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Let the Games Begin

The whole corporate, elitist running of the Olympics 2012 is ready to take off. Despite the dictatorial measures in place to deter protests, the Counter Olympics Network joined by numerous activist organisations including Save Leyton Marshes, Games Monitor, Bread and Circuses, Greenwash Gold, Stop the Olympic Missile Campaign, War on Want, Drop Dow Now, and Occupy London, will gather this Saturday on Mile End Park in East London at midday for the “Whose Games? Whose City? Demonstration. The march will offer speeches, entertainment and child’s events. The goal is not to disrupt the games, as it would cause an endless list of arrests, but to spread awareness on the bogus nature of the Olympics.

While the taxpayer is being charged an estimate of 11 to 24 billion pounds, during austerity times, the whole event is been taken over by corporate interests and set up to cater for the shamefully rich and to ensure all the profits belong to corporations. The activist organisations involved fight several aspects of the Olympics that outright violate basic civil rights. Londoners have been legally forced to accept the militarization of their city counting with missile launchers on domestic roofs in East London, warships on the Thames, increased stop and search powers, and preventive detention to deter active criticism. The daily lives, both socially and economically, will be negatively affected. Firstly the creation of VIP lanes that will cramp and bring chaos to an already too busy London traffic, and the eviction of people from their homes and small businesses in order to guarantee corporate interests.

Other outrageous fact is the disparity between the market message of many of the corporate sponsors with what they actually do, i.e. benefiting from sweatshops, high levels of pollution and violation of human rights. The public, athletes included, need to be aware of these facts and not be fooled by naive marketing strategies. BP is accused of its involvement in death squads in Columbia to eliminate unionists. DOW gains their profits from the death business and their curriculum includes the production of Napalm for the Vietnam War, and they have also acquired the chemical plant Union Carbide while dismissing any responsibility for the Bhopal Disaster legacy that killed thousands. The mining company Rio Tinto promoted tribal and environmental genocide in order to go forward with Grasberg Mine in Papua New Guinea. The list of the companies commiting violations of human and environmental rights is endless including Lloyds TSB, EDF and General Electric, Coca-Cola and so on. Any marketing messages about human and green responsibility during this event can be too easily torn apart if the greater public acknowledges all the facts.

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