Thursday, December 17, 2009

We did it!

(report back and some media)

20 December: New media added

Over 250 people took to the streets Thursday night to welcome the Olympic Torch with a resounding: “No Olympics on Stolen Native Land”
Enthusiastic folks met up at 5:15 at College & University, gathering around a 15 foot homemade torch of our own, banners reading “Resist 2010 for the land”, “No 2010 Torch” and sharing in some homemade food. Organizers from Six Nations read the Declaration of the Onkwehonwe of Grand River Territory on the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, Doreen Silversmith also from Six Nations spoke about how the attacks on women are attacks on the land and Mark C. from ARA spoke of Indigenous Youth rising up and taking power. Messages of Solidarity were delivered by No One Is Illegal-Toronto, No Games Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo’s own Torch Welcoming Committee.

Grounding the crowd in the reasons we were here: to decry Canada’s colonial violence and expose the lies of Olympics Circus, chants began that would ring through Toronto all night. While the cold seeped, our MC got the crowd jumping and amped to go meet the torch.

Anticipating the torch taking a lil’ streetcar ride, people took to College Street. The first line of bike cops at College and Elizabeth set up as we began a fluid game of cat and mouse. Our people took some surprise routes towards Yonge and Gerrard where we regrouped and faced a row of riots cops, holding the intersection. We gathered at the line of cops and turned back suddenly, going North, walking up Yonge St. to meet the Torch. At Yonge and College we ran into the crowds there to cheer on the Torch some of whom started booing and hissing. We handed out thousands of pieces of ORN and No2010 literature and some people even joined our action. One onlooker pushed over our speaker. The horses arrived and tried to split us in two but that failed. Then a small group stayed back at Yonge and College, while the rest of the street party walked North, slowing to regroup and coming closer to the Torch. At Yonge and Maitland, we decided to stop and hold it, as people from the back rushed to join us. With messages streaming in that the media were reporting we had blocked the Torch and having chased the torch around the city for nearly two hours (it was now 7:30), we euphorically declared victory! We had forced VANOC to split the Torch in to two, and brought our message right to the centre of the Olympic Circus.

While all of this was going on, the March in Honour of Harriet Nahanee, led by indigenous women, had split off to follow the torch into Nathan Phillips Square, where a climber free climbed an arch directly opposite the stage and hung a banner reading “Gego Olympics Da-Te-Snoon Nishnaabe-Giing Ga-Gmooding” (No Olympics on Stolen Native Land in Anishinaabemowin). Our people had infiltrated the crowd, holding up banners and handing out flyers, and booing the flame as it left Nathan Phillips Square around 9:30pm. The banner stayed up till the end of the festivities and the climber only got a $100 ticket.

Two arrests were made when two protesters ran alongside the Torch following the disruption at Yonge and Maitland. They were released later that night.

We stole the Torch’s thunder, with CTV, NDNTV, APTN, City, the Globe, the Star, the Sun, Now Magazine and some Ryerson folks reporting on the disruption and relaying the message that we took to the streets demanding justice for indigenous peoples, an end to corporate domination and the truth about “Canada’s” ongoing policies and practices of colonialism. Though there has been a serious damper being put on the size and effect of our actions, everyone on the streets of Toronto heard us last night.

This protest was organized by an autonomous group of people coming together for this occasion, and showcased a broad spectrum of Toronto’s resistance. As we head into 2010, we urge folks to support Six Nations as they stand up and block the Torch from entering their territory on December 21st, to head to Kitchener-Waterloo on December 27th, to converge on Vancouver from February 10-15th, and to start thinking about your plans for the G8/G20 meetings in June. Overheard during the street party: “Man, the G20’s coming here, and we can’t even handle this!”, cop.

‘See you in the streets.

Some Media:
(note, if you took pictures or video on Thursday night, please email them to

[20 Dec Media Update]

1) Independent Journalist:


  1. So, what's your point? You disrupted the torch relay, a relay that was heading to a Hospital for Sick Children. Do you think we will succumb to your ignorance? How do you expect to get what you want? By kicking and screaming? That's not how it works in the real world.

    Realize that you ruined many CHILDREN's once in a lifetime experiences by disrupting the torch. I hope your happy.

  2. i certainly am happy about it.

    until the olympics stop disrupting peoples actual lives in BC and throughout the world resistance will continue. Yes it is perhaps unfortunate that kids didnt get to see the torch, but that is perhaps a luxery to participate in the spectacle for fun, others in BC get to participate, by having their houses torn down, their water poisoned and their social services gutted.

    it is events like the torch relay and olympics that would exactly gut funding for hospitals like Sick Kids

    i think the kids would be happier getting better care, as opposed to watching the torch, don't you?

  3. That's not my point. My point is that you are doing idiotic things like protesting the torch instead of doing things productive. If you want to make your point across, you don't need to disrupt the torch. The problems with people like you are that you think you're 'helping' while in reality, you're making it worse. Since you proclaimed that you are going to 'extinguish the torch', VANOC needs to spend more money in security so this doesn't happen. So because of your pointless actions, money is spent towards the security of not just the torch, but also the torchbearers (people who's memories have been runied thanks to you).

    That money could've been used for those sick kids, but instead they need it for security to keep people like you from doing stupid, unintelligent moves.

    But in reality (try to get a grasp of this by the way), the 2010 Olympics are going to be coming. The torch has made it's way through Eastern Canada, and buddy, it's not gonna be stopping.

    Keep crying.

  4. uh, josh? the fact that you responded to this story and then checked back for posts later means this protest had a point.

    and btw the torch still made it to sick kids. i know, i was there.

    ease up, and dont make sweeping generalizations and assumptions that clearly identify you as privileged and most likely white.

    im white and im constantly embarrassed by people like you. thanks.