Free Hackney Carry On Protest Torch

As billions around the world were being fed images of the Olympic Flag passing from the Mayor of Beijing to our local glove muppet (it’s just so embarrassing to be emborised) in another important ceremony more or less totally unobserved by the commercial media, the Olympic baton of protest was passed from the Free Tibet movement to the Free Hackney campaign.

To mark the transfer, rather than eight minutes of puke-inducing performance that made me sad to be English, the Free Hackney campaign brought their ‘tank’ to the ‘street party’ in Hoxton St that celebrated our considerably more sensible approach to the 1948 event.  Perhaps because of the lack of money it was probably the last Olympics to have any real connection with the spirit of the modern Olympic movement, celebrated in the words of its founder, Baron Pierre de Coubertin: “L’important n’est pas de gagner, mais de participer.” Tell anyone remotely connected with Team Britain or the rest of our sports industry that what is important isn’t winning but taking part and they will look on you as a lunatic.

The ‘tank’ – some kind of small and lightly armoured personnel carrier – was manned and womanned by some familiar faces from earlier ‘Space Hijackers‘ events, including a tank commander I last saw in charge of a rather larger ‘tank’ being auctioned at (or rather just outside) thanks to over-keen co-operation between police and the arms traffickers, at the  the East London Arms Fair at Canning Town’s EXCEL centre.

The vehicle carried several ‘Free Hackney‘ flags which have a familiar yellow, blue and red sun motif, as well as a considerably more meaningful adaptation of the Olympic logo.

As ‘Free Hackney’ point out, London 2012 presents  a great opportunity for property developers to rip us off and make obscene profits building luxury flats in the area, while at the same time restricting public access, closing down the existing free facilities and demolishing social housing and local businesses.

Next to the tank the ‘austerity Olympics’ were taking place on a small section of Hoxton St, with events such as a slow walking race creating considerable hilarity. Unfortunately the event in 2012 promises to be rather more painful.

(Based on a story posted by me to Indymedia on 24 Aug.)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.