2012 London Olympic Games

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2012 London Olympic Games

2012 London Olympic Games...


London 2012: Olympic Missile Tenants in Terrorist Fear


"Council tenants have argued a plan to place surface-to-air missiles on their tower block during the Olympics could make them a terrorist target. The Ministry of Defence rejected the claim, saying missile deployment as part of security measures for the Games was legitimate and proportionate..."


This could spawn a new Olympic event.Wink

In all seriousness, the placing of these missiles and the courts refusal to provide relief is criminal at best.


'The Savages' Olympics' 1904


"...The hapless competitors - or 'savages', as the white American organisers preferred, were Native Americans adn ethnic tribesmen shipped in from places as far away as Africa, South America, the Middle East, the Philipines and the far north of Japan. One Congolese pygmy, with sharpened teeth, was simply described in the official games report as a 'cannibal'.

They had been conscripted as Olympic athletes in a shocking racial experiment designed to prove their natural athleticism was inferior to that of 'civilized' white Americans.

It was devised by 1904 games director James Edward Sullivan, a bigoted Irish New Yorker who decided the tribesmen should be pitted against one another over two days in August 1904, as a prelude to the main Games..."

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CBC showed photos of the missiles in residential areas. Looks like something from an 'end of the world' movie still. Insane.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

There are Olympic Games this year?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I've heard rumours to that effect, yes.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture


Ten to a room and one shower for 75 people: Inside the 'slum' camp for Olympic cleaners [Daily Mail warning, anti-immigrant sentiment at the link]

Cleaners at the Olympic Park are being housed ten to a room at a huge temporary compound.

The campsite in East London, hidden from public view, has 25 people sharing each toilet and 75 to each shower.

They sleep in portable cabins, some of which have been leaking in the rain....


On arrival, some were horrified to be told there was no work for two weeks. But despite this, they were made to pay the cleaning company £18 a day in ‘rent’ to sleep in the overcrowded metal cabins, which works out at more than £550 a month.

Others who had come to the UK desperate for the jobs turned back, describing  the camp as ‘horrible’, with showers and toilets ‘filthy’ from over-use.





Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

There was also problems with the company contracted to provide security - the PM had to call on the Army to fill the gaps.


Last year I read a book on the London 1948 games. Quite the feel while rationing was still taking place. 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Saw a photo on CBC this week of England's largest warship in the Thames on patrol - a monster aircraft carrier loaded with helicopters for the Games. (and maybe fighter jets below deck?)

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Saw this comment on Facebook (condensed):

"Everywhere the Olympics go, they become a burden on taxpayers, while corporate sponsors get filthy rich. And the only beer sold during  Games events and venues in London is Heineken - none of that lovely  British beer at all.  And the city becomes a police state for the duration."

Why on earth do cities agree to sponsor the Olympics at all? Undecided

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

The organisers of the London Olympics have been happy to hand huge amounts of public money to multinational companies but are refusing to pay the musicians they are asking to perform at the Games, Corporate Watch can reveal.

Professional musicians approached by the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) have been told its policy is not to pay artists and that they should do it “for the exposure”...

...LOCOG was criticised by the Public Accounts Committee last month for not taking a tough enough stance with the notorious outsourcing company G4S, which is being paid £284 million to organise security at the Games. Committee chair Margaret Hodge said “there is a big question mark over whether it secured a good deal for the taxpayer”.

Other corporate beneficiaries include the defence profiteer Booz Allen Hamilton, management consultants Capgemini UK and construction giants Balfour Beatty.


That G4S contract is huge. I imagine that they won't be paid in full given that they couldn't produce the services promised.


Olympics Disaster - by Andy Worthington


"...The Olympics site has become the world's newest temporary tax haven.."


TSA Security Agents To Be Deployed in UK Airports for Olympics


"..Now the UK government has called in an extra 3,500 troops to guard the events, in addition to the 7,500 troops already scheduled to provide security at some 100 sensitive sites.."

a complete unmitigated fiasco..

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

@laine: according to the Grauniad this morning, they're still expecting a 50+ million pound "management fee" even though they admit it's been a "shambles" and their reputation is in "tatters." Y'see, they've been "managing" for two years now, shitty job notwithstanding. They gots to get paid!


