The deeply corrupt US Department of Homeland Security has also been hassling indy reporters denied entry overland into Canada. Indy journalists John Weston Osburn (Interview), Dawn Zuppelli and Ted Forsyth from Rochester NY IMC, and Martin Macias Jr. have all been harassed. Osburn was refused entry into Canada and abused by DHS; Macias was deported, then treated abusively by the DHS lunatics controlling entry on the Canadian border.
There has been plenty of fodder for independent journalists to cover, as US & Canadian authorities gear up yet another 'live exercise' style mega-security psychological operation, featuring 'Medium' Range Acoustic Device sound cannon (MRAD, similar to the G20 LRAD), and the usual inept police attempts at false-flag provocateur and infiltration operations.
More: Live portal: 2010.mediacoop.ca | No2010.com | Vancouver Media Co-op | Submedia.TV | Committee to Protect Bloggers | Student Activism and the Olympics | OlympicResistance.net: About | Crossing the Border into Canada | Schedule | Censorship Gallery - 2010 Legal Observer Program | CJFE Olympic Watch.
The Vancouver Integrated Security Unit has been the highest-profile police unit hassling people, and apparently has refused to publicly rule out deploying agent provocateurs. Dec. 3: ORN Responds to Police Allegations of Undercover Cop | Vancouver Sun: Jamie Graham disclosed Olympic undercover operation.
Anti-Olympic organizers point out the International Olympic Committee is a corrupt globalist institution parallel with the WTO, IMF and other organizations that funnel public money into private hands. Police repression, budget-busting graft, and gentrification/displacement are the three major features of the Olympics wherever they go, as noted by sports writer Dave Zirin (EdgeofSports.com) interviewed on Submedia.tv. After hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns leading to massive austerity measures including teacher layoffs in Vancouver, a poll estimated forty percent of BC residents support anti-Olympic protests. (Zirin in SI: People dreading Games)
CBSA policy: MANAGING ACCESS TO CANADA: "Security: They have engaged in, or there are reasonable grounds to believe they will engage in, spying, subversion or terrorism, or they belong to organizations that have engaged in, or will engage in, these activities." Subversion probably equals "bad PR" in their minds.
False Flag crib notes! Internet conspiracy researchers have noted various features of possible staged terrorist attacks that might be tried to justify the security spending: Could Vancouver 2010 be the next 9/11? (UPDATED 2-7-10) « Dprogram.net. Amusing factors include missing Canadian security uniforms, a missing two tons of ammonium nitrate involving Dyno Nobel, run by the father of CIA operative Michael Riconosciuto; Canexus shipping dangerous chlorine chemicals by rail; Iran & that recent 'Bin Laden' warning; the Canadian Parliament is 'prorogued' or suspended, possibly allowing emergency measures by fiat (NORAD says the PM can shoot down hijacked planes); a North American military integration or "Civil Assistance Plan"; the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has shut down; 2400 cancelled surgeries in BC-area hospitals; the dubious Israeli security firm ICTS/Verint, frequently involved with 'weird' terror incidents, has installed cameras in the Vancouver airport and elsewhere. Verint also provides the Internet "sniffer boxes" that illegally funnel Internet data via AT&T exchanges into the National Security Agency; sources have cited Verint tech as a backdoor for Israelis into the US telecom infrastructure; Peter Power, involved with the London 7/7 drills, is now @ the Canadian Center for Emergency Preparedness. (Tons more links here)
The 2010 Olympics are also a "Joint Maritime Border Operation" of the U.S. and Canada and anti-journalist measures could be carried out under this rubric.
Olympic Security/Zoning maps: http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/bylaws/2010/SCHEDC.pdf
Free speech zones & homeless displacement: CBC News - British Columbia - 2010 Olympic security plans include 'free speech areas'
Feb 6: Committee to Protect Bloggers » Independent media reporter rejected at U.S./Canada border
Martin Macias Jr., an independent media reporter from Chicago travelling to cover the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver BC, has been rejected by Canadian border agents and held without outside contact for at least 7 hours (as of 9pm) today. Macias arrived in Vancouver from Chicago (via Minneapolis) on a 11:30am Delta Airlines flight on Saturday, February 6, 2010.
