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People’s Olympics Marathon slap in face for Lord Coe’s 2012 Marathon

12:46 17 November 2010

London Citizens

London Citizens' Assembly launches Olympics Peoples' Marathon

Olivia Harris, (+44) 7881 810 878, www.oliviaharrisphotos.com

THE ‘People’s Marathon’ has been launched as a slap in the face for the 2012 Games organisers who have snatched the prestigious Olympics Marathon event away from East London.

An angry London Citizens annual assembly at Walthamstow launched the fight back last night to bring the marathon back to the East End.

Some 2,000 delegates from organisations, voluntary groups, churches, mosques and youth clubs across London stood up en masse when the vote was called to show contempt for Lord Coe’s Olympics committee switching the 26-mile race to the West End.

The People’s Marathon ideal is being set up by Telco, The East London Citizens Organisation, in partnership with the East London Advertiser which began the fight back last month.

Mum-of-two Bethan Lant, who has run in the London Marathon, is chairing the Telco move.

“The whole of East London is bitterly disappointed that the route has been switched,” she told the assembly.

“The East End is good enough for the London Marathon each year—so why isn’t it good enough for the Olympics Marathon?”

The proposed People’s ‘alternative’ would run from The Mall through the City, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham “ending up where it should” at the Olympics stadium being built at Stratford.

The move comes a week after Tower Hamlets’ new mayor, lawyer Lutfur Rahman, threatened Lord Coe’s Olympics organisers with High Court action for breaching their pledge to run the marathon through East London.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Tower Hamlets as a ‘host’ borough,” he said. “Some people won’t get the chance to see the events apart from the marathon which would inspire the next generation.”

Telco activist lawyer Robyn O’Reilly joined the campaign angered at ‘alternative political interests’ she says don’t want “the East End’s social poverty and neglect in the gaze of the world’s media.”

4 comments

  • From the contents of what you have published in your online report, it looks as if another bureaucratic - thus undemocratic, unaccountable and most likely futile - diversion is in the offing, thus leaving a significant number of active campaigners out of the ‘show’ that looks like being set. Perhaps you should mention the fact that we have been the campaign that has questioned your recently reported ‘court action’ that Tower Hamlets Council was taking over the marathon route change. We also note that in this report [today 17 November 2010] you have changed the description of the position on the issue that your earlier report had attributed to Lutfur Rahman. Why is that? The people in Tower Hamlets deserve to know the truth about what the Tower Hamlets Council is actually getting up to on this. 2015 Hrs Wednesday 17 November 2010 BHANGEELAAR! The Campaign against an elected mayor in Tower Hamlets

    Report this comment

    Bhangeelaar!

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

  • You state: "An angry London Citizens annual assembly at Walthamstow..." Had you reported in ADVANCE of that event that it was taking place and were the 'participants' admitted by prior arrangement and if so, how long had been engaged in that process? From the contents of what you have published in your online report, it looks as if another bureaucratic - thus undemocratic, unaccountable and most likely futile - diversion is in the offing, thus leaving a significant number of active campaigners out of the ‘show’ that looks like being set. Perhaps you should mention the fact that we have been the campaign that has questioned your recently reported ‘court action’ that Tower Hamlets Council was taking over the marathon route change. We also note that in this report [today 17 November 2010] you have changed the description of the position on the issue that your earlier report had attributed to Lutfur Rahman. Why is that? The people in Tower Hamlets deserve to know the truth about what the Tower Hamlets Council is actually getting up to on this. 2015 Hrs Wednesday 17 November 2010 BHANGEELAAR! The Campaign against an elected mayor in Tower Hamlets

    Report this comment

    Bhangeelaar!

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

  • As sustainable development goes hand in hand with visualised performance, sport cannot dictate the path of the East End geologically. By that I mean that the honeypot locations already saturated and some businesses posing as quality is not what the Olympic Games is about. It is about challenge. Having this weekend viewed Hackney I am so shocked that some will not come to the East End. It is snobbery. Due to the publisher Martina Cole we know of this distinct region. My tour was with respect and dignity, and yes, more can be done. Putting up the shirehorse blinkers is not only not sporting, it is delusional. One cannot stop the East Enders fascination on the box. Poverty and neglect are due to evading the issues and painting over the cracks on the alternative route to woo businesses. Where is the spirit of shared values as if this farce is to continue the Olympics should go to Salford or any other elite docklands refit.

    Report this comment

    MrsSherlockHolmes

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

  • You state: "An angry London Citizens annual assembly at Walthamstow..." Had you reported in ADVANCE of that event that it was taking place and were the 'participants' admitted by prior arrangement and if so, how long had been engaged in that process?

    Report this comment

    Bhangeelaar!

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

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