Who is Getting Excited Just Days to Go Till the Olympics (vid)


Artist Taxi-Driver rant: 'The Olympic Dream...'

(* warning * highly offensive, profanity, etc )


The Police State 2012 Olympics  -  by Patrick Martin


"...The British government announced Thursday that it would mobilize an additional 3,500 troops for security duty at the Olympics, bringing the total number of soldiers, airmen and military police deployed for the event to a staggering 17,000, far more than are currently deployed in the imperialist war in Afghanistan.

The combined total of 49,000 uniformed personnel - 17,000 troops, 12,000 police and 20,000 or more security guards - exceeds the size of the expeditionary force Britain contributed to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It is the largest single mobilization of British security forces since the Suez Crisis of 1956.

Despite the nonstop barrage in the British and American media over the threat of terrorism, the police state atmosphere surrounding the London Olympics has far more to do with the increasingly tense state of class relations in Britain and the increasing resort by the imperial powers to military violence around the world..."


In My Mother's Arms  -  by Layla Anwar (and vid)


"My Twitter timeline was full of garbage today..not that it usually isn't but today it was extraordinarily so...a dazzling spectacle of people swooning over the 'Olympics' with endless identical tweets...So in between those nauseating tweets, I tried focusing on the realities of the Empire, the White one...the British American one, the Western one..."


Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I watched the second half of the opening ceremonies, and these are my comments: 1) The Queen looked incredibly bored with it all. 2) The performance of "Abide With Me" - a great hymn - was awful. 3) Paul McCartney butchered "Hey Jude" - not surprising, considering he first sang it, what, 40 years ago???

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

I watched the second half of the opening ceremonies, and these are my comments: 1) The Queen looked incredibly bored with it all. 2) The performance of "Abide With Me" - a great hymn - was awful. 3) Paul McCartney butchered "Hey Jude" - not surprising, considering he first sang it, what, 40 years ago???


You should have watched the first half.  Mike Oldfield playing during a tribute to the National Health Service and childrens literature done by volunteers from the NHS and James Bond(Daniel Craig) and the Queen jumped out of a helicopter over the stadium.  I don't blame her for being bored after doing that... ;) 


I didn't like the accompanying choreo, but I thought "Abide With Me" was performed beautifully.  That Scottish singer is stunning.


I'm inclined to agree with pookie on this one, but judge for yourselves:

[url=http://youtu.be/MmtRlEIIZnQ]Emeli Sandé - Abide With Me[/url]

(Sorry if it takes a while to download on dialup, Boom Boom...)

ETA: This is a studio version - anyone have a link to the live London performance?


laine lowe laine lowe's picture

The Queen/James Bond bit was cute and I laughed loudly at the whole Rowan Atkinson one note skit to Vangelis' "Chariots of Fire" score.

We made the mistake of watching CTV's coverage. It felt like they had no advance copy of presentation notes and offered next to nothing in terms of some background information.


The Neo-Liberal Games: Who are the Real Winners?


"The London Olympics is merely the grandest expression of neoliberalism's unhealthy involvement in sport..."


London 2012: Welcome to the Idiot Games


"Limo wars, flag wars, logo wars - Britain is playing host to one great sports day for the world's most powerful people..."


Lefties and the Olympics (and vid)


Artist taxi-driver rant


Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

An Open Letter to Danny Boyle- John Robb


Dear Danny,

So there we were sat there all ready to hate the whole Olympic opening ceremony.

After all these things are usually the worst of Britain as Sir Gary Barlow showed us during the Jubilee affair.

Danny, we knew you were up to something, after all we had heard the rumours about the madness you had up your sleeve, but we still expected hours of Cheryl Cole miming and dancing awkwardly, some quickly forgotten Cowell puppet prancing around grinning desperately at the camera, Jedward desperately gurning at their swift disappearing fame and then Sir Gaz Barley himself plonking through some ballad at the end and getting a gong for ‘organising’ the whole limp lettuce affair.

But this was about as punk rock as it gets. That is punk rock as it was in the first place – a punk rock of big gestures, surreal art, edgy music and a powerful message that jolted you awake. Taking the message to heart of the establishment. This was situationism at work. The Queen acting in a mind blowing surreal play that made a powerful political statement from industrial revolution to, apparently (according to LTW reader Terry Clarke) during the Emilie Sande’s performance of the FA cup favourite Abide With Me, there were 96 – note, 96 – dancers, ( a reference to the Hillsborough 96 for whom we have just been touring, with the Clash’s Mick Jones in the fight for justice).

