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Chavez Ravine: 1949: A Los Angeles Story

Three years in the making, Chavez Ravine: A Record by Ry Cooder, is his first "solo" offering since 1987's Get Rhythm.

In addition, it is a concept album; but don't be afraid. It documents in mythical style the disappeared Los Angeles neighborhood of Chavez Ravine, a Mexican-American district that was fought over by real etate developers, urban planning activists and city government. It was bulldozed in a sleazy deal was cut and it was razed order to erect a stadium that would lure Walter O'Malley's Brooklyn Dodgers to L.A.

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A LODA Comedy

I wanted to share my and, I hope, other Clays Lane residents' appreciation of LODA's extraordinary sense of humour and the wonderful jokes they are playing on us. I have to say I never credited LODA with such a marvellous imagination. I can only wonder at what they will come up with next. It is always good to share a joke and a humorous story.

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Headstrong young ambition can kill you

A talented young swimmer with dreams of winning gold at the 2012 Olympics died after pushing himself too hard in training.

Luke Jeffrey, 15, drowned after secretly getting back in the pool following his coaching session, an inquest heard. The county-standard swimmer, who was said to be pushing himself to the "absolute limit" to make it to the London Games, is believed to have blacked out while practising underwater lengths.


London Development Agency Marsh Lane Fields allotment plan rejected

Wednesday evening brought bad news for the London Development Agency whose bid to acquire land related to the Olympics was turned down by planners at Waltham Forest Town Hall. The LDA was applying for planning permission for allotments on Marsh Lane Fields where they want to relocate the existing Manor Gardens allotments, currently located within the proposed Olympic Park.

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Rosemary Johnson's speech to the L. B. Waltham Forest Planning Committee, 7/2/2007

[Rosemary Johnson is Marsh Lane Fields Area Officer of the New Lammas Lands Defence Committee]

I speak, urging rejection of this application, for the New Lammas Lands Defence Committee, in the interests of all users this precious piece of our historic Lammas Lands, that once covered all the Lea Marshes.

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What is Leyton's Lammas Land

  • Lammas - or "Loaf Mass" : first fruits festival at start of harvest
  • Lammas Land : land that is common land between Lammas Day in August and Lady Day in March
  • Lammas common rights first granted locally by King Alfred in 895. But probably the system had operated before then.

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Statement from the New Lammas Lands Defence Committee

Wednesday evening, 7th February, 2007,

Given on the steps outside Walthamstow Town Hall, by Rosemary Johnson, Marsh Lane Fields Area Officer of the New Lammas Lands Defence Committee.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have seen some common sense come to the fore at last!


On a clear day in Stratford…

On a clear day you can see ten tall cranes overlooking Stratford. Walk around Stratford’s mean streets and you will find new buildings going up in every corner. It is the Government’s contention, along with the Mayor of London, the LDA, the CPO Inquiry Inspector and everyone of consequence that Stratford, East London, is absolutely one of the most run down places in the United Kingdom.

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Clocking escalating costs

A recent e-mail dialogue from 2010WATCH in Vancouver:

Ian Gregson from wrote:

Protest Against Olympic ‘Countdown Clock’
Monday Feb.12th @ 12 Noon Vancouver Art Gallery

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A Who's Who of 2012 organisations

The 2012 Olympics is littered with organisations claiming to be bringing benefits London and the UK. These goodies include the vital achievement of ‘world city’ status for London and a range of other ‘unquantifiable benefits’.

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7 planners and a cupboard

.: Julian Cheyne looking at a volume of plans in the Stratford cubicle. © martin slavin.: Julian Cheyne looking at a volume of plans in the Stratford cubicle. © martin slavin

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The River Lea is being impounded

A group of interested people from the Hackney Marsh Users group have been in contact with British Waterways recently to find out what their plans are to impound the tidal stretches of the River Lea.

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Freight on the River Lea

In preparation for the 2012 games, the recently much maligned Defra agencies – BritishWaterways, the Environment Agency and Natural England – are working together to develop the most sustainable waterway restoration project possible.

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Vancouver 2010 Watch

To access recent postings to the group site for the local resistance to the Vancouver Winter Olympics click: 2010WATCH


Sochi inhabitants protest against the 2014 Winter Olympic Games

On February 18 over 1000 people took part in a rally on the dwelling and ecological problems of the city. The rally started at 11 a.m. in the square next to the city administration home and ended at 12.55 p.m. by passing a resolution. The major targets for protest were the dwelling policy of the authorities and the consequences of the Olympic Games planned to be held in Sochi.


Less facilities for more money

Two stories in the local papers catch my eye for showing how fragile are boosterist promises about investment levels particularly in the aftermath of the Five Ring Circus leaving town.

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Locals likely to lose out on jobs

Workers from some of the capital's poorest communities may not benefit from the jobs created by the 2012 Olympic Games, a London Assembly committee has warned.

According to the economic development, culture, sport and tourism committee report, people living in the five east London boroughs surrounding the Olympic park face "very real threats" which could see them miss out on thousands of new jobs and training opportunities.

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Cycling on the road to nowhere

Users of the former Eastway Cycling facility in East London are currently protesting against plans for the 2012 Olympic Velo-park which they say will leave them without a facility for mountain bike racing in London. Pull up a chair, this is a long ol' story...

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Projects for young people hit by 2012 Olympic cost rise

Key projects for young people will be hit by the switch of Lottery cash to pay for the 2012 Olympics, a fund provider has warned.

"Our grant-making for the foreseeable future will now be seriously reduced"


Catchup: Manor Garden Allotments

Monday, April 02, 2007

After 100 years of history, today's the day that the Manor Garden Allotments at the heart of the 2012 Olympic site are finally closed. Or at least that was the plan. The London Development Agency wanted everybody (and their vegetables) off the land today so that the site could be levelled and transformed into the central concrete walkway down the spine of the Olympic Park. But, what do you know, the allotments have had a reprieve. Until July. It's only another three months, but that's better than bulldozing several acres of fledgling potatoes and carrots before they've even had a chance to grow.

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Further Olympic funding will deprive the arts

Arts Council England chief executive Peter Hewitt has warned that the government’s decision to divert more Lottery funding towards the 2012 Olympics will deprive arts organisations across the country.

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Hurricane flattens Birmingham (shurely shome mishtake – Ed)

Tuesday 5th April saw a hurricane tear through the Midlands city of Birmingham. Aid teams rushed to the stricken city and surrounding towns where 1.4 million residents have lost their homes. I watched in horror… (stop there. I’ve checked, Birmingham’s still standing. What’s going on? This is a website about the Olympics – Ed)

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No human rights please, the IOC is a sports organisation

China's proposal to carry the Beijing Olympic torch through Taiwan and Tibet has focussed attention on China's human rights record, its occupation of Tibet and failure to support action over Sudan's behaviour in Darfur.

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Amnesty highlights Beijing Olympics human rights violations

Amnesty International has produced a report which draws attention to the use of the Olympics as a pretext to extend the use of detention without trial.

According to the report moves to reform or abolish 'Re-education through Labour' - administrative detention without charge or trial - remain stalled, with its use in Beijing being extended in order to 'clean up' the city in time for August 2008. The Beijing police have also recently suggested that another form of detention without trial, 'Compulsory Drug Rehabilitation', may be extended from six months to one year to force drug users to 'give up their addictions before the Olympics'.

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The Prescott Channel Scam

Massimo Allamandola has at last been able to bring to my attention the report, which I have attached below, about the response in Nov 2005, by the 'Regents Network' of canal users to British Waterways proposal to impound the River Lea by building a 'Water Control Structure' at Prescott Channel.

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