No Games Chicago went public on January 31 with a public forum at the University of Chicago. Over 200 people packed the room to a hear an amazing panel of speakers.
Panel members were:
Deborah Taylor of Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) and Lake Park East Tenants Association,
Karen Lewis of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE), and
Willie J.R. Fleming of the Coalition to Protect Public Housing and the Chicago Independent Human Rights Council.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Christopher Shaw, from Vancouver. Shaw is the author of “Five Ring Circus: Myths and Realities of the Olympic Games” and lead spokesperson for No Games 2010 Coalition. He made the connection between Vancouver and Chicago. “Chicago is bidding on the 2016 Olympic Games and its citizens are being sold the same collection of half-truths that the people of Vancouver got in 2002. None of the economic forecasts, promises of transparency, or environmental and social promises came true in Vancouver. In fact, in all cases the outcome was the complete opposite. Most Vancouverites now wish they hadn’t supported the Games. Chicagoans still have a chance to avoid the mistakes that Vancouver made.”