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Democracy Now! Covers the London Olympics

Democracy Now! speaks with scholar and former U.S. soccer team member Jules Boykoff, who has been in England since April researching a book on dissent and the Olympics.Jules Boykoff. July 26th 2012

While NBC has been airing wall-to-wall coverage of Olympic Games in London, little attention has been paid to what has taken place behind the scenes and just outside Olympic Park where many organizations are mobilizing to bring attention to many issues. London police arrested 182 people Friday for taking part in the monthly Critical Mass bike ride during the Olympics' opening ceremony. Meanwhile, public outcry is growing after thousands of fans were told the Games were sold out, but prime seats reserved largely for sports federations and corporate sponsors have remained empty. Although many locals cannot afford to attend the Games, this year's Olympics is estimated to cost British taxpayers a staggering $17 billion. Residents have been subjected to sweeping censorship laws enacted by their government at the behest of the International Olympic Committee. Meanwhile, activists are outraged that the Olympics' long list of sponsors include Dow Chemical and BP, companies with human rights records that critics say are at odds with the Olympic ideals of global peace and goodwill. DemocracyNow.org

Amy Goodman is joined by two guests: Helen Jefferson Lenskyj, University of Toronto professor emeritus and author of "Olympic Industry Resistance: Challenging Olympic Power and Propaganda" and the forthcoming book, "Gender Politics and the Olympic Industry"; and Minky Worden, Director of Global Initiatives at Human Rights Watch and author of "The Unfinished Revolution: Voices from the Global Fight for Women’s Rights." Worden campaigned for Saudi Women to be able to participate in the Olympics. Aug 10 2012

One of the many records broken during the 2012 Olympic Summer Games was the number of female athletes participating from the conservative Islamic nations of Qatar, Brunei and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia only allowed the women to compete after the International Olympic Committee, or IOC, threatened to bar the whole team unless women were included. The controversy over the Saudi athletes is just one of the many ways in which women athletes and gender issues have come into focus during this year’s Olympics.


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