Category Archives: Media
News concerning the ‘Olympic missiles’ in East London
Today our campaign was mentioned by Hugh Muir, editor of the Guardian Diaries:
The Olympics are coming, and so, for a group of east London residents, are the missile batteries being sited on housing estates to protect the greatest show on earth. Some, understandably, recoil from the idea of living with munitions, even for this short period. Just a small number of refuseniks, defence secretary Philip Hammond told the Commons. But you weren’t quite being straight with the house, were you Phil. Yesterday Tower Hamlets residents delivered a petition to the MoD signed by well over a thousand people – a fair proportion of those directly affected. As to the extent of public “engagement” about which he assured MPs, the question is: where is it? On Saturday, there will be a local demonstration against the missiles too. They’re not against the Olympics in principle. But there’s weaponry enough in east London already.
East London and West Essex Guardian Series, May 29th 2012
By Figen Gunes
FAMILIES are planning legal action to stop their tower block being used as a missile base during the Olympic Games.
Households have been outraged ever since the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced proposals to place three short-range missile launchers on the roof of Fred Wigg tower, in Montague Road, Leytonstone, as an anti-terrorist measure for the event this summer.
Residents at the 17-storey block are now setting up a Tenants Association. They are to meet with Leyton MP John Cryer and solicitors on Saturday June 9 to discuss the preparation of a joint legal challenge.
But Nihal Balci, 32, who lives in the block with her two young sons, said she feared for her family’s safety.
She said: “The biggest problem is they announced the plans to the public and press, so everyone knows about it.
“It makes us a target.”
Do we want missiles in our communities?
7pm, Thursday, 31st May
Bow Road Methodist Church
London E3 4LY Map
With: Rushanara Ali MP; Brian Whelan, journalist and Bow Quarter resident; Alex Kenny, Tower Hamlets NUT; Chris Nineham, Stop the War Coalition; Murad Qureshi AM; Cllr Rania Khan; Abjol Miah, Respect Party; Andy Reid, South London Against Missiles.
Please forward this email, share the Facebook event and invite all your friends: http://on.fb.me/Kf1H4c
Please also put leaflets/posters (attached) in your local shops/cafes – and help us leaflet at the following times:
Monday, 6pm onwards at Bow Quarter, Fairfield Road
Tuesday, 6pm at Bow Road and Mile End tubes
Wednesday, 6pm also at Bow Road and Mile End tubes
(Please note: The MoD will not be attending the meeting)
Download: STOM Flyer A4
Download: STOM Flyer A5
In response to Missiles on Blackheath, Greenwich and Bexley Trades Council, Lewisham and Greenwich CND, Lewisham Stop the War have organised a Protest Walk on Saturday 9th June:
Please join the Facebook event for up to date details: https://www.facebook.com/events/441681132509260/
And the following details can also be found on http://www.lewishamstopwar.org.uk/ :
‘Join the Protest Walk
on Saturday 9 June
2.00 pm Depart from Café at Oxleas Woods
overlooking the proposed missile site
2.40 pm Junction of Academy Road and Ha Ha Road (speaker)
walk past car park tarmac on Woolwich Common
3.20 pm Charlton House – Peace Garden (speaker)
3.45 pm Blackheath – War Memorial (speaker)
walk along Charlton Way, past the illegally enclosed
Circus Field, crossing Shooters Hill opposite the
illegally demolished park gates
4.20 pm Whitfield Mount on Blackheath proposed missile site
Buses 89, 486 and 53 all run close to the route so you can join the march at any point ‘
Content below from : http://www.lewishamstopwar.org.uk/
“Deadly ground to air missiles are soon to be stationed at
Oxleas Woods and Blackheath
It’s claimed they will keep us safe from terrorist air attacks during the Games
This is nonsense
They would be a magnet for terrorists, and with a range of only 3-4 miles
anything they hit could fall anywhere in Greenwich, Lewisham or Bexley”
Click here to see the video by Brian Whelan that shows the dummy missiles that were left unguarded during preparation for the live missiles at Bow Quarter.
Huffington Post UK, 3rd May 2012
By Dina Rickman
A London resident has taken a video of what appeared to be unguarded missiles outside his blocks of flats, days after the Ministry of Defence revealed it would be planting defence systems around the capital ahead of the Olympics.
Brian Whelan, 28, a freelance journalist who originally told the press about plans to plant for surface-to-air missiles to be located on residential buildings, told The Huffington Post UK of his shock at finding the equipment.
“I was able to walk down the stairs and go to the bottom of the tower and start filming and then the military came over, I think I had about 30 seconds,” he said.
“I could have picked up one of the bags and opened it. I had enough of a window where I could have done whatever I wanted.”
A spokesperson for the MoD said the equipment contained “dummy missiles” but refused to confirm whether other residents had raised concerns over the military plans…(continues)
East London Advertiser, May 3, 2012
by Else Kvist
A resident at a block of flats in Bow where missiles are likely to be stationed during the Olympics has filmed “unguarded” dummy missiles left by soldiers.
Brian Whelan, a journalist, who lives at Bow Quater on Fairfield Road, has today posted a video on his website showing the military equipment left at the base of the block’s water tower.
Mr Whelan said: “I was walking into the building when I saw soldiers walking away. I had a 30 second window in which to film the equipment before they returned.
“It was left unguarded on the pedestrian path and could have just grabbed it and walked away. “I saw a number of tubes that appeared to contain missiles or dummy missiles along with range site equipment, helmets, bags and crates of military equipment.” (continues)
Counterfire, May 4th 2012
by Dan Poulton
The London Olympics could leave a ‘legacy of protest’ argued local residents at a meeting to oppose the placement of ground-to-air missiles in densely populated residential areas of East London.
Journalist and Bow resident, Brian Whelan, who broke the story in the national media last week, addressed a crowd of around 80 residents and activists who had gathered to discuss combining a legal challenge against the MOD, responsible for the plans, with a grass-roots campaign of protest and awareness raising. Whelan explained that no attempts had been made to consult with local residents of the Bow Quarters estate where he lives with his partner, who had been working behind the scenes to help him expose the story…(continues)
East London and West Essex Guardian Series, May 1st 2012
by Joe Curtis
MISSILES could be fired from a Leytonstone block of flats in response to 9/11-style attack during the Olympics.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) wants to place three short-range missile launchers on top of Fred Wigg Tower in Montague Road, Leytonstone, as part of its strategy to deal with any threat from the air this summer.
It is one of six sites around London where missiles are likely to be stored, including at William Girling Reservoir on the Chingford border with Enfield.
The missiles will be guarded by three soldiers and extra police will be deployed in the area.
But there are concerns that storing missiles on residential sites could be a security risk to the public.
Lieutenant Colonel Brian Fahey said he understood the community’s anxiety, but added he believed the missiles will increase safety by acting as a deterrent.
Asked whether the location of the missiles meant people in the vicinity were more vulnerable, he said: “There’s a risk that could happen.
“But we hope what we’re doing is deterring people from even thinking of committing an attack from the air. We are talking about a system of last resort.”
But Cherif Bensidhoum, 43, who lives 20 yards down from Fred Wigg tower, fears his family is being put in danger.
He said: “This is a shock to me. Our area will become a target for terrorists. I don’t think the police will be a deterrent at all – they could even attract danger.
“I’m worried for my family’s safety. My little boy walks to school past the tower, what if something happened then? We are being put in danger.”
Neighbour Moussa Ayaune, 39, who lives in the adjacent John Walsh tower block with his wife and three children, criticised the lack of consultation…(continues)