No Games Chicago defines itself as a diverse group of citizens who have come together to oppose the Chicago bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics and the protest today at Federal Plaza proves it.
Buttoned-up types in suits shout with others in layered skirts paired with high-heeled boots. A PTA President speaks just before Illinois’ first death-row exonerate Perry Cobb takes the makeshift stage and just after Green Party candidate Matt Reichel, a contender for Rahm Emanuel’s seat, does. All kinds of conscientious objectors spice up the scene, weaving through protestors, peddling their pro-Socialist pamphlets and anti-War on Terror packets.
A myriad of causes have spurred protest participation today but the anti-Olympics common-denominator focus is maintained, mostly. Some speakers, like Pat McDonald, the Hired Truck Scandal whistleblower, and a patient from one of Chicago’s closing mental-health clinics, never mention the Olympics but instead serve as character witnesses in the indictment of Mayor Daley, a man alternately referred to as “an Irish Mafia Don” and “the man who is messing up this city.”
The protest’s point, that the money spent on the Olympics could be better spent elsewhere, is conveyed by homemade and professionally printed signs. “Better trains, no Olympic games,” reads one. “Better housing, no Olympic games,” and “Money for schools, not Olympics,” read others.
Less serious anti-Olympics arguments also get stage time at this protest.
“And how are we going hold the Summer Olympics with this snow drift here?” asks one facetious speaker, pointing to the large mound of snow piled stage right. (Meaghan Strickland)