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article imageLondoners to form human shield to keep missiles from their homes

By Anne Sewell     Jun 2, 2012 in World
London - Residents in the Olympic stadium area are threatening to form human barricades to prevent missiles being installed on their rooftops for the games.
Digital Journal reported a while back on the missiles that were being deployed on rooftops in London.
The U.K. military have already earmarked 6 sites in east London for the deployment of Rapier and Starstreak missiles. Each missile would have a range of over 3 miles and would be capable of traveling at 3 times the speed of sound.
Critics are claiming that London is being militarized in the run up to the Olympics, with inhabitants of an upmarket gated community in Bow Quarter announcing at a meeting on Thursday that they will do all in their power to stop the deployment of the missiles.
The Starstreak high velocity missile system is part of the proposed ground-based air defence measure...
The Starstreak high velocity missile system is part of the proposed ground-based air defence measures which will provide security during the London Olympics
Graeme Main / MOD
It is thought that during the Olympic games, London will have more soldiers out on the streets than has ever occurred since the Second World War. There will apparently be more armed personnel patrolling the streets of London than the number of British troops serving in Afghanistan.
The Olympics in Beijing had nowhere near this amount of security and people are getting concerned.
Besides the Bow quarter, other sites to be militarized include the Lea Valley Reservoir, Blackheath Common, Oxleas Wood, Barn Hill in Epping Forest and a playground in Waltham Forest.
Chris Nineham, a local campaigner against deploying weapons in the Bow area told RT that “they were a threat to the life and limb of people” who live there.
Apparently the Ministry of Defence (MOD) informed the locals of the decision to place missiles in leaflets handed out in April. However Nineham, who lives within a mile of a proposed site, says he was never informed.
The MOD has declined to speak to local people about this until a final missile deployment decision has been made.
Nineham is also vice-president of the Stop-the-War-Coalition and has set up the Stop the Olympic Missiles campaign. He says that there has been no consultation from the MOD or the government with locals about the missiles.
Local residents met on May 31st and voted unanimously on the fact that the missile plans are not sensible. The BBC reports that MOD snubbed an invitation to attend this meeting, although protesters said they had previously confirmed that they would attend.
Nineham believes that government should not be able to dictate to local residents on missile deployment and hopes that the campaign will see a reversal of the proposal.
Nineham further stated that if the government does not back down, there are 2 legal challenges in place.
He told the London Evening Standard, “If they were changing the parking regulations, they’d have a consultation period. You would have thought there would be some discussion when they decide to put a missile on the roof of your building.
“These missiles have a significant failure rate, and you have to ask, if they do fire them, what will happen?”
Nineham says that a senior source in the military had said that there is no credible intelligence of a terrorist attack on the Olympic Games. He feels that such a large scale deployment of force does not make London safer. Instead it encourages a reaction from those "elements of world society who have a grievance with U.K. foreign policy."
Nineham added “it’s surreal, the games are talked about as if they have some strange military dimension to them and we’re losing sight that they are first and foremost a sporting event.”
Leading the campaign to block the installation of missiles is Brian Whelan, who lives in Bow Quarter. Missiles are due to be set up on a nearby water tower in his area.
Whelan told the London Evening Standard, “The Ministry of Defence have tried to claim that I am a lone nutter, but I am not alone. There are a lot of people opposed to this. We will protest and if it gets to it we will ring our buildings and take to the streets to stop them.”
Huffington Post is reporting that protesters against the militarization of the games have had their Twitter accounts blocked, due to infringement of policies on the social media website.
@spacehijackers had their account suspended on Wednesday due to a complaint by Locog that the doctored logo (which can be viewed here) used by the protesters on their Twitter page was against the site's rules on "brand violation."
The "Official London 2012 Protesters" were given 48 hours to comply with Locog guidelines and have now changed their profile page.
However, support is mounting for the protesters and they have now created a twibbon which allows Twitter members to use their protest logo as an avatar.
As the icon looks very similar to the London 2012 logo, it is thought that Twitter users might not be able to use it for long, before being hit by the "brand violation" policy yet again.
More about Olympics, London, 2012, Missiles, Protests
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