Posts Tagged ‘London 2012’

The obscenity of Atos sponsoring the Paralympic Games

September 1, 2012

We had the obscenity of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola sponsoring the London 2012 Olympic Games, now we have the even worse obscenity of Atos sponsoring the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Whose Games?

Ever wondered the type of person who worked in a Nazi concentration camp? Take a close look at the scum who work in Job Centres and for Atos whose job it is to force people with disabilities off benefits.

People with disabilities, be they mental or physical, have a hard enough life. Benefits provide a little cushion to make that life a little easier. They are not living a life of luxury.

Taking away these benefits is like kicking a crutch away from someone crippled, or stealing the white stick from a blind man.

It is part of a deficit reduction plan, where the weak and vulnerable are made to pay, meanwhile tax dodgers laugh all the way to their off-shore banks.

If a disabled person is stripped of their disability benefits, they are also stripped of their Freedom Pass (Bus Pass outside of London) which enables them free transport on public transport.

What sort of sick society punishes disabled people?

Opening Ceremony London Paralympics

August 29, 2012

It is a shocking irony that Atos is a main sponsor of London 2012 while destroying disabled people’s lives on behalf of the government. — Tara Flood, gold medal-winning Paralympian

Why are broadcast contracts given to broadcasters who cannot deliver?

Live streaming by Channel 4 of the London 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony was a sick joke. Their servers were not up to the job.

First, before you could watch, was forced to register with Channel 4. Why?

Then forced to endure 2.5 minutes of commercials, then … nothing.

Tried again, reloaded page, same as before. Forced to endure 2.5 minutes of commercials, then … nothing.

At this point gave up. Later listened to The Proms live on BBC Radio 3, but apart from Imogen Heap, was not worth listening to as most of the concert was an awful noise.

It is an obscenity that Atos, who are denying disabled people disability benefits, are sponsors of the London 2012 Paralympics.

Disabled people are being driven to suicide by Atos.

Karen Sherlock had her benefits stopped by what she described as “this inhumane government”. Her twitter account – @pusscat01 – remains, where her biography reads: “Preparing for dialysis. Each day is tough xx”. Her kidneys were failing, but she had been found capable of some work and placed in an activity group with time-limited benefits. She died in June. As disability rights campaigner Sue Marsh put it: “Now she’s dead and she died in fear because the system failed her, because cruel men refused to listen and powerful men refused to act.”

You may wish to tell Atos CEO Thierry Breton what you think, thierry.breton@atos.net or call their public relations: 020 7830 4233. Tell them to stop wrecking lives!

Atos are running scared and have protected their twitter account in a crude attempt to silence critics.

Compulsory competive games

August 16, 2012
Martha Payne baking

Martha Payne baking

What legacy the London 2012 Olympic Games?

David Cameron, The Sun and The Telegraph want to see compulsive competitive games, at least two hours each and every day.

Sorry David, but you are wrong. It goes without saying The Sun is wrong. The Telegraph can go and sulk in the quad.

I can think of nothing more guaranteed to turn kids off any form of physical activity than compulsive competitive sport.

I remember Cross Country Running, and I am not talking of a few laps around the school playing field. I am speaking of the full Public School works, twice around a common that was on a hillside on a slope of a limestone escarpment. Come rain or shine, out we went, we got soaked, we got cold, we ploughed through bogs, and came back cold, wet and miserable. I do not remember a single boy, and it was only boys, who enjoyed it. I do not recall it turning out a generation of long distance or marathon runners.

The emphasis should not be on competitive sport but on getting kids active, enjoying being active.

What is wrong with salsa, yoga?

David Cameron denigrated Indian dancing. What he meant by that I do not know, but if it is what one sees in Indian films, I would have thought that would be quite active and very enjoyable.

I am not against competitive sports per se. If kids wish to participate in such sports then they should be given every encouragement, the facilities and the coaching. But that is not what we are doing.

