Thursday, October 1, 2009

1996 Olympic games in Atlanta gives concerns to Chicago hosting Olympic games in 2016

If we take a look back in time to 1996, when the United States last hosted the Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, we will find that at that time, "Atlanta benefited more than any other city in the history of the Olympics," said A.D. Frazier, the chief operating officer for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. "Afterward, we had no debt and we left behind a legacy of privately funded structures the city would not have seen otherwise." Now it has been said the city claimed to fame in hosting the games, failed to put into place long-term goals of improving infrastructure and community development.
The Olympics games also holds a bad memory of the 1996 games, It was in Atlanta's 1996 Olympics games that a bombing that killed one woman and injured more than 100 people took place. At this date and time in history when we are at war with Iraq and Afghanistan, and dealing with threats here at home with terrorist here in the states is this a good time for the United States to consider hosting the Olympics games? Mayor Andrew Young of Atlanta at the time of the 1996 Olympics whose bid for the Olympics games did not see the pitfalls in hosting the games in Atlanta. For minority and small business owners who at that time paid $10,000 to $20,000 to sell their items on the street, and the homeowners who thought that they would be able to rent out their homes for a large profit, instead they sued the city of Atlanta and caused the city to go bankrupt. Munson Steed, who was the contractor to market the games stated "The Olympics is about economic development of cities' institutions. It's a corporate event, not a common-person event." If this is not a common-person event as stated by Munson Steed, should whole cities with homes and business be destroyed? What is fate of the people that call these cities home?

Ebonee Stevenson fears the Washington Park of her childhood won't be the same if the Games come to Chicago. (WBEZ/Natalie Moore)

At first, South Side resident Ebonee Stevenson was excited about Chicago as the potential 2016 host city. Then she weighed in city politics with its tradition of haves and have-nots, and her optimism waned. Stevenson works with a community group called Southside Together Organizing for Power, or STOP; her group joined in with the anti-Olympics effort-No Games Chicago. Stevenson says promises of Olympic accountability don’t resonate with her. STEVENSON: Given the history that Mayor Daley has with the south side communities-with Washington Park, with Woodlawn with tearing down the public housing, the Plan for Transformation, I don’t think we can trust our current mayor and city council. Two years ago she visited Atlanta, site of the 1996 Olympics. She wanted to hear from low-income residents there. One mother’s story stuck out. According to Switzerland-based nonprofit Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, the Atlanta Olympics displaced 68,000 people – most of them black. But earlier this year Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin dismissed that criticism when I asked her about displacement. She says neighborhoods were rebuilt, a claim that is challenged by Atlanta Olympic critics, who say housing prices soared and pushed people out.

STEVENSON: There’ll probably be a Whole Foods on the corner of 55th King Drive. There’ll probably be some workout center or things like that. But there won’t be housing that’s really affordable to people. There’ll be high price condos. And condos that won’t even be affordable to middle-class people but only affordable to high-income people.

I have a concern if having a game opens a city to possible terrorist attacks like it did 1996, and with people losing their homes and not being able to afford the communities that they are forced out of to come back to is it worth the price for all concern to host the games here. When you have an outcry from the residents of Chicago saying that they do not want the games held in their state, do you listen to the people who reside in this city and have business in this city or do you listen to who is to financially from the profits of hosting the games.

What is the value that is placed on a human life and lives of people who will be uprooted from their homes and community roots? Who is advocating for the rights of the poor and underprivileged that reside in the communities in Chicago and who is going to listen to the concerns of the residents that live there.

I would like to know, isn't there an island or some undeveloped land on this planet that the games can be held at, not just in 2016 but on a permanent basis? Is it truly necessary to uproot and destroy communities for the pleasure of saying that you hosted games?

For everyone that is hoping for the Olympic games to be held in the United States in 2016, I ask that you reconsider your position and think of the people and what we have already been through in this country in our history.

1 comment:

ngonea said...

Indeed Antoinette, I have a friend who lives in Gary Indiana which is very clsoe to Chicago, she has been telling me that she could see something was happening there for over a year now, High priced Condos are already being built, just like your aticle says, also, I remember being in Atlanta prior to the olympic games and met a homeless man who was begging and was hiding from the police who were doing street sweeps, he was terrified. Wonder what ever happened to all those homeless people, and what fate is awating the poor people of Chicago and near by areas?

Bottom line, we must now understand, we do not have a government. I know many will simply reject what I'm saying, the United States is now run by Corporations,

Anyone who wants to verify this can do so by simply searching youtube,

"The U.S. is a corporation, not a country"

Now, another thing we must understand is, that these corporations are now in the process of taking over the police functions around the country.Foreign troops are already inside of America and detention facilaties are now owned by foreign corporations who are bringing in Blackwater group mercenaires. Do not mean to spread fear, but this is real and it is happening now, so we better wake-up. Remember Katrina?

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