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Olympics Visit Could Face More Protests

By Kevin Robinson in News on Mar 19, 2009 5:40PM

2009_3_olympic_logo.jpg In addition to No Games Chicago's anti-2016 rally planned for the IOC's final site visit on April 2nd, a few other groups are planning demonstrations that weekend as well. A group of community activists is now saying that unless the city agrees to minority contract and affordable housing stipulations as part of the Olympic bid, they make sure they embarrass the mayor. If Mayor Daley "wants to air his dirty laundry to the world, that is entirely up to him," Denise Dixon, executive director of Action Now told the Sun-Times. "If he don't want to see demonstrations in the street when they get here, then he better come up with something," she added.

Shannon Bennett, lead organizer for the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, said that the city needs to agree to community benefits from the Olympics before the IOC comes to town. "We know that game. We know stall tactics. We know reneging," she said. Daley didn't seem to mind. "We're not displacing any people whatsoever, but we are cognizant of community groups and alderman and everybody else who want to participate," he said, adding that the press airs the city's dirty laundry "all the time." 4th Ward Alderman Toni Preckwinkle was more sanguine. "It would have been preferable to do it beforehand," she said of a community benefits agreement that was negotiated in response to an ordinance she proposed in January. That agreement is scheduled to be voted on at the end of April, two weeks after the IOC visit.