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News :: Gentrification : Human Rights : Social Welfare
Anti-Olympic Home Demo at Boston Mayor's House
30 Jun 2015
Members of Safe Hub Collective and Black Lives Matter Boston take action to demand Mayor Marty Walsh pull the Olympic 2024 bid now.

Video of action.
Click on image for a larger version

FULL STATEMENT: Dozens of residents representing Black Lives Matter Boston and Safe Hub Collective gathered this morning outside the home of Mayor Marty Walsh, in solidarity with the people of Rio de Janeiro and the larger anti-Olympics movement across our city and the globe, in order to bring him a long overdue wake-up call. With the Olympic hymn as our backdrop, we delivered our message outlining the economic, social, and cultural disaster Boston 2024 is working so hard to bring here with the XXXIII Olympiad. For nearly a year we have volunteered alongside one another as members of the Hub’s vibrant, underserved communities to provide evidence as to why 54% of this city does not want to host the Olympic Games and counter the millions already spent to hide the ugly realities of its absurdist proposal and buy up support.

Displacement has accompanied every Olympic Games. Specifically, we recognize the 30,000 residents made homeless by the Atlanta Centennial Games; we are witnessing in real time the wholesale destruction of Rio de Janeiro’s neighborhoods. We refuse to allow Boston to suffer the same fate.

Likewise, we reject the continued diversion of Boston’s limited public funds for private projects when already one-third of Boston’s public schools have no physical education and roughly one-third of Boston’s children currently live in poverty.

Similarly, previous Games have actually hurt local and independent businesses as International Olympic Committee contracts go to corporate sponsors, and loyal customers are discouraged by the transportation headaches and large crowds. Boston’s small businesses are at-risk of being wiped out, which would be devastating for the families that depend on them as their source of income and to the vibrant communities where these businesses live.

Furthermore, Boston’s greenest and most beloved public spaces will become inaccessible to the majority of us who use them to enjoy time with our families and instead they will be transformed into a temporary playground for the global elite. The city should be for the people.

Perhaps most significantly, the XXXIII Olympiad will turn Boston into a police state, disproportionately targeting Black and brown folks, Muslim residents, gender non-conforming and undocumented Bostonians. We are still suffering the impacts of the expanded surveillance that accompanied the 2004 Democratic National Convention. More expanded policing is a matter of life and death for Boston’s marginalized communities.

Mayor Walsh’s continued endorsement of this bid is not only a bad idea it is also bad leadership. By holding this space together with our bodies and our voices we made sure that Marty Walsh could no longer claim to have never seen nor heard our dissent. In doing so, our aim is to protect our city and promote the people’s need over private interests. With this action, we hope to wake up not only Mayor Walsh, but the entire city of Boston to the destructive and devastating impact an Olympics would have on our beloved city. We occupied this space with our bodies and voices because we love Boston and we firmly believe that our city deserves better than an Olympic Games. We have one demand and it is simple: that His Honor explicitly pull his support for the bid. We hope Mayor Walsh will answer our call.

This work is in the public domain