tagged w/ Olympic Stadium
The Olympic Games literally and symbolically ‘take place’ in major cities. They represent the mega-event par excellence which not only physically transforms areas of cities beyond recognition but also shifts the urban place imaginary. City growth coalitions eagerly bid against other cities to win this world-class spectacle primarily for the boost it is supposed to impart to the local politics of urban regeneration. Researchers and activists over the last thirty years have highlighted how such grandiose visions and accelerated development projects produce spectacular but also highly inequitable outcomes for urban citizens. As with other neo-liberal regeneration programmes, the vital question of ‘who really benefits?’ is highly pertinent. However, many of the texts which researchers have produced are not well known or well understood outside the various academic specialisms within which they circulate. We are setting up a reading group open to students, academics, activists and other individuals interested in exploring the social, economic and political processes of these spectacular urban mega-events from critical perspectives.
http://www.spectacle.co.uk/spectacleblog/uncategorized/olympic-city-critiques-a-birkbeck-reading-group/The Olympic Games literally and symbolically ‘take place’ in major cities.... more
Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient are applying to the high court for a review of the OPLC’s (Olympic Park Legacy Company) decision to award West Ham United the chance to move into the Olympic stadium after the 2012 Olympic games. One of the reasons for OPLC’s decison to pick West Ham was that they had said in their bid for the stadium, that they would keep the athletics track, whilst Spurs had argued the only viable option was to rebuild the entire stadium as a dedicated football ground.
http://www.spectacle.co.uk/spectacleblog/olympics-2012/spurs-and-leyton-orient-to-launch-review-over-olympic-stadium/Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient are applying to the high court for a review of the... more
The signs of regeneration are all over Delhi. Billboards proclaim ‘DELHICIOUSLY YOURS’ throughout the city, and it is. The pace of work completed between June and now are staggering – the air-conditioned metro, Delhi’s prize feature, works efficiently; lights decorate various hubs of tourist activity and promote a warm, festive atmosphere; and customs takes only ten minutes to get through, as opposed the the previous hour. These are the positive aspects of regeneration and they indicate how far India can go and how much could have been achieved minus the corruption scandals and the delays.
Walk a few metres away from all of this, however, and you are confronted again with real Delhi – unpaved streets, buildings fallen into disrepair and open sewers perfuming the air. There is no sign, however, of the customary wallahs – the newspapers are full of tales of people returning to collect suits from streetside tailors only to find they have been moved on; cigarette wallahs, barbers, fruit-sellers, as well as beggars and the homeless – all have mysteriously disappeared without trace or concern.
According to some Delhi residents affected by the migration, their maids and their families were simply told to ‘leave Delhi for twenty days’ – the duration of the Games and the days preceding and following. Those who did not comply willingly were forced; shacks burned up in inexplicable circumstances and not all dwellers were recompensed. It is an open secret in Delhi that many of the poor were herded to a large slum outside the city, but it has been made extremely difficult for activists and media workers to photograph or document it, and those living there who have tried to fight back have been effectively dissuaded.
Regeneration is a game, of course, even if its prizes do not glide by neatly on a conveyor belt, and so it follows that not everybody wins.
http://www.spectacle.co.uk/spectacleblog/olympics-2012/the-regeneration-game/The signs of regeneration are all over Delhi. Billboards proclaim ‘DELHICIOUSLY... more
Olympic chiefs are having a luxurious beano in handily located Acapulco Mexico to hear progress reports on the preparations for London 2012. British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt was jubilant that the Con-Lib coalition government had excluded the games from the recent drastic spending cuts.
Hunt told the audience that the Olympic budget of 9.28 billion pounds included “7.3 billion pounds for the regeneration of east London.”
“I think a two billion pound investment for staging the games feels about right and appropriate for what’s going to be a fantastic games.”
Why Acapulco? Well you have to travel a long way to find an audience who will believe that the London Olympic budget is being spent on anything other than the London Olympics. I dare Hunt to come here and tell East Londoners that nearly four fifths of the Olympic budget is being spent on them and only £2bn is going on the games.
Fancy a dip? Or getting your figures massaged? Or are you happy just lying on the beach?
http://www.spectacle.co.uk/spectacleblog/olympics-2012/british-olympic-association-pretends-olympic-budget-is-for-regenerating-east-london/Olympic chiefs are having a luxurious beano in handily located Acapulco Mexico to hear... more
In their bid for the games London Olympic officials promised to keep an athletics track in the stadium.
Now, during a meeting in Acapulco, British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt only “hoped” the Olympic stadium would retain a running track after the games- neatly side stepping the issue of empty promises by saying the decision was down to the mysterious “Olympic Park Legacy Company”.
