Los Angeles became the United States Olympic Committee’s candidate for the 2024 Olympic Games after Boston dropped its bid in 2015. Because Hamburg, Budapest, and Rome also ditched their bids, LA and Paris were left as the only two contenders for the 2024 games. The IOC opted to avoid an equally embarrassing selection process in four years’ time, and took the unprecedented step of awarding two summer Olympics at once: 2024 to Paris and 2028 to LA.

The LA 2028 committee and Mayor Eric Garcetti have promised a “no build” Olympics, insisting that LA has all the necessary infrastructure to host. But LA is in the midst of a construction boom and critics fear the Olympics will accelerate real estate speculation and the displacement of low-income communities via gentrification. City officials have already used the Olympics as a justification to give a green light for hotel construction projects, citing a “hotel crisis.” Meanwhile, the real housing crisis is severe, with at least 59,000 people unhoused across the county of LA in 2019 (up 12% from 2018). A shortage of tenant protections amid real estate speculation means more families are losing their homes every year. Critics of the Olympics are concerned about how the unhoused population will be treated ahead of and during the 2028 Olympics, as LA’s 1984 Olympics (and many other Olympic editions) saw sweeps and increased policing of unhoused people, especially from locations that tourists and Olympics TV cameras were likely to see. Also on the topic of policing, there are additional concerns that the Olympics will be a justification for the further militarization of the police force, intensification of surveillance, and criminalization of communities of color. Because the Olympics and LA’s other sports mega-events will be designated National Special Security Events (NSSE), federal security bodies will have a greater presence and more authority in the city, potentially increasing the risks facing LA’s undocumented community.

The resistance

NOlympics LA was launched by the Housing & Homelessness committee of the Los Angeles chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America in 2017. It is a coalition of over two dozen partner organizations based in LA and California that oppose the 2028 Olympics, including:

Critical art & graphics

LA 2028

Key resources

General

2018 | KNOCK LA & NOlympics LA | Rings of Hell: The NOlympics Podcast [Podcast series]

2018 | NOlympics LA | NOlympics LA Survey Results and Analysis [Article]

2018 | David Wharton – LA Times | New poll suggests L.A. residents concerned about hosting 2028 Olympics [Article]

2018 | NOlympics LA | A Rude Awakening for Eric Garcetti [Video]

2017 | Jonny Coleman – LA Times | Six reasons to worry about the 2028 Olympics [Article]

2017 | Dakota Smith – LA Times | L.A. City Council set to vote on 2028 Olympics plan before key financial reports are completed [Article]

2017 | NOlympics LA | Analysis (of LA’s Olympic bid) [Article]

2017 | NOlympicsLA | Stop Playing Games – A Public Forum on the L.A. Olympic Bid [Video]

Housing

2019 | NOlympics LA | Homes Not Hotels [Platform]

2018 | Jenna Chandler – Curbed | LA ‘sterilized’ its streets for the ’84 Olympics—how will it treat the homeless in 2028? [Article]

2018 | Shirsho Dasgupta – LA Taco | Forced out: In Exposition Park, Residents face likely eviction to make room for ‘The Fig’ [Article]

Policing & security

2017 |Leighton Woodhouse – In These Times | In These Times – In 2028 Olympics, L.A. Residents See a Police State on Steroids [Article]

Resistance

2018 | Gregory Andranovic & Matthew Burbank – Play the Game |Opposition to the Olympics in American cities [Article]

2018 | Lucas Smolcic Larson – The College Hill Independent | Five ring activism: NOlympics LA and global resistance to the Olympic Games [Article]

***See NOlympics LA’s Resources page for more information.

***See NOlympicsLA’s Video page for more documentation and analysis.