne Street, near the Dumas Your Independent Grocer supermarket. The public turnout was sparse when the music started at 2 p. m. but had grown to several hundred by the time James took to the stage at 6 p. m.

The demonstration about 50 metres away appeared to have little effect on the concert-goers, which only confirmed Will Morin's concern about public apathy towards the plight of aboriginal and the poor and homeless.

"The Olympic organizers and the corporations have chosen to exclude specific people from the process, especially the indigenous people whose lands have been taken," he said. "It shows the lack of democracy and inclusion in our society and the apathy across the country."

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