Friday, March 09, 2007

Native Warrior Society honors elder leader, and counts coup, by taking Olympic flag in Vancouver

North of the U.S., Native youth are on the move to protect treaty areas, sacred sites, and indigenous culture. One of the major battles looming on the horizon involves the 2010 Olympics, planned for British Columbia. Several demonstrations have taken place by First Nations people to object to the displacement of low-income (often Native) residents, for the construction of roads, resort housing, and other Olympic infrastructure. Most recently, First Nations resisisters disrupted the kick-off events in Vancouver, and also took down the huge (16 by 25 feet) Olympic flag flying near the Vancouver City Hall. As the Lakota say, Wa-shtay! (Good one!) A good source to keep up on the latest developments in this region is Redwire Magazine at

Below is the statement of the Native Warrior Society:
Native Warriors Claim Responsibility for Taking Olympic Flag
March 7, 2007
Coast Salish Territory [Vancouver, Canada]
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 6, 2007, we removed the Olympic Flag
from its flag-pole at Vancouver City Hall. We pried open the access panel on the pole
with a crowbar and, using a bolt-cutter, cut the metal cable/halyard inside, causing the
flag to fall to the ground.
We claim this action in honour of Harriet Nahanee, our elder-warrior, who was given a
death sentence by the BC courts for her courageous stand in defending Mother Earth.
We stand in solidarity with all those fighting against the destruction caused by the 2010
Winter Olympic Games.
No Olympics on Stolen Native Land!
Native Warrior Society

Here is how the local media are reporting the incident
Native warriors claim flag

[First nations] activists say they stole Vancouver city hall's Olympic flag to honour late Squamish Nation elder Harriet Nahanee.

"We stand in solidarity with all those fighting against the destruction caused by the 2010 Winter Olympic Games," said a news release from the Native Warrior Society. "No Olympics on Stolen Native Land!"

Nahanee, 71, was convicted of criminal contempt for refusing to obey a court order against protests at the Eagleridge Bluffs site of Olympic highway expansion. She died in St. Paul's Hospital last month after she was jailed in Surrey [for fourteen days].

The news release describes how a crowbar and bolt cutters were used early Tuesday morning to steal the flag. A photograph shows three hooded people, standing in front of the $1,600 Olympic flag, holding the Mohawk flag and a photo of Nahanee. Vancouver Police spokesman Howard Chow said NWS is known to police.

International Olympic Committee's Rene Fasel said he was "saddened and disappointed" by the flag's theft
A new flag will be raised before Monday's three-year Paralympics countdown ceremony.


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