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, 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
Submitted by Carolyn Smith on Sat, 28/07/2012 - 15:51.
By Alberto Duman
Right from the outset, the notion of “legacy” has been predominant in articulating the value of hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games in East London, the argument being that the long-term regeneration benefits would ultimately prevail over the aggressive land restructuring, everyday disruption and unbalanced socio-economic shifts characteristic of the years leading up to the 2012 Games. Subsequent to the awarding of the 2012 Games, the emphasis placed on such explicit non-sporting benefits as added long-term values has been confirmed as one of the most decisive assets of the London bid, contributing a great deal to the final awarding decision by the IOC. This legacy, we are told, is why the London 2012 Games will be “unique” and “different”, a pledge clearly spelled out through “five promises to set the scale of our ambition”:
- To make the UK a world-leading sporting nation
- To transform the heart of East London
- To inspire a generation of young people
- To make the Olympic Park a blueprint for sustainable living
- To demonstrate the UK is a creative, inclusive and welcoming
place to live in, visit and for business.
Although the national dimension of these ambitions is clearly emphasised, a more specific focus is placed on “transforming the heart of East London”, to “create a well-planned and well-managed environment in and around the Olympic Park which will attract business investment and promote recreational and cultural use for years to come”.
Submitted by Carolyn Smith on Fri, 27/07/2012 - 17:08.
by Kevin Blowe
A number of people have asked me to clarify what impact Olympic-specific legislation may have on local people and anyone promoting protests or making political statements during this summer’s Games. Here is a short guide.
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Thu, 26/07/2012 - 11:01.
Clays Lane - completed 1982 closed 2007
July 23rd was the day they closed the Clays Lane estate for good...
ResonanceFM Radio marked the day with a broadcast of a series of talks and walks with local people from 2007 to be followed by Against the Olympic Myth: a Memorial to Clays Lane in three broadcasts on Tuesday 24th, Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th July all at 10am. This will be followed by a programme of events - 'Clays Lane Archive' - put together by Adelita Husni-Bey, starting on 11th August until 19th, at Supplement Gallery and Bethnal Green Library.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Tue, 24/07/2012 - 01:09.
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Sun, 22/07/2012 - 11:25.
Following the refusal of the ODA to fulfil its promise of an open day for children from the Leyton Marsh community as punishment (recording 1.21mins) because the community dared to protest against its behaviour Carl Miller, British Olympic basketball athlete, who performed in the 1988 and 1992 Games, has stepped in to do what the mean spirited ODA has failed to do. On Monday 23rd July he will play street basketball with local children and young people! Save Leyton Marsh write on their blog
He agrees with us that local young people should have an open day at the basketball facility and that the ODA should improve local basketball facilities for lasting legacy for the area.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Sat, 21/07/2012 - 18:56.
by Isaac Marrero-Guillamón
Every other year the Olympic machine lands at a different city, where it nonetheless encounters a familiar scenario: by the night of the opening ceremony all the necessary infrastructures will have been built, free of charge, by the host; all of the city’s advertising space will have been occupied by the official sponsors of the event; state of the art security and military measures will have been deployed to protect the event; high-speed lanes connecting the venues with certain hotels will have been made exclusively available to the convenience of the members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC); and, if everything has gone according to plan, tickets will be long gone and an army of eager volunteers will be at the disposal of the organisers.
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Fri, 20/07/2012 - 17:00.
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!
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Thu, 19/07/2012 - 23:57.