On Friday, as many as 5,000 demonstrators danced, sang, an held signs in a peaceful protest in downtown Vancouver. Vancouver, year-round the warmest big city in Canada, has long been a magnet for the country's homeless. Protesters believe the billions spent on the Olympics ought to have been spent eradicating homelessness. From time to time the chant broke out, "Homes not games!"
Others used the occasion to spotlight the need for action on climate change, environmental destruction, the rights of Canada's indigenous people, the growing power of corporations (including Olympic sponsors), and Canada's support for the war in Afghanistan. Many of the protesters would later march towards the stadium to be blocked by a line of police.
The people in orange told me they were "neutral." These legal observers were handing out sheets to citizens informing them off their their rights under Canadian law.
Interestingly, some Circassians showed up to protest the 2014 Winter Olympics Games in Sochi, Russia.
Photos by Jotman. Links to other bloggers' firsthand reports from the streets of Vancouver here.