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2012 Construction

London 2012 Olympic’s shameful corporate sponsors

by Steve Rushton
American League Against War and Fascism poster: Poster calling for boycott of Hitler's 1936 GamesAmerican League Against War and Fascism poster: Poster calling for boycott of Hitler's 1936 GamesSponsors of the 2012 London Olympics profit from peoples’ deaths and destroying the planet, whilst creating a vastly unequal economic system; this smears the Olympic ethos of people coming together to celebrate sporting excellence. Desecrating the games integrity will be advertisements from companies that profit directly from and cause peoples’ death, not least BP, Dow and Rio Tinto. Nevertheless, David Cameron has come out in support of DOW’s sponsorship.[i] More broadly, it has been argued that elites within the system are attempting to suppress peoples’ rights to express their discontent against injustices in Britain and abroad.


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The Tower of Piffle

Boris Johnson’s ‘Tower of Piffle” is one of the names invented by journalists for what is properly called the ArcelorMittal Orbit. It is being erected close to the Olympic stadium in east London. ArcelorMittal is the largest steel producing company in the world. Its chairman and CEO is Lakshmi Mittal.

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A chance encounter

The following is taken from; In the wake of ArcelorMittal: The global steel giant’s local impacts


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Leyton Marsh: It's a joke to a judge

"I have tickets to one of the Basketball matches!" joked the judge hearing the application for an injunction by the ODA and LVRPA at the High Court against those protesting the construction of a Basketball Facility.


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Statement by Save Leyton Marsh Campaign in response to ODA's injunction

Statement by the Save Leyton Marsh group published on Indymedia. This is accompanied on Indymedia by a statement of support for the campaign from two Leabridge Ward Hackney Councillors, Ian Rathbone and Deniz Oguzkanli, detailing the failures of the ODA to communicate with them and the people living around Leyton Marsh. The behaviour of the ODA is reminiscent of its treatment of the residents of Leabank Square.

The ODA claim they have "no option" but to take legal action against this peaceful protest in order to fulfil their obligations "to provide practice facilities for the Olympic and Paralympic athletes". This is fundamentally untrue. Eleven questions were put to them in December by a number of local councillors and still remain unanswered, including why the ODA chose not to utilize one of several alternative sites that would not require destroying this much loved green space.

Kelmscott Leisure Centre is less than 10 minutes from Leyton Marsh with recently refurbished basketball courts suitable for disabled athletes, it will be shut for the duration of the Games. Walthamstow dog track is a disused brownfield site within 30 minutes of the Olympic park - specified as a requirement for the training facility. These both appear to be reasonable alternatives, but whether these sites were even considered has not been forthcoming despite requests for the selection process to be made available to the public.

Since planning permission was granted for these two huge 11m high 3 storey structure on Metropolitan Open Land, the ODA have refused to engage with local people and their very serious concerns relating not just to loss of green space but alarming health and safety irregularities arising from the construction. From the very beginning, local campaigners pointed out to the authorities concerned that Leyton Marsh was used for landfill and was known to contain unexploded bombs from WWII. Unsurprisingly work had to be halted during the first week of excavations when a bomb was discovered, workers were evacuated but not the surrounding area.

The ODA's own injunction mentions the discovery of asbestos on site, which is highly hazardous to health. Three of the five samples taken from the site survey prior to work commencing had such high concentrations of lead that they constituted 'hazardous waste', it is therefore extremely troubling that the planning application sought to avoid an Environmental Impact Assessment by claiming that only 15 cm of topsoil would be removed. Ian Ansell from Waltham Forest planning department has confirmed that the ODA have already excavated to at least 50cm in breach of their planning permission. Mounds of exposed soil several metres high containing significant concentrations of rubble are piled all around the site.

Whilst Lea Valley Park Authority claim that they are concerned with unlawful use of their land and are "keen to safeguard Leyton Marsh", they saw fit to let the majority of Leyton Marsh for a huge construction project requiring significant concrete foundations, in the process destroying a habitat that has taken years to establish itself and in no way can be restored to its previous condition in October as claimed.

Why have the ODA and WFC failed to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment when excavating several feet deep into the marsh? Why have the ODA and WFC not published the restoration plan that was part of planning conditions? Why are the ODA and WFC committed to destroying protected public land when viable alternatives which provide legacy and regeneration benefits exist? These are the questions to which local residents and councillors want satisfactory answers.


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Peaceful Non-cooperation Halts Work on Olympic Site

Peaceful Non-cooperation Halts Work on Olympic SitePeaceful Non-cooperation Halts Work on Olympic Site


Members of the Occupy Movement have set up camp, on Porters Field, part of Leyton Marshes in East London, where against stiff local opposition planning planning permission was granted by Waltham Forest to construct a number of Olympic practice basketball courts.


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ODA wants to dig deeper at Leyton Marsh

Don't be Harsh, Save the Marsh reports that it has discovered that the ODA launched a new planning application in late February or the beginning of March (on list of applications received to 12th March 2012) seeking a Variation to application 2011/1560.


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Occupy Leyton Marsh

Around 200 people turned up to protest at Leyton Marsh on Saturday 24th March, see Pedro Reyna's photostream.


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