Counter Olympics Network


Greenwash Gold Early Day Motion 221

John McDonnell MP and others have signed a new Early Day Motion (EDM) in support of the Greenwash Gold Campaign.

An EDM is like a petition by Members of Parliament, testing the strength of opinion about a particular issue. If you live in the UK, please contact your MP and ask them to sign EDM 221. Please do this even if you did it recently with the earlier EDM supporting Greenwash Gold, as all EDMs ran out of time before the Queen’s Speech in May. You can find out who your MP is by going to and entering your postcode.

The text of the EDM is:

“That this House welcomes the launch by Bhopal Medical Appeal, London Mining Network and UK Tar Sands Network of the Greenwash Gold 2012 awards exposing the record of environmental destruction and human rights abuses of the companies BP, Rio Tinto and Dow, which are major sponsors of the 2012 Olympics; and urges the Olympic authorities to bring forward reforms of the process by which Olympic sponsors are selected so that known polluters and human rights abusers are never allowed to tarnish the image of the Olympics again.”

You can find details of the EDM at

Filed under: corporate gain, take action

Greenwash Gold protest takes our message direct to LOCOG’s Head Offices


Created on Monday, 18 June 2012 13:03 | Written by Bhopal Medical Appeal

This morning, protestors from the London Mining Network, UK Tar Sands Network and the Bhopal Medical Appeal, the campaign groups behind the Greenwash Gold 2012 campaign, protested outside LOCOG headquarters.

After LOCOG’s constant refusal to meet any of the groups involved in the Greenwash Gold campaign about the London Olympics’ controversial corporate sponsors, we thought we should take our message right to their front door. We took giant dummy megaphones to project our message to the LOCOG offices.

We asked LOCOG to send down a representative to meet us, but once again LOCOG refused to engage. This is in spite of the fact that, following Drop Dow Now’s demonstration in March, Lord Coe himself said that he would be happy to meet those demonstrating to discuss the serious issue of toxic corporate sponsorship.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: campaigns, corporate gain

Tell Lord Coe to stop defending Dow Chemical

From Amnesty UK

There are 50 days to go until the start of the Olympic Games, but all the hype is masking the fact that the event is tainted by one of the most egregious cases of corporate negligence in recent history: the Bhopal gas leak. We are seeking justice for the victims and their families and it would be really great if you could help us make it a really strong campaign!

The new Olympic stadium is encircled by a fabric wrap reportedly sponsored by Dow Chemical, the 100% owner of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), and the company responsible for the 1984 catastrophe in Bhopal, India.

There are five steps Lord Coe and the organising committee can take to reverse the damage caused by their association with Dow, including reviewing and revising their ethical policies, retracting statements in support of Dow, and apologising for the offence these may have caused for survivors.

Take part in a mass email to Seb Coe here

Tweet Seb Coe with your concerns – see info here

Filed under: corporate gain, take action

Carnival of Dirt – All day Protest against Mining Corporations

On Friday 15 June, London will experience its first ever Carnival of Dirt, a carnival like no other. More than 30 activist groups from London and around the world have come together to highlight the illicit deeds of mining and extraction companies.

Propped up by our pensions schemes, these corporations evade millions in taxation and are protected by our government despite their labour and human right abuses, financial and environmental crimes.

A unique day of action is being planned, bringing together people across generations and causes, political ideals and continents. Come, link arms with those who have had their lands stolen, their governments corrupted, their people turned against each other, their environments poisoned. Show solidarity with those still paying with their lives for resisting.

Breakfast – 11am St Paul’s 
A ceremony to celebrate those who stand up against the mining and extraction corporations and to remember those who have died for doing so. The full funeral cortege – with Congolese choir and New Orleans funeral jazz band – will bring their message to one of the institutions most responsible for these practices, the London Stock Exchange. Come dressed in black to remember the dead.

Lunch – 2pm 
A picnic and teach out where people can share food and listen to experts describing the effects of these industries and their impact on global inequality.

Dinner – Assemble at The Embankment at 6pm
A party in the legendary style of Reclaim the Streets, to celebrate the global movement that is moving to end corporatocracy, end a global economic system that is unjust, unsustainable and undemocratic, end the unnecessary and failing austerity measures and bring about a fairer, more equal and sustainable world for all.

Expect surprises from the Carnival family. Get involved at the

Filed under: corporate gain, events, take action

The Olympic branding game

From Red Pepper April 2012

The corporate commercial bonanza provided by sponsorship opportunities for London 2012

The London 2012 Olympics are upon us. Already our media and public spaces are filling up with images of Olympian and Paralympian athletes striving to attain sporting greatness. The London organising committee (LOCOG) has publicly embraced the Olympic principles of social responsibility and fair play, promising us an ethical Games whose ‘lasting legacy’ will be lived out for years to come.

In reality, any public benefit from the Olympics will come in a distant second to private profit. Today’s Games have degenerated into a multi-billion dollar scramble by multinational corporations to associate their brands with the Olympic spirit, and companies are prepared to pay handsomely for the privilege. No other sporting event offers such a positive image of capitalist enterprise in the service of a higher cause.

Exclusive monopoly rights are an essential part of the sponsorship deals signed with Olympic partners. Visa will be the only credit card accepted at any Olympic venue, just as it was for those trying to buy tickets for the Games last year. McDonald’s will be the only branded food that can be sold at the events and Coca-Cola the only drinks provider. Logos and adverts for competing brands will be covered up to avoid ‘contamination’ during the Games.

This privatisation of the spoils goes hand in hand with the exclusion of local communities. Businesses face prosecution if they use Olympics branding in their own commercial activities, and residents of the Lower Lea Valley will enjoy few real benefits from the legacy of the Games.

Read the full article here and see details of organisations campaigning on these issues

Filed under: campaigns, corporate gain

London 2012 Olympic’s shameful corporate sponsors

From Occupy News Network, April 2012

Sponsors 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.

The athletes, that have trained so hard, will also be in front of advertisements and commercials for further corporate powers that are responsible for many varied injustices. An overview, although not exclusive, discussion will follow within this article after a consideration of the aforementioned three corporations. It seems that the Olympics are a golden opportunity for corporations that are guilty of violations to cleanse their image at a far cheaper cost than addressing their impacts; furthermore, it supports the idea that if corporate actions were analysed by a clinical pychiatrist, they would be deemed sociopathic.ii

Allegations against BP include that they fund human rights abuses and death squads in Columbia; one community leader described their impact as creating poverty, militarization and environmental disaster.iii The New Internationalist last year reported that since oil exploitation began 20 years ago in Casanare, over 3 percent of the population has been killed or displaced.iv Similarly, last year a BP led consortium was found guilty by the British Government of breaching human concerning the security on a pipeline that stretches over Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.v

Read the full article here

Filed under: corporate gain

Whose Games? Whose City?


12 noon, Saturday 28 July
Assemble Mile End Park, East London.

March to Wennington Green for People's Games for All (PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF FINAL DESTINATION)

A family-friendly protest. More details and press release

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