How are we encouraging sport when we are selling off school playing fields and public parks, building on our green spaces, making it easier not harder for schools to sell off their playing fields?

One such school is Elliot School in Wandsworth where it is proposed to sell off a large part of the site to developers.

As children we played in the field behind our house, went for walks, cycle rides. In the field we created our own cricket and football pitch, we mowed the grass, levelled the pitch. I am not sure our activities went down too well with the farmer. The field is now one huge, ghastly housing estate.

Little kids are bundles of energy. They bounce around. The main problem is getting them to keep still. What then goes wrong when they become fat slobs?

It is vital we get kids active. We have a generation of fat kids who will die before their parents. It was an obscenity that Coca-Cola and McDonald’s were allowed to sponsor the London 2012 Games when we have an epidemic of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes (a disease normally associated with late middle age).

Activity itself is a necessary, but not sufficient condition, children have to learn how to eat, how to cook. Basic survival skills.

It is a pleasure when we see children like Martha Payne aka Veg (who runs the blog NeverSeconds) and my young friend Alice (who has the blog alicemck) not only taking a pleasure in cooking, but also in food.

Tending little minds is important too. Music, arts, culture.

Children have inquiring minds, again it begs the question what goes wrong to churn out brain-dead morons whose idea of food is KFC and McDonald’s, drink sports drinks, Coca-Cola, or heavily advertised lager?

Parents are to blame, though not entirely, the food industry too.

Children are having to have operations to reduce their stomach size. Children aged five and six waddling from side to side as they walk because they are too fat to walk. A child of six weighing 11 stone!

The state intervenes when children are beaten, starved. The state should intervene when children are grossly overweight.

This afternoon in a window of McDonald’s overlooking the street. One very fat woman, one very fat child, both stuffing their faces with Big Macs.

London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony

August 12, 2012
The chimes of Big Ben at 2100 marked the start of the close of London 2012

The chimes of Big Ben at 2100 marked the start of the close of London 2012

London 2012 the world's biggest rock concert

London 2012 the world’s biggest rock concert

Spice Girls London 2012 girl power

Spice Girls London 2012 girl power

London 2012 Matt Bellamy of Muse

London 2012 Matt Bellamy of Muse

London 2012 Take That

London 2012 Take That

London 2012 The Who

London 2012 The Who

Britain we did it Right. Thank you. – Seb Coe

A happy and glorious Games. – President of IOC

To be or not the be, that is the question. – William Shakespeare

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, – Samuel Johnson

I missed the first couple of minutes.

Woman singing. Never heard of her.

Traffic driving round.? M25? People banging posts and pans?

Let us show the world the worst of the UK pop scene. A poor start.

Stomp, using dustbins for a drum routine. Brilliant.

Clever dance routine to Sgt Pepper. At last some decent music!

Brilliant! Kinks Classic Waterloo Sunset Ray Davies. Third time I have heard in 24 hours!

Black females singer, wonderful voice, awful hairstyle,. No idea who she is.

Entry of flags, followed by athletes. Having the athletes come in through the crowds was clever.

The choice of music was also clever as tied in with the Olympic spirit.

The Dhol Foundation playing drums! I saw them live in June! Excellent dance routine.

Kenya won more medals than all other African countries.

Yorkshire won more medals than Australia!

Wonderful John Lennon Imagine, preceded by Queen. Remastered by Yoko Ono, children mime, face formed on the ground.

Very clever use of graphics to show keyboard around the stadium for George Michael. Brilliant performance George Michael!

Fantastic Pinball Wizard The Who entrance on scooters, Kaiser Chiefs, but why not The Who! We got the a answer later

David Bowie!

English fashion, models on the catwalk.

Amazing entrance Annie Lennox on a flaming boat! Dracula theme.

Fantastic Pink Floyd number. Nick Mason, Mike Rutherford. Wish You Were Here clever on tightrope reproducing the cover.

More Sgt Pepper. Brilliant dance routine.

Great dance routine Fatboy Slim.

