Monbiot: getting into the Olympic spirit

London is getting into the Olympic spirit - by kicking out the Gypsies - Guardian Comment

George Monbiot notes on the recent eviction of Gypsies and other Travellers from their sites in east London to prepare for the Olympics of 2012 - something which, he says, is a recurring theme in recent Olympic history, from Seoul in 1988, through Barcelona, Atlanta, Athens, Sydney, to Beijing and now London. City authorities invariably use Olympic games to mount their own local versions of “drive out trash”, removing everyone from street traders to the mentally ill, the homeless and other “undesirables” from the streets and destroying people’s homes and amenities.

(I’ve always opposed having the Olympics in east London precisely because of the effect it is likely to have on the long-established Asian - and Muslim - community there. If there is a “failure of leadership” among the Muslims in London, it is the failure of the MCB and others like them to mobilise Muslims against the games and let the mayoral candidates in 2004 know that the idea was bad for their people. However, it was not seen as a major issue among Muslim voters then: everyone was too concerned about Iraq.)

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