Immediate Release: July 6, 2009

The
day before City Council will receive a report on 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Security, COPE City Councillors Ellen Woodsworth and David
Cadman are asking questions about human rights and the Olympics.

They
are asking the City to endorse the “Coventry Declaration” approved by
conference delegates at Play the Game 2009, the sixth world
communications conference on sport and society.

The declaration
speaks to a concern that Olympic critics may be targets of intimidation
in Vancouver, a concern expressed by the BC Civil Liberties Association
and the protesters themselves. The declaration states:

Participants
at Play the Game condemn, in the strongest manner possible, any action
in Canada that in any way, shape, or form harasses, intimidates, or
threatens any writers or individuals who express ideas through words.




Participants
at Play the Game ask the city of Vancouver, the province of British
Columbia ,the Canadian government, VANOC, and the Vancouver Integrated
Security Unit, to state in unequivocal language, that all Canadians and
those who visit Canada, will have their fundamental right to:




1.      Security of the person

2.      Freedom of expression



protected, respected and unimpinged as Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees.


According
to Laura Robinson, an international athlete, writer and co-author of
the declaration, “As an athlete, I believe there is something very
special about the Olympics, but as a writer, I know there is no sports
event in the world that should ever rob people of their fundamental
right to freedom of expression.”

The motion will likely come
to the Planning and Environment Committee on Thursday afternoon as
individuals and community groups such as the BCCLA have asked to speak
to the motion.

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Information: Rachel Marcuse, COPE 604-312-9057, <rachel@cope.bc.ca>
COPE calling for City to endorse “Coventry Declaration” on the Olympics and Human Rights

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