Price Tag I assume Jessie J

You should be Dancing Bee Gees classic.

Spice girls enter in London black cab taxis. Thne on top of cabs, whizzing around the tracks. As we have seen with Team GB medals, girl power.

Beady Eye Oasis classic.

More Sgt Pepper Mr Blue Sky. Amazing graphics around the stadium.

What seemed a celebration of musicals, not sure.

From canon man fired, then appears in net.

Muse. No idea who he is Heavy rock, choir, pyrotechnics. Brilliant!

Wonderful, Freddy Mercury. How he is missed. Where did the big screens appear from? Followed by Brian May on guitar as solo intro, then Queen We Will Rock You, with Roger Taylor on drums. Electrifying. Jessie J on vocals.

Brilliant, Usaine Bolt caught doing his trademark stance in the darkness.

Mayor Boris hands over to Rio, now their turn.

Samba!

Rio was good, and as a stand alone, would have been brilliant, but they had an impossible act to follow. It was like putting the warm-up act on after then main act everyone had come to see.

Excellent closing speech by Seb Coe.

Fine tubes holding the flame slowly lowering.

Just when you think it is over, Take That!

More than 200 ballerinas from Royal Ballet. Breathtaking!

Olympic flame extinguished.

The Who! The last time I saw The Who was not long after they played Woodstock.

What a finale, The Who My Generation with fireworks going off in the Olympic Park.

The fear was, what the Olympics would do to London. What we saw was what London did to the Games!

Absolutely no way should the stadium be used for football. It should be reserved for rock concerts streamed to a global audience.

The Closing Ceremony got off to a poor start, but it was brilliant. Think of a rock concert, then think of a rock concert two orders of magnitude and you get it.

It says a lot, the two bands that had everyone rocking: Queen and The Who!

Strange, I was thinking Imagine John Lennon, then BBC played it at the end with London 2012 highlights. Stunning images.

Before the Games started, there was little support in the country. This was entirely down to the tainting of the Games by corporate sponsorship by companies like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. Corporate sponsors must be kicked out of the Games.

But once London 2012, opened with the amazing Opening Ceremony, we were all supporters of London 2012.

In Guildford, people queuing at the station wanting to go up to London for the Olympics. A friend Pandora and I wished to go, but could not get a ticket.

Before few were looking forward to London 2012, when it ended everyone was regretting it had ended.

London you did us proud!

And well done Team GB, you did us proud too, third in the medal table.

Rio, you have a very hard act to follow.

BBC are releasing on Blue-Ray and DVD the opening and closing ceremonies and highlights of the London 2012 Games. A must. For Americans forced to endure the absolutely appalling coverage by NBC and absolute must!

#NBCfail censored Kinks front man Ray Davies with his emotional rendition of Waterloo Sunset. What a bunch of arseholes!

And of the legacy. For that we wait and see.

Cycling’s for Athletes

August 9, 2012

It’s the Olympics

And cycling’s for athletes

So now i’m told

If your bike doesn’t fold

You can’t take it on the train

Cause of a silly flame

And i’m kinda pissed it came

Cause cycling’s for everyone

Not just the one’s that won

Everyone should run around

And now no one goes to town

Cause you’re worried it’s too busy

And now it’s empty in the city

You can’t even take your bike

They do whatever they like

Whose streets? Whose Games? Whose City? Whose Trains?

If you’re waiting for while

Make sure you wear a smile

If you suffer from Parkinson’s

Do Martial Arts demonstrations

And you’re waiting for the race

Cops will put you on your face

You’ll spend your daughter’s birthday

At the pleasure of her majesty

It’s the Olympics

And cycling’s for athletes

I don’t need to ask permission

If I wanna go cycling

I don’t wanna ask your approval

About where my bike is suitable

They want you to stay at home

Watch TV, have a moan

See all their advertising

It 10 percent of cost to cover it

With all their monopolizing

Every final Friday of the month

In cities, bikes give cars the shunt

It’s the anarchist Critical Mass

You don’t have to be top class

You don’t have to be Chris Hoy

They don’t care if you’re a boy

The greatest global bike event

And it doesn’t cost a cent

But it’s the Olympics

And cycling’s for athletes!

