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Displacement

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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Look what they did to my home, Ma! Clays Lane - A brief memorial

Clays Lane - completed 1982 closed 2007

Daly Courtyard from garden outside the Community CentreDaly Courtyard from garden outside Community Centre

July 23rd was the day they closed the Clays Lane estate for good...

Daly Courtyard from outside Community Centre after closure of Clays Lane EstateDaly Courtyard from outside Community Centre after closure of Clays Lane Estate

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.


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In search of legacies lost

The former Arena Field, site of the Media Centre, in 2008The former Arena Field, site of the Media Centre, in 2008

Runners are sent ahead to drum up excitement; the circus rolls into town, and the people pay. Show over and profits taken, the circus pulls out, leaving behind mere memories and mess.

The five ring circus works on similar lines over a longer eight-year timescale. Why did London agree to host this circus? The time to reject a London Olympics was during the bid stage


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Historic Olympic Protest Torch Relay in East London

Historic Olympic Protest Torch Relay in East London

(Contact Julian Cheyne after 1pm on 020-3560 4064 and 07988 401216)

Press Release from Counter Olympics Network – 16th July 2012


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Round and Round and Round in Leyton

Leyton is becoming a hot spot for security guards harassing camera crews. Another film crew wanted to film the site of the former Clays Lane estate. We were standing on the same steps next to Draper's Field when once again a team of security guards came over to 'question' us about what we were doing. After some banter in which we told them it was none of their business they retired to call the cops.


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CPO documents? Fox TV - you can talk to my lawyers!

I must have done a hundred interviews about Clays Lane, the compulsory purchase order and being evicted/relocated by the LDA. So far no-one has ever asked me for proof that this happened. Until yesterday, when I got an email from a freelancer who had done an interview with me for Fox TV.


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Has a steel giant’s power stolen my freedom of speech?

By Steve Rushton

Olympic sponsor ArcelorMittal appears able to silence a mainstream paper from publishing researched critique.

On Friday 22nd June, the Bread and Circuses collective organised an event that focused on the massive spectacles that distract from austerity, the commodification of art and issues of corporate power. These connections linked together in a temporarily squatted empty property, owned by Anish Kapoor who designed the ArcelorMittal Orbit. This tower was mainly funded as a corporate advertising centre piece for the Olympics, by the world’s largest steel corporation: ArcelorMittal. During the event the Guardian requested a piece; however its legal department pulled it due to the threat of litigation.


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Going Ballistic: “I don’t want to live in a building with armed police at my door and missiles on the roof”

By Brian Whelan

Until two months ago I was happy to have the Olympic stadium next door to my apartment in Bow Quarter, East London – I thought there would be traffic issues but never worried the games would intrude on my life.


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