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From the Author of No Land an Island and Unconscionable

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

En route to London, dissent swirls around Olympics 2012

Waste in face of want
Editing by Carolyn Bennett

“Olympics Disaster: The [formerly Group 4 Securicor British multinational security services company headquartered in Crawley] G4S Security Scandal and Corporate Sponsors’ £600 Million Tax Avoidance,” July 16, 2012: Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert Andy Worthington, http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2012/07/16/olympics-disaster-the-g4s-security-scandal-and-corporate-sponsors-600-million-tax-avoidance/

Referencing a report published by Ethical Consumer, Worthington writes, “the Olympic Games’ corporate partners and service providers are exempted from UK corporation tax and UK income tax during the Games; and even though they are expected to bring in £2.7bn in revenues, they will avoid paying over £600m in tax.

“The Worldwide Olympic Partners are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos, Dow, GE, McDonalds, Omega, Panasonic, P&G, Samsung and Visa, and the London 2012 Olympic Partners are Adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB.”

Legislation “also exempts all foreign nationals working on the games in the UK from paying income tax on any earnings. Thousands will be exempt from taxation from competitors to media workers (including journalists, technicians and producers) to representatives of official Games bodies and technical officials (including judges, referees and classifiers) along with the athletes themselves.”

“Our Olympic Hell: A Militarized, Corporate, Jingoistic Disgrace,” May 16, 2012, http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2012/05/16/our-olympic-hell-a-militarised-corporate-jingoistic-disgrace/

“[In May], when it was revealed that the MoD was placing surface-to-air missiles on the roofs of residential buildings as part of the bloated security measures for the Olympics — estimated to cost at least £1.4 billion, to be paid for by taxpayers — there was a brief flurry of outrage, although not enough to bring the plans to an end,” Andy Worthington wrote.

“With the required numbers of security staff more than doubling in the last year, estimates of the Games’ immediate security costs have doubled from £282m to £553m. Even these figures are likely to end up as dramatic underestimates: the final security budget of the 2004 Athens Olympics were around £1bn.

“All this in a city convulsed by massive cuts in welfare, housing benefit and legal aid; spiraling unemployment and rising social protests. It is darkly ironic, indeed, that large swaths of London and the UK are being thrown into ever deeper insecurity while being asked to pay for a massive security operation, of unprecedented scale, largely to protect wealthy and powerful people and corporations.”

THUS Olympics 2012 street demonstrations planned

Thursday July 26

The International Counter Olympics Network is launched (ICON)  in London.

Friday July 27

A Counter Olympics Protest Torch Relay will be run. The Vancouver Poverty Olympics Torch, says its press release, “will make its journey around the streets of Hackney starting from the cafe in Clissold Park, Stoke Newington Church Street and ending at Leyton Marsh.”

 Saturday July 28, 2012

A Day of Mass Action sets off, involving the Counter Olympics Network (CON) and representatives from “Our Olympics, No UK Tar Sands, Coalition of Resistance, Occupy London, Save Leyton Marsh, Drop DOW Now, and others.”

OurOlympics: Reclaim London 2012

Our Olympics exists “to provide a hub for creating and promoting acts of civil disobedience around the London 2012 Olympics.”  Their online mission further states:
We believe that the London 2012 Olympics are an £11bn tax payer funded ad campaign for some of the worst offending corporations in our world.

We believe that public funds should be spent on public services, not redirected to private profits.

We believe the policy of Austerity is a lie. It is a means of imposing an economic apartheid upon the UK.

We believe that it is time for us to come together and make London 2012 the greatest act of non violent civil disobedience of our time.




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