1. THE OLYMPICS WILL SHOW OFF OUR CITY TO THE WORLD.
But it doesn’t. The Olympic Marathon had its route moved to Pall Mall because Tower Hamlets, the poorest borough in London, doesn’t quite make the right impression.
2. THE OLYMPICS WILL BENEFIT LONDONERS WITH JOBS.
It depends. Not people affected by the Games – only 25% of the Olympics workforce are from the five Olympic boroughs. However, Atos Origin, who run the volunteering scheme, are generating colossal profits from contracts. They’re less charitable to their workforce, who won’t get a penny for their time and energy.
3. THE OLYMPICS WILL BENEFIT LOCAL BUSINESS.
When the Athletes’ Village is turned into homes it will become part of the Stratford City development, now wholly owned by Westfield (after they bought out the other shareholders). Residents can look forward to having their environment controlled at the whim of a corporation whose reason for being is to sell stuff. Local business doesn’t really stand a chance in the long run.
4. THE OLYMPICS WILL CREATE MORE HOUSING.
Yes, if you can afford them! The rest of the site which is being given over to homes will be developed by the Mayoral Development Company, Olympic Park Legacy Company. They promise 11,000 new homes, and 35% of them will be affordable. Only 675 of them will be social housing though, so if you’re on the list in Newham get ready to wait. The average wait is around 10 years.
Previous Olympic cities, like Barcelona, Sydney and Seoul, have seen huge rises in property prices, forcing local families out of their neighbourhoods. This is already happening in London and thanks to confidentially agreements with the London Organising Committee of the Olympics and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) you won’t hear about it in the media.
5. THE OLYMPICS WILL CREATE MORE PUBLIC TRANSPORT.
Well, not quite. Huge swathes of London roads will become dedicated ‘VIP lanes’ during the Games. Thousands will struggle to get to work for the whole 10 weeks. There has been little word on how much the public will have to pay in fare increases in future years.
The DLR extension is finished but the new (old) platforms at Stratford International have been rebuilt out of wood. The cable car (officially the Emirates Air Line) that goes from not-quite-the-o2 to not-quite-the-ExCeL centre has beenfinished by the time the games happen. However, it broke down today after less than a month in operation. But at least it’s only costing the taxpayer £24million in exchange for Emirates to get their logo on tube maps for the next decade
6. THE OLYMPICS WILL MAKE THE CITY A SAFER PLACE TO BE.
Well, yes, they are sending in the army and putting missiles on top of peoples’ homes, then forgetting to guard them. You’ll be monitored the whole time by hundreds of security personnel, CCTV and flying drones developed for use in Afghanistan. Stratford is set to be the guinea pig for yet more oppressive surveillance tactics. Studies show that CCTV does little to reduce crime, but a lot to create a climate of fear.
The police also have a new temporary police station built on Wanstead Flats. Although planning permission was only sought for a temporary structure, it has been constructed as a permanent building – stealing a large chunk of public green space enjoyed by local residents for centuries.
7. THE OLYMPICS WILL BE THE GREENEST GAMES EVER.
Not quite. The Olympic Park is built on a former landfill site. Excavations have disturbed buried toxic chemicals, spreading them into the land. Radioactive thorium from an old watch factory has also seeped into the water table. DOW Chemical, the company that bought Union Carbide (responsible for the as yet to be cleaned up Bhopal disaster) are major sponsors. Plus BP is the Olympics official sustainability partner. Their involvement in the Tar Sands is a glowing indicator of their lack of commitment to ecological sustainability and social justice.
8. THE OLYMPICS IS AN INVESTMENT IN LONDON’S FUTURE.
Well it is quite an investment. £9.3bn, according to the Olympics Quarterly Economic Report in May 2011. The original estimate in 2005? £2.4bn according to the Labour government. The most recent figure doesn’t include costs associated with the acquisition of land, remediation, government departments and quango spending. 10% of the cost for the Olympics will come from Londoners’ taxes and 67% from national taxes.
9. THE OLYMPICS WILL PROMOTE DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH.
Well it will certainly be promoting many things through its corporate sponsorship deals. LOCOG are interested in protecting their benevolent sponsors but seem to have little interest in anyone else’s freedom of speech or expression, even handing out ASBO’s to anyone opposing the games. Their crack team of branding Police will be enforcing laws expecially drawn up for the olympics which are far more stringent than any other trademark or intellectual property law. With everything from an "Official chocolate bar of the Olympic Games" through to banning anyone using the words "olympics’, "2012", "Summer Games" "Twenty Twelve" and many more, the games is more than anything an experiment in extending corporate control of social life.
10. THE OLYMPICS WILL INSPIRE A NEW GENERATION.
It will but the International Olympics Committee isn’t only interested in inspiring future athletes. It’s going for the gold and hoping to inspire as many people as possible to buy more stuff.
It’s not quite clear what kind of future taxpayers are being asked to invest in. It seems to be one that favours a particular London vista – Pall Mall, oppression, privatization and the erosion of public space.
