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Contamination and Radioactivity

The Greenest Games Ever was one of the claims. A heavily contaminated brownfield "scar" to use the word of David Higgins, Chief Executive of the Olympic Development Authority (and which of course it wasn't by any means). The 2012 site would be fully remediated. A claim that has proven false?

Lest we forget - Dow, the company the IOC likes to do business with

Lest we forget - Dow, the company the IOC likes to do business with....

'Lawyers with the organization EarthRights International spent 15 years trying to make Dow Chemical pay to clean up the contamination of the soil and groundwater around the old factory site. In the summer of 2014, a US district court in New York ruled that the company did not have to pay for cleanup work -- on grounds that the project manager who was in charge of plant construction and waste disposal had only been employed by the Indian subsidiary.'


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Appeal for Information Relating to Health Impacts of Work on Contaminated Olympic Land

Contaminated, unprotected Olympic 'soil hospital' stockpilesContaminated, unprotected Olympic 'soil hospital' stockpiles A number of residents near the Olympic Park have illnesses they believe to be related to proximity with contaminants originating from works on the polluted land of the London Olympic construction site.

My colleagues and I have been have been reporting and researching the issue of contamination in the London Olympic Park. The contamination originates from the site's more than century long base and dumping ground for various noxious industries. Preparation for the Olympic Park included the excavation of almost the entire 2.5 square kilometer site.

During these excavation works there were numerous complaints about dust originating from the contaminated site. We are gathering information about any health issues that may have been caused by dust originating from the Olympic Park demolition and excavation activities including "soil washing operations".


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Press Release: Appeal for Information Relating to Health Impacts of Work on Contaminated Olympic Land

My colleagues and I have been have been reporting and researching the issue of contamination in the London Olympic Park.  We have received information which indicates that there may be health implications for some workers and local residents who have come into contact with this contamination.


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Fish killed in the River Lea. Pushed to their limits by environmental mismanagement

Fish were killed in numbers on Tuesday July 23 by Oxygen depletion of the River Lee downstream of Deephams sewage works in Tottenham. Climate change has created the conditions for an exceptional heatwave to become a more frequent possibility.

The amount of water extracted upstream for human use is considerable. Downstream about 50%-80% of the water body can be treated sewage. During the dry summer months there often isn't enough water-flow to provide reliable conditions for the fish. The amount of dissolved Oxygen in the water in a rain free heatwave can become so depleted that fish begin to suffer.


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Sustainable conversations?

Went to the latest UEL/LLDC seminar on Sustainability last week and got into a bit of a spat with the speakers and another member of the audience over the sustainability example of London 2012. Samantha Heath of London Sustainability Exchange told us how she had, almost single-handedly, got Ken Livingstone to subscribe to sustainability targets of various kinds back in 2002 to 2004 when she was a member of the Greater London Assembly and how this all depended on Ken making top down decisions, all of which may be true. She had just been telling us what a wonderful example of sustainability the London Olympics had been and how it had created a new culture in the UK. I had to disagree with her that the Olympics had been such a sustainability success given, among other things, the botched remediation, the farce of the turbines and the failure to use the canals to shift materials, none of which she disputed. Another member of the audience chipped in about the sponsors and again she agreed this had not been a success, although she was keen on the torch relay which was a puzzle given the advertising platform it provided for Coca Cola.


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Leyton Marsh: Malice and the prosecution of Mike Wells

Two weeks ago the trial began of nine members of Critical Mass, out of 182 originally arrested, for riding their bikes too close to the Olympic Park on the evening of the Opening Ceremony. Another malicious Olympics prosecution (see p 12), that of citizen journalist and photographer Mike Wells, finally came to an end almost two months ago on 17th January 2013. The story began with an unsubstantiated allegation that Mike assaulted the driver of an excavator at Sandy Lane, the unmade road that runs alongside Leyton Marshes, and ended nine months later at Stratford Magistrate’s Court. Mike’s prosecution occurred against a background of warnings from police and politicians that the authorities would take a hard line in the face of protest and disorder.


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Death and the Olympic City

There are many tales of the Olympic City, lies, dreams of wealth, and profligate living! And of course, death!


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Olympics blacklisting - 'ODA were deceived, gullible or negligent'

Not so long ago the ODA was being touted by its former Chair, John Armitt, as a model for running infrastructure projects. Politicians and others should not interfere in these projects, which should receive cross-party support, instead they should be overseen by a quango - like the ODA. Armitt's proposal is backed by the Labour Party, which has created a panel to investigate the management of infrastructure projects. Lord Adonis, one of Armitt's panellists, rushed to endorse his proposal.

Armitt's big idea is based on his claim that the ODA 'got it right'. Far from getting it right the ODA failed to carry out its functions safely, as in the botched remediation, harassed and persecuted local residents affected by its programmes at places like Leyton Marsh and Leabank Square and lied constantly about alleged legacies such as Stratford City or the 'largest new park in Europe for 150 years'.

Now further evidence has emerged of its failure to investigate or even pay attention to allegations of blacklisting by its contractors. The case of Frank Morris was already known back in February 2011. The ODA took no action in response to the protests which followed over either the original sacking of a co-worker or of Frank Morris himself, when he raised objections to the original abuse.

In November 2012, the ODA's Chief Executive, Dennis Hone, told the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigating blacklisting:

“The ODA did not receive any evidence or could find any evidence of blacklisting on the Olympic Park during the construction phase or otherwise." He also claimed that: “At that time there was a discussion with our contractors and we requested evidence from people making the allegations and no evidence was forthcoming. If it had been then we would have gone after the contractors involved."


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The Corporate Games!