In your magic event Danny you managed to celebrate all those things that put the Great in Britain like the NHS and our generous spirit that welcomes people and culture. You incorporated our wonky history without the usual triumphalism – a history of normal people doing great things and not just the history of kings and queens and empire. You got CND symbol into a dance sequence and celebrated the way that more than any other country in the world we can soak up waves of immigration and ideas and make them all feel British.


The soundtrack was stunning. It was to hear the Clash’s apocalyptic London Calling – an anti nuclear war song blasting out was quite emotional and then the Sex Pistols Pretty Vacant blasted at high decibel as the Queen sat there quite safe in the hands of James Bond was pretty surreal. The Queen becoming a Bond girl for the night in the highlight sketch of the whole thing. Danny we would like to ask you, does the Queen actually have a sense of humour? it’s never easy to tell.


'Criminal Sponsor Leaves Toxic Stain on London Olympics' (and vid)



Despite dropping two early and weak goals to the Swedes, the Canadian Women's Football team qualifies for the quarter-finals with a 2-2 draw.  

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Canadian Women came 5th in the Women's Team Gymnastics final earlier today. They wern't expected to win a medal, but then they wern't expected to make it to the final in the first place. They seemed pleased with their result. Gold went to the Americans, Silver to the Russians, and Bronze to the Romanians. The American last won gold in the Women's Team Gymnastics in 1996. The Romanians have placed on the podium in Women's Team Gymnastics in every Olympics since 1976. The Chinese were in third place after the first half, but the Romanians passed them in the second half to take the Bronze.

Lachine Scot

Tom Daley Gets Unnecessarily Censored


Vaguely NSFW..depending on your workplace, perhaps. ;)

Sven Sven's picture

While the 19 Olympic medals of Michael Phelps is an impressive record (and one he is likely to add to before these games are over), that record will likely fall long before his record of 8 gold medals in a single Olympiad ever falls.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Drones, Missiles and Gunships. Welcome to the 2012 London Olympics: Dave Zirin


Dave Zirin wrote:

As many as 48,000 security forces. 13,500 troops. Surface to air missiles stationed on top of residential apartment buildings. A sonic weapon that disperses crowds by creating "head splitting pain." Unmanned drones peering down from the skies. A safe-zone, cordoned off by an 11 mile, electrified fence, ringed with trained agents and 55 teams of attack dogs. 

One would be forgiven for thinking that these were the counter-insurgency tactics used by U.S. army bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, or perhaps the military methods taught to third world despots at the School of the Americas in Ft. Benning Georgia. But instead of being used in a war zone or the theater of occupation, they in fact make up the very visible security apparatus in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

London, which has the most street cameras per capita of any city on earth, has for the last seven years since the terror attacks of 7/7/05, been a city whose political leaders would spare no expense to monitor its own citizens. But the Olympic operation goes above and beyond anything we’ve ever seen when a Western democracy hosts the games. Not even China in 2008 used drone planes or ringed the proceedings with a massive, high-voltage fence


"Not to shock anyone, but there are no signs that any of the security apparatus will be dismantled once the Olympics are over. Local police forces have just been given an inordinate number of new toys and the boxes have been opened, the receipts tossed away.

In many ways, this is what the games have always been. From Hitler’s Berlin Olympics in 1936, to the slaughter of students in 1968 in Mexico City, to the Gang Sweeps in Los Angeles in 1984, to Beijing's mass displacement of citizens in 2008, the “crackdown” has always been a part of the Olympic games."


It's the biggest mobilization of the military by the UK since WW2. There are more troops involved in this military operation ... than they sent to Afghanistan. Oh yeah.


Militarization: The Olympic Flag in the Hands of Soldiers


"For the military squad to host not only the British flag but also the Olympic flag was a highly symbolic gesture...It is outrageous that the International Olympic Committee has authorized this choice, which should be banned in any country the Olympics are held.."


One in Ten Olympics Seats A Day Left Empty



Why do Ethiopia, Poland, Cuba, Belarus, Lithuania, Slovenia, Kazakhstan and North Korea all have gold medals already while Canada has none?



