David Zirin is The Nation’s sports editor. He writes about Chicago’s bid in his September 22 column:
Recently Barack Obama criticized planned protests at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh because, as he knew from his Chicago days, “focusing on concrete, local, immediate issues that have an impact on people’s lives is what really makes a difference and…having protests about abstractions [such] as global capitalism or something, generally, is not really going to make much of a difference.”
Well, on September 29 at Chicago’s City Hall a protest will take place that will focus on a “concrete, local, immediate issue,” putting the protesters across the barricades from Barack and Michelle Obama as well as the all-powerful Democratic political machine of the city. The issue is the 2016 Olympic bid and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s political pact with the Obamas to see the Games come to the Windy City. Mayor Daley, rocking a 35 percent approval rating, says that the Games would be “a huge boost to our economy, raising it to a new level. The Games will help us recover sooner from the recession that still grips our nation and enable us to better compete in the global economy.”
There is only one problem with this argument: the history of the Olympic Games almost without exception brands it as a lie.