The above is taken from the website of the Space Hijackers
Well its nearly time for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Now, those who are alert will realise that I have already broken the law in the post.
How? I hear you ask. Well believe it or not, it is a criminal offence to use the word “London” combined with “2012” to promote your brand or product. Parliament some years ago passed legislation to ban people using all sorts of words and phrases. So, I can’t tell you I will be working in London in 2012!
Well – come prosecute me then.
At 06:00 on Wednesday morning, the Olympic Zil Lanes become effective. What are the Zil Lanes you ask? Well as you know the Olympics are taking place in Stratford in East London and all the athletes are being housed there. However, the Olympic Village is not plush enough for the fat cats who belong to the most corrupt organisation I know- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) – they are even more corrupt than FIFA!
Take for example – the following from the BBC Website
SCANDAL AT SALT LAKE
The Salt Lake City bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics blew the lid on systematic malpractice within the IOC.
An internal enquiry, launched after revelations from long-serving IOC member Marc Hodler, found clear evidence that up to 20 of the 110 IOC members had been bribed to vote for Salt Lake.
Some had allowed the Salt Lake organisers to pay for their family holidays, others had jobs or university places found for their relatives.
First-class travel was paid for and lavish gifts were the norm. One member’s wife was given free cosmetic surgery.
There were clearly stated rules governing visits by IOC members to bidding cities, but they were widely disregarded, and there was little enforcement.
Thirteen IOC members lost their positions in the investigations that followed.
TIP OF THE ICEBERG
Hodler also said rules were broken in the bidding process for at least three other Olympic host cities over the 10 previous years – Atlanta, Nagano and Sydney.
Hodler said claims or evidence of corruption hadn’t surfaced before because losing cities usually wanted to bid again, and didn’t want to rule out their chances by making enemies.
Andrew Jennings, author of ‘Lords of the Rings – Olympic Corruption’, has been involved in several award-winning investigations into the IOC.
Of the bidding process for the 1998 Winter Olympics, he wrote, "The best technical bid was clearly Salt Lake City.
"They had everything in place…a vast convention and press centre; a 50,000-seat Olympic stadium; an Olympic village for 4,000 athletes and all the ski venues.
"Nagano, however, was awarded the Games even though their facilities were hardly developed.
"Frustrated by the process, the Salt Lake City team decided to play the game and doled out somewhere between an estimated $3-7m in favours."
CORRUPTION AT THE TOP
The wrong-doings have not been limited to minor IOC members.
IOC vice-president Kim Un-yong was jailed for corruption
Earlier this year, IOC vice-president Kim Un-Yong was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail on corruption charges.
He was found guilty by a South Korean court of embezzling more than $3m from sports organisations he controlled, and accepting $700,000 in bribes.
Kim was a dominant figure in Korean sport for more than three decades, promoting the martial art of taekwondo overseas and helping it gain recognition as a full Olympic sport.
He was also credited with helping win the Seoul Olympics for South Korea in 1988 and was implicated in the Salt Lake scandal.
The IOC executive board stripped Mr Kim of all his Olympic duties because of investigations by South Korean authorities and the IOC ethics commission.
He was found guilty of embezzling money while serving as chairman of local and international taekwondo federations.
The court also found him guilty of accepting bribes from businessmen who wanted to serve on sports committees.
THE TAINTED LEADER
Juan Antonio Samaranch, leader of the IOC from 1980 to 2001, was accused by critics like Jennings of running the organisation like a private kingdom, of ignoring corruption within the IOC and of the blatant commercialism of the Games themselves.
Samaranch, who reportedly insisted on being referred to as "your Excellency", earlier served as part of Franco’s dictatorship in Spain.
Bribery was not limited to the bidding process for Olympic cities.
At the 1988 Games in Seoul, American Roy Jones Jr came up against South Korean Park Si-hun in the fight to decide the welterweight gold medal.
Jones dominated the fight, landing more than two punches for every one he took, and was almost universally declared to be the clear winner.
But the judges ruled differently, giving gold to the Korean to the astonishment of neutral observers ringside.
Jennings subsequently uncovered a report in the archives of the Stasi, the former East German secret police, by Karl-Heinz Wehr, a Stasi agent and former general secretary of the International Amateur Boxing Federation.
Wehr said a Korean millionaire bribed senior boxing federation officials to rig fights in favour of Koreans.
Morocco’s Hiouad Larbi, a judge in the Jones fight, admitted to newspaper reporters that he had falsified his scorecard.
"The Olympics as a child really inspired me," said Jones.
"It gave me something to reach for, it gave me a dream. And then the Olympics shattered my dream."
Those fat corrupt officials and their corporate
bribe payers sponsors want to spend the Olympics in the poshest hotels in Central London rather than near the Olympic Park.
So what? you may say. Well there are several things. Firstly, who do you think is paying for the penthouse suites in these very expensive hotels? Do you think the ‘president of the IOC is paying out of his own pocket for his suite at the Park Lane Hilton? No, but perhaps the IOC are paying for the rooms? Fat chance, its being paid for by you and I out of our taxes. Why are we paying this? I wish I could tell you.
