Lord Coe backs London Citizens’ ‘100 Days of Peace’ rallies for Olympics

Olympics organising chairman Seb Coe has pledged support for today’s “100 Days of Peace” being launched by the London Citizens’ community network in the run-up to the 2012 Games.

The campaign for peace—50 days before the Games and 50 days after—is being launched at 19 rallies across London this-morning, aimed at getting more shops, offices and public buildings to sign up to become ‘safe havens’ for people in trouble in the streets.

Lord Coe became one of the first to sign up to the CitySafe project on behalf of the 2012 organising committee to promote a safer and more tolerant society.

He said: “The project absolutely fits in with the vision we set out in Singapore to inspire young people and provide them with new opportunities in life.”

The campaign also received support from politicians at Westminster. Shadow Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell, who chairs the CitySafe Foundation, said: “This will change the nature of London by making communities more resilient, more assertive and clearer about their power and responsibility. It shows that civil society is strong where the State is supportive.”

The Citizens’ network is holding the rallies to launch the 100 days—inspired by the truce that was called 50 days before and after the ancient Olympic Games in Greece to allow athletes to reach the competition and return safely.

One event being staged by the Citizens’ east London group is 150 volunteers and anyone else who wants to join them who will be standing together in the shape of the word ‘peace’ for an aerial photograph to be taken from the Met Police helicopter hovering above.

Most Read

It takes place at Watney Street Market off Commercial Road, at 12 noon.

The photo is being used to publicise a map listing all the safe havens to be distributed through schools and other community organisations this summer.

Other events today include a football competition between youth clubs in Shoreditch Park, just off New North Road near Hoxton, and a ‘cake bake’ and music outside St Paul’s Church in Hammersmith.

In the West End, a large Chinese dragon and drummers take over China Town in Soho and spell out ‘CitySafe’ in Chinese.

A ‘flash dance’ is planned at Euston main-line station—while rallies take place at the sites of four major riots last August, Woolwich and Tottenham town centres, Clapham Junction and Croydon where Reeves furniture store was burned down.