Threats against IOC head?
By BOB MACKIN, 24 HOURS
Have 2010 Winter Olympics foes gone too far?
Posters for tomorrow's noon-hour rally at Canada Place outside International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge's speech bear the headline "Dead IOC Prez." A masked cartoon figure is shown cutting the IOC-marked head off a serpent. A word balloon says "It is elementary to the Art of war: Cut off the head and the body will Die!!!"
"I found them a little bit unsettling," said housing advocate David Eby of the Pivot Legal Society. "I want to believe that it's just rhetoric. It doesn't help anybody."
The posters are hung throughout the Downtown Eastside. A 24 hours reporter saw one taped inside the window of the Downtown Eastside Residents Association yesterday.
DERA employee and Anti-Poverty Committee member Thomas Malenfant
said he didn't know who produced the poster. He said the radical APC isn't organizing the rally, but will participate. He claimed it's not a death threat to Rogge, but is instead "a metaphor."
"I can almost guarantee you for sure Mr. Rogge will not be beheaded on Wednesday," Malenfant said.
A call to VANOC was not returned. Rogge is part of the IOC's semi-annual Coordination Commission checkup, which begins today. Last March's meeting was upstaged by the theft of city hall's Olympic flag by activists.
There has been a noticeable spike in anti-Olympic vandalism. The Omega countdown clock, Premier Gordon Campbell's riding office, a "Welcome to Vancouver" sign near Hastings Park and several Royal Bank of Canada branches have been recent targets.
IOC boss Rogge visits Vancouver to check out 2010 progress
Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2008
VANCOUVER - Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee will begin his second-ever visit to Vancouver today at the start of an inspection of Vancouver's progress in organizing the 2010 Winter Games.
Rogge's tightly-scripted three-day visit includes a tour of venues in Vancouver and Whistler, a luncheon address on Wednesday, a meeting with Premier Gordon Campbell, and participation in a wrap-up press conference for the IOC's Vancouver Coordination Commission.
He's also holding one-on-one interviews with selected media on Thursday.
Throughout Rogge's visit, security will be tight and even media are being told they will have to use pool photographs taken during his tour of venues.
The increased security is largely due to constant protests by a small group of activists from the Anti-Poverty Coalition, who have taken to disrupting Vanoc-organized events.
The first and only time Rogge was in Vancouver after awarding Canada the 2010 Games was in February 2005, as construction of the sporting venues was ramping up.
He'd had to cancel a previously-planned visit in November, 2003 because of illness.
This time, it's Rogge's right-hand man, Gilbert Felli, who has missed the trip to Vancouver.
Felli, the IOC's executive director of Olympic Games, is laid up with back problems, according to Vanoc CEO John Furlong.
Rogge's visit is being timed with the regular bi-annual inspection by the 10-member Vancouver Coordination Commission.
For the first time since it began tracking Vanoc's progress, the commission is foregoing a tour of Whistler venues.
With all but three of the sporting venues now competition-ready, the commission is turning its attention to operational issues.
According to Vanoc, a general session will open today with an overview, but after that the commission will break into groups to discuss every aspect of Vanoc's progress, from the sports schedule to marketing to workforce and volunteers.
One aspect they likely won't be dealing with is the continuing controversy over whether women should be allowed to participate in ski-jumping.
Although supporters of women's ski jumping are in Vancouver this week, the IOC has given no indication it is willing to overturn a decision made last year to not include the sport in the 2010 schedule.
Instead, Rogge said in July that if women ski jumpers can prove their sport is viable and meets technical requirements, it may be considered for another Games, possibly in 2014 in Sochi, Russia.