Olympics: Londoners told to plan ahead
As the opening ceremony on July 27 nears, hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to arrive in London from all over the world. Transport officials have put up signs all over central London, asking people to access a website with details on how to plan in advance to avoid problems during the event. The website also shows hot spots to avoid on certain peak dates during the event.
As the government announced unique plans to prepare for the event, a collection of organisations opposed to the way it has been organised has decided to peacefully protest against corporate sponsorship and other aspects in order to "reclaim" the Olympics. Under government plans, tens of thousands of civil servants will be allowed to work from home from July 21 until September 9, a seven-week period, to help ease traffic congestion.
The period coincides with the parliamentary summer recess and the school holidays. Business leaders have reacted with dismay that civil servants will be allowed to work from home during the Olympics, since it would send the message that Britain "would close down for almost two months".
A government spokesman said: "We need to do this because during the Games we are expecting London`s transport networks to be much busier than usual. Working from home is one option, but only one option. Staff will be expected to work just as hard and for the same amount of hours as if they were in the office". CON is also concerned that the "Orwellian security apparatus and regressive legislation" put in place to protect brands, privilege, and privatised public space will not all disappear after the Olympics.
CON supporter Julian Cheyne said: "The 2012 Olympics have turned into a corporate festival of world security, consuming billions of our money to increase private profits, while the elderly, disabled, sick, unemployed, young people and other groups are punished for a crisis caused by the finance industry". He added, "To stand by silently would imply we consent to this; and we do not. If you are as fed up with all of this as we are, come and join our Counter Olympics gathering on 28th July".