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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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Olympic Laws - A Short Guide For Trouble Makers

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.


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lest we forget

The Reverend Billy is back in town. On his previous visit he attempted an exorcism of the evil of BP from Tate Modern. And now Channel 4 confirms:


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Basketball Athlete, Carl Miller, Supports Leyton Marsh Children

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.


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Olympic State of Exception

Surveillance mast: photo copyright Giles Price, from The Art of Dissentphoto copyright Giles Price, from The Art of Dissent
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.


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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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taxi!!!!!

a couple of snaps from yesterday's cabbies protest on Whitehall
United Cabbies protest, Whitehall 17 july 2012


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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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You can't report from here!

Further to Leyton, this is where we're headed. Constant interference with the freedom of expression and the press particularly, but by no means exclusively, on private land.


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