The inevitable pre-Olympic games headline made its appearance today: Winter Olympics on slippery slope after Vancouver crackdown on homeless. The Winter Olympics are schedule for Vancouver, Canada, and the nearby resort of Whistler, Feb. 12-28.
Cleaning out the poor to make room for a showcase event. It is an old, old story.
I first wrote the headline, "Olympics crackdown on homeless," ahead of the 1984 Los Angeles summer games. I remember the lead into the story about how city and games organizers were cleaning up Los Angeles was about a local business -- must have been a wedding clothier -- passing out free tuxedoes in homeless shelters and soup kitchens. A literal attempt to dress up the problem.
Of course, the Catholic Worker Movement in Vancouver is all over the issue. On its web site, http://www.vancouvercatholicworker.org/, are a proposal, "Better ways than the Olympics to spend $6.1 billion," and a schedule of anti-poverty events running parallel to and in opposition to the Olympic Games.
The Catholic Workers also helpfully provide the "Protesters Guide to the Law of Civil Disobedience in British Columbia -- Olympic Edition."
We say: Charlottesville reveals the weeping wound of racism. What do we, the American Catholic faith community, do next? Read the editorial.
The first schedule event is 2010 Poverty Olympics on Sunday afternoon Feb. 7. Read more about his at povertyolympics.ca or watch the video below.