London Plays Games: Olympics History, Civil Liberties, and the Militarization of Public Space
FIRST IN A SERIES | On the program, we take a critical look at the London 2012 Games, with Chris Shaw (author, Five Ring Circus: Myths and Realities of the Olympic Games), Professor Jules Boykoff (via Democracy Now!) on dissent and the Olympics, and Julian Cheyne (London Counter Olympics Network) on the militarization of East London. In this podcast, we focus the discussion on historical context of the modern Olympics, the suppression of political dissent, and the militarization of public space during this urban mega-event.
The podcast begins with a excerpt from Surborg, VanWynsberghe, and Wyly’s Mapping the Olympics Growth Machine: Transnational Urbanism and the Growth Machine Diaspora which situates the Olympics as urban phenomena and a significant aspect of growth machine politics:
Mega-events, such as the Olympic Games, have often been described as a preferred tool of place promotion and marketing and a primary connection between the local and the global. The Olympics are a global spectacle literally taking place in a single locale. Olympic Games are tightly interwoven into the urban economy and (re-)development schemes. They are also an increasingly important driver in the creation of new leisure and consumption spaces and the interests of international property firms. Like all mega-events, the Olympics are almost exclusively urban phenomena that require large public and private investments.