So when they ride to the stadium

For that opening ceromanium

Trying to get away from the vehicle

They arrest 180 people

Confiscate their bike

Police do what they like

Imprison them all night

In buses and a shed

Make them sleep without a bed

And no water and no food

The Chinese would think this good

Cause it’s the Olympics!

And cycling’s for Athletes!

— Catherine Brogan

Posted by Catherine Brogan on her blog.

Catherine Brogan is currently at the Edinburgh Fringe.

The London 2012 Olympics is to leave a legacy, or so we are told.

Try taking your cycle on the train. You cannot.

Try cycling around London. Critical Mass tried to do just that on the evening of the Opening Ceremony and go the shit beat out of them by the Police and mass arrests took place for the heinous crime of riding a cycle.

Huge projection overlooking Olympic park exposes Adidas exploitation‏

August 6, 2012
Adidas exploitation projection at Olympic Park

Adidas exploitation projection at Olympic Park

People leaving the Olympic Park last night after the men’s 100m final were greeted by this huge projection on a building, exposing the exploitation of workers who make clothes for Olympic sportswear partner Adidas. Yet one more example of the obscenity of corporate sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

While thousands of people who were at the London 2012 Olympics would have seen this, we want to make sure that thousands more see and share this image.

Please share with all your friends. Please tell your friends that Adidas sources its Olympic consumer tat from sweatshops.

The projection was made possible by the generosity of War on Want supporters, this projection can help shame Adidas to take action and end poverty pay. The more people who see it, the bigger the impact. Please share it now.

Please e-mail the boss of Adidas and demand an end to worker exploitation.

Adidas has already sold £100 million of Olympic clothing whilst workers making its goods around the world are paid poverty wages and are having to skip meals to survive.

This is exploitation. It wouldn’t be ok for Adidas to do this in the UK and it shouldn’t be ok anywhere else. Adidas must ensure that workers are paid enough to live.

The Adidas sponsored Exploitation Games

August 5, 2012
The Adidas sponsored Exploitation Games

The Adidas sponsored Exploitation Games

we are not in the welfare business. Our job is to make a profit. — Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer

Saturday War on Want put on the Exploitation Games, no corporate sponsorship necessary, outside Adidas flagship store in Oxford Street in London in protest at Adidas sourcing its Olympic consumer tat from sweatshops. Protests also took place outside Adidas stores in Manchester, Portsmouth and Exeter.

The Exploitation Games included activists confronting the hurdles faced by Adidas workers, such as poverty wages and up to 90-hour weeks, and, after the Olympics cheats scandal, badminton to symbolise alleged unfair play by Adidas.

War on Want sweatshops campaigner Murray Worthy, who stuck its anti-exploitation poster on the London store’s window, said:

These Exploitation Games expose the ugly truth behind Adidas’s failure to uphold the Olympics values of fair play and respect. Adidas must stop raking in profits at workers’ expense and instead ensure their pay reflects the vital part they play in its success.

Adidas are one of the sponsors of the London 2012 Olympic Games, but cannot afford to pay its sweatshop workers a living wage.

While Adidas reveals the company has already sold around £100 million of Olympic merchandise, War on Want points to Indonesian workers struggling to survive on pay as low as 5,000 rupiah (34p) an hour, and having to skip meals to get by.

War on Want stresses the stark contrast between workers’ poverty pay and the £529 million profits Adidas declared for 2011, as well as chief executive Herbert Hainer’s £4.6 million “compensation” last year.

It cites Adidas workers receiving far less than a living wage in the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and China.

In addition, Cambodian workers earn £10-a-week basic pay, are forced to toil overtime hours, cannot afford decent food and live in squalid housing conditions.

