A grass-roots coalition that opposes holding the Olympics in Los Angeles staged its first public protest Friday, walking in on a private meeting that included bid officials.
Showing up at a Van Nuys hotel with placards that read “No! No! No!,” about 20 members of the group NOlympics LA were quickly ushered out of a Chamber of Commerce breakfast where LA 2024 bid officials had been invited to give a presentation.
“They want to follow the sun,” coalition member Anne Orchier said, referring to the bid committee’s motto. “We want to shine a light on what’s happening.”
NOlympics LA, which continued its protest outside the hotel, believes the Summer Games would divert funding and attention from more urgent issues facing the city. It also has concerns about potential displacement of low-income residents and crackdowns on the homeless in the run-up to the massive sporting event.
The coalition — whose membership includes the Democratic Socialists of America and local tenant organizations — complained there hasn’t been enough meaningful public input in Los Angeles’ campaign for the 2024 Games.
LA 2024 spokesman Jeff Millman, who attended the breakfast, said his committee has held more than 30 community meetings and that he had previously offered to meet with NOlympics LA.
Millman also said he had invited the coalition to participate in upcoming public forums.
L.A. is competing with Paris for the 2024 Games, though it seems increasingly likely that the International Olympic Committee will name two winners, giving 2024 to one city and 2028 to the other.
The situation should become clearer after a pair of IOC meetings in early June and mid-July.
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