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The Present

The 2028 Summer Games could be a disaster for L.A., according to this group’s Twitter page

There’s grave concern over one particularly vulnerable group in the city.
Protest sign in L.A. Credit: NOlympics.

Hosting the Olympics is usually thought to help elevate the image of a host country or city, heal regional, national, and international divides, and deliver benefits to communities through increased tourism. But does hosting The Games actually follow through on such promises? A number of studies have found that it usually leaves a country in debt.

And while developers, construction firms, land owners, and large corporations often make hefty profits, taxpayers, usually the poor and middle-class, are left holding the bill. Activists in Boston and Budapest shutdown those cities’ bids for these reasons, leaving Paris and Los Angeles in the running. Then they made a deal. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Games, while L.A. will take on 2028.

The 2028 Games are expected to cost $5.3 billion. To be fair, there are measures taking place to ease the financial burden. The L.A. organizing committee is being compensated $180 million by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), for agreeing to host the later Summer Games. The IOC will also extend $1.8 billion to the city to promote and fund youth sports programs. In addition, over $50 million in fees and other costs are being waived.

Usually, some kind of payment is seen after the games as well. Also, L.A. won’t have to invest in big construction projects. It already has a great number of well-kept stadiums and the proper transportation infrastructure. Be that as it may, a recent Oxford University study found that the average cost overrun for a modern Olympics is 156%. Even with all these considerations, L.A. could be looking at a hefty price tag.

One activist group NOlympics L.A., who originally trained their sites on blocking the 2024 Games, are now openly opposing those of 2028. This group is a splinter of the Democratic Socialists of America’s-Los Angeles chapter. Besides the financial burden—which they argue is a wealth transfer scheme from the lower classes to the rich, modern Olympics such as Beijing and Rio saw massive displacements, and NOlympics worries vulnerable Angelenos will suffer the same fate, particularly the city’s large homeless population.

In Rio, 20,000 were moved from their flavelas, where residents are not only poor but mostly black. Activists fear that a racial element could also come into play in diverse Los Angeles. To broadcast these concerns, they’ve held public forums and other actions. As with any modern activist group, they’ve also taken to Twitter to voice their concerns, and their provocative posts have caught attention, by perfectly encapsulate their arguments.

One of the biggest issues in L.A. is homelessness:

Credit: Twitter.

Last year, L.A.’s homeless rate increased 23%:

Credit: Twitter.

NOylmpics believes the sizeable homeless camps will be displaced in preparation for The Games, and will likely lead to other abuses:

Credit: Twitter.

The group is using this as a call to action:

Credit: Twitter.

They also reveal a pattern of displacement due to hosting the Olympics, here referring to the 2012 London Games:

Credit: Twitter.

Another theme is militarization on city streets, here using the Super Bowl as an example:

Credit: Twitter.

Other examples of militarization, with the Super Bowl as a backdrop:

Credit: Twitter.

Credit: Twitter.

To learn more about NOlympics LA, click here:

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