Repression stepping up for Olympic Resistance


February 13, 2010 by tristan savage

I was sent this press release a couple of days ago by Wes, a friend of ours in Salt Lake City.  He has been involved in independent media documentation of US anti-imperialist social movements for a while, and as a result Homeland Security has decided to pick on him (this is a pattern that has developed over the last few months as the Canadian and US governments try to suppress the Olympic Resistance movement centering around the Vancouver Olympics this month.  People are resisting the Vancouver Olympics because they are being held on stolen native land, they displace homeless residents in the city, the greenwashing that has covered up considerable environmental destruction, and a long list of other negative effects that the Olympics have on local communities.  Click here to learn more about Olympic Resistance.

Here is the press release:

U.S. journalist John Weston Osburn was detained by homeland security on his way back in to the States after being twice denied by Canadian Border Officials on his way into Canada to cover protests at the 2010 Olympics. While in the area between border posts, Osburn was told that he was in a “no mans land,” and was denied the right to speak with a lawyer.

“I repeatedly told the officers that my rights were being violated and that I wished to be released. I felt humiliated, powerless and have rarely felt so unprotected,” said Osburn.

“The supervising officer made reference to making sure i had no weapons of mass destruction and that I wasn’t a terrorist, when it was obvious i have nothing to do with those things. This was all after i was thoroughly questioned and searched on the canadian side which was two hundred yards away at most,” he said.

Osburn travelled 2000 miles to Vancouver from Salt Lake City, Utah, with the aim of documenting protests to the 2010 Olympics. He has worked with Indymedia and the Glass Bead Collective in the US.

if you need to contact Osburn he can be reached by email at or by phone at 801-979-3091. The photo attached is of Osburn filming at the g20 protests in pittsburgh 2009. Photo taken by Lauren McChesney.

15 thoughts on “Repression stepping up for Olympic Resistance

  1. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    words cannot describe how funny I think this is.

  2. Thank you all for updating us on these issues. I linked this story to a post on my blog.

  3. Stephen says:

    I clicked here to learn more about Olympic Resistance and found this little gem:

    It appears as if Natives support the Olympics due to the exploitation of Native culture, as well as the efforts of Native collaborators (such as the 4 Host First Nations, which is made up of Indian Act band councils). These Native artists, business & political groups are either ignorant about what the Olympics are really about, or just plain greedy.

    So good Natives are the ones who agree with you (or perhaps the ones who perform the romantic fantasy of the noble savage?), while bad Natives are the ones whose lives don’t easily gel with your political and social ideals? The Olympic Resistance movement needs to be rethought a bit. Natives don’t support the Olympics, except for the ones who do, but the ones who do aren’t real Natives.

    • tristan call says:

      Steve- no question you’re right in pointing this out. I imagine the accusations of authenticity are flying pretty heatedly right now, and I’m glad I’m not in the middle of that. Personally, I am in favor of Olympic Resistance because I think that lots of us (including plenty of indigenous people) have had our lives impoverished by the Olympics and the powers that they represent and perpetuate. But arguing that those who disagree aren’t real people is a bit beside the point for me, and I wish Olympic Resistance (or anyone, for that matter) didn’t do it.

      • Stephen says:

        I really prefer the reasons you just laid out for Olympic Resistance, Tristan. Even the stolen land issue is a little problematic.

        On an unrelated note, these blog entries should include the author’s name in some prominent place. Leaving comments is a bit awkward without knowing who wrote the piece.

  4. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    So, I just have to ask, are you guys protesting the special olympics as well?

    • Stephen says:

      That depends–how far is it from the site of the next Special Olympics to the nearest res?

      Oh, and go *&*! yourself, retard.

      Is that satire? I can never tell.

      Sorry for the language, but you’ll notice I made it ok with clever capital letters and punctuation.

  5. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    that was good, I liked it.

  6. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    How about this Olympics protester… Eric Robert Rudolph… he killed some people with a bomb so “we should probably listen to why he did it”

    anyways what’s up with the blue mustache guy in the pic?

  7. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    I’ll have you know when I say use the name B.C.Rich i’m not talking about the japanese or korean made pieces of junk…. The U.S. made ones were top notch…

    • Stephen says:

      At first I thought this statement outed you as a blatant troll, but after a few minutes of regooglearch I find that BC Rich does indeed have a custom shop that makes great guitars. The center cannot hold; I’m going to have to revise my worldview. You might still be a troll, but at least you’re a good sport.

  8. nander says:

    If by by “radical” you mean destroying people’s businesses, then mission accomplished. Why don’t you stay the fuck back in Utah and tear up your own town… We don’t need white boys coming in from across the land to sack our stores and tear-up our downtown…. You’re not wanted here. All you indymedia-anarchist-radical types are just white boys form out of town trying to co-opt a cause that’s got nothing to do with you. Until our cousin gets shot by police, you don’t have a dog in this fight. Focus on your own issues. I’m sure theirs things going on in Utah that could you use your “radical” attention….

  9. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    I almost forgot about this post… lol the asininity of it is priceless.

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