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Alleged terrorist arrested wearing an electronic tag!

The Telegraph has a story about an Al Qaeda suspect arrested for being on a train which runs through the Olympic Park. The headline states misleadingly that he was caught 'at the Olympic Park' and the article opens with the statement that 'he was caught crossing through the Olympic Park five times' which left me wondering how he had managed to get into the Park, let alone get across it, so many times, until I got to the bit which mentioned the Overground train journey.

We are told this is the most 'serious security alert' to hit the Olympics so far. The article refers to the 'suspect' and various allegations and accusations that have been made against him and says he 'fled' to Somalia while on bail for which he was later locked up for almost two months. Mixed in with all this are various references to Al Qaeda, Afghanistan, al-Shabaab and jihad. The suggestion seems to be that he fled to re-engage in jihadi activity in Somalia but then the article refers in an aside to his Somali origins and his marriage to a Somali woman which makes Somalia a more obvious place to run to. It manages to mention that the person in question denies involvement in terrorism. However, buried in the middle of the article is the telling statement:

'In his absence he was acquitted of any crime.'


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Bosnians Call For Renaming of ArcelorMittal Orbit As 'Omarska Memorial in Exile'

By Kevin Blowe

At a press conference this afternoon, which I was fortunate enough to attend, survivors of a Bosnian concentration camp called for the renaming of the ArcelorMittal Orbit – the Olympic Park's twisted Meccano structure, sometimes known as The Tower of Piffle – as a 'memorial in exile' to Bosniaks and Croats from Prijedor who suffered and died at the camp at the Omarska mining complex.


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Has a steel giant’s power stolen my freedom of speech?

By Steve Rushton

Olympic sponsor ArcelorMittal appears able to silence a mainstream paper from publishing researched critique.

On Friday 22nd June, the Bread and Circuses collective organised an event that focused on the massive spectacles that distract from austerity, the commodification of art and issues of corporate power. These connections linked together in a temporarily squatted empty property, owned by Anish Kapoor who designed the ArcelorMittal Orbit. This tower was mainly funded as a corporate advertising centre piece for the Olympics, by the world’s largest steel corporation: ArcelorMittal. During the event the Guardian requested a piece; however its legal department pulled it due to the threat of litigation.


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Going Ballistic: “I don’t want to live in a building with armed police at my door and missiles on the roof”

By Brian Whelan

Until two months ago I was happy to have the Olympic stadium next door to my apartment in Bow Quarter, East London – I thought there would be traffic issues but never worried the games would intrude on my life.


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Welcome To The Security Games

by Kevin Blowe

This is a piece I wrote for Peace News - an edited version appears in its next issue.

With weeks to go before the start of this summer's London Olympics, a sense of foreboding has descended on many of the people who, like me, live and work in Newham in east London, one of the poorest and most ethnically diverse parts of the capital. This anxiety, shared even by those who are enthusiastic about the spectacle of the Games, has been raised by the stories over the last six months about snipers in helicopters, missile launchers on tower blocks and RAF fighters in the skies during the Olympics and repeated predictions that it may be almost impossible to leave the borough during peak periods. People speak of feeling trapped by the arrival of an event that seems more like an invading army of occupation than a welcome visitor.


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An introduction to the social impacts of the Olympics

The Olympics project is large and complex. In this revised version of our previous paper of the same name, we draw your attention to significant impacts, the paucity of procedures for impact evaluation, and the processes surrounding the bidding for, and promotion of, the Olympic event.


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We Are All Simon Moore solidarity statement

Solidarity with Simon Moore by  attendees at Save Leyton Marsh Campaign's Defend The Right To Protest meeting: Photo: @copwatcherSolidarity with Simon Moore from attendees at Save Leyton Marsh Campaign's Defend The Right To Protest meeting: Photo: @copwatcher


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Now comes the test! Protesting against London2012

Given there’s a little under 35 days to go until #ProtestJuly28 against the Corporate Olympics it’s worth remembering the last experience of demonstrating against the Olympics.


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