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The myth of the Olympic truce

From the Peace Pledge Union

The problem with truces, Peace Matters, Spring 2012

The Olympic Truce is a Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, which requires all signatories to ‘pursue initiatives for peace and reconciliation in the spirit of the ancient Games for the period seven days before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games until seven days after the end of the Paralympic Games’.

All 193 member states sign it, but no-one has ever implemented it for over twenty-five years. In 1994 the Olympic Truce was adopted as a full resolution of the United Nations General Assembly for the first time. The day before the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway a mortar shell landed in the market square of the besieged former Olympic City of Sarajevo killing 89 and injuring hundreds more.

The Olympic Truce was invoked to broker a ceasefire in Sarajevo and to allow in much needed humanitarian aid saving many lives. The modern Games have run for 112 years and have had to be cancelled because of war three times, been the subject of mass boycotts on five occasions, and been subject to terrorist attacks twice. The Truce has been violated on virtually every occasion. Surely we need a better plan?

Read the full article

Filed under: militarisation, the problem with the Olympics

London Takes Gold

London Takes Gold from Marie Billegrav Bryant on Vimeo.

London Takes Gold is an antidote to Olympic propaganda.

London 2012 organisers fear everything – streakers, terrorists, ambush marketeers, brand hijackers, space hijackers, real hijackers, ticket touts, Olympic flame firefighters, dog walkers, Tibetans, and survivors of Olympic sponsor Dow Chemical, everyone except the VIPs is on the list of suspects.

This film plots local opposition to the construction of Olympic buildings on public parkland and also examines controversy over Olympic sponsors.

While on location shooting footage for this film at Leyton Marsh, Mike Wells was arrested and spent the following 8 days in prison. The authorities were unwilling to grant bail as they claimed he would make mischief in relation the Olympic Project if released. Under his bail conditions, which he believes have been used as a political instrument, he is banned from the proximity of Olympic venue/s.

Please download this movie and share it.

London Takes Gold

Filed under: environment, film, policing & civil liberties, public space, the problem with the Olympics

Official protesters 2012

See the website of the official protesters for 2012 with:

10 Reasons why the olympics is something worth protesting against

and

Apply for official protest tickets!

Filed under: campaigns, the problem with the Olympics

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

BP or not BP? The debut performance of the Reclaim Shakespeare Company

On April 23rd 2012 – Shakespeare’s birthday and the launch of the World Shakespeare Festival – a group of merry players known as the “Reclaim Shakespeare Company” took unexpectedly to the stage in Stratford-upon-Avon, just before a Royal Shakespeare Company performance of The Tempest. This piece of guerilla Shakespeare aimed to challenge the RSC over its decision to accept sponsorship from BP in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster and the oil company’s decision to start extracting highly polluting and destructive tar sands in Canada. Find out more here:
http://bp-or-not-bp.org/news/protesters-take-to-the-stage-at-rsc-over-bp-spon…

Filmed by Zoe Broughton

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Here’s the script in full:

What country, friends, is this?

Where the words of our most prized poet

Can be bought to beautify a patron

So unnatural as British Petroleum?

Strange association!

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: campaigns, corporate gain, environment, the problem with the Olympics

Video – Dedicated to Leyton Marsh

a Struggle to Survive – Dedicated to Leyton Mar

Filed under: environment, film, the problem with the Olympics


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