Two Premier League football clubs, West Ham and Spurs, have made bids to move into the Olympic Stadium after 2012, but only West Ham’s bid includes keeping the running track.
Hunt made clear his determination to honour that promise telling AP . “Of course, we would love to see the provision of a truly world class athletics track….I think we’d all be disappointed if that didn’t happen.”
Fighting talk, might as well rip up the Spurs offer then.
If the London Olympic organisers keep none of their promises to Londoners (on jobs, on housing, on costs) will it be an Olympic record? Or does it happen where ever the five rings descend?
One way East Londoners could economically benefit from the games would be to put money with the bookies that the stadium will be home to Tottenham in 2013. I wonder what odds they are giving.
http://www.spectacle.co.uk/spectacleblog/olympics-2012/olympic-promises-fingers-crossed/In their bid for the games London Olympic officials promised to keep an athletics... more
Countless employers are now facing the problem of dealing with twenty three working days without key employees come 2012. The deadline to volunteer for the Olympics is the 27th of October, 2010. The London 2012 Olympics Organising Committee (LOCOG) have stated that 70,000 voluntary positions need to be filled, but more than 100,000 people have already applied. The voluntary roles consist of general and specialised positions, from desk staff, events stewards and drivers. Volunteers must work for a minimum of 10 days for the Games, and 20 for the Paralympic Games. Training is also mandatory for all participants.
There are also a further 8000 positions to be filled for the role of “London Ambassadors”, which would involve helping the vastly overstated and questionable increase of tourists and visitors in 2012 find their way around the city.
http://www.spectacle.co.uk/spectacleblog/olympics-2012/50000-promised-olympic-jobs-becomes-70000-unpaid-mcvolunteers/Countless employers are now facing the problem of dealing with twenty three working... more
The European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) has warned that the 2012 Olympic games would be harmful to Britain’s tourism industry. The ETOA has published research from cities who previously hosted the Olympic Games, which shows it has a “profoundly disruptive” effect on local tourism. They describe the official estimates for the number of visitors as “exaggerated”. The association warned: “Normal tourist businesses suffer during the Games period . . . The region around the Games can suffer more than the host city . . . The impression that everything will be overcrowded and overpriced blights a region . . . [and] these difficulties are exacerbated by exaggerated claims of the benefits derived from the Games.”
Meanwhile Boris Johnson is drumming up a further 8000 voluntary positions for the role of “London Ambassadors”, which would involve helping the vast increase of tourists and visitors in 2012 to find their way around the city. So no paid tourism jobs there.
http://www.spectacle.co.uk/spectacleblog/olympics-2012/etoa-claims-2012-games-bad-for-tourism/The European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) has warned that the 2012 Olympic games... more
The father of one of four activists detained in Beijing after a protest about Tibet has said he is proud of his son's actions.
Iain Thom, 24, from Edinburgh, and three others from the UK and the US were arrested after unfurling banners close to the Olympic stadium.
His father Brian, who lives in Muir of Ord, near Inverness, said his son had text messaged him to say he was fine.
He said: "I am concerned about Iain, but we are also proud of him."
Iain Thom went to Beijing with the group Students for a Free Tibet (SFT).
The group said Lucy Fairbrother, 23, from Cambridge, was also among those arrested.
China's state news agency, Xinhua, said the four have been ordered to leave the country.
The Edinburgh student's father said SFT had called the family to break the news of his detention.
Brian Thom said: "An hour later we got a text from him to say he was well and he had been detained and they were looking after him."
He added: "He was passionate about Tibet's human rights issues. We fully support him and what he's done.
"My wife and myself are worried about him, but we are sure he is safe and the Chinese will treat him fairly and we hope to see him soon."
According to the SFT website, Iain Thom is an environmental campaigner and the former national co-ordinator for SFT UK.
Friends of the Earth confirmed that he worked for the organisation before leaving for Beijing. It called for his immediate release.
While suspended from the lighting pole in Beijing, Mr Thom spoke to the BBC by mobile phone.
He said: "I'm here today because I've been a long-term Tibet activist and I feel like now is a really critical time for Tibet.
"The Beijing Games have been used by the Chinese government as a propaganda tool to whitewash their human rights record in Tibet."
An Olympics organising committee spokesman said the protest was "an illegal gathering".
He added: "We want to express our strong opposition to this. China has relevant laws regarding protests and gatherings. We truly hope that foreigners coming to visit China will respect the relevant laws of China."
The British Embassy said the protest was under investigation. The father of one of four activists detained in Beijing after a protest about Tibet... more