The Dark Side of the London Olympics (Part 1/4)

The Dark Side of the London Olympics (Part 1/4)


[THEME MUSIC] MALE SPEAKER 1: The games of the
30th Olympiad in 2012 are awarded to the city of London. [CHEERING] [MUSIC – GEORGE EVANS, “IN THE
GOOD OLD SUMMER TIME”] MALE SPEAKER 2: I’m pretty
excited about the Olympics FEMALE SPEAKER 1:
Really excited. MALE SPEAKER 3: A moment
in history which will never be repeated. FEMALE SPEAKER 2: There’s
nowhere else in the world that could do it justice. MALE SPEAKER 4: The whole of
Great Britain will celebrate. FEMALE SPEAKER 3: I’m not sure
the people who are angry about the Olympics are being
very patriotic. And for me, the Olympics
is not about politics. JOE ALEXANDER: The mayor is
trying to introduce us as being anti–Olympics. But really all we’re trying to
do is save our community. DOLORES JOHN-PHILLIP:
We weren’t included. It’s almost like we’re
the forgotten people. IAIN SINCLAIR: It’s going to
be completely deranged and crazy for a period of time. MALE SPEAKER 5: It’s important
because it’s the one event that unites the world. LEAH BORROMEO: Hang
on a minute. Who’s paying for this? MALE SPEAKER 6: I don’t think
our generation’s really fussed about the Olympics. MALE SPEAKER 7: I’m really
excited for the Olympics to be in London. MALE SPEAKER 8: It’s
just Olympics. It’s nothing that special. [MUSIC – GEORGE EVANS, “IN THE
GOOD OLD SUMMER TIME”] EDWIN DENIS CLAYTON: My name
is Edwin Denis Clayton. I’m 83 years old. And I think since 1960 I’ve
seen 13 Olympic Games. My first Games was in 1960,
and what gave me the great passion to go again was the end
of the Olympic Games, at the closing ceremony in Rome. There was a big sign and a big
announcement that said arrivederci, and we would
meet again in Tokyo in four years time. And that brought tears to
my eyes, and I said yes, I shall be there. The games came first always. I wanted to see the one
more and the one more and the one more. But no, as I can’t get tickets
this time, I can’t actually see it. Eight years ago, we knew
that the games were going to be in London. And I thought well, in eight
years’ time, I could well be in a wheelchair. And so I thought, well, even in
a wheelchair I could still get to the London Games. So that is a big
disappointment. Although I’m never depressed and
I’m never down hearted, it just appears to have knocked
off the enthusiasm. [SOFT PIANO MUSIC] IAIN SINCLAIR: We’re standing
now not really more than a couple of hundred yards from
the main Olympic site. And yet you’re already dropping
into another world. A strange mix of decaying
industrial grunge with elements of the country, with
the wilderness– the real wilderness that was untouched. This was a zone that was
dangerously dirty. It was where there were
two landfill dumps. There was a factory making
luminous watch dials. There was a small nuclear
reactor that belonged to Queen Mary College. The tarmac that we’re standing
on now is actually being re-branded as the Olympic
Greenway. And in reality what
it is is Joseph Bazalgette’s sewage outfall. So it was a thing that
was functional. It was carrying the sewage out
of London and therefore helping to alleviate cholera and
all the diseases that were making London intolerable with
stinks and smells, and creating something viable
and useful. And that is being cosmetically
doctored with tarmac that’s turned it into an airport
runway, or a motorway. And so in a sense you have the
entire panorama of cultural and social history visible and
available as a post-industrial theme park. MIKE WELLS: One of the things we
discovered at Games Monitor was that radioactive waste had
been buried in the cesspit of a house that had previously
stood on our site. We were living on the estate. These clowns, the Olympic
Delivery Authority– the ODA– came on to the landfill site and
started excavating, taking no precautions for
the existence of radioactive waste. They were excavating for months
before finally, we don’t know why, they called in
radiation protection advisers. The first day they were
on site, they started finding stuff. They had to trace back where
it had been excavated from, and they actually traced
it back to the bowl of the main stadium. And I’m not claiming this site
is so hot that you’re gonna get your testicles fried or
something like that, but there is a problem. IAIN SINCLAIR: The interesting
thing about the Lower Lea Valley was that it
was a borderline. It was an area for people who
lived in the density of East London to come into and
escape and explore. All of it was lost. All of it was not supported. All of it drained away in the
promise of creating this brave new world, which is actually
an extension of an enormous Australian shopping mall. Instead of a park for the
people, we’ve actually created a toxic wilderness. BORIS JOHNSON: I have every
confidence that when people come to London in 2012, they’re
going to find a city that is very different. It is a city that is changing,
and changing the whole time. Virtually every single one of
our international sports were either invented or codified
by the British. [CHEERS AND JEERS] BORIS JOHNSON: They were. And ping pong was invented on
the dining tables of England, ladies and gentlemen,
in the 19th century. It was, and it was called
whiff-waff. MALE SPEAKER 9: Hello. I’m Boris Johnson. Come on through to our
whiff-waff party. [TECHNO MUSIC] MALE SPEAKER 9: Here we are in
central London for the big whiff-waff– pre- Olympics whiff-waff
tournament. FEMALE SPEAKER 4: I think
it’s nice to have it on our home turf. It’s great to get
everyone here. But I think that everything
is going to collapse. The infrastructure, the
transports, I think it’s going to be an utter nightmare. But I am going to the whiff-waff
event, so I’ll have to stick it out. MALE SPEAKER 9: I
think humor– I hope– and a really, really
shit opening ceremony. That’s my expectation. FEMALE SPEAKER 4: I think people
that may disagree with his policies or principles
still, I think, like him for his sort of hearty guffaw and
his charisma and his color, his wayward hair, his ridiculous
cycling, and that he’s a little bit different. BORIS JOHNSON: Our Olympics
will give that East End of London the huge regenerative
boost that it needs. LEAH BORROMEO: The kind of
trouble making I’ve been involved in with regards to
the Olympic Games has been getting the truth out, and has
been trying to bust the myths that LOCOG– the London
Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and the ODA–
the Olympic Development Authority– have been trying to put out. One of the biggest myths that
LOCOG has been trying to sell about the Olympic games is
that it’s going to bring regeneration to London and
to the rest of Britain. Regeneration is when preexisting
community remains in an area. And you bring in more schools,
you bring better hospitals, you bring in better
public services. And you generally make
life smiley. It’s not– as what’s happening in the
London borough of Newham, and lots of parts of Hackney and
parts of East London which are most affected– directly affected by the games,
where people are being taken from their neighborhood
and then being told to leave that community, so that
you can then build new condominiums, built a smacking
new shopping center and bring in a completely different
economic class to up the area a bit. But what happens to all
those families? They get sent as far as places
like Stoke, or they get sent to Essex, or they get
sent elsewhere. But they’re– just basically means
that they’re no longer Newham’s problem. And they’re no longer the
problem or the issue. JOE ALEXANDER: We’re very
close to the Olympics. We’ve been pretty much in the
building site when it was being constructed. And some people have been
complaining of dust-related illnesses and stuff like that. Of course the council
ignored that. [CONSTRUCTION NOISES] DOLORES JOHN-PHILLIP: We’ve put
up with all the noise, all the dirt, all the grime. And nobody has ever said to
us, hey, you can have subsidized tickets, or it would
be nice for you to come and visit, seeing as it’s
right on your doorstep. Absolutely nothing,
no mention of us. It’s almost like we
just don’t exist. And it’s sad, really, because
it’s right on your doorstep, and you should be able to enjoy
it and be part of it, but we’re not. JOE ALEXANDER: We’re up
in Denison Point– I think it’s floor 17 or 18– and the council have
leased the top five floors to the BBC. Initially they said that the
blocks had asbestos in, so they’re not fit for purpose. It’s not safe. But it’s safe enough to
build media suites. Community’s been dispersed,
you know? And this is why they did it. They wanted the BBC, wanted to
have these lovely views and sing praise to the Olympics. Which is probably not a bad
thing except when you have to factor in that just down here
you see all these houses and all these people are going to be
kicked out of their homes. And many of them have lived
there for 40 plus years. This community’s nearly
half a century old. Lately gentrification– especially when it comes
to regeneration– is about wholesale land grab. About moving communities away
from where their homes and where they’re used to, and
effectively just dismantling. It’s like social cleansing. I think what the Olympics does
is it speeds the process up. I think it was already
happening, but the Olympics has given it an extra boost. And it’s helped it to kind of
like a move lot quicker. DOLORES JOHN-PHILLIP: Because
it’s like now, oh, because of the Olympics we’re regenerating,
you know, we’re doing up East London. Always been a very poor borough,
and so forth, and they’re throwing money into it
as if to say, oh look what we’re doing for you. No, they’re not doing it for
us, the people like me. It’s not for us, because they
don’t want us here.

100 Replies to “The Dark Side of the London Olympics (Part 1/4)”

  1. Also you have to understand that they are kids! Teenagers aren't concerned about a lot of important things and that is typical regardless if you are talking to a black kid, white kid, orange kid or purple kid. Kids are rarely into the same stuff as adults and most adults care about the olympics.

  2. please dont call yourself huey freeman. youre obviously not smart enough to understand the brilliant undertones of "the boondocks" so do not disgrace their characters by making foolish comments or representing yourself under the false guise of an abstract character

  3. Vancouver BC Canada did the same with their panhandlers and junkies problem. the moved them in other close by cities like mine. we never had break ins in our small town before the 2010 winter Olympics but now there break ins and and theft every week.

  4. Real irony behind Olympics is that they r very much political. All these corporations involved in them r sending global message. Spreading a fear around and placing missiles on the roofs is one of them. Suddenly there r bomb attacks and terrorist r coming from nowhere. Darkest spot is always under light not somewhere in Afghanistan or Iran. We r going into very dark age of information control and government oppression all governed by rule of money. Terrorist is a global name to be feared of.

  5. I live in Bby and work at a drug and alcohol facility in downtown. I can assure you that the police did not round up the homeless and send them into the suburbs. They handed out tickets, and arrested some who did not pay so as to keep them in jail during the Olympics. If they did move them into the nearby cities, they would have just gotten on the skytrain and moved back into downtown. Don't make such broad assumptions

  6. I use to live in london, and it use to be beautiful. Now its a giant shithole. There were alot of good ppl there and I do feel sorry for them.

  7. meh… gentrification is good for wealthy people like myself 🙂 It usually leads to safer communities that are more well rounded. Back in the 70's & 80's New York (even Manhattan) was one of the most dangerous cities in the united states. Today it's full of the brightest and most innovative people in the country.

  8. the Olympics did NOTHING for the working class of London & that's the truth.. its all the toffs who were spunking their pants in excitement over the shitty Olympics!!

  9. People who support gentrification are often just as poor as those being evicted, but are so desperate to separate identities from ppl of color etc they force themselves to say they're upper class, or would be if not for their (fellow) underclass taking their "tax dollars" via welfare. Like that tool a few comments below pretending to be rich, when truly rich people dont need to tellpeople about it.

  10. Olympics is one of the greatest ever on earth concerning games and sports. No matter what happens in any of this olympic events or host cities, it's work of uniting, friending and promoting souls on earth. SO LET US ALL GROW IN THE SPIRIT OF THE OLYMPICS

  11. The Olympics were a biased sporting avent. Once again the south of England gets all the money and attention and the north is forgotten about. Only the cycling and a few football games (soccer) where placed in the north of England, but London got everything. It should have been equally shared.

  12. London did a terrible job so much misplaced people offering that fencer a constalation prize man so sad she deserved gold other events to like boxing just a shame

  13. So far I haven't seen anything that is perplexing. It's the east end of London, what do you expect? I didn't understand the 'Australian shopping mall' objection. Is that an objection to building stuff generally? As for promises of regeneration and economic growth isn't that politics? I'm not sure any politician in any city is going to say the olympic games won't prosperity. Perhaps I'm not idealistic or invested enough to appreciate the proposed flaws.

  14. So you have condemned all non-white people based on the demeanor of a few people at the begining of the video? I don't see how people hate the idea of multiculturism, do you eat fish n chips 3 times a day? Sharia law is bullshit but humus is fucking delicious. There are many good things to miss out on if we totally exclude all aspects of a culture.
    Having said that, I am nervous for you britts when it comes to radical muslims in your country; cant believe they go on Sharia patrol in london.

  15. At least your keeping your homes. China pushed out the poor out of their homes to make room for the olympic games (demolished their homes) and it was against the law to protest. They arrest any one who complained, they arrested them under a law similar to an anti government law.

    Bloody greenies, "they made the top of a sewer pipe into a tarmac walkway/ "theme park". Another great example to why they are called The Whinging Poms; "I didn't get free or cheaper tickets because of all the noise"

  16. You both got parts right but what wrong with being civil. yes it is based in cities but it would be nice to share it out but it wasn't really possible. BE NICE.

  17. Don't make generalizations about entire populations. Many people think the same of us but that's not true either. Part to whole fallacy is, after all, a fallacy.

  18. So basically vice you went around to everyone who hated the Olympics. I got to see some nips though, that bird was smuggling peanuts whilst talking about Ridley Scott's wet dream…

  19. What the fuck? His point was that a Northern city didn't get the Olympics, and that's really typical…of course it's was hosted in London. Anything important that happens in England is automatically London-centric. I live in the South but I find it really annoying that London and the South basically rule the whole of the rest of the UK!

  20. Did you miss the bit about the gentrification? The guy at 10:10 starts talking about it. Poor families in London have been getting evicted from their homes and forced to live in hotels in places like Birmingham and Manchester, this isn't just something that happened during the Olympics, it's still happening in London right now and it will continue because of the new benefit caps being introduced. That's pretty serious and I wouldn't call it "whinging".

  21. "getting evicted from their homes and forced to live in hotels"

    Not hotels?!?!?! being forced to live ion hotels, oohh yeah that is something to complain about. Was the room service not up to scratch?

    The poor chinese did not even get that. They kicked them out, arrested anyone who complained and were left homeless.

  22. Stop being a twat. Single mothers have been forced to leave their cities and live in one bedroom hotels with their children, this means they can't get jobs and their children can't receive an education because they've been forced into these conditions for an indeterminate amount of time. But I suppose you think anyone who has a problem with that is just "whinging", right? People should NEVER be pissed off about anything unless they've had a nuke dropped on their house, right?

  23. At least they have a roof over their head and have an opportunity to work and the children CAN still get an education, and they will get put into homes again. They have not closed the schools.

    listening to the people complain in this clip is painful. Yes i totally understand the government treating their people that way is shit. If it happened here to me I would be pissed.

  24. All I was sayin is they way they complain it is as if they dont have any chance of getting back on their feet and they are destitute, and no one has had it as hard as them. They talking ho no one else has been treated like this and should get hand outs any everywhere.

    You think this is worse than what happened to China? poor people thrown out on the street, with no where to go, living on the street an will ge arrested if the complain. And you cant see why we call you "The Whinging Poms"

  25. If a woman with 2 kids is getting moved to a hotel, the only thing that has changed is where she lives so she still has to work. Your excuse saying the mother cant go to work to look after her kids anymore is lame. What do you think she did before?
    They want a new house. They want everything given to them

  26. forget it if you will not be rational and read what I have typed without emotion, why bother continuing.

    Try this… ok breath and remove emotion so it does not blind you to what is actually there

    They just want everything given to them and I was saying that they should be bloody grateful because the people over in china who were being kicked out did not get relocated they only ended up homeless and arrested if they complained. They should be lucky they got to live somewhere else.

  27. No, you are not listening to me. People in London are literally being evicted from their homes and moved to different cities as a result of gentrification. When they get moved miles and miles away, they get placed in inadequate accommodation for an indeterminate amount of time, meaning their kids can't go to school. You would be pissed off if that happened to you. They don't want "everything given to them", they just want to keep their homes that they currently live in.

  28. I know this is terrible. And i will get hate on this. But I love the Olympics because it is basicly an event that every country can participate in. i know it is a huge waste of money but I am not affected by it. Sure the poor are the ones who loose out but I am not poor, and I do not care. Again, I know it is bad for me saying this. but it is my opinion.

  29. wtf? A Westfield mall?????? Wow I live in L.A and we have one of those? Damn commercialization sure can travel… didn't know it was Aussie either

  30. The opening ceremony demonstrated how the rich prospered on the backs of the poor during the industrial revolution and yet the organisers threw the local communities under the bus.  IRONY

  31. The dumbest thing about the Olympics to me is this need to build entirely new stadiums and venues every single time, especially in a city like London which already has several world class stadiums and venues. It creates so many unnecessary social issues as well as white elephant useless new stadiums after the games are finished

  32. I'm not british but it seemed to go much better than they had expected and it really brought the country together. Sounds corny, but I genuinely believe it.

  33. This isn't a new phenomenom. The "regeneration" of an area, resulting in the locals with real roots to the place being turfed out, has been an ongoing process for many years. It occurred to my dad's family in the 70's. They were moved from Hoxton to wembley. I found this quite sad as (through the use of ancestry.co.uk) I discovered that 4 generations of my dad's family had been born on one street of hoxton, skipping my grandads generation because of ww2. Nowadays, Hoxton certainly isn't a place that a middle income family of 5 could afford to live in.

  34. Really? 4 different parts on THIS? Dramatised much? There were protests and debates around it, but not to the extent where somebody would choose to make a 50 minute documentary on it.

  35. UK never deserved to be the host. Such wide spread corruption and looting amongst the politicians mks my flesh crawl. Fuckin limeys.

  36. To be honest, this stuff happens where ever the Olympics is being held. Its happening in Rio now. After the Olympics is over, most of those places become empty. Rarely being used and ends up just being a eye sore to the locals.

  37. I'll direct you to a comment written on the Olympic-Bid-Supporting-Newspaper, The Guardian. Might I add, this was written at a time when the paper actually took a microscopic modicum of respecting Free Speech(a basic principle they constantly ignore today). In response to another user, heavyrail, HarperSmythe retorts and counters: "…your naive belief that the Olympics offers opportunities is not borne out by the facts. The whole "opportunities" hype is always part of the spin that organizers use to get the local populace to support the bid. Rarely do you see the press cover the aftermath of the games (not just the immediate aftermath, but say, 2, 5 or 10 years later)?

    Some alternative press journalists have covered this and the facts disprove all the claims about any economic opportunities benefitting the host city. Host cities wind up with enormous debts for many years afterwards, environmental damage (causing more economic strains), and severe problems with local infrastructure and housing. Atlanta is still paying for the Olympics, homelessness has shot up since the Olympics, and the local environmental damage bill has been pretty high. The games do nothing for employment or tourism. London hardly has problems attracting tourists. Atlanta has experienced no tourist increase since the games (in fact, their tourism has decreased since the games.) The Olympics take out of their host cities far more than they give — and they give next to nothing." ~HarperSmythe, 12th June 2007

    The Comment itself is located in the article here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/jun/12/comment.Olympics2012

    Currently, the displaced citizens of the Clays Lane co-operative (demolished after 16 years of operation, despite the area being the largest co-operative housing project in Europe as a whole when it was completed in 1991) are either living on strings financially or have been given little to zero compensation in regards to their displacements. In addition, London has experienced little change in their tourism rates. Are in bigger debts than they originally were in 2005. And have failed to curtail their high crime rates, which are one of the highest in Northern Europe.

    The lack of a plan for the park is also evident, with the Lea Valley itself experiencing a decline in Biodiversity and an increase in toxic Phosphates in the water http://sustainablehackney.org.uk/profiles/blogs/phosphate-pollution-in-the-river-lea-from-sewage-and-homes and the question of the handling of hazardous and radioactive waste has remained hidden and obscured since 2012. http://www.gamesmonitor.org.uk/node/845

    In addition to this, West Ham United's purchase of the Stadium was also fraught with nepotism within the committee and is hilariously dependent on the Club's position in the Premier League (this is also discounting the fact that they could have shared the stadium with the local club, Leyton Orient, but neither West Ham, or the committee responsible with "upholding London 2012's legacy" which has proven to be a total farce in action each year we move on from the Overpriced and Overpromoted shitshow that was the aforementioned Games.

    So should West Ham suffer successive relegations, or for that matter, face financial ruin or collapse within 99 years (which is quite likely, considering that they are not usually considered a competitive side in London, let alone England), the Stadium, and to an extent, the entire park is in jeopardy, as any park that relies on a sports team is solely dependent on the ability and status of said team, regardless of the actual owners.

    So now, I can say with complete confidence that the London Olympics was and still is a complete farce and a waste of taxpayer's money in the extent of a complete waste of corporate and Government money. I can't really add more here.

  38. HMM… So this man can afford to book a flight to China and go to that Olympics but cannot afford to get a train and book a ticket to the London Olympics. Even if the London Olympics were expensive, they surely weren't THAT expensive.

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