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Extremist Activity Associated with the 2010 Olympics, the G8, and the SPP


In 2010, Canada will host at least three major events with a significant international profile, inluding the Winter Olympics, the G8 meetings and the Security and Prosperity Partnership meetings. Numerous groups have already begun violent activities and further organization that may occur against the background of a troubled global picture that will have further radicalizing effects in Canada.

In 2010, Canada will host at least three major events with a significant international profile. These are the Winter Olympics, the G8 meetings and the Security and Prosperity Partnership meetings. Even though these events are two years or more away, numerous groups have already begun violent activities and further organization. All of this may occur against the background of a troubled global picture that will have further radicalizing effects here in Canada. Key among those issues are Canada’s role in the NATO mission in Afghanistan, the ongoing war in Iraq, as well as a series of issues and events related to the so-called “War on Terror.”

A series of public and private entities have already been subjected to no less than 19 attacks in Canada where violence has been used. This figure is narrowly construed and does not include a number of other attacks such as the burning of Bell Canada vehicles in Montreal. Such attacks were not included as their attackers did not make a claim related to the Olympics, the SPP or the G8.

Most disturbingly, there has been an increased identification of public and private figures by name in numerous postings which announce or encourage violence. The responses required to mitigate this problem can be implemented in relatively short order, provided a certain degree of cooperation between corporate and law enforcement agencies.

A clear upturn in violent protest activity is occurring. There had been a downturn or exhaustion of activity following the rush of activities from 2002 to 2004 (G8 and Bush visit). It is unprecedented to see this kind of forward planning by activists. Even the highly active G8 campaigners were essentially involved in activities for less than a year before the meetings in Ottawa.

The violent activities to date range right across the country in areas as diverse as Victoria, Vancouver, Guelph and Ottawa. It can be anticipated that this form of activity will spread geographically as year 2010 approaches.

Key Issues

1. A significant change of tactics appears to be occurring, as well as the tone of language being used since about 2005. One of the changes is that some social activist extremists are focusing on key individuals rather than just the company and its infrastructure. This has been a favorite tactic of groups such as SHAC (Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty). Among the tactics used by SHAC against individuals have been letter bombs, acid attacks, beatings, vandalism, and graffiti attacks. These attacks have been aimed at senior company officials as well as other employees. The point of the attacks is to frighten (terrorize?) the employees to a point where they will not go to work. These were detailed as far back as 2005 in US Senate Testimony by Mark Bibi, General Counsel of Huntingdon Life Sciences.[1] In addition to SHAC, these same sorts of tactics have been used by other protest groups related to the environment, abortion or capitalism.

The CEO of RBC and Bell Canada both fit into this sort of emerging category and they have already been named in a number of protest sites that claim responsibility for violent actions, although no direct action appears to have been aimed at them yet. The recent attacks in Montreal, which appear to have been carried out by anarchists, suggested in their statement of responsibility that people should burn “the hotels and houses of capitalists.”[2]

2. A convergence among a number of groups has occurred which are looking at a variety of actions related to the 2010 Olympics, the SPP, the 2010 G8, and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. This kind of convergence has been seen before, most explicitly in Canada for the 2002 G8 protests. Given the nature of the ongoing and upcoming events, this kind of convergence will likely continue to occur. The issues that will have the most “cross appeal” to a wide variety of groups will be the continuing war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the 2010 Olympics, the SPP, globalization, and the (potential) downturn in the economy. The convergence includes anarchists, aboriginal “warrior” groups, poverty activists, housing activists, anti-capitalists, anti-globalization activists, student activists, and others who are just interested in anti-social behavior.

3. An increasing degree of outside politicization has been seen since at least 2005 among various groups. More social activist groups appear to have shifted their focus from traditional social issues and taking on a more radical political perspective. Most of these individuals have a Middle Eastern view of politics. A number of these individuals and groups have a strong anti-Israeli or strong anti-Semitic outlook.

It may not be a coincidence that Mr. Gordon M. Nixon has a strong relationship to the Canadian Israel Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) which recently awarded him their prestigious Words & Deeds Leadership award. As well, Mr. Michael Sabia, although not Jewish himself, has a high profile association to the Jewish community through his association with FAST (Fight Anti-Semitism Together).

