There’s nothing those in favor of a Boston 2024 Olympics would love more than for rival factions of the opposition front to emerge. So to be clear: In noting the differences between No Boston Olympics and No Boston 2024, we’re not trying to instigate beef like reckless mainstream hip-hop DJs. Both are fighting the same war, and their respective organizers acknowledge that much. But in facing a potential decade-long spat with a Summer Games forced upon us, it’s important to identify the protest forces and to hear what they’ve to say.
This is a city prone to demonstrating, and it’s no surprise that there’s a multi-prong approach in motion. On that note, in anticipation of tonight’s organizing meeting at The First Church in Boston, we sent the same five questions to representatives from #NoBoston2024 and #NoBostonOlympics, the idea being that their answers might shine light on their similarities and unique tactics as well. Full disclosure: We support both prongs, and wouldn’t mind seeing a few more groups join the uphill battle to derail this disaster.
DB: What is the difference between No Boston Olympics and No Boston 2024?
NoBostonOlympics: We are separate but allied organizations. We’ve got the same goals, but are independent. Variations on a theme—that many in Boston and across the state are frustrated by the lack of transparency in Boston2024’s process and are concerned about the negative impacts of hosting an Olympic Games.
NoBoston2024: We support NBO and consider them allies. Our skill set is very different from that of No Boston Olympics. We are all skilled and experienced in direct action. Draw your own conclusions here.
DB: Now that the USOC has given Boston its blessings, where does your movement go from here?
NoBostonOlympics: We only get stronger. In the 72 hours after the USOC’s decision, we added over 1,000 supporters. Our main goal is to provide a voice to the people of Massachusetts, whether that is through a ballot measure, legislative action, or direct lobbying to the IOC.
NoBoston2024: We’re continuing to build a movement and plan ever-increasing actions. The longer the democratic voice of Boston residents is ignored, the stronger our democratic voice will become.
DB: What is the best evidence you have that Boston doesn’t want an Olympics?
NoBostonOlympics: Bostonians are too smart to accept Boston2024’s one-sided narrative. There are immense costs to the Games, and our citizens’ healthy skepticism is warranted.
NoBoston2024: The only public polling data available does not support Boston 2024. A poll by the Globe back in the summer found a majority of Metro Boston opposed to the Boston 2024 bid (51% to 38%), although a slim majority of the state overall supported it (47% to 43%). However–and this is key–when the best arguments from both sides were presented, that slim support became overwhelming opposition, with people saying no to the Olympic bid 2:1. In other words, the more people hear about the bid, the more they realize that they’re getting a raw deal.
DB: What is the best evidence you have that Boston doesn’t need an Olympics?
NoBostonOlympics: Atlanta hosted the Olympics in 1996, Boston never has. Which city would you rather live in? We’re already a world-class city. Do we need to improve the T? Yes. Do we need to invest in things like schools, health care, and open space? Yes. But we can and will do all those things without needing to hand over our city to the IOC.
NoBoston2024: The history of Olympics is filled with cost overruns, displacement of marginalized communities, corruption, over-policing and intrusive surveillance, and unkept promises. The time, money, and resources devoted to planning and preparing for the Olympics are time, money, and resources not spent on the issues that matter most to the people of our city. 36% of requests for food assistance in Boston go unmet, and homelessness is rising faster in Massachusetts than any other state. You can’t eat a stadium, and you can’t live in a velodrome. If Mayor Walsh and Boston 2024 really believed that Bostonians would support what’s in the bid, they wouldn’t have developed it in secret and wouldn’t still be keeping it secret.
DB: If you had five minutes with the IOC, what is the one thing you would say to them to try and dissuade them from choosing Boston?
NoBostonOlympics: Bostonians have a proud history of rejecting unelected, unaccountable European institutions that try to impose their will on us. Force our hand and we’ll do it again.
NoBoston2024: If we had five minutes with the IOC, we’d march them out of the plush, insular offices of Boston 2024, an echo chamber of CEOs and lobbyists, and onto the streets of Boston. We’d ask every person walking by what they think of bringing the Olympics to Boston. Boston 2024, Boston city officials, and the USOC won’t tell the IOC what Boston thinks of this proposal, but we will. Even without a face to face meeting, we will make our voices heard to them.
FROM THE ANNOUNCEMENT:
The meeting will be held at The First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough Street, in Boston’s Back Bay.
We need you to lend your voices to the growing chorus of Massachusetts residents opposed to Boston2024’s bid and the secretive process they have conducted. Come meet fellow supporters, learn more about No Boston Olympics, and tell us how you can help!
Event: Public Organizing Meeting
Date: Wednesday, January 14th
Address: 66 Marlborough Street