I like how the women's soccer team is doing - their new coach from NZ is doing wonders.


How does someone who stumbles in a trampoline event get a medal?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I watched the men's 1500 meter freestyle swimming - Canada got the silver behind the very dominant world record holder from China. Fantastic race.


We've struck gold! Should be a landslide of medals now.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Rosie MacLennan, Canada’s first (and only?) gold medal - China got the silver and bronze.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I tend to cheer on individual athletes I like, not the country of origin.


That's a good attitude, BB. Any Olympic athlete has more talent than all the Harpers and their corporate sponsors combined. We're definitely seeing real talent perform at these games in London. Olympians are awesome human beings.


Yanquis suck at soccer, too. Canada won that game.

Yanquis 'n Refs 4 Canada 3

Sven Sven's picture

Fidel wrote:

Yanquis suck at soccer, too. Canada won that game.

Yanquis 'n Refs 4 Canada 3

You sound like a Canucks fan!


Sven wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Yanquis suck at soccer, too. Canada won that game.

Yanquis 'n Refs 4 Canada 3

You sound like a Canucks fan!

That indirect free kick which led to the penalty was 100% bogus

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Definitely a questionable call or two by the referee. But hot damn, our Canadian team did brilliantly against the number 1 ranked team. They are superstars in my view whether they medal or not.


Is it more than a little boring, olympics after olympics, to see the big resource countries like Russia, the USA, GB, etc, constantly winning the overall medal standings count.

Does the IOC have a system in place to help countries such as the Philippines that don't have the resources, build an olympic athletic organization?

Perhaps something similiar to the NHL that provides a draft system to help the weaker teams. 

If not, why not?


The Canadian women's soccer team got robbed but they made us proud. And I'd love to see Sinclair carry the flag for us. What a great performance!


Both teams lost - Canada for being robbed by bad refereeing and the U.S. for being handed a win they did not earn. 

U.S. should have been called for too many players on the pitch with Pederson, the bad ref. She should be ashamed of herself.

Sven Sven's picture

NorthReport wrote:

Perhaps something similiar to the NHL that provides a draft system to help the weaker teams. 

Yeah. That would be cool. Let countries like Somalia get first round draft picks so that they could have Chinese and Americans representing them.



Morrissey's condemnation of the olympics as jingoist:


And Billy Bragg's facebook response:

I'm sure no-one will be surprised to hear that Morrissey is in the wet blanket brigade when it comes to the Olympics, but I'm posting his comments here in an attempt to nail the charge of jingoism that has been levied by those who feel uncomfortable at the flag waving joy that has accompanied our athlete's success.

Jingoism is defined by it bellicosity, by it's blinkered assertion that we are better than everybody else and you are rubbish because you are not us. I hate jingoism, but I don't feel that's the impulse behind the flag waving that I've seen. Yes, the home crowd are very enthusiastic when our athletes perform, but they've also shown a warmth towards those from other nations and not always the winners - witness the supportive response to Liu Xiang crashing out of the 110m hurdles this morning.

We've been conditioned over the years to associate any flag waving with nazism - as Mozzer does, breaking Godwin's Law in the process. But the truth is that the waving of flags is all to do with context.

When the British National Party do it, it symbolises their bellicose, divisive views. When Jessica Ennis does it, however, it speaks of a different society, one in which all can reach their full potential no matter what their background. When our fellow citizens wave their flags with her, I feel that they are expressing their pride in the possibility of that diverse, open society.


Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I agree with bekayne -- the penalty call was marginal. It may have been harsh, but the Canadian defender should have braced her hands behind her back. But the indirect free kick inside the box: I have never seen that call made at any level of football in any country. Even if she was handling for more than six seconds and the ref decided to censure her, the correct response is to give a yellow card for time wasting and then let her kick the ball out. An indirect kick inside the box with less than ten minutes to go in an Olympic semi-final? Ridiculous. The Canadians are right to feel chagrined (although simply learning to defend a corner properly would have seen them win 3-1).

But wow: Christine Sinclair has always impressed, but I can't recall seeing as incredible an individual effort in an elimination game before. Steven Gerrard and Cristiano Ronaldo have done some amazing things but a hat trick that gorgeous? Stunning.

And the Rapinoe goal itself was a thing of beauty. What a strike.


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