He was detained for hours by Canada Border Services agents in the Vancouver International Airport and questioned about his plans during the Olympics. Ultimately he was refused entry to Canada. He was then put on an Alaskan Airlines flight to the Seattle / Tacoma Airport (departing at 2:40pm). As of 9pm he had not been able to contact legal counsel or his travelling companion since before his rejection at the border. The information on his rejection was only made available through the US Consulate. It is routine for people rejected at the border to be interrogated by both Canadian and US border agents; he may well still be detained for questioning in the USA at this point. Although he is entitled to a phone call and legal counsel, nothing has been heard from Macias since about 2pm when he still expected to be able to enter Canada as planned.
Martin was travelling to Vancouver for political events during the Olympic Resistance Network anti-Olympic convergence and to document the effects of the Winter Olympics on the communities of Vancouver. He was to leave Vancouver for the USA on Feb. 11. He was travelling with political organizer Bob Quellos of No Games Chicago, who was allowed to enter Canada. They were both to be picked up by Chris Shaw, a member of the Olympic Resistance Network, local Olympic critic, and author of ‘The Five Ring Circus’ who himself has been questioned and detained when travelling to a sports conference in the UK and repeatedly approached by members of the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit (Olympic policing body) regarding his political activities.
Canadian border agents, police, and intelligence units have been actively surveilling, questioning and harassing opponents of the Olympic Games (and their associates and families) for years. Media, such as Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, have been subject to questioning and increased scrutiny as well.
Macias (20 years old) was a leading member of No Games Chicago – which successfully opposed Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. He is a youth organizer for the Chicago Environmental Justice Coalition, and Comite 10 de marzo, an immigrant rights organization. He is also a media reform activist with community radio station Radio Arte where he serves as the host/producer of First Voice, a radio news zine. He has covered the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Power Shift 2009 in Washington D.C., and local social justice issues in his community. He currently chairs the Peace Committee at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Macias can normally be reached through email@example.com.
Independent media, activists and opponents of the Olympics are gathering in Vancouver for the Feb. 10-15 anti-Olympic convergence organized by the Olympic Resistance Network. It begins with a two-day conference (Feb. 10-11) and a mass protest and march on the day of the opening ceremonies (‘Take Back Our City,’ 3pm Friday, Feb. 12 beginning at the Vancouver Art Gallery) organized by the 2010 Welcoming Committee, and continues with three days of political events and demonstrations. Visitors have been subject to interrogations, detention, and rejection at the Canadian border repeatedly and members of the Olympic Resistance Network have been interrogated at the US border and denied entry to the USA for speaking tours.
Media Contacts: Bob Quellos: 773-531-2341. Chris Shaw: 604-710-8291
Update, 8 February 2010
“No Games Organizer, Martin Macias, Deported From Canada” by Tom Tresser, Huffington Post
Martin Macias, Jr., a credentialed freelance journalist who contributes to Vocalo.org, the online and new media outlet for Chicago Public Radio, was turned back from the Canadian border late Saturday night.
Martin was a lead organizer for No Games Chicago, the all-volunteer citizens group that opposed the Chicago bid for the 2016 Olympics. Martin was part of the No Games delegations that went to the International Olympic Committee’s international headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland and then to Copenhagen, Denmark to deliver materials documenting the reasons why Chicago should not have been awarded the games. Martin was an invited guest a conference critical of the 2010 Vancouver games and the Olympic industry.
“I was in the passport line in Vancouver,” said Martin, “and I told them I was a radio journalist and a student a Malcolm X College. The agent put a big circle and x on my ticket. I was pulled out the line and questioned aggressively for two hours. They wanted to know what I was going to do in Vancouver, who i was meeting with, who organized the conference and what they looked like. They took all my contact information and business cards of journalists and other people I was to connect with while in Vancouver.”