4. At the national level, the federal government in Ottawa does not appear to be actively engaged in monitoring or reacting to such issues. The apparatus that should be dealing with security issues related to the Olympics is in more of a setup phase than an operational phase. As well, there is a general tendency to not follow up on such activity in between major events. Unless something truly dramatic happens, it is probable that the appropriate federal agencies will not engage in this issue until the fall of 2009 or later.


The threat posed by this kind of violence is asymmetric. This is to say that the threat itself (violence by small cells or individuals) and the resources to combat the threat are unlike in nature. The response to such a threat must be an intensive knowledge-led operation. One key factor in such a response is integration. In order to understand the problem and formulate an effective response, the “fine grains” of intelligence and information must be integrated over a wide range of potential sources and barriers. Cooperation among the various players is an absolute requirement.

A number of actions can be undertaken now which would serve to mitigate the issues and this action has been successful in the past. If these are not taken now, the problem will become increasingly unmanageable as the events approach.

Examples of attacks related to the 2010 Olympics
Includes nine attacks against Royal Bank of Canada

Details of Attack
Source of Info and Comments
12 Feb 2007
VANOC clock site
Protest and objects thrown at clock
06 Mar 2007
City Hall
Olympic flag stolen,
Theft claimed by “Warriors” groups in BC in the name of Harriet Nahanee of the
29 Sept 2007
RBC branch at Hastings and Nanaimo
Windows broken
08 Dec 2007
RBC branch at Hastings and Nanaimo
Rock or stone through window
09 Dec 2007
RBC branch at Commercial and First
Broken windows due to hunks of pavement
24 Dec 2007
RBC branch at Cook St
Broken windows
27 Jan 2008
RBC branch on Elgin St
Bricks through 4 windows
Letter sent to Ottawa Citizen claiming anarchists were responsible. – The road network posting makes a direct reference to Gordon Nixon.
03 Feb 2008
Facilities related to Linamar Corp
Broken windows, spray paint and glued locks
Eston Mfg, LPP Mfg, and Comtech Mfg were graffitied, postered and had their locks glued shut. A Re-Max office had windows smashed. The first two companies are part of Linamar. Attacks were related to the Olympics and the SPP.
06 Feb 2008
Olympic count
down clock
Protestors disrupt ceremony
PGA group responsible for protest – 25 persons.
11 Feb 2008
Hyatt Hotel
Demo with about 50 protestors
Protestors trying to interrupt speech by BC Premier making two years to start of Olympics.
12 Feb 2008
RBC branch Bank and First Avenue
Bricks through window
Letter sent to Ottawa Citizen claiming anarchists were responsible
12 Feb 2008
Delta Hotel at Gordon and Stone Road
Six windows broken at front of hotel on opening day
17 Feb 2008
VANOC clock site
Paint spayed on clock by protesters
Anti Poverty Committee responsible for attack
26 Feb 2008
Highway signs
Three VANOC welcome signs hit with paint
01 Mar 2008
RBC branch on Elgin
Bricks through window
This was the second attack claimed this bank. Note title of article part way down page, claims this is another attack on same bank. 
The infoshop statement directly references Gordon Nixon. 
08/09 Mar 2008
Olympic Clock
Paint bombs thrown at clock
05 Mar 2008
RBC branch at Bank and First
Ice or other substance though window
11 Mar 2008
RBC branch at Elgin and Lisgar
Garbage or other substances thrown through windows.
15/16 March 2008
National Bank ATM’s attacked
Claims made that the ATMS were smashed and set on fire.
The statement of claim notes that the National Bank is not a sponsor of the Olympics as is the Royal Bank, but they believe that a “bank is a bank”. The claim clearly refers to the 2010 Olympics.

Identificaton of Private Individuals

The following web postings are examples of web based activity that relates to Mr. Gordon Nixon and potential protests/violence related to the Olympics, the G8, the SPP and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. This is just a minor sampling. There are more than 100 sites that refer to him in a negative way (i.e. attacks, protests etc).

[1] . For the details of this testimony see:

[2] . as of 24 March 2008.