In the run up to Exploitation Games thousands of people have written to Adidas, had tagged their clothes to expose the exploitation behind the brand, yet Adidas are still refusing to make basic commitments like paying a living wage.

No1 Top Story in The Exploitation Daily (Sunday 5 August 2012).

“You Brits are sooo arrogant”

August 3, 2012

Dear United Kingdom, You can be our colonial masters again if you bring @BBC #Olympics coverage with you. Love, America. — notLikeNormalPeople ‏@notlikenormal

Funny thing #NBCfail, the ads never freeze like your pathetic live stream does. You are abominable. I’d be fired if I did my job like you. — Steve Weinstein ‏@steveweinstein

I am starting to think NBC is intentionally nuking their streaming of events that will be tape-delayed. — Jeb ‏@tatsumaki4ryu

@TVvInce I am adopting the NBC approach to breaking news: my actual article will go up an hour or so after Twitter has learned about it. — Guy Adams ‏@guyadams

And while away on commercial break, NBC Sports Network missed Japan’s second goal. — Steven Goff ‏@SoccerInsider

It started off well enough.

Thanks to our dysfunctional public transport system I was queueing at Guildford Station to buy a ticket, even though I had completed my journey.

In front of me was an American woman, before her a young girl.

The girl had a Union Jack (British flag) painted on her cheek.

American woman: Are you going to see the Olympics?

Young girl: Yes.

American woman: What to see?

Young girl: Basketball.

American woman: Who is playing?

Young girl: Team GB and USA.

American woman: Will you be cheering the American team?

Young girl: No!

That did it. The American woman then tried to impress all with the fact that she had been at college with top basketball players and named at least one of them who was seven foot tall.

Does he drop the ball in the net?

What she did not seem to realise is that Brits have zero interest in basketball.

She then proceeded to slag off the BBC London 2012 Olympic coverage, their commentary was awful as they did not know what they were talking about (they referred to The Ukraine), and that NBC was vastly superior.

Really, NBC vastly superior!

NBC does not show the coverage live, instead it is delayed three hours for the East Coast, six hours for the West Coast.

When this was pointed out to her the reaction was, so. It seemed lost on her that the rest of the world saw it live.

And as for the commentary:

The opening ceremony was chatted over the top, as too difficult for an American audience to understand, Brunel was referred to as George Washington. Who is Tim Berners Lee? The tribute to the victims of the London 7/7 bombings was cut. Australia was apparently somewhere in the middle of Europe. Small countries were where the terrorists came from.

Last weekend the cycle route through the Surrey Hills was apparently lined with châteaus.

Such has been the almost exclusive focus on American athletes, that one person asked on #NBCFail had all the other athletes gone home after the opening ceremony.

Americans have been using the net to watch BBC because NBC coverage is so bad.

NBC has pointed to viewing figures but these are meaningless when NBC has a broadcast monopoly for which it paid a staggering $1 billion.

When Guy Adams, a journalist on The Independent, slammed NBC for their abysmal Olympic coverage, he had his twitter account suspended (now reinstated).

It was suggested to the American she watched through the net (she was complaining a limited choice), she said she had not internet. A little backward, no internet.

When a few of these points were made to her, her response was: You Brits are sooo arrogant!

A bit rich, an American calling Brits arrogant. The pot calling the kettle black?

She fortunately shut up. But at least she kept the queue amused whilst we patiently waited our turn to buy a ticket.

Brits get the BBC, which unlike NBC is there to serve its viewers not the markets. Brits also get free health care too, hence the NHS featuring in the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony.

Top Story in The Digital Mission Daily (Tuesday 7August 2012).

Twitter, NBC, and the “Streisand Effect”

August 2, 2012

By now you probably know at least the outlines of the recent controversy surrounding Twitter, NBC, censorship, and the Olympics.

Let’s very quickly review.

