Key resources


2013 | Lawrence Vale & Annemarie Gray – Places Journal | The Displacement Decathlon [Article]

2007 | Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) | Fair Play for Housing Rights: Mega-events, Olympic Games, and Housing Rights [Report]

“The announcement in September 1990 that Atlanta had won its bid for the 1996 Olympic Games was met with protests from groups like the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless (Task Force), the Open Door Community, Empty the Shelters, and Concerned Black Clergy (CBC). The Task Force and CBC issued a call to concerned citizens to organise to save the conscience of the city; thus the Olympic Conscience Coalition formed, with clergy, homeless people, activists, service providers and residents of predominantly poor communities. Activists conducted research into recent Olympic Games and their impacts on cities like Los Angeles and Seoul and developed a social manifesto called the Olympic Conscience Agenda. The Olympic Conscience Agenda was signed by more than 300 organisations and leaders who had become concerned about reports of massive displacement and arrests that had occurred in other Olympic Host Cities. It called on the City of Atlanta to step up and protect housing and civil rights and social services for Atlanta’s poorest and most vulnerable people. This community activism included the Atlanta Labor Council, union members, poor people, residents of endangered neighbourhoods, social activists and service organisations, as well as some elected officials.”

COHRE, 2007


2007 | COHRE / Anita Beaty | Atlanta’s Olympic Legacy [Report]

“Along with HIC, the Bread, Not Circuses organizers from Toronto also sent trainers to Atlanta to assist the Task Force for the Homeless, Empty the Shelters and other groups participating in the Conscience Coalition.

The planned redevelopment of neighborhoods, like the Summerhill stadium community, stimulated the organizing of residents into ANUFF – Atlantans United For Fairness, a group that worked, picketed, met with planners and elected officials and eventually lost the neighborhood to the stadium by one vote at a Fulton County Commission meeting.

Techwood United For Fairness, or TUFF, included neighborhood mothers, advocates, legal resources and other members of the neighborhood that called the first public housing project in the US “home.” These heroic activists followed every step of the process that took two years, from first planning meeting to complete destruction of Techwood and replacement with Centennial Place.

Empty the Shelters was a group of young student activists who completed training with grassroots organizers and engaged in street theater and various activities opposing the Olympics, including the Copwatch effort that helped produce evidence for the federal lawsuit. They were also the group that created Spoilsport, the anti-Olympics symbol and spokesperson.

The ACLU of Georgia represented homeless people in most of the lawsuits challenging the laws that criminalized them. The Atlanta Legal Aid defended residents of public housing, Techwood, East Lake and others against the process that destroyed those communities.

The Task Force for the Homeless called together the groups that eventually formed The Olympic Conscience Coalition. The Task Force also found the law firm Ropes and Gray in Boston and provided the plaintiffs and evidence for the lawsuit filed against the City in 1996. That challenge resulted in the Federal Judge’s issuing a Temporary Restraining Order and a Preliminary Injunction against the City of Atlanta two days before the opening ceremonies.”

COHRE, 2007