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News :: Politics : Social Welfare
Grassroots Opposition Derails Boston Olympic Bid
28 Jul 2015
Modified: 11:40:05 AM
Yahoo! News has reported that Boston's bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics has come to an end, after new mayor Marty Walsh declined to sign an agreement committing the city to cover cost overruns from the event.
Public support for the bid was never strong, with few Boston residents willing to spend taxpayer money on an event that promised to tie up the area's already notorious traffic for weeks for no obvious benefit. Previous Olympic venues, such as Rio de Janeiro and Vancouver, incurred enormous expenses and disruption. Homeless people, slum dwellers, and others considered expendable by the ruling class were subjected to extreme repressive measures intended to sweep them under the rug and keep them from inconveniencing Olympics spectators.

The attraction of Boston to the US Olympic Committee was obviously not logistical. There is a reason Boston had never been considered for the Olympics before this year. Our cramped streets, sky-high real estate prices, and lack of space to build facilities make the city a less-than-ideal place to hold a gigantic one-off sporting event.

Why then did the USOC pick Boston as the US candidate over more obvious cities like Los Angeles? Dave Zirin, reporting for The Nation, provides one answer - "I spoke with someone connected to the International Olympic Committee who told me that Boston has rocketed to the top of their consideration list because of how the city was able to shut itself down after the Boston Marathon bombing". In other words, Boston's ability to control its citizens and muzzle protest trumped LA's logistical advantages and previous Olympics hosting experience.

Fortunately, Bostonians are not quite as controllable, or as gullible, as the USOC assumed. Two groups, No Boston Olympics and No Boston 2024 arose to oppose the bid shortly after it was announced. In addition, Boston's docile image took a significant hit when Black Lives Matter protesters shut down morning rush hour traffic last January. Best of all however, Boston residents by and large refused to believe in the false promises of the USOC. Faced with plummeting approval ratings for the bid, Walsh faced reality and abandoned his previous enthusiastic support for the Olympics.

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