It happened during the Boat Race, a lone protester dived in, swam between the boats,almost decapitated by highly-educated oarsmen, a literalmeaning to “making headway,” had he not ducked under the blades in the nick of time. Not a pretty sight, especially at tea time on tv! He was against elitism, so am I, but I won’t be copying him; it’s a bit elitist to think you have the right to disrupt anything and everything.
There is a huge risk that groups or individuals with a bee in their bonnet, a strong belief, cause or grievance will try to disrupt the London Olympics in some way; obstructing marathon runners, streaking at the football, abseiling down the stadium, parachuting into beach volleyball – you name it, they’ll try it!
We’re not talking about terrorists, anarchists or straggling rioters from last summer, recently released from prison, looking for work experience when Comet or Dixons close; rather, it’s Fathers for Justice, pro peace/anti capitalists, campaigners against homelessness, pensioners grey army – rightly protesting against the “granny tax”, the anti-car brigade, anti parking restriction groups, pro-life, pro “choice”, dissidents opposing Chinese/Syrian/Zimbabwean governments, pro democracy, anti-smoking, tax payers alliance, anti-tax evasion bods….it’s endless. Everyone has a gripe or two, those living in repressive countries, rather more than others. All want to be heard; many have a point and see the Olympics as an international spotlight for them to make it; they shouldn’t.
The Games provide a unique opportunity for the best sportspeople in the world to compete within the finest facilities, a showcase for Britain – not it’s fractious differences – it’s organizational skills, friendly population, magnificent scenery and night-time economy. We can provide a sporting feast in a calm, safe, stable environment. Those with something to say, should have a chance to say it – but not by disrupting the Games.
Let’s have a Have Your Say Day a month before, BBC and ITV should provide a couple of hours free air time so legitimate groups, campaigns and protesters can put their views across. Newspapers, Facebook, Google and Twitter should join in. We are different from China, where the Games were last held, we are a democracy. Let the media provide open access, the BBC can prove it is still a public service broadcaster, private owners of newspapers currently being investigated by the Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking, can show they are not just a receptacle for celebrity tittle tattle, and do something useful for once.
Voters have recently shown alienation, let’s listen to legitimate non racist opinions, everyone with something to say should have a chance to say it. The Day can be exactly one month before the Opening Ceremony on 27th June 2012. Free speech is important, not a game; but it should not disrupt our Games. There’s nothing elitist about that!
This article was recently posted on www.uknowotimean.com and below are some of the comments left on this subject:
I BELIEVE IN THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH, AS LONG AS IT IS NOT USED TO INCITE HATRED OR VIOLENCE . WE SHOULD ALSO BE ABLE TO DEMOSTRATE IN A PEACEFUL WAY.
Freedom of speech should be guaranteed in this country – only speech which incites violence should be banned.
lets hope its used properly
great idea if it works
everyone should have their say
is anybody actually going to listen?
I dont agree with people disrupting and possibly causing an accident to others, so I guess there should be somewhere to air your views and be listened to. speakers corner in London is a great place to go and get things off your chest rather that disrupt others.
I think people in power pay lip service to people’s views and this would be the same
The older I get, the more anti-establishment I’ve become. Have Your Say Day is a fantastic idea to let us all air our views – I’ll be hoarse by the end of the day!
I personally have no interest whatsoever in the Olympics and have managed very cleverly to time my summer holiday this year so that I will be out of the country for them!! Whilst I have every respect for the athletes who dedicate their lives to their chosen sport, the 2012 Olympics being held in the UK will be of no benefit to 99% of the population. The vast majority of events are held in and around London, the majority of building and regeneration programmes are in London and its surrounding area and most normal / average British people have been unable to get tickets for the events and even if they could have bought tickets would not have been able to afford them!! So all in all I must be honest I don’t see a point in all the fuss and the general hoo-ha surrounding them. But, whilst I am not at all interested in the Olympics, I don’t believe they should be disrupted by individuals and groups protesting and causing disruption. There is a time and a place and whilst millions of viewers around the world will be watching the Olympics is not the time or place and will not show the Britain in a good light, especially following the summer of rioting last year
We keep shouting that we don’t want our local library to close – but no one listened. Libraries increase literacy. Please don’t close them
great idea. there should be more days for people to have their say. will anyone really listen though?
freedom of speech and all that!
I am all for free speech however I think more support is needed for such a national treasure as the Olympics is about to be! It will bring much needed tourism and good press to our country hopefully! It’s just a shame more tickets were not avaliable and at reasonable prices and shared out more so that many more true brits had the opportunity to go and see them!
I find it very hard to explain to my seven year old why we will not be going to watch any of the olympics live. as i don’t really understand myself why we are are not going i don’t object to people protesting but i do object to us having to pay to for the people who carry out their protests in a distructive manner
We do have free speech in this country – you only have to look at some other countries to see how privileged we are. Where we have gone wrong, however, is that we haven’t fostered the idea that with rights come responsibilities. I like the idea of an organised Day when everyone can have their say but I fear it would turn into a bun fight!
The Olympics has already been hijacked by the corporate world. I know we need the sponsorship to help with costs but the way they prevent small business and even charity events from using any statement or symbol that relates to the games is already contributing to the lack of freedom in this country to do or say what you think.I think people should be allowed more air time to vent their views, there are plenty of TV channels about and more ‘ordinary folk’ using them might be an improvement.
We really do not have free speech in this country. I can’t see why anyone who wants to protest should be allowed to anywhere and any time, so long as the laws are abided.
This is a good idea, and I’d happily support anything that promised less disruption in the Olympics, which should be about sport only. However I’m not sure how practical this idea would be. Some outlets would be very concerned about giving voice to extremist or inflammatory views. And there are so many different people and organisations with varying views, that even a Have Your Say Month would be unlikely to cover everyone! Still, at least we can all have our say on the internet
I think everyone should be able to have their say, as long as its not racist or offensive
Too many extremists would see it as an opportunity to air a diluted view of their policies to attract the careless of thought.
We should be proud to be British and support the Olympic Games. They are a good thing. I believe in Free Speech but the Games should not be a platform for this.
Great idea!! Get it all of our chests & out the way so we can enjoy what the games are really about!
free speech it should be just that no nonsense
I am in no way a sports fan at all but have a healthy respect for it and those who choose to run in the rain and such like…madness.
Despite the fact that I won’t be watching the Olympics I really do feel that it’s a great PR exercise for the UK and, no doubt, a great opportunity for anyone who wants to draw attention to their cause to jump on the bandwagone.
My opinion. Leave it alone and campaign elsewhere!
I’m torn can see both sides, not sure if i think its a good idea or not!
Free speech should be just that – not limited to a particular time. That’s such a Big Brother/Nazist idea.