Atos Protests Continue

New protests have been planned to force Glasgow 2014 to drop Atos as sponsors.

This news comes after demonstrations were held in tandem with the paralympics, protesting against Atos’s poor record in their fit-for-work assessments.

The coming protests still aim to bring the inferior assessments to public light and are hoping to take Atos out of the sponsor list for Glasgow 2014, where they are hoping to gain good press.

Below is a video of one of the protests held during the paralympics games


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The Dark Side of Olympic Sponsor, Coca-Cola

As one of the world’s largest brands, Coca-Cola is drunk globally at most major events, organisations and in normal day-to-day life, but controversy is never far away from the corporation’s door as their actions are felt by all of those unable to defend themselves.

They pedal their work in communities, but always fail to mention their crippling effects on non-western countries, the drastic effects to the environment around their bottling plants and the mysterious deaths associated with their work.

The Olympic sponsor’s chokehold on the drinks market is unassailable, but as opposition to their activity grows, legal challenges will continue to bombard Coca-Cola until something drastic changes in their behind-the-scenes work.

Carmen Garcia and German Gutierrez made the following film telling the story of Daniel Kovalik and Terry Collingsworth as they attempt to take on one of the most recognisable companies on the planet using The Alien Tort Claims Act, an act dating back to the early days of the American Constitution.

Click below to watch the film on the ever-intriguing thoughtmaybe.

Wikipedia hosts a broad summary of a number of the criticisms of Coca-Cola.

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Olympic impact on UK retail sales

Olympic impact on UK retail sales. August brings the worst sales growth this year.

UK retail sales values were down by 0.4% on a like-for-like basis from August 2011, when they were down 0.6% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 1.6%, against a 1.5% rise in August 2011.

Stephen Robertson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “There’s no evidence here of any Olympic boost to retail sales overall. Sadly, apart from April – distorted by Easter timings – August saw the worst sales growth this year.

It’s clear people were absorbed by the magnificent Olympics and had little interest in shopping, especially for major items. Usually-reliable online sales suffered, putting in the worst sales growth since we started the measure four years ago. Some retailers told us online activity was particularly thin in the evenings. If people weren’t watching television they were more likely to be following the sport on PCs and mobile devices than shopping.

Full article: http://www.brc.org.uk/brc_news_detail.asp?id=2282

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Liquid Bombs and Price Explosions

The fear for agitation during the London Olympics 2012 is tangible. The number of security staff is doubled compared with last year’s plans and this includes a doubling of  the costs for security. This makes the overall cost of the Olympics 2012 so far around £11bn. This summer, London will experience the biggest UK military mobilisation since the Second World War. Despite these high security policies, an attempt to smuggle in a fake bomb was successful according to The Sun.

Water bottles that can be used as liquid bombs, are a fear of terror and the reason the Olympic organisation has sharpen the safety policies, which are now turning  into airport safety policies equivalents. Visitors are not allowed to bring their own refreshments anymore, which leads into food prices that are the real criminal activity. A price explosions that is getting out of hand.

Is the organisation taking advantage of the banning of foods and drinks from the area? A sandwich is approximately going to cost £4.90  and a hot dog could fetch £5.90. Apparently you can expect some high standard food quality, but do cheering people  really fancy a haute cuisine hot-dog while watching sports? You can bring their own baby food snack (without bottle?) though.

Weapons and whistles are also prohibited. And any expression of political or religious opinion in the shape of cheering material are also a no go. Weapons, obviously. But whistles? Well the athletics must be thankful for the ban of whistles, meaning also no Vuvuzela’s which are weapons for the ears and distracting both athletic and