Olympics foe Chris Shaw detained at Heathrow, released

A fierce critic of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games has said two separate run-ins with authorities will not deter him from speaking out against the Olympics.

“If you’re asking, ”˜Will I continue to speak out?’ well, you’ve got three guesses and two don’t count,” Chris Shaw told the Straight. “Of course I’ll continue to speak out.”

The Joint Intelligence Group, a branch of the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit, pulled Shaw aside at a West Broadway café over his 2008 anti-Olympics book, Five Ring Circus, on June 3. And on June 7, Shaw was detained at Heathrow Airport passport control for an hour. The fuss was supposedly over him not producing a return ticket right away, Shaw said, but a U.K. Home Office representative peppered him with questions about a talk he was going to give on June 12 at a conference in Coventry hosted by Play the Game.

“Something came up on her [the officer’s] screen, and then the questions started,” Shaw said. “What was the conference? What was I personally going to talk about? I gave her all that information. And then she said, ”˜Do you have a return ticket?’ I said, ”˜Of course I have a return ticket.’ She said, ”˜Where is it?’ I said, ”˜It’s an e-ticket and I printed it out before I got on the airplane.’ ”

Shaw was released, but he said the experience was “bizarre”.

“It’s never happened to me in my life—crossing any border and being detained,” he said. “There was nothing wrong with my paperwork, and the ticket did exist and was instantly verifiable if she’d wanted to spend two minutes walking over to British Airways, who did it on the spot. There seemed to be undue curiosity about what I was doing in the U.K.”




Jun 18, 2009 at 6:01am

Interantional conspiracy of course. I am sure the UK authorities have an anti olympics advocate at the top of their radar screen in these peaceful days and of course they should have left their post to walk to BA office to check his ticket for them. Heathrow is such a tiny airport. Oh well he got one write up for his cause.


Jun 18, 2009 at 10:58am

What a disgrace this whole Vanoc sham is. Dr. Shaw is a threat to this bunch of bandits because he is a brilliant, truthful mind that operates with ethics, unlike the gang that has thrust these 'GAMES' on British Columbians . . . . . . without a full, democratic VOTE DURING THE BID STAGE. Funny how the truth is always suppressed - but eventually, it is uncovered in all its ugliness.

This 'party' at taxpayers expense led by a group of Campbell Insiders, should have been halted at that stage of the shaninigans before taxpayers have been bilked of billions of dollars.

Chris Shaw has been right on the money since he found his brave backbone at the Bid stage. Come on British Columbians, find yours!!


Jun 22, 2009 at 8:36am

Why is this 'news'? This turd isn't newsworthy, its someones friend who needs to shut up for a change.
Oops, forgot the Staright isn't about news or facts. Its a soapbox.

Norman Farrell

Jun 24, 2009 at 10:02pm

So Duke21, are there lists of people you would allow to speak out publicly? How are we to know who's worth listening to unless you provide us with an advance list?

Or, instead of a list, would you prefer that only certain classes of people be able to comment on issues? Maybe only mature white men who have 1 or 2 syllables in their surname and hold multiple degrees from fine universities. That ought to keep out the triflers.


Sep 28, 2009 at 2:53pm

The abuse of an individuals right to protest peacefully and exercise a fundamental civil liberty is a good enough reason to boycott the 2010 Olympics in itself.