Martin also said that he asked for a lawyer and was denied access to one. He demanded to know what his rights were. “You don’t have any, they told me.”
This image is from in front of the IOC Museum, June 2009, when No Games Chicago delivered it’s “Book of Evidence” to the IOC and international press.
After the questioning, the authorities put him on a plane to Seattle, where he is on his own. He is staying at a hotel using his pocket money for now until he can find another place to stay. His return ticket is still valid and Martin plans to stay in Seattle for the moment until he can figure out what to do next.
Messages can be sent to Martin via his Facebook profile or email him at nino.azteco89 at gmail dot com.
I had the pleasure and privilege of working with Martin on the No Games campaign and can say that Chicago is lucky to have such a young person so talented, knowledgeable and passionate about social justice issues. We always said that cities that host the Olympic games surrender their sovereignty to the IOC and must subordinate their laws to the whim and rule of a Swiss corporation. Now, it seems that this applies to entire nations. And while I am no legal scholar, Martin’s treatment seems to violate several clauses of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
What happened to Martin could happen to you if you run afoul of the large corporations that now dominate international affairs. If you dare to criticize Big Policy that is closely aligned with Big Business, you also might find yourself on a watch list and thrown into a detention room and grilled by security forces with no recourse to legal counsel and then flown against your will to a destination not of your choosing.
If you care to express your opinion about this treatment to a law-abiding U.S. citizen, you may want to contact the Canadian Consulate General at Chicago Two Prudential Plaza, 180 North Stetson Avenue, Suite 2400. Chicago, IL 60601. Tel: 1 (312) 616-1860 .
Committee to Protect Bloggers » U.S. independent journalist refused entry to Canada; questioned by U.S. Homeland Security
Osburn filming at the G-20 protests in Pittsburgh, 2009. Photo: Lauren McChesney.
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.
Independent/crowd-sourced Olympics protest coverage can be followed at http://2010.mediacoop.ca/
Interview with Wes by Vancouver Media Cooperative
VMC: Another independent journalist was turned away at the US-Canada border Tuesday on his way to Vancouver to cover protests at the 2010 Olympic Games. John Weston Osburn, a long time indymedia activist, drove 2,000 miles from Salt Lake City to cover Games with the Vancouver Media Cooperative. He was interrogated and denied entry into Canada, making him the second US journalist to be denied entry in the last four days.
After he was turned around, he went back to the US and tried to re-enter Canada, this time at the truck crossing, where he was again denied entry due to past convictions for misdemeanors. This time, he flipped on his video camera to record the experience. Stopped by homeland security, Osburn was again interrogated about the Olympic protests. When he told homeland security that he wanted to speak to a lawyer,
OSBURN: They told me I didn’t have that right, and I wasn’t in US or in Canada, I was in no mans land, as the officer described it. I asked again for my lawyer and he replied that he “owned me,” he said “I own you,” I was told to spread my legs and I was searched, then the put me in a holding cell, I was in the holding cell for about two hours, at one point I asked to use the bathroom, which they later allowed me to do but only, uh, they did so watching me.
VMC: In a disturbing pattern of recent interrogations of journalists coming to Vancouver, border guards seized Osburn’s computer and notebooks.
OSBURN: Basically they ransacked my truck, they went through and they took my journals, my sketchbooks, my computer, my digital camera, they thumbed through that, I’m assuming they made copies but that I don’t want to speculate on that, but they did definitely go through it. Then I was fingerprinted and I was photographed, when I asked if I had a choice of being fingerprinted and photographed I was told no, my tape of filming being turned away, they erased the tape.
VMC: Osburn says he was prepared to have to deal with some issues at the border, but he was surprised by his experience.
OSBURN: I was kind of expecting, I was expecting to get kind of shook down, but I wasn’s expecting the type of just, the animosity and just the humiliation. Even though it was only two hours, it was a really unsettling experience, because they made me well aware that I had no rights, they made me well aware that I had no rights and there was no one there to protect me.
