Statement by the Save Leyton Marsh group published on Indymedia. This is accompanied on Indymedia by a statement of support for the campaign from two Leabridge Ward Hackney Councillors, Ian Rathbone and Deniz Oguzkanli, detailing the failures of the ODA to communicate with them and the people living around Leyton Marsh. The behaviour of the ODA is reminiscent of its treatment of the residents of Leabank Square.
The ODA claim they have "no option" but to take legal action against this peaceful protest in order to fulfil their obligations "to provide practice facilities for the Olympic and Paralympic athletes". This is fundamentally untrue. Eleven questions were put to them in December by a number of local councillors and still remain unanswered, including why the ODA chose not to utilize one of several alternative sites that would not require destroying this much loved green space.
Kelmscott Leisure Centre is less than 10 minutes from Leyton Marsh with recently refurbished basketball courts suitable for disabled athletes, it will be shut for the duration of the Games. Walthamstow dog track is a disused brownfield site within 30 minutes of the Olympic park - specified as a requirement for the training facility. These both appear to be reasonable alternatives, but whether these sites were even considered has not been forthcoming despite requests for the selection process to be made available to the public.
Since planning permission was granted for these two huge 11m high 3 storey structure on Metropolitan Open Land, the ODA have refused to engage with local people and their very serious concerns relating not just to loss of green space but alarming health and safety irregularities arising from the construction. From the very beginning, local campaigners pointed out to the authorities concerned that Leyton Marsh was used for landfill and was known to contain unexploded bombs from WWII. Unsurprisingly work had to be halted during the first week of excavations when a bomb was discovered, workers were evacuated but not the surrounding area.
The ODA's own injunction mentions the discovery of asbestos on site, which is highly hazardous to health. Three of the five samples taken from the site survey prior to work commencing had such high concentrations of lead that they constituted 'hazardous waste', it is therefore extremely troubling that the planning application sought to avoid an Environmental Impact Assessment by claiming that only 15 cm of topsoil would be removed. Ian Ansell from Waltham Forest planning department has confirmed that the ODA have already excavated to at least 50cm in breach of their planning permission. Mounds of exposed soil several metres high containing significant concentrations of rubble are piled all around the site.
Whilst Lea Valley Park Authority claim that they are concerned with unlawful use of their land and are "keen to safeguard Leyton Marsh", they saw fit to let the majority of Leyton Marsh for a huge construction project requiring significant concrete foundations, in the process destroying a habitat that has taken years to establish itself and in no way can be restored to its previous condition in October as claimed.
Why have the ODA and WFC failed to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment when excavating several feet deep into the marsh? Why have the ODA and WFC not published the restoration plan that was part of planning conditions? Why are the ODA and WFC committed to destroying protected public land when viable alternatives which provide legacy and regeneration benefits exist? These are the questions to which local residents and councillors want satisfactory answers.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Thu, 05/04/2012 - 01:40.
Open Letter to Meredith Alexander former Commissioner on the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012
30th January 2012
Dear Ms Alexander
I wholeheartedly congratulate you on your decision to resign from the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012. As far as I am aware you are only the second person involved with London 2012 who has had the integrity, courage and conviction to take such a morally justifiable action.
Submitted by Mike Wells on Mon, 30/01/2012 - 11:57.
Ted Jeory, one of the few journalists to pick up on the radioactive contamination of the London Olympic Park, has reported that London 2012 is seriously concerned at the head of steam building up in India over the deal which allowed Dow to sponsor the Olympic stadium. 'Senior sources', not just 'sources', are reported as saying the deal was a 'mistake' which it seems they are finding it difficult to wriggle out of.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Tue, 18/10/2011 - 02:03.
The Bhopal Medical Appeal has issued a statement following the announcement by LOCOG that Dow Chemical are to provide the London Olympic Stadium ‘wrap’. It emphasises that its concern is not the 1984 gas disaster but the contamination of drinking water by chemicals from toxic waste dumps in and around the United Carbide site.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Fri, 26/08/2011 - 23:57.
In The Gold Machine Iain Sinclair blogs on his evening out on Nina Pope's Floating Cinema and (with pictures) the essential pre-history - his famous Kayak trip with Stephen Gill.
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Thu, 25/08/2011 - 19:16.
Former Indian Olympics hockey players have demanded that Locog withdraw from the deal with Dow Chemicals to provide the wrap around the main stadium. A number of players came from Bhopal and were witnesses to the event or had relatives who died in the mass poisoning. If Lowcog refuses they will call for a boycott of the London Games. Former hockey star Amer Sher Khan said: 'We will ask the government to boycott the games if the LOCOG carries out the deal despite being conveyed the message in this regard.'
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Mon, 08/08/2011 - 13:50.
On twitter from @LONDON2012:
LOCOG has chosen US-based silicone textile producer Dow Corning to sponsor the 2012 Olympic Stadium wrap
Perhaps no surprise since Dow remain one of the IOC's TOP sponsors, who'll no doubt be wanting to remind us of their continuing obligations and responsibilities to the people of Bhopal.
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Tue, 26/07/2011 - 09:33.
No telly so haven't seen it, but on Twitter @jennifermjones was rather caustic about Tier 1 sponsor BP's new Olympics greenwashing ad:
Oh my god. Just saw the London2012/BP advert. It is a f***ing oil company talking about blatantly greening a mega event.
As @PlatformLondon point out, BP do culture-washing too. The newly launched UK edition of HuffPo has a review, Hunt's Glass Slipper is Filling with Toxic Toes. As the title suggests it's not exactly flattering about the new Tessa, Jeremy *unt either.
But Reverend Billy is coming to cleanse them. And there was some guerilla ballet in Trafalgar Square too: BP White Swan
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Fri, 15/07/2011 - 10:14.