Tenants of a London residential complex tried to get the High Court to prevent surface-to-air missiles being placed on the roof of their building during the London Olympics.
Digital Journal reported on July 9 that the residents of Fred Wigg Tower were taking the issue to court. The East London residents say that they fear for their safety, after authorities have ruled in favor of making their peaceful, residential apartment building into a missile site.
The New York Times reports that the U.K. government feels that these missiles are an essential defense against an attempt to fly a hijacked passenger jet or a bomb-laden microlight aircraft into the 80,000-seat Olympic stadium in London.
Residents applied for judicial review on the grounds that their human rights were violated – claiming they were not properly consulted over the proposals for the defense system. The tenants’ lawyers argued that concerned occupants should be relocated during the Olympics, or that a gantry should be built away from the block to host the missile system.
However, the tenants at Fred Wigg Tower have now lost their High Court battle against the surface-to-air missiles, which are to be stationed on the roof of their 17-storey building during the London Olympics. They were appalled that the British government is willing to go to such extreme measures to protect the Olympic venues.
One tenant told ABC Radio, “If it's going to affect our children, our own safety, our security, then there's a potential for people who are evil-minded who may sabotage the situation. I’m a father of young children, so I have reservations about having missiles placed here.”
In a ruling on Tuesday, a judge told tenants that they did not have a case to argue, despite their concerns that the missiles could make the building the target of a terrorist attack.
According to the Ministry of Defense, the placement of the missiles is both “legitimate and proportionate,” and that they pose no credible threat to civilians.
The court justice ruled that “the law and the facts militate against the claim for judicial review.”
The U.K. government plans on stationing surface-to-air missiles in six locations throughout London during the upcoming Olympics.