Following the awarding of the Greenwash Gold Medal to Rio Tinto at a ceremony in Trafalgar Square when custard was poured over 'representatives' of the the three nominated companies, Rio Tinto, BP and Dow Chemical, who were then arrested by over-zealous police, War on Want organised the Adidas Exploitation Not Ok Anywhere Price Tags...


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Lame Duckweed clearance for tourist barges on Lee Navigation

 An elevator on the front of the weed cleaning blue boat attempts to remove Duckweed. An elevator on the front of the weed cleaning blue boat attempts to remove Duckweed.


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Boris does Flag Fan Dangle Thing

Perfect casting for being hoist by his own petard. It's not everybody has their own Petard. The rich fat bastards have all the fun. That's not raw talent you know. They have the breeding you see. And the fagging. That and centuries of de Feffling about on a wet Saturday indoors with the croquet mallets.


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More lying about the Olympic regeneration of East London

Nick Whitten recently posted a guest contribution by Matthew Black of estate agents CBRE on the Estates Gazette Olympics Blog. On their website CBRE describe themselves as 'key property adviser' to the now defunct London Development Agency in relation to the London 2012 Olympic Games bid.

In his contribution Mr Black wrote of the Olympic Park:

It also had its issues including heavily contaminated ground, buildings that were no longer fit for purpose, electricity pylons crossing the whole site and Europe's largest redundant fridge mountain. This was an opportunity to revitalise an area of London that had suffered from a lack of investment for a number of decades and the Games was the opportunity to rectify this and bring it back to becoming a core part of London again.


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Local Heroes

By Leah Borromeo

The motto of the Games is "inspire a generation". However, not everyone is enthused. Londoners from the poorest parts of the city facing major upheavals from losing their homes, livelihoods and public spaces to the mercy of a few weeks of medal-chasing over the summer. They believe that the Olympics gave local councils and big business an excuse for a land grab - in which the community had little or no say. When they voice their opposition, they are hushed by the machinery of bureaucracy, the suppression of protest and the reality of losing the roofs over their heads. But their concerns are as real as the Games itself, which have received some £9.3bn in UK public funding. Community life will continue long after the athletes, the fans and the confetti have gone. I spent a week listening to and gathering the stories of Londoners shouting at the walls of an Olympic Jericho.

Joe Alexander: Photo: Leah BorromeoPhoto: Leah Borromeo

Joe Alexander, 38, is in property maintenance. He lives on the Carpenters Road estate and is vice chair of the local campaign group Carpenters Against Regeneration Plans. I spent the day with Joe - a quiet, eloquent divorcee and father who moved to Stratford in London's East End in the hopes of starting a new life


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and another one bites the 'dust'?

So Andy Altman resigns. As the Standard would have it:

@standardnews 15:01
Olympics chief Andy Altman resigns amid concerns over main Games stadium http://bit.ly/NM1ASV


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Prison Diary of a Games Monitor Contributor

Security Fence: While in jail I couldn't help noticing the similar aesthitic of the prison and the Olympic enclosure which is surrounded by 17.5km of electric fence, on which there are 900 day and night vision cameras   © Mike WellsSecurity Fence: While in jail I couldn't help noticing the similar aesthitic of the prison and the Olympic enclosure which is surrounded by 17.5km of electric fence, on which there are 900 day and night vision cameras © Mike Wells

An Olympic Prison Diary

Prisoner Number A6379CN
HM Prison Thameside
Somewhere in South East London

Introduction
This diary was written by Mike Wells while incarcerated in Stoke Newington and Leyton police stations, and then in Thameside prison. Mike Wells was arrested after an incident which occurred on Leyton Marshes, site of a contentious Olympic construction project. He is currently free on bail. His bail conditions state that he should not go within a certain distance of a certain Olympic venue. His bail conditions last until his trial is over. The trial date has been set for the last day of the Olympics. He could be imprisoned for a breach of these bail conditions. He will answer a charge of common assault with a not guilty plea. He is a journalist, writer, photographer, and film maker.

Prison Diary
No way of knowing if it is day or night unless you ask and are told what time it be. Ten minutes or an hour, or three, time stands on its head...


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HypocritiCoe!

The row about Dow at London 2012 goes on. @BhopalMedicalAppeal recently pointed out that Coe had failed to respond to an open letter from AthletesAgainstDowChemical. Coe also promised to meet Dow Campaigners but, unsurprisingly, has failed to do so. Coe has a history of failing to keep promises. He also promised to visit Clays Lane when the estate was facing demolition but failed to turn up or get in touch. Yet a while later, when he was watching the tower blocks at Park Village being demolished along with Radio 4's You and Yours team, he was described by the presenter as having been at the 'sharp end' of dealing with those facing eviction. Coe did not demur and went on to mutter words of sympathy with the evictees.


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Paralympic Row Erupts Over Dow Chemical Sponsorship

Press Release from Drop Dow Now

Monday the 21st May is 100 days to the Paralympic Games, a date marked with controversy due to Dow Chemical’s Paralympic sponsorship.

Campaigners have called for Dow’s sponsorship of the London Paralympic Games to be dropped due to Dow’s ownership of Union Carbide, the company responsible for the Bhopal gas disaster in 1984. The disaster killed over 20,000 and caused injury and illness to thousands more [1]. Hundreds of children continue to be born every year with birth defects [2].


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drop in, tune out

Anyone whose experience of ODA 'drop-in' style consultations has been one of bitter frustration and disappointment might enjoy letting this 2-hour recording play in the background.


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Vote for the Greenwash Gold 2012!

Which dodgy company most deserves the Greenwash Gold medal in 2012? Who is covering up the most environmental destruction and devastating the most communities while pretending to be a good corporate citizen by sponsoring the Olympic games?


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