“Protest Zones” – A taste of 2016 things to come…

From Chris Shaw, author of  Five Ring Circus – Myths and Realities of the Olympic Games” —

No Games Chicago started the day looking for the IOC Technical Team at Washington Park. It turned out that they were inside the Du Sable Museum. Bob and I met up with some other NGC members, pulled out some signs and our banner and had a mini demonstration as the IOC members came out. We tried following their tour buses, but police cars quickly got between us and them. We knew their next stop was the park at Addison and Lake Shore Drive, adjacent to the Jarvis Bird Sanctuary.  This is where they plan to put the 30,000 seat tennis stadium.

We drove over there with plans to set up a demo. As Bob and I were sitting in the car near the tennis courts, a uniformed CPD officer knocked on the car window and told Bob that, “We’ve set up a protest zone for you. Use that and that only. Iif you go out of it, we’ll run you down.”

Protest zones? In America? In Chicago before the bid has been won and 8 years and some in advance of 2016? Yep. Bob and I walked over to the U-shaped zone, about 20 feet wide, bordered by police wooden barriers and behind one of the softball fields. The IOC delegates were pulling up at the building along the shore some 400 meters away. After taking some pictures of the zone, we were joined by other NGC members and did a mock demo to highlight the impact that the Olympics have already begun to have on Chicagoans.

This came in from No Gamer Rachel, who has a long record of fighting land grabs in the city:

At the DuSable Museum we were allowed to be near the IOC cars. By  the time we got to Waveland, Daley and Chicago 2016 were taking us seriously enough to create quickly an isolated free speech zone.  So, I think we are now in stage that they are fighting us which is a good sign. (See the Ghandi quote)

“First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
then they fight you,
then you win.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

“…It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds…” – Samuel Adams

“Never, never, never, never give up.”
– Winston Churchill

Privatization, land grabs, public subsidy of needless stadium construction. Displacement and debt. It looks like the 2016 games will also bring us a police state.


8 responses to ““Protest Zones” – A taste of 2016 things to come…

  1. At Washington Park we no gamers were allowed on the street near the IOC buses.

    We must have ruffled the Chicago 2016 team because up at Waveland they had the police set up a play pen for anyone who didn’t agree with Daley.

    Unfortunately this is Standard Operating Procedure for Daley.

  2. follow our money

    A letter published in today’s Sun Times.

    Bird sanctuary is no place for Olympic venue

    April 4, 2009

    It has come to my attention that the Olympic committee has chosen the Montrose Bird Sanctuary as the spot for its new tennis courts.

    I cannot believe Mayor Daley, an environmentalist, would allow this. This area has been carefully tended for years, courting all kinds of migratory birds, butterflies, prairie grasses and flowers. It is an extraordinary oasis in the middle of our city.

    Its marvelous view is probably how it landed on the list.

    What a terrible shame it would be for years of efforts that have yielded such an environmental treasure of birds and flowers to be destroyed for one brief moment.

    These birds would not come back.

    It takes courage and foresight to preserve these green spaces. I pray that Daley and the Olympic Committee will seriously reconsider this decision.

    Susan Licciardi,


  3. No Games was a “No Show” for the venue tour – what happened? At least some supporters showed up along the tour route.

    Businesses and universities around the city had “We Support the Bid.” I know some who posted signs in their windows.

    I think there is by far more support for the Olympics than you want to believe, and your methods for “making the case” are pretty pathetic.

  4. Dave, it appears that protesters were intimidated and kept at football field’s length — are you surprised?

    Of course the PR is good for businesses and universities, but there’s nothing keeping them from funding their own PR campaigns.

    Let’s have an honest poll. Propose a $200+ tax on every Chicagoan and a $20 tax on every Illinois resident to cover the city and state guarantees — have it withdrawn from this month’s paychecks. Let’s see how much support there really is. I imagine there would be no disputing the “show” of protesters then.

  5. “What if” – answer this….

    Did Atlanta Olympics destroy their city?

    What about Los Angeles?

    hmmm, everyone I talk to says they were very financially successful, and its because the U.S., not London, Athens or Vancouver have a different model to fund the Games.

    We will not be having to spend a gazillion dollars on venues – we aren’t building an “Olympic Park” like London is, and we will not hire starchitects who balloon the budget.

  6. Dave, I see you’ve changed subjects from supposed support for Olympics to city destruction.

    No. Olympics didn’t destroy Atlanta or L.A. Never said it would destroy Chicago either.

    But if there is such confidence that a Chicago games would not go over budget, why didn’t the private investors take on the full risk? Why lobby for laws to CYA?

    I’m not opposed to the Olympics; I’m opposed to paying for them.

    No claims of gazillions here. Just dividing the guarantees by the population.

  7. What was that news report I heard today that said Mayor Daley said the games would be LARGELY paid for by private investors? Leaving a little wiggle room now, isn’t he?

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