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Class privilege, indigenous repression, capitalist power… and the Olympics

Class privilege, indigenous repression, capitalist power… and the Olympics

“The Olympics are political through and through. The marching, the flags, the national anthems, the alliances with corporate sponsors, the labor exploitationbehind the athletic-apparel labels, the treatment of indigenous peoples, the marginalization of the poor and working class, the selection of Olympic host cities—all political. To say the Olympics transcend politics is to conjure fantasyJules Boykoff

Power Games: a no-holds barred, critical political history of the modern Olympic Games, by Jules Boykoff.

— John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics during the U.S. National Anthem; regarded as one of the most overtly political statements in the history of the Olympics.
What effect does the great sporting-corporate juggernaunt that is the contemporary Olympics have on host cities? And what are the diverse range of tactics that grassroots activists use to protest its damaging results? London as a case study of corporate greed and popular resistance: an exclusive extract from Power Games.

Anti-Olympic resistance: with news breaking this week of a police-raid on one of the main Rio 2016 building contractors — amidst charges that it has skimmed-off millions of dollars of public funds — we publish Jules Boykoff’s essay on on grassroots resistance to Celebration Capitalism.

Five Book Plan: Jules Boykoff picks his top 5 books on the politics of the Olympic Games.

Muhammad Ali died earlier this month, aged 74. In tribute to his fearless courage, in the ring and in politics, we publish this adapted excerpt from Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties by Mike Marqusee.

“A great irony is that the modern Olympics, first envisioned as an alternative to war, have themselves become a form of low-intensity warfare. As Jules Boykoff chronicles in this pathbreaking history, host cities have used the Games to leverage urban renewal, neighborhood demolition, and mass population displacement. The preparations for the Rio Olympics have gone one step further and become a literal urban counterinsurgency, as elite police units occupy and ‘cleanse’ one favela after another.” — Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums

Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics is out now, and 30% off (with free WORLDWIDE shipping, and bundled ebook).

Buy Power Games now at a 30% discount on our site
UK Launch Events for Power Games >>>

14th June, Leeds Waterstones > Jules Boykoff in conversation with Sports Sociologist Ben Carrington

19th June, London, Rich Mix > Jules Boykoff in conversation with Ben Carrington and Michelle Moore. Tickets are free and available here

20th June, Dublin, Hodgis and Figgis

— demonstrations against the 2016 Olympics in Brazil have been commonplace, with protestors holding posters that read “I am a street vendor and my family starves”. Many Brazilians are furious at overspending on stadiums and other projects for the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
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