POSTED: March 19th 2009

Chicago protesters target IOC

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

CHICAGO: A community protest group, not satisfied with disrupting a city council meeting, has promised further embarrassment when Olympic representatives visit Chicago in a fortnight’s time.

The group, Communities for an Equitable Olympics, has promised also to target the visit by the IOC evaluation commission which assesses the strengths of the rival candidates.

Chicago is one of four cities on a shortlist to host the 2016 Games; the IOC decides in Copenhagen on October 2 between Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. The evaluation commission starts its round-the-world tour in Chicago at the start of next month.

Gwen Nettles, a spokesman for the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization which is one of the groups within the protest coalition, explained the reasons for concern among residents in districts on which the Games venue proposals focus.

She said: “We will not allow the IOC to think we want the Games, without a real benefits agreement for the people who live locally."

Protesters complained at Wednesday's City Council meeting about what they perceived as a failure to respond to their concerns by the finance committee. They are demanding that 30 per cent of the proposed Village be converted to affordable housing after the Games and that 50 percent of contracts be set aside for minority and women-owned companies.

Mayor Richard Daley pointed out: “We don't have the Games yet.”

See also:

Keywords · Chicago · Olympic Games · 2016 · protesters

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