|The News Line: Feature
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
ANTI-OLYMPICS CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED
THE Counter Olympics Network (CON) has announced a march and rally in London’s East End on Saturday 28 July, assembling in Mile End Park (near Mile End tube station) at 12 noon, and marching to Victoria Park for a family friendly People’s Games for All which will include speeches, entertainment, alternative games, and children’s events.
Already more than 30 organisations officially support the event, with more coming on board all the time.
They include anti corporate campaigns, civil liberties groups, local trades councils, green groups, anti-militarists, community groups, other anti-Olympics campaigns, disability activists and others.
It will be an event which symbolically ‘reclaims’ the Games, a party to which everyone is invited.
It will present a truer and more optimistic vision of Britain than the officially promoted one of a militarised and austerity-ridden country that is content to be hijacked by millionaire politicians and their corporate friends.
The Counter Olympics Network links people and organisations critical of some or many aspects of the 2012 Games. Issues of concern include:
• the corporate takeover of the Games (with sponsors that profit from sweatshops, poison local people, pollute the planet, and so much more);
• the eviction of local people from their homes and businesses to make way for the Olympic sites, and prioritising the interests of global corporations at the expense of small businesses;
• the privatisation of public space;
• the introduction of repressive policing and surveillance in conjunction with the Games, and the use of the Games to promote acceptance of the militarisation of society;
• siting missile launchers on domestic roofs in East London;
• employing 42,000 private security staff on top of the vast police and military presence.
• increasing stop and search powers which target and alienate local young people, placing warships on the Thames and at Weymouth, and introducing preventive detention and ASBOs to intimidate peaceful anti-Olympics protesters;
• the threat to both the lives and livelihoods of Londoners caused by the VIP Lanes for dignitaries on London roads;
• the encouragement of nationalism, in contradiction to the supposed spirit of the Olympics;
• the sanctioning of gender apartheid in Olympic teams;
• the ‘body fascism’ mentality in elite sport;
• the hypocrisy of a Paralympics sponsor, ATOS, which is also responsible for wrongly removing welfare payments from tens of thousands of people with disabilities;
• the multi-billion-pound expenditure, much of it on temporary facilities. Most of it is unnecessary at a time of supposed austerity.
CON helps to provide a co-ordinated voice for a wide range of groups which share the desire to provide a counterbalance to the overblown mainstream pro Olympics propaganda.
CON is also concerned that the Orwellian security apparatus and regressive legislation put in place to protect brands, privilege, and privatised public space won’t all disappear after the Games.
CON supporter Julian Cheyne said: ‘The 2012 Olympics have turned into a corporate festival of world security, consuming billions of our money to increase private profits, while the elderly, disabled, sick, unemployed, young people and other groups are punished for a crisis caused by the finance industry.
‘To stand by silently would imply we consent to this; and we do not. If you are as fed up with all of this as we are, come and join our Counter Olympics gathering on 28th July.’
This is the ‘security agenda’ for East London and the Thames during the Olympics.
To prevent ‘possible terrorist attacks’ surface-to-air missiles are being placed on top of people’s homes.
Other locations selected from over 100 possible sites around London are the Lexington Building in Tower Hamlets, the Fred Wigg Tower in Waltham Forest, Blackheath Common, Oxleas Wood, the William Girling Reservoir in Enfield and Barn Hill in Epping Forest.
These particular missiles can travel at three times the speed of sound with a range of more than three miles, and at a cost of £1 billion.
Flash Bristow, the chairwoman of Ferndale area residents’ association, has intervened to say that there are three schools situated in the area.
‘I find it shocking we could even contemplate hosting missiles on residential tower blocks during peacetime,’ she said.
The security forces are rehearsing all of the worst-case scenarios.
Among the doomsday scenarios is somebody in a light aircraft loaded with a bomb who wants to plough it into the stadium, or a highjacked airliner.’
The person with his finger on the trigger and the authority to give the go-ahead if a ‘doomsday scenario’ occurs is PM Cameron.
General Nick Parker, leading the military’s role in the Olympics, said he hoped most people regarded the military as a ‘very benign presence’. This benign presence amounts to over 23,000 armed forces on the streets of London, plus snipers.
Then there are the police with special stop and search powers, and the high speed Olympic access roads that will be barred to London residents for the duration of the games.
There is every reason for thinking that the ‘Fortress Olympics exercise’ is just that.
In a period of intense economic crisis and growing poverty, the government and the military with its police forces are testing just how quickly and how securely they can impose a state of siege in London and lock down the capital.
Otherwise what is the point of introducing advanced sonar weaponry into London for the Olympics, if it is not to test out just how efficiently it can be used to disperse crowds, without opening fire either with live rounds or rubber bullets, but with ear splitting very high frequency sound waves.
l Some of the major big business corporations behind the Olympics, whose activities CON supporters oppose, are BP, DOW Chemicals, McDonald’s, Cadburys, ATOS, Coca Cola, G4S, EDF, and Rio Tinto.
The current list of (35) groups and organisations supporting the Counter Olympics Network (CON) march, rally, and People’s Games For All, in London’s East End on Saturday 28 July is:
ALARM, Athletes Against Dow Chemical’s Olympic Sponsorship, BADHOC, Blacklist Support Group, Brent Trades Council, Coalition of Resistance, Counterfire, Defend the Right to Protest, Disabled People Against Cuts, Drop Dow Now, East London Against Arms Fairs, G4S Campaign, Games Monitor, Hackney Green Party, Hackney Trades Council, Hackney Woodcraft Folk, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, Haringey Trades Council, Islington Trades Council, Jewish Socialist Group, Lewisham People Before Profit, Lewisham Stop the War, Lewisham Trades Council, London Green Party, London Mining Network, Netpol, Occupy London, Our Olympics, Save Leyton Marsh Campaign, Space Hijackers, Stop the Olympic Missiles, Thurrock Heckler, UK Tar Sands Network, Waltham Forest Trades Council, Youth Fight For Jobs.
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