Mike Marqusee has a brilliant blog here.
The latest post on it is a review of Dave Zirin’s book: Brazil’s Dance With the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy.
Zirin identifies a clear pattern in World Cups and Olympic games of recent years. Again and again, these events witness mass evictions, social cleansing (in which the poor, the homeless, drug addicts, and others are removed from sight), gentrification, the corporatization of public space, the erosion of civil liberties, and a massive increase in surveillance and “security.” Vast public subsidies pour into private hands as host cities are reshaped to the advantage of the rich. It’s always a boon for construction, real estate, security, and media interests, but often a tragedy for the communities left behind. As Zirin observes, these mega-events provide elites with “something that couldn’t be found at the end of a military-grade truncheon: the consent of the masses to neoliberal policy goals.”