VMC: Though Osburn is the first to be interrogated by US homeland security, his experience shadows that of other independent journalists trying to enter Canada on the eve of the 2010 Olympics. Democracy Now! Host Amy Goodman was interrogated about the games in November. Last Saturday, US journalist Martin Macias Jr was turned away at the border. At least two other independent journalists were subjected to lengthy interrogations at the US-Canada border on their way to Vancouver to cover resistance to the 2010 Games.
Committee to Protect Bloggers » Rochester Indymedia journalist Dawn Zuppelli Detained at Canadian Border
Rochester Indymedia journalist, Dawn Zuppelli, was interrogated and detained for over an hour by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) on her way to cover protests at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC.
Upon arriving at customs at the Vancouver International Airport, she and her colleague Ted Forsyth, also with Rochester Indymedia, were asked the obligatory questions as to why they were coming to Vancouver. Zuppelli was tagged for further interrogation and funneled off to a check point area sometime around 12:05AM on February 10. She was released sometime around 1:15AM. She was taken into a separate room with other agents and passengers. The room was outfitted with sterile metal desks, two sided mirrored window rooms, and plenty of customs officers donning bullet proof vests and latex gloves.
Zuppelli and Forsyth were traveling on Alaska Airlines flight 701 via Seattle. The pair had been traveling for over 20 hours after a flight cancellation at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport delayed and re-routed them across the country.
The customs officer asked many questions regarding Zuppelli’s journalism work. Zuppelli explained that she was an independent journalist and the host of IndyTV, broadcast on local channel RCTV in Rochester, NY as well as online at IndyTV.Blip.tv and would be covering events around the Olympics. The customs officer asked to see her documents for her work assignments and seemed agitated that she did not have a clear written plan of her filming destinations while in Vancouver. The officer declared that none of her footage was to air on Canadian television and that she was not to earn any money for her work.
After a thorough investigation of her bags, the officer took Zuppelli’s business card and entered the mirrored back room and did not return for another 40 minutes. Upon his return with another agent, he declared, “I know what your planning to do here!” Zuppelli tiredly responded she did not understand what the problem was. The officer replied, “We did a Google search on you and we know you do this kind of thing. What about the interview of you online talking after being pepper sprayed? You are here to protest and we know that.”
Zuppelli assured the officers that she has been covering political protest mobilizations for many years and had no criminal background. The agent’s response was, “You are allowed to be here but you can not do anything unlawful. We are going to track your movement while in Canada. We will create a special document to add to your passport and if anything was to happen you will be flagged.”
Zuppelli was escorted to a room to have her photo taken which was then attached to a visitor record document. She was told that the visitor record document must remain in her passport during her entire stay. The document clearly stated that Zuppelli had to leave Canada by February 25. The document also stated that Zuppelli was “Prohibited from engaging in employment in Canada; Prohibited from attending any educational institution and taking any academic, professional or vocational training course.” At the bottom of the document, in capital letters, was typed, “This does not authorize re-entry.”
Zuppelli said, “The strange thing is how defensive they seemed about their own behaviour. One officer told me, ‘I know you read the article about the journalist that was turned back. Well he wasn’t honest about the reasons he was coming. You’re allowed to come and protest; this isn’t Russia.’”
The journalist that the agent was making reference to was (olympicresistance.net/content/independent-media-reporter-rejected-border-feb-6) Martin Macias Jr., an independent media reporter from Chicago and an anti-Olympic organizer for No Games Chicago, who was detained and deported on February 6. His story, much like that of (vancouver.mediacoop.ca/audio/2660) John Weston Osburn, a long-time Indymedia activist who was also interrogated and denied entry to Canada on February 9, illuminates a disturbing pattern of deportation and denials of entry for independent journalists looking to tell another side of the Olympic story in Vancouver.
Upon being released, after a grueling day of travel, Zuppelli expressed gratitude that she was not being deported. The customs officer insisted, “You know it’s not that easy to get deported.” However our google search shows otherwise.