On Wednesday 11 April, a fake Olympics website was set up by a group calling itself the Campaign for a Sustainable Olympics (CAMSOL). This contained a made-up story claiming LOCOG had axed BP as one of the sustainability partners for the games. Despite taking only 24 hours to prepare, the small team involved (some of whom may have been involved in the Liberate the Tate and Art Free of Oil anti-petrochemical actions on which we have previously reported) managed to convince LBC radio and City AM that the story was real, leading to a large degree of publicity.
This sort of environmentally-driven targeting has perhaps been driven by the ongoing Earth Month, showing how traditional protest periods can bleed over and affect the games – a point to be aware of over coming months. Indeed, there is an increasing likelihood of targeted activity of this nature and level of sophistication. The Counter Olympics Network (CON) is planning a meeting in central London this Saturday to co-ordinate strategies, claiming that “major actions” are planned over the coming months and during the Olympics themselves. These groups have been involved in protests and events around Greenwich Park, Wanstead Flats and Leyton Marsh (see below). Meanwhile, three existing protest groups (the London Mining Network, Bhopal Medical Appeal and UK Tar Sands Network) are planning to launch a formal campaign against BP, Rio Tinto and Dow Chemical, all prominent Olympic sponsors. This will kick off on Monday under the title of “Greenwash Gold 2012”, with actions likely on or around Earth Day (22 April).
Environmental protests often link to mass cycling rallies and it is known that events are planned to target the games (with road closures an issue of concern to some). 9 June and 8 July are dates for the World Naked Bike Ride in the Northern Hemisphere, and these days are particularly likely to see disruption by bikers and skaters.
Our last report also commented on feminist actions against Nike in London and Glasgow, related to treatment of female textile workers in South Asia, which went ahead as planned. The Playfair 2012 group has planned a series of further similar events on 18 April in London, with proposals for more in up to six other cities. Addidas and Speedo have now joined Nike as targets, with petitions due to be delivered to all three companies.