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Posted on 26 July 2012 at 20:17 GMT

Cardiff  protest against big business 'takeover' at start of Olympics, 25.7.12, photo Dave Reid

Cardiff protest against big business 'takeover' at start of Olympics, 25.7.12, photo Dave Reid   (Click to enlarge)

YFJ protests against big business takeover of Cardiff

The 2012 Olympic games opened in Cardiff and, despite the huge police presence in the city, socialists and anti-cuts campaigners were there to oppose the big business jamboree at a time when public services, including grassroots sports, are being cut.

Hundreds of police have flooded the city patrolling the streets to ensure that only Olympic sponsors' advertising is seen around the football ground.

A children's model boat pool open all week in Queen Street has been closed down because it doesn't have permission from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Even the coaches carrying the teams to the Millenium Stadium had the names of their company covered.

Youth Fight For Jobs (YFJ) called the protest together with Cardiff Trades Union Council and Cardiff Against Cuts to register the opposition to this corporate takeover of the city and the massive state spending on the games while public services are being shredded including the closure of youth sports clubs in the city.

The protesters, carrying placards with "Love Sport, Hate Capitalism" and "What a G4mess", chanted "Panasonic - pay your taxes" a reference to the tax exemption given to Olympic sponsors, and "Where'd the money go - they shipped it off to Monaco".

The response of passers by was overwhelmingly supportive. Most took the Youth Fight For Jobs leaflet advertising the Austerity Games in Cardiff on 4th August and many made comments like "Too right" and "Innit!".

The protest even got the thumbs up from one of the New Zealand women's football team competing in the stadium.

Dave Reid

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