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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 January 2009

The 2012 Olympics legacy

WHAT WILL be left when the Olympic games leaves town? That was the question debated by over a hundred people at Stratford Circus, east London, last week. Called by a loose coalition of interested groups and individuals, the lively discussion touched on how to ensure there is a lasting legacy which really benefits the communities of the east London boroughs which will host the games in 2012.

Manny Thain, east London

There were several short speeches, along with film footage from Vancouver, Canada, the setting for the 2010 winter Olympics.

All the speakers introduced different issues, from Clays Lane housing, where residents have been moved out to make way for an Olympic park, to the need for construction site trade union organisation, as explained by Annoesjka Valent, from Hackney Socialist Party. Representatives from Newham Monitoring Project, a community-based anti-racist organisation, and the Queen's Market campaign, which has fought off a takeover by Asda/WalMart, addressed the meeting, as did a guest speaker from the Vancouver Anti-Poverty Campaign. This was followed by questions and comments from the predominantly young audience, which reflected Newham and east London's diverse population.

With the budget for the games already over target and rising, the meeting expressed the need for people to campaign actively to ensure that housing, for example, is available at a genuinely affordable cost. And, if the Olympics are to involve the whole community, will there be cheap tickets for local people, especially the young and old?

Decent rates of pay and trade union organisation on the construction sites is another pressing concern. What about long-term employment and training for young people? The dangers of criminalising young people, against the backdrop of tight security during and in the run-up to the Olympics, were also pointed out.

The aim is to build a broad, grassroots campaign, involving community groups, trade unionists and interested individuals. Already, at this first meeting, many ideas were thrown into the ring, with college students and young local artists among those who were keen to express their ideas. There will be a series of initiatives to highlight the issues, with further meetings and events being planned.

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In The Socialist 14 January 2009:


War and occupation

Stop the Israeli state terror

100,000+ on Gaza protests


Socialist Party editorial

British economy heads deeper into crisis


Vote for Robbie Segal

Stop job cuts


Socialist Party youth and students

Fight for your future

Fight for free education

Building ISR and Socialist Students in 2009

Fight for your future: what ISR campaigns for


Socialist Party campaigns

The 2012 Olympics legacy

Heathrow expansion protest

Defend threatened Saudi Arabian trade unionist

Wirral: Marching to stop the cuts

Fast News


Socialist Party feature

The NHS today - can it meet everyone's health needs?


Socialist Party workplace news

Conference: 'The crisis in working class political representation'

GlaxoSmithKline: The fightback starts here

Tube cleaners protest against victimisation

Job cuts announced at Nissan


International socialist news and analysis

Jobs meltdown hits Ireland

Debate and meeting in Dublin

Sri Lanka -: Vicious attacks on media and killing of newspaper editor

Bangladesh: Protesters denounce global mining corporation


Socialist Party review

Che


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Why Manchester rejected the congestion charge


 

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Related links:

Olympics:

triangleInvest in grassroots sports needs

triangleWould you call G4S for help over discrimination?

triangleBarcelona 1936: the people's Olympics

triangleFilm review: Eddie the Eagle

triangleAthletics doping scandal: big business profits behind global sports corruption

London:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Globalisation/deglobalisation and the world economy

triangle'Meeting' to discuss socialist ideas - more vital than ever during the crisis

triangleTransport union RMT demands action for coronavirus tube safety

triangleLondon Socialist Party: Friday Fightback - protest clap and noise!

Housing:

triangleOrganising in the workplace in the time of coronavirus

triangleDetermined St Mungo's homelessness workers strike for three days

triangleSuspend rent and mortgage payments, seize empty homes

Construction:

triangleConstruction site bosses put profits first

triangleHS2 debacle: nationalise rail and construction!

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