Category Archives: Civil rights abuse

No Games Co-Founder Tells Like It Was (and Is)

From WBEZ-FM Chicago Public Radio’s Worldview program from July 19, 2016 (35 minutes):

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Police Spied on No Games Chicago

CPD order to spySpurred by a story in the March 18, 2015 issue of the Chicago Reader, “Chicago police are spying on citizens,” No Games Chicago organizers Bob Quellos and Tom Tresser submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to the Chicago Police Department.

The response given to Tom was that there was that the request was too broad. He didn’t follow up. Bob persisted for months and called the Police Department’s FOIA office multiple times each week His story is told in the August 20, 2015 issue of the Chicago Reader.

Finally Bob received confirmation that the all-volunteer effort – which had no office or no phone number – was, in fact, spied on by the Chicago Police Departmen’ts Intelligence Division. After spying us they came to the conclusion that we posed no threat to public safety and (apparently) concluded their intelligence operations after our April 2, 2009 protest rally in Federal Plaza. But – really – who knows?Chicago police spying-Reader
Download the full response from the Chicago Police Department here->NGC – CPD FOIA-public

Olympic Struggle of London 2012 Resisters

From The Red Pepper, a UK publication. “Resistance to the 2012 Olympics has been widespread and under-reported, starting with London’s bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host the Games back in 2004. Protests are planned to continue through to after the sporting events finish, in order to challenge the ‘legacy’ of a corporate spectacle. Many of the campaigns have organised around local issues, but the range of tactics has been impressive and has often strengthened community organising on issues beyond the Games.”

Read the full story. Our hearts go out to our colleagues in the UK who fought so hard, for so long. You were right.

Reflection On The No Games Chicago Campaign

CounterSpin Radio, a project of FAIR, interviewed No Games organizer Tom Tresser on March 8, 2012 to comment on the New York Times reporting of mass evictions in Rio occuring in preperation for the 2016 Olympics (10 minutes).

Rio Organizer Explains How 2016 Is Displacing the Poor

Theresa Williamson is a community organizer based in Rio. Her organization, Catalytic Communities, is invovled in protecting and developing the favelas there. She is also organizing RioOnWatch.org, which is monitoring the work around the 2106 games. Theresa was in Chicago recently to deliver an update on how the preperation for the 2016 games is affecting the poor of Rio de Janeiro.

Mike Volpe covered her appearance for CounterPunch. Read his article here.

Vancouver Activist Sums It Up

Chris Shaw is a professor at the University of British Columbia. He has been one of Canada’s leading anti-games activists. He started his opposition to the 2010 Vancouver games in September of 2002. Here is an excerpt from a column he recently published, “Eight billion dollars got Canadians high on the Olympics. Was it money well spent?

Were our criticisms of VANOC and the games in general valid?

Yes, I think so, and here’s why:

Costs: Absurdly higher than VANOC or any level of government was ready to admit, then or now. The final number will come in north of $8 billion. How much north we may never know due to a rather stunning lack of accountability, hidden funding, massive levels of indirect funding, etc. In other words, the sort of shell game/watch the pea trick that governments facing scrutiny about Olympic costs normally engage in. There is nothing new here historically, hence an utterly predictable outcome.

Financial benefits: Neither macro nor mico-economics support the notion that the Games were a fiscal success for B.C.

At the macro level there is still blathering about long term economic impacts, but these are well within the range of the unknowable.

Up to now, the PriceWaterhouseCoopers impact study pretty much sums it up: All levels of government spent the above $8 plus billions of hard earned taxpayer money to make $1 billion.

Not, to my way of thinking, a particularly astute investment. B.C. Finance Minister Colin Hansen could be right that the Games will be an economic stimulus in the future, but how would we know this for sure in context to the volatility of the market, real estate, the resource sector, etc.?

Answer: we wouldn’t. Ditto for those who, like me, might try to portray the Games as having hurt the future economy. All we can honestly say is that the dollars put into the Games did not go into other things that might have had greater economic and social impacts. Read the full essay.

No one from the No Games Chicago team would have wanted to write an essay like that in 2016. We are thankful – and so should you be – that no such reflection will be necessary.

Sportswriter for Nation Lays It Out – “No Games For Chicago!”

Watch this video where Nation magazine sports editor and columnist, Dave Zirin, lays out the history of the modern Olympics and explains why bringing the 2016 games to Chicago would be a disaster.