Group Opposing LA 2024 Stage Protest At Presentation

NOlympics LA stage protest outside Van Nuys hotel (NOlympics LA Photo)

A group opposing the Los Angeles bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Friday staged a protest during a Chamber of Commerce meeting that was attended by some members of the bid committee.

It was the first significant protest by the NOlympic LA coalition that is comprised of members of the Democratic Socialist of America and other activists who believe that taxpayers are being misled about the Olympic Games bid.

The Los Angeles Times reported that about 20 members of the group waving placards demonstrated outside of a Van Nuys hotel after they were prevented from entering the meeting.  A Facebook Live video broadcast by the group shows members attempting to gain access to the Chamber of Commerce event that was to feature a bid presentation, but were turned away because, they were told, their message wasn’t relevant where small businesses were being honored.

LA 2024 representatives have said that the group has been invited to other community meetings and public forums.

Independent polling last year showed as many as 88 per cent of Angelenos support the bid, but NOlympics LA claim they aren’t being told the truth about the consequences of hosting the Olympic Games.

The NOlympics group has been conducting an aggressive social media campaign to spread its message, and has utilized Twitter to communicate directly with some International Olympic Committee (IOC) members including St. Lucia’s Richard Peterkin, and to distribute memes of others.

The coalition’s leadership has been in touch with Chris Dempsey, the activist who led No Boston Olympics and its dismantling of that city’s Olympic bid.  Dempsey was also involved in opposition campaigns that led to the demise of 2024 Olympic bids from Hamburg and Budapest.

Despite the group’s efforts, it now seems certain that Los Angeles will be chosen to host an Olympic Games – either in 2024 or 2028.  The IOC is currently investigating bid reforms that would allow them to award both remaining candidates for 2024, LA and Paris, with two successive Games.

NOlympics LA stage protest outside Chamber of Commerce meeting where LA 2024 is presenting (NOlympics LA Photo)

Bid cities are scheduled to make presentations to the IOC membership July 11 before the final vote occurs September 13 in Lima, Peru.

About Robert Livingstone

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.