A new group has been set-up to oppose Los Angeles’ bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The group, called NOlympicsLA, hopes to emulate the success of “No Boston Olympics” which led to the initial American 2024 bid to be scrapped, leading to Los Angeles replacing it.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission chaired by Switzerland’s Patrick Baumann is due to arrive for a three-day inspection visit starting tomorrow.
It marks the first organized attempt to disrupt a bid which has so far enjoyed very high public support estimated by polls to be around 88 percent.
A balanced and privately funded bid with little impact on the public purse is considered a key reason for this.
NOlympicsLA seeks to destroy the narrative that the bid is overwhelmingly supported by the local people and claim that money should be better spent elsewhere.
It has emerged out of the Housing and Homelessness Committee of the Los Angeles-arm of the Democratic Socialists of America.
“We don’t need to hand over the keys to our city to the IOC, who have proven time and time again that their only interest is in razing cities for their own profit,” group member Anne Orchier told The Nation, an activist newspaper.
“The goal of NOlympics LA is to get the Olympics out of LA, not just for 2024 or 2028, but forever, while we continue to build a foundation for other cities to oppose the IOC and its false claims.”
“We need democracy, transparency, and politicians who have the courage to actually do the work of helping all of residents, starting with our vulnerable communities.””
Other problems in the city cited as “priorities” include how Los Angeles has soaring levels of poverty and homelessness.
“The Olympics do not serve the interests of working-class Angelenos,” they added in a post on Facebook.
“We’re coming for you LA2024.”
It is notable that many issues raised by the group as generally problems linked with hosting an Olympic Games, such as diverting public funds from other areas and relocating residents to make way for construction projects, do not apply to the Los Angeles bid as no new venues are being built from scratch.
At present, NOlympics LA also seems a far smaller politically-linked group than the wide-ranging coalition of people who backed No Boston Olympics.
It cannot be discounted, though, and has pledged to learn from No Boston Olympics in focusing on social media to spread the message.
“Just like the successful 1984 Games, LA 2024 would be sustainable and fiscally responsible, with no new permanent venues to build and a balanced budget,” Los Angeles 2024 communications director Jeff Millman told insidethegames when asked about the new group.
“That’s why 88 percent of Angelenos support LA’s privately funded and low-risk Games for 2024.”
Similar opposition movements helped to disrupt 2024 bids from Budapest, Rome and Hamburg before their eventual withdrawal.
In Budapest, youth group Momentum Mozgalom’s “NOlimpia” campaign canvassed enough signatures to force a referendum on the bid, before it was abandoned as political support also dwindled.
Anti-Olympic protests are also being planned in Paris, Los Angeles’ sole remaining rival for 2024 due to inspected by the IOC from May 14 to 16.
A host city is due to be selected by the IOC at its Session in Lima on September 13.
By Nick Butler
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.