Then there is the issue of the Zil Lanes. These are a condition of the awarding of the Olympics to any city. These are 30 miles of road exclusively for the use of the “Olympic Family” These consist of 2/3 of the road space on many of the busiest roads in London, e.g. The Embankment, Kingsway, Aldwych, The A13 etc. These lanes on already over crowded roads are taking the space from people trying to get to/ from work or people trying to do their work. Not only are these lanes in place, but most of the pedestrian crossings and junctions have been closed, so for example there are no right turns allowed for over 2 miles when heading west on the Embankment. This is enforced by actually blocking off the junctions to prevent turns. Woe betide any pedestrian who thinks they may cross the road, there are miles of barriers to prevent people daring to cross the road lest they slow up those cars in the Zil Lane carrying the members of the “Olympic Family”.
Now, talking of the Olympic Family, who d o you think they are? Athletes, coaches? Well they are all staying at the Olympic village , so its not them. No, the Olympic Family are those corrupt IOC officials AND the guests of the corporate
bribe payers sponsors. Pardon the language, but WTF are we doing crippling London’s traffic and with it the economy of London for these corporate freeloaders?
“The Olympics will bring money into London” I hear you say. “They will bring lots of extra tourists”. Well, I hate to say this but that is complete tosh. There are noticeably less tourists in Central London during the day this year than previous years. Hotel bookings are way down in London than in previous years. So, it seems the tourists are not bringing money to London.
Green Olympics I said in the title. Well We are repeatedly told this is to be the Greenest Olympics ever. Clearly, the removal of cycle lanes across central and eastern London and the closing of off road commuter cycle routes is all part of the green strategy as is the inevitable increasing of congestion by reserving up to 2/3rds of the road space for the corporate freeloaders.
The inevitable extra pressures on road space, the introduction of lots of extra lanes closed to ordinary traffic, the banning of turns in many places and the removal of cycle lanes and safe crossing points will also lead to an inevitable increase in accidents in London and with it an increase in fatalities.
Is having the Olympics really worth this? I can’t see any benefits in the long term for London.
OFFICIAL PROTESTORS OF THE LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS
A group of which I am aware known as “Space hijackers” have been confirmed as official protestors of the London 2012 Olympics
23 May 2012
Locog: The unelected body in charge of the 2012 Olympic Games
confirm our status as official Protesters!
We are pleased to announce that on Wednesday 23rd May, we received official recognition from Locog that we are the "Official Protesters Of The London 2012 Olympic Games".
In a bold and daring move Locog contacted twitter demanding that due to "Brand Affiliation" Twitter should immediately close our account. Twitter, the beacon of free speech which so vocally lent its support to the Arab Spring did, of course, what everyone expected and immediately kowtowed to the interests of big money and business. We, The Official Protesters, were immediately locked out of our account, losing access to thousands of followers, in a move designed to silence our dissent.
Locog of course realised the benefit such a move would have to our fledgling campaign, as within minutes twitter exploded in support of us. No sooner were we off air than the phones and emails started flooding in. In a classic case of the Streisand effect, before we knew it articles were popping up in newspapers and blogs across the globe:
"Agent Bristly Pioneer also described the logo as a "social meme" that had become part of the London landscape. However, despite its ubiquitous presence, he said, it could not be used by ordinary people. "It’s like Voldemort – you’re not allowed to mention it otherwise you’ll invoke the wrath of Locog."
"The Space Hijackers, a group of anti-capitalist activists, launched a spoof "Official" Protesters of the London Olympic Games site in April. It’s intended as lampooning the fact that the Games seems to have an official tie-in product of every description — from chocolate bars to toothbrushes."
"Twitter has bowed to pressure from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, or LOCOG, to shut down the Space Hijackers account."
"it’s basically about a balance of commercial interest and freedom of speech and expression. We are not happy about this suspension."
The Index On Censorship
"One can only conclude that this is an act of petty, vindictive censorship, hardly in the spirit of plurality and inclusiveness the Olympics is supposed to promote."
The Hollywood Reporter
"London 2012 organizers complained about an activist group’s parody that used the trademark"
"Commenting on the move Robin Grant, global managing director of the agency, said: “I’m shocked Twitter kowtowed to LOCOG by suspending the @space hijackers account. It’s good news that they’ve since relented, but bad news that @space hijackers has been forced to remove their parody ‘the Official Protesters of the London 2012 Olympic Games’ branding. "
The Daily Caller
"…the event has become “a big corporate party” that most regular people are not taking part in"
Visits to our official protest site www.protestlondon2012.com went through the roof and we saw dozens of Twitter users change their avatar to our anarchist coloured version of the Olympic logo in support.
Eventually after tense negotiations Twitter allowed us access back to our account, along with the hundreds of new followers that we had gained.
We would like to thank Locog and the IOC for this official recognition and look forward to working with them to facilitate further protest in the future.