Unlike virtually every other broadcaster on the planet covering the Olympics, NBC decides to delay and edit all non-Internet Olympic programming for prime time, explicitly suggesting that American audiences are “too stupid” to understand events such as the opening ceremonies without NBC’s “expert editing and commentary.” NBC raises ire in England when they cut a tribute to terrorism victims from the delayed, edited, U.S. version.

NBC proclaims that their approach has been vindicated, since viewership of their bastardized coverage is breaking records, and since they’re in business primarily to make money, not to serve viewers in any case. Observers note that since most viewers didn’t know how to use the Internet to find “illicit” live feeds, they’re like any hungry person — they’ll eat what’s put in front of them.

A journalist upset about NBC’s handling of Olympic coverage sends out a Twitter tweet with an NBC executive’s corporate email address, suggesting that viewers let him know how they feel about NBC’s coverage.

Twitter suspends the journalist’s Twitter account, claiming he violated Twitter terms of use related to “private information” and “information not already published on the Internet publicly.”

Mass interest in the story ensues, making the NBC executive’s email address one of the best known in the world.

NBC claims they only filed a complaint about the journalist’s tweet after Twitter itself suggested they do so, and NBC says they did not realize this would result in the journalist’s Twitter account being suspended.

Twitter admits that their team partnering with NBC for the Olympics did indeed notice the “offending” tweet and suggested to NBC that a complaint be filed. Twitter stipulates that while it’s possible to argue about whether the specific email in question actually contained private information, it was clearly wrong for the Twitter team to have triggered this chain of events.

Journalist’s Twitter account is restored (this might have happened anyway after a warning, according to normal Twitter policy).

I’m very pleased to see that Twitter has clearly admitted that proactive stream monitoring and dispute filing of this sort by Twitter itself are inappropriate, and that they will take steps to avoid this sort of confrontation in the future. The confidence of Twitter’s user community is perhaps its most crucial asset — once really lost it may be difficult or impossible to regain.

Of perhaps broader long-term interest is the whole question of public information and censorship on the Internet.

We can make short order of the “was it public?” question in this particular case.

The NBC exec’s corporate email address was of the form “firstname.lastname@nbcuni.com” — a format that is not only highly standardized for public email addresses, but explicitly exposed on NBC Universal’s own media contact Web page.

What’s more, in this case the executive’s address was already specifically noted on various Web pages (including a page protesting NBC from 2011), making his address public by an even more obvious measure.

An argument has been made that his address didn’t appear on many pages, so it wasn’t “widely” known.

I don’t know what “widely” is supposed to actually mean in this context, but the bottom line is that a simple search would find his email address in seconds, so the absolute number of pages where the address appeared is really utterly irrelevant. One is as good as a thousand from the searcher’s standpoint.

Clearly, this email address was public. Twitter could have quickly made this determination to a reasonable level of confidence.

Which leads us to another question.

What if the journalist in this case hadn’t tweeted the actual email address, but rather tweeted the simple search terms required to find the address? What would Twitter have done in that case?

I don’t know the answer to this one, but the question itself points to the fundamental issue.

Attempts to control the dissemination of information on the Internet that has already been made public, are almost always doomed.

As regular readers probably know, I call this concept “public is public.”

We can be upset that certain information is out there, we can wish it weren’t,
we can dream of turning back the clock and stuffing the genie back into the bottle.

None of this will usually make any difference at all, except that efforts to limit the spread of such information will often trigger the notorious “Streisand Effect.”

The Streisand Effect — named for entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose efforts to block the dissemination on the Net of information regarding her Malibu home led to vastly more attention to that property than would have been the case if she hadn’t complained in the first place.

We see this sort of situation play out in various related forms again and again.

Efforts to takedown already published data result in even more copies appearing all over the Web, creating an impossible Whac-A-Mole nightmare for anyone trying to remove the data, and sometimes media attention that attracts orders of magnitude more people who then access the data.

In the NBC/Twitter case, that tweeted email address would have likely had virtually no impact if Twitter hadn’t suspended the account, creating a cause célèbre in the process.

