Olympics games, the most popular sport event in the world, are actually an occasion for exploitation and environmental disasters. Even the most enthusiastic fans can't deny this reality. Intended as symbol of peace between the various countries, the Olympics are far from being the triumph of genuine sporting spirit. In fact, they are an offence to those who still believe in the possibility of a world united by a sporting brotherhood as they represent the other face of war and slavery characterising the present times.
In 2004 the Olympics were hosted in Athens, Greece, where, as always occurs when their time approaches, a huge deployment of cops and soldiers patrolling the town put on a show of war scenery. Thousands of cameras were installed to spy on every corner of the Greek capital, whereas a great number of immigrant workers died while working under brutal conditions of exploitation in order to build the structures needed for the games. This has obviously nothing to do with peace and brotherhood.
The authority justified the militarization of the territory with the necessity of defending the country from the menace of terrorist attacks, but what they really feared was the so called `internal' enemy, that is to say anarchists and the many people who, well aware of what the Olympics really are, opposed the celebration of the event boasted by the media and carried out a series of attacks against the Olympic circus. Not by chance, the majority of people rebelled against the installation of cameras and, once the Olympics were over, destroyed all of them. The government has been so far unable to replace any camera in the city.
As everybody knows, London -will host the games in 2012 and it is not so difficult to imagine how control, exploitation, and devastation will reach proportions never seen before.
What is happening in North Italy these days, where the winter games are taking place, can give an idea of this. Thousands of police and soldiers are patrolling the streets and Nato surveillance crafts are flying over the town of Turin. Billions of euros have been spent to build gigantic infrastructures that will have a devastating impact on the environment. And, again, immigrants working without safety measures have been exploited in the name of the `sport brotherhood' in exchange for starvation wages.
But this time, even following the high speed rail link project that the Italian government plans to realise against the will of the local population, things are getting a different perspective. Since the Olympic flame arrived in Italy from Athens in December 2005, it has become the target of protest by angry people who have attempted to block its path, sometimes successfully, as it happened in Trento, Cremona, and Genoa. The attacks on the flame, which ended up in it being extinguished on a couple of occasions, have been carried out mostly by anarchists, but the popular protest against the Olympics is largely widespread. Not only do many people oppose the commercialisation of the games (the entrance fee to attend the event is 800 euros) and the presence of sponsors such as Coca-Cola and other multinationals, but the people of Val di Susa, one of the most beautiful and unspoiled parts of Italy, fear that police and soldiers who have come to protect the Olympics will stay on after the games are over in order to halt the opposition against the high speed rail link project.
As some comrades from Rovereto have pointed out, the winter Olympics games in are not just mere spectacle, they are obviously a police experiment involving the deployment of more than 10,000 policemen and the introduction of further security measures by home secretary Pisanu. Anarchists in Italy refuse the distinction between bad sponsors one the one hand (Coca-Cola and Finmeccanica first of all, the latter being one of the biggest producers of war weapons in the world) and good Olympic spirit on the other. They claim, and we are with them, that the Olympics must be opposed as a whole because what makes them possible are evictions, repression, environmental devastation, unacceptable waste of the so-called public resources, exploitation of `illegal' workers, militarization of Turin and its valleys, etc.
The conclusion to be drawn, as suggested by Brixton anarchists when the flame passed through London to celebrate the elected capital of the next Olympics, is just one: EXTINGUISH THE OLYMPIC FLAME OF DEATH, FIRE THE FLAMES OF REVOLT!