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Coming Soon to Rome: #NoBostonOlympics

27 Jan, 2016

By: Mary Helen Sprecher
Group that Helped to Defeat Referendum in Boston AND Hamburg Now Turns its Sights to Italy

#NoBostonOlympics is taking its show on the road. Literally.

The organization widely acknowledged as helping to generate the buzz that ultimately led to Boston backing away from its position as the U.S. host city is making its voice heard worldwide.

The organization, which was so successful at winning over lawmakers who were determined to bring the 2024 Olympics to Boston, journeyed to Hamburg, Germany, in late November, where it lobbied against the Games there, and is being credited with helping city residents defeat the referendum to host.

Not bad for a group that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh had originally dismissed as “ten people on Twitter.”

And now, #NoBostonOlympics is at it again, having stated that it is backing Radicali Italiani, the left-wing Italian Radicals political party, one of whose goals it is to get a referendum to keep the Olympics out of Rome.

Boston.com reported that a dialogue between the two groups has already begun.

‘‘The citizens of Rome deserve the opportunity to have the same sort of debate, and a referendum — as suggested by Radicali Italiani — is the best way to ensure that happens,’’ #NoBostonOlympics co-chair Chris Dempsey said in a statement distributed by the Radicali.

Rome bid leader Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said he didn’t see the ‘‘necessity’’ for a referendum since the city council voted overwhelmingly in favor (38-6 ) of the bid last year. Italian Premier Matteo Renzi also strongly supports the bid, saying there is “no chance of Rome giving up its Olympic dreams.”

‘‘#NoBostonOlympics welcomes the opportunity to share some of the lessons learned from Boston,’’ Dempsey wrote to The Associated Press in an e-mail, explaining that the radicals reached out to him — not the other way around. ‘‘It is not for us to tell citizens of Rome what they should do. But we do think the IOC offers a fundamentally poor deal to the citizens of host cities.’’

Budapest, Hungary, another 2024 bidder, is also facing calls for a referendum.

Paris is also a 2024 bidder, along with Los Angeles, with the IOC to select the host city in 2017 at the IOC Session in Lima.

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