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Local Heroes

By Leah Borromeo

The motto of the Games is "inspire a generation". However, not everyone is enthused. Londoners from the poorest parts of the city facing major upheavals from losing their homes, livelihoods and public spaces to the mercy of a few weeks of medal-chasing over the summer. They believe that the Olympics gave local councils and big business an excuse for a land grab - in which the community had little or no say. When they voice their opposition, they are hushed by the machinery of bureaucracy, the suppression of protest and the reality of losing the roofs over their heads. But their concerns are as real as the Games itself, which have received some £9.3bn in UK public funding. Community life will continue long after the athletes, the fans and the confetti have gone. I spent a week listening to and gathering the stories of Londoners shouting at the walls of an Olympic Jericho.

Joe Alexander: Photo: Leah BorromeoPhoto: Leah Borromeo

Joe Alexander, 38, is in property maintenance. He lives on the Carpenters Road estate and is vice chair of the local campaign group Carpenters Against Regeneration Plans. I spent the day with Joe - a quiet, eloquent divorcee and father who moved to Stratford in London's East End in the hopes of starting a new life


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The Juggernaut rolls on - Olympic Autocracy at Leyton Marsh

Following earlier extraordinary legal decisions, including the acquittal of PC Harwood and the ruling in the High Court that pre-emptive arrests were not unlawful, comes the news that Save Leyton Marsh's application for judicial review of the planning permission for the Basketball Training facility had been thrown out without the applicants even knowing it had been heard. Even more extraordinary was the fact that the ODA had taken over the defence from Waltham Forest, even though it was not the defendant and it had not granted the planning permission. And as if that was not enough the ODA, using public funds of £40million to defend itself, applied for and has been granted an order for costs of £20,142.96, and another £4,140.00 for Waltham Forest, against the Save Leyton Marsh campaigners!


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The River Lea in Spate

The River Lea in Spate: Taken Monday evening 11th June 2012The River Lea in Spate: Taken Monday evening 11th June 2012


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Paralympic Row Erupts Over Dow Chemical Sponsorship

Press Release from Drop Dow Now

Monday the 21st May is 100 days to the Paralympic Games, a date marked with controversy due to Dow Chemical’s Paralympic sponsorship.

Campaigners have called for Dow’s sponsorship of the London Paralympic Games to be dropped due to Dow’s ownership of Union Carbide, the company responsible for the Bhopal gas disaster in 1984. The disaster killed over 20,000 and caused injury and illness to thousands more [1]. Hundreds of children continue to be born every year with birth defects [2].


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BP or not BP? The debut performance of the Reclaim Shakespeare Company


On April 23rd 2012 - Shakespeare's birthday and the launch of the World Shakespeare Festival - a group of merry players known as the "Reclaim Shakespeare Company" took unexpectedly to the stage in Stratford-upon-Avon, just before a Royal Shakespeare Company performance of The Tempest. This piece of guerilla Shakespeare aimed to challenge the RSC over its decision to accept sponsorship from BP in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster and the oil company's decision to start extracting highly polluting and destructive tar sands in Canada.


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Vote for the Greenwash Gold 2012!

Which dodgy company most deserves the Greenwash Gold medal in 2012? Who is covering up the most environmental destruction and devastating the most communities while pretending to be a good corporate citizen by sponsoring the Olympic games?


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