Thursday 19 July 2012

Alternative Torch Relay Arrives At Wanstead Flats This Saturday

As part of the build-up to the ‘Whose Games? Whose City?’ protest against the Corporate Olympics taking place on 28 July, this Saturday sees a team of runners from the Counter Olympics Network carrying the Vancouver Poverty Olympics Torch on an alternative torch relay from Stratford, through Leytonstone and finishing at the Metropolitan Police's newly constructed Olympic operations base on Wanstead Flats.

Leaving at 2pm, runners plan to arrive just as a 'public open day' at the base, starting at 11am and aimed at placating some of the intense opposition by local residents to its construction, closes its eleven-foot high gates at 3pm. A further leg of the relay takes place on Friday 27 July, leaving Clissold Park in Hackney and travelling to the unsightly basketball training facility at Leyton Marsh. The Save Leyton Marsh campaign will hold a welcome party for the torch.

The Poverty Olympics Torch was handed over to London at a ceremony at the Olympic Cauldron in Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver in 2010, visited Glasgow in March 2012 and was received by the Counter Olympics Network at the Bishopsgate Institute in April 2012.

Julian Cheyne of the Counter Olympics Network said in a press release:
“This is a milestone in Olympic protest – the first time, to our knowledge, that a protest torch has been handed from one host city to another. We hope this will be a feature of protest in future host cities.”


kath said...

What public open day for concerned local residents? The one they haven't invited us to or told us about? I live literally a stone's throw. I bet they've ignored Newham again.....

Karin said...

Yeah, we didn't hear about it either! Guess that's the easiest way of making sure an open day goes smoothly.

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