29 Jul 2012

Protesters hold ‘anti-Games’ near Olympic stadium

While the eyes of the world were on the first full day of competition at the London Olympics, a far smaller group was marking the “anti-Games” near the stadium on Saturday. A few hundred protesters gathered in a party atmosphere to express their opposition to everything from corporate sponsorship of the Olympics to anger about missiles positioned on the roofs of nearby apartment blocks for the Games.


At the protest in Mile End, one subway stop from the stadium in east London, many demonstrators looked a little stunned by the sudden media attention after months of being largely ignored. “There seem to be more cameras than protesters!” said Jean Videler, 60, equipped with a rucksack and tennis shoes, her grey hair falling to her shoulders.

The protest brought together around 40 activist groups under the banner of the “CounterOlympics Network” – groups that had hitherto struggled to be heard above the din of the London 2012 media machine. Some protesters were from the “Occupy London” anti-capitalist movement, or from far-left parties, united by their opposition to the multi-million dollar sponsorship of the Games by multinationals like McDonald’s and Dow Chemical.

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