That’s not to say that Twitter — like all Web services — doesn’t have a legitimate responsibility to act in cases of actual, real abuse.

But it’s important for us all to suppress the urge to err on the side of censorship, on the side of control. This is especially true considering the reality — like it or not — that once information is out there on the Net, it is in most cases effectively indelible, and that efforts to retroactively delete such data will not only almost always fail, but can easily do a great deal of collateral damage to innocents in the process.

You need not necessarily revel in this state of affairs, but it is the reality, and to fight against it is like trying to hold back the ocean with a sandcastle.

As always, I appreciate your thoughts on this and other issues, at my own email address of lauren@vortex.com.

And that’s one address you can share without fear of page takedowns, account suspensions, or even guilty feelings in the dead of night.

Thanks.

–Lauren–

Posted by Lauren Weinstein on his blog.

London 2012 opening ceremony a celebration of democracy meanwhile outside

July 31, 2012
London 2012 Critical Mass cycle ride

London 2012 Critical Mass cycle ride

On Friday, we were all thrilled by the opening ceremony, well all thrilled except one Member of Parliament who attends parties where the dress code is Nazi uniform. We saw suffragettes, we celebrated the NHS, we saw winged cyclists.

Meanwhile outside it was business as usual. A Critical Mass cycle ride seen by some as protest at the Zil Lanes but in reality simply to exercise the right to cycle on the public highway was brutally attacked by the police. The police reaction was totally over the top. The police could have simply let the cyclists pass through, point made, and that would have been the end of the matter but that sadly is not the way the mentality of the Met works.

Something like 200 cyclists were arrested. They were held on a bus all night without food or drink whilst they waited to be processed.

Mass arrests for the heinous crime of “cycling in a group north of the river Thames” on the opening night of an Olympics, which is supposed to be promoting access to sport and active travel, sends a clear message about how committed Games organisers Locog are to any legacy other than a financial one.

A diverse group of people attempting to celebrate their right to use the road safely and in an environmentally friendly manner , which they have been doing for several years and even won the right to do so in the House of Lords, should be promoted by the Olympics, rather than persecuted for fear of their creating a four or five minute delay on the precious Zil Lanes. As Critical Mass is a long-running sporting tradition in London and many other cities across the world, Locog should have made sure they accommodated it — the Olympics are disrupting normal life in the city enough already without infringing the rights of the participants in one of few sporting events which no one is able to make a profit from.

On Friday 27th July, 182 cyclists were held in a police kettle for two hours, handcuffed in buses for three hours, and held in a police cell from six hours to two days. These included a 13 year old boy. Police also confirmed the cyclists reports that CS gas was used during these arrests.

Out of 182 cyclists, only 3 have been charged with any offence. However, ALL have bail conditions imposed on them until September 18th 2012 restricting their freedom to move, assemble, associate and live their lives.

We have the following demands:

  1. All bail conditions should be discharged
  2. All data including DNA, fingerprint, addresses etc taken from those cyclists should be removed from all paper and comupter records of police & other agencies
  3. An independent review of the thuggish police behaviour on Friday 27th July should be conducted as a matter of urgency

All this for continuing the 18 year tradition of a bike ride through the streets of London on the last Friday of every month.

Some of those arrested were nothing to do with the Critical Mass cycle ride. They simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time on a bike (which in the eyes of the Met is a heinous crime requiring cuffing and detention).

This political policing to crush dissent and restrict people’s rights without charge must be stoppped. Help us stand for a police and legal system which we can believe in, please sign our petition today:

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/metropolitan-police-criminal-justice-system-uk-justice-for-the-critical-mass-182

Bradley Wiggins, the first Brit to win the Tour de France, has increased awareness and interest in cycling. A massive own goal by the Met.

Was this the image London 2012 wanted broadcast around the world on the opening night, police brutality against a bunch of cyclists?

Critical Mass is a mass cycle ride that takes place around the world on the last Friday of the month.