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Monday, July 30, 2012

2012 Summer Olympics: 5 activist groups you’re likely to hear from in London

The Olympics were initially meant to bring countries together, and the Olympic torch was originally conceived as a symbol of harmony. But that vision may be a little too idyllic for modern times. Economic hardship and social unrest continue as London's Games get rolling, and organizers have braced themselves for a variety of demonstrations.
Already, as many as 400 took to the streets on Saturday in East London to demostrate against what they call the "Corporate Olympics." Police reported that the demonstration, organized by the Counter Olympics Network, unfolded "without any incident," but protesters voiced their anger over free tickets for the upper class and "roads being turned into exclusive highways for VIPs." The placement of missiles on residential rooftops was another complaint among the activisits.
In addition to the Counter Olympics Network, GlobalPost takes a look at four more protest groups that are likely to make a scene in London: Space HijackersArt Not OilGreenwash Gold, andAnonymous.
1. Counter Olympics Network (CON) is an umbrella group for people and organizations with a variety of concerns — including the environment, corporate power, civil liberties, housing and labor issues and more.
(Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)
What they want: With so many broad concerns on its agenda, CON views the Olympics as a place to be heard. On its website, CON states its mission: “Our aim is not to oppose the Olympics as such, but to use the spectacle to strengthen existing campaigns and activism on local issues like housing, privatization and surveillance. We also want to hold the organizers of the Olympic games to account, to ensure the promises made to the local people impacted on by the Games are kept.”
How they go about getting it: A little civil disobedience. CON’s website includes updates on current campaigns, such as the "Counter Olympic Torch Relay," and also advertises upcoming events and demonstrations. Saturday's protest was titled "Whose games? Whose city?" and the poster promised “a fluffy, family friendly protest for all.”
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