Counter Olympics Network

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Launch of the International Counter Olympics Network

Launch of ICON — the International Counter Olympics Network

Thursday 26th July (in London SE1)

The public launch of the network is at 7pm; this is preceded by a planning meeting at 4pm. Details are as follows…

The venue for both meetings is:

Second floor meeting room
Feminist Library
5 Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7XW

(Nearest tubes are Lambeth North, Waterloo, and Elephant and Castle.  Further details from http://feministlibrary.co.uk/visit-us/)

From 4 pm: There will be a discussion among campaigning groups and interested individuals about how to take the international campaign forward.

Topics to be covered might include:
1.  Supporting campaigners from places we know the Olympics will be going to, such as Sochi and Rio.
2. Learning from cities who successfully campaigned in the past, either to stop it coming altogether, eg Chicago and Denver, or who resisted
valiantly, eg Vancouver.
3.  How to stop it going to cities in the future.
4.  The role of campaigns against Olympics sponsors and related multinational corporations.
5.  Tackling the IOC direct.
6. Doing research and analysis to backup action on issues of common concern, and identifying those overarching issues.

At 7 pm: Public Meeting to launch ICON — the International Counter Olympics Network

As the Five-Ring Circus marches into town, we know that what London is facing is the same kind of problems as every other city that hosts an Olympics for the 1%, and we want to stop that.

Come and hear about actions being taken by campaigners around the world and join the discussion about how we can develop our international network, as we welcome speakers and films from other host cities, international campaigners against Olympic sponsors, United Students Against Sweatshops, and others.

If you can’t make the meetings on Thursday but are interested in being kept in touch with ICON developments, make contact by e-mailing senditback@mail.org with the subject line “ICON”.

 

Filed under: events, Olympic legacy

London 2012 legacy: the battle begins on a Newham estate

The Guardian, 13 June 2012

For some, the aftermath of the Olympic Games could bring eviction and disruption, for others, it is a chance to transform their lives and businesses.

Competing views about East End life after London 2012 are sharply crystalised amid the public housing architecture of the Carpenters estate in Stratford, which stands on the fringe of the Olympic Park, overlooked by the red spirals of the Orbit tower.

The vision of the planners, led by Newham council’s ebullient Labour executive mayor, Sir Robin Wales, is for the Carpenters to make way for a new campus for University College London (UCL), enhancing the life prospects of the neighbourhood and enriching hard-up Newham as a whole.

An estate resident, Mary Finch, takes a bleaker line: “I think that the Olympics has lost me my home.” She has lived on the Carpenters for 40 years and is disinclined to depart quietly. “I think they’re gonna have to come in here and drag me out. Why should somebody be able to force you out of your home? A home that’s got nothing wrong with it, that’s standing solid? I do not want to go.”

Read the full article

Filed under: housing, Olympic legacy

The Landscape of Dissent: London 2012 and the transformation of the East End

Saturday 16 June, 2-5pm

Chisenhale Gallery, 64 Chisenhale Road, London E3 5QZ
http://www.chisenhale.org.uk/visit.php

A panel discussion bringing together researchers and practitioners to critically explore the ways in which the Olympics are transforming the economic, social, political and physical landscape of East London.

Chaired by Mike Raco, Professor of Urban and Regional Governance, The Bartlett, UCL, speakers include, Anna Minton, author of Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the twenty-first-century city, Paul Watt, Senior Lecturer Urban Studies, Birkbeck, Alberto Duman, artist and lecturer, Middlesex University and Laura Oldfield Ford, artist and writer.

The event is organized by Isaac Marrero and Hilary Powell, co-editors of The Art of Dissent: Intervening in the Olympic Dream.

Brief description: a roundtable/panel discussion bringing together researchers and practitioners to critically explore the ways in which the London Olympics are transforming the economic, social, political and physical landscape of east London. Participants will chart different aspects of this changing landscape, from the public debt that underpins it to the intensive branding of urban space. Moving away from the anodyne visions of the future promoted by official bodies, the goal of the session is to redefine the “legacy” of the Games as a space of/for dissensus. The analysis of the already tangible effects of the Olympics in local communities will be complemented by the lines of flight plotted in radical dystopian narratives.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: events, Olympic legacy, public space

Want to cleanse your city of its poor? Host the Olympics

Ceasefire Magazine, 12 April 2012

Hosting the Olympics is often presented to us as an ideologically neutral opportunity to boost tourism and sports. In a thought-provoking piece Ceasefire Magazine’s Ashok Kumar outlines a clear and consistent, yet barely noticed, pattern of the Games being used to fundamentally restructure the host City to the purposeful exclusion of its working class and ethnic minority residents.

As London prepares to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, startlingly little critique has surfaced in the mainstream press. With the exception of the trivial issue of ticket prices, most of the city remains transfixed, internalising the dominant narrative. This process precedes each Olympic games, one that is written and distributed by and for the real Olympic profiteers; a nexus of powerful interests that sees both short and long term gains in each host city.

This highly profitable, publicly subsidised, sporting event always attracts the major, and wannabe major, cities of the world, using any and all methods to entice an unaccountable Olympic committee, each flexing their political muscle to ensure theirs is the next chosen location. The Olympics take billions of pounds, yen, dollars of their host countries’ tax revenue to build magnificent stadiums and housing facilities, militarise the citytrample civil liberties and construct elaborate installations with shelf lives of a few weeks.

London 2012, originally expected to cost £2.4bn, is now projected at £24bn, with contracts going to some of the world’s most egregious employers and global human rights violators. Some on the left have been critical of the massive transfer from public to private at a time of austerity. The London overspend has been portrayed by officials as a one-off, but a glance at the history of the Olympics shows that underestimating the cost is a consistent part of the Olympic experience.

Read the full article

Filed under: housing, Olympic legacy, public space, the problem with the Olympics

CounterOlympics first video production

CounterOlympics first video production! A film made by Kostas Deligiannidis, Mike Wells and Julian Cheyne.

The true cost of the London Olympics will only be known after the Games are over.

The original budget of £2.4billion may now have risen ten times to £24billion.

The Games are not ‘within’ budget’ and many costs such as the acquisition of the land, the remediation, spending by government departments and quangos are not included in the revised budget of £9.34billion

The ‘opportunity costs’ of spending £24billion could have gone a long way to saving Britain from the Tory austerity shock doctrine

Filed under: film, finance, Olympic legacy, the problem with the Olympics

Anna Minton

Anna Minton author of GROUND CONTROL: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First Century City

Brought up-to-date with new material, including a chapter on the true Olympic legacy, Ground Control is a revelatory and passionate defence against the privatisation of our streets and the disturbing reality of Britain today.

See more here and read Anna’s blog here

Filed under: info sources, Olympic legacy, public space


Whose Games? Whose City?

NO LIMOS! NO LOGOS! NO LAUNCHERS!


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

@counterOlympics twitter action

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London Takes Gold

A struggle to survive: dedicated to Leyton Marsh

LONDON OLYMPICS Lost Opportunities

Olympics: This Is Not A War Zone

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Solidarity T-shirts! Sold in support of the Save Leyton Marsh Campaign. Different colours and sizes. Contact us if you would like some/one.

From the Anti-Olympics poster competition!

Don’t Buy It, by Regime

‘Out damn logo!’ The Reclaim Shakespeare Company