No Sochi Olympics on stolen Circassian land?
For the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, there's a different chant: "No Sochi Olympics on land of Circassian genocide." Once again, the ski jump, half-pipe, and athletes' village have been built on contested ground.
If you attended the 2010 protests in Vancouver, you might already know this. Circassian activists were on hand at the opening ceremonies protest and outside Sochi World (Science World) to let the international media know that not all is hunky-dory in the Caucasus.
Their protest signs pointed to the website NoSochi2014.com, which is still up and running. Here's a couple of videos from the site:
In a January 14 article in the Ottawa Citizen, University of Toronto history lecturer Carolyn Harris describes the "rapid expulsion" of the Circassian people from their Black Sea coast homeland in the 1800s. Harris compares it to the Acadian expulsion, though she notes it involved "hundreds of thousands more deaths":
Approximately 600,000 Circassians died from starvation, exposure and drowning as overcrowded, undersupplied ships carried them across the Black Sea. Those Circassians who resisted were massacred. “Red Hill” in Sochi, where skiing and snowboarding events will take place at the 2014 Olympics, was the site of one of these massacres and the location of Russian celebrations of their “victory” over the Circassians.
According to NoSochi2014.com, 2014 marks the 150th anniversary of the Circassian genocide, which the site says killed 1.5 million people. Food for thought while you're watching Patrick Chan stumble on a triple lutz in February.