OLYMPIC FLAMES #london2012

Um artigo do número 55 do jornal Class War (UK) publicado em vésperas dos jogos olímpicos de Barcelona em 1992.

This year's Barcelona Olympic Games, starting ln July, have already become yet another example of big business using sport to rake off massive profits at the expense of working class people. Like any other Olympic Games, Barcelona 1992 has been organised and engineered by the ruling class: a coalition between the Spanish filthy rich and the backward leaders of the Internatlonal Olympic Committee. 

lt's no surprise, of course: the boss of the I0C was once a leading figure in Franco's Fascist Spain. 


The farce of an "international festival of athletics" has always told the same story: the ruling elite using sport to reaffirm their hold on power. The Games' history since 1896 has seen royal families and state leaders smugly patronising the award ceremonies to distract their working class population from economic and political problems, with any attempts to rock the Olympic boat being put down by cops and the armed forces. 


There have been fulI-scale riots before and during several of the 20th century Games. ln 1906 a riot in front of the USA and UK hotels during the Games was put down by armed cops killinng 3 people and injuring loads more, but not before providing plenty of flery athletlc entertainment for the shocked tourists. All this whilst the Greek royal family was entertaining the English Royal family for dinner! Of course the Games carried on. The London 1908 Games saw trouble after English team officials refused to allow the Irish team to carry the Irish flag. And in Mexlco in 1968, 300,000 students and teachers were attacked by government troops ten days before the opening of the Olympics: hundreds were shot dead during a peaceful demonstration. 
The International Olympic Committee refused to take a stand, saying it was "an internal affair". The Games went on. 


Later the same month, when black US sprinter Tommie Smith raised his fist on the victory podium in a black power salute, the IOC suddenly found it's political voice -banning Smith and condemning his behavior as "shocking and disrespectful" ! Then of course there was the Berlin Games in '36, when the lOC fully supported the openly fascist manipulation of the Olympics, right down to approving the Hell Hitler salute given by athletes at awards ceremonies. A special 'Peoples' Games" organized to oppose the Nazi Olympics that year,  by the blinkered scum on lhe Olymplcs Committee. 


And now in Barcelona we can already see the Olympics causing havoc in the city. The TV revenue alone for the Barcelona Games is $630 milllon, and this above all else will dictate that the rulers in Barcelona must present a squeaky­ clean, distorted view to the world, whilst the people of Barcelona are expected to fork out the 700,OOO million pesetas invested in creating this tarted-up shambles. 

Huge areas of lhe city have been wiped out in order to build sports stadiums and accommodation for the 15,000 athletes and 5,000 journalists. Not forgetting the 6,500 leeching sponsors, given luxury new apartments and "floaters" around the city. 


Loads of new hotels are being thrown up by under­ paid, over-worked immigrant labour under disgusting employment conditions. Poor areas of the city are being screened off, whole communities shifted to the outskirts, shoddily-built motorways and a new airport terminal now dominate the old part of Barcelona. 


And after the three weeks of capitalist window dressing is all over? The people of Barcelona will have to live with the legacy of yet another crumbling, unusable example of the ruling class demonstrating it's filthy decadence in the name of sport. 


But there are rumblings within Barcelona. People there have been speaking out against the Olympics for the past four years, and there is talk of the local Catalans turning the Olympics into a festival for the oppressed -with demonstrations of just what they think of these wealthy scum playing Games with their homes, their labour and their money,. Watch out for some real sport on the Barcelona streets this summer!