The Dark Side of the London Olympics (Part 2/4)

Uploaded by vice on Jul 30, 2012


TOM CLARE: The English culture, so many things are
dying out, and we've got so little to hold onto.
And Morris dancing is one of those things that goes back
hundreds of years.

I'm undertaking a journey from Olympia, in Greece, all the
way to the Olympic Games opening ceremony in London.
I hope that my humble effort has a little bit of the
Olympic feel to it.

I think I could have Morris danced the
entire 2000 mile journey.
Perhaps a little bit of support, and a bit more time
to be able to do it comfortably.
I really enjoyed dancing through Greece.
I got a fantastic reception there.
It was very much like being in England with lots of people
waving and cheering.
And coming into France, I've had a really
good reaction, too.

Last night I was underneath a motorway bridge, hiding from a
thunderstorm, eating cold beans, questioning is it
really worth it?
But then when I get to cycle into the city, and dance in
the city, the feel of elevation I get, and when I
see a smile on someone's face, it's definitely worth it.

I don't have a woman waiting for me at home.
I'm not sure that a woman would let
me go on this adventure.
So I'm staying free and enjoying it at the moment.
KEVIN BLOWE: On the 27th of April, a dispersal zone was
created for an area that surrounds
Stratford town center.
If there's more than two people together at any
particular point, police and police community support
officers can demand that people disperse.
What the dispersal zone does is exactly the same as the
powers of stop and search.
It's about stigmatizing people.
It's making an assumption that everybody who is of a certain
age is likely to be causing some sort of nuisance to the
visitors that are turning up here.
It's based on a fear of young people.
It's based on the assumption that
everybody's up to no good.
There's also a power that if you're under 16 and you're out
after 9 o'clock at night--
and bear in mind, we're talking about the summer--
you can be picked up by the police.
And effectively what it's done is create a curfew for anybody
under the age of 16 between the hours of 9 and 6 anywhere
around this site.
MALE SPEAKER: The idea there is good.
To keep everyone safe.
I could respect that.
But the whole fact that without any reason, like, if
you look suspicious, we'll have to remove you from the
whole bother.
That's a bit extreme.
MALE SPEAKER: Olympics is only happening now.
And we've been hanging around here full time.
We're happy that tourists are coming, and they have the
right to be here.
But we also have our rights to hang with our
friends and have fun.
KEVIN BLOWE: A lot of young people are not prepared to put
up with just being told what to do, forcing people into a
situation where they get into conflict with the police.
A natural consequence of that is people end up being
People end up in court.

MALE SPEAKER: We should have a right to be around where we
live and hang around our area.

LEAH BORROMEO: Do Londoners feel safer when they're
walking through the streets and they suddenly find armed
police with big guns?
I mean, not in a country that rather prides itself in having
an unarmed police force.
However, we are already the most surveyed society.
We've now got drones coming in over the sky.
You hear the sounds of military helicopters.
Do we really want to be living in a kind of
Ridley Scott wet dream?

BRIAN WHELAN: Well, starting from tomorrow, there's going
to be armed police at my door, 10 soldiers stationed, 24/7,
at the end of the corridor, and a battery of missiles on
the roof of the water tower above my apartment.
If you look at the Olympic site, the first thing you see
is my building and the roof of that water tower.
Maybe if you see missiles on the top of that,
maybe you feel safe.
If the [INAUDIBLE] comes out and says, look, we're putting
missiles on the roof of people's houses, it makes it
look like they're really serious about security.
But I think the proper work of keeping the Olympics safe is
done elsewhere.
Those missiles are just for show.
JAMES PHILLIPS: Behind me, we have the Rapier Air Defense
missile system.
Four of those will be deployed on Exercise Olympic Guardian.
There is no specific threat against the Olympics in terms
of an air threat.
This is purely a contingency.
But obviously we need to prepare for if
that order does come.

KEVIN BLOWE: Overall security for the Olympic Park has
increased from round about 4,000 to
somewhere like 23,000.
Which includes G4S, the police, the army, in uniform,
and then all the other security
from private sponsors.
500 FBI agents coming over with the team from the US.
It's complete overkill for what is a sporting event.
The security is predominantly about defending the interests
of the money that's gone into the Olympics.
You can't hide!
We charge you with aparthied!
You can't hide!
We charge you with aparthied!
MICHAEL DEAS: There's lots of lovely things
said about the Olympics.
But if you're hiring a company to provide the security that's
involved in supporting Israeli apartheid, that's involved in
exploiting prisoners in the UK, it's killed asylum seekers
and immigrants in the UK, then I think that's really
undermining the message of the Olympics.
SARA CALLAWAY: In the case of Jimmy Mubenga, the officers
deporting him pushed his head down, they kept him in a
position where he asphyxiated.

G4S claimed that they've done nothing wrong.
But even their own employees came forward, saying that they
were doing this all the time-- these very violent and
basically murderous procedures.

STEPHEN BAYLEY: Any sane person could be against the
idea of the Olympics.
Anything which brings prosperity and vitality and
activity to London is obviously a good thing.
However, that said, if you are a fastidious aesthete--
which is one of several definitions I apply to
myself-- if you are a fastidious aesthete, you can
only be appalled at the brainless detritus which the
Olympics generate.
I was recently described as a ubiquitous know-it-all.
I'm an author and journalist, but in the past I was
responsible for making London's design museum.
I was briefly, hilariously, and catastrophically the
creative director of the Millennium Dome.
And that gave me special insights into politicized
projects, which often end in disaster.
I'm an expert on those.
And what's deplorable about the Olympic merchandise, and
the terrible graphics going with it, it assumes a very low
level of intelligence amongst the public.
And I think that is really despicable.
Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair.
I think the idea that the mascot's there to excite
younger children reveals the deplorable ignorance of how
intelligent and sensitive young children are.
Young children are not moronic.
But I think some parts of the Olympic organizing committee
probably are moronic.
How is the person who consumes this bit of tat going to be
changed or enhanced by possession of it?
It's ugly, it's cynical, and it's stupid.
Several design principles have been violated here.
This is an ugly travesty.
Mindless, stupid, cynical, patronizing, exploitative,
manipulative, ugly, and useless.
We want to revive our industry and revive the credibility of
our great nation by putting something like this for sale?
I mean, what purpose is this meant to serve?
It's not a clever photograph.
And it shows this sort of laborious conceit of the
London eye as a target.
Given the ever-present threat of terrorist activity, that
seems to me to be an unfortunate lapse of taste.
But I think al Qaeda, their aesthetics are too advanced to
take much interest in this sort of thing.
The local Olympic organizers seem to think that the public
has absolutely no appetite for thoughtful speculation about
what the Olympics might be, about what competition might
be, about the nature of sport, the nature of participative
activity, the symbolic importance of the games in a
modern culture.
Instead, what the public, they think, needs is distorted,
debased Smurfs which you can hang on a key rings.

MALE SPEAKER: I would say I'm a pinhead.
I've been called a pinhead, yes.
It's more than just collecting pins.
It breaks down barriers.
It makes it easy for people to meet each other.
MALE SPEAKER: This is now the eighth meet that we've had.
For me, the pins are a tangible memento.
This has really taken over my life.
MALE SPEAKER: The reason I love this logo--
one, it's very, very distinctive.
Two, it's creative.
Absolutely amazing level of discussion over it.
I think when it first came out, we all
said ew, what's that?
That's not a great look.
Over time, we've come to accept it a lot more.
Given what we have the marketplace, I think our logo
is pretty good.
MALE SPEAKER: It's going to become the biggest global
brand this year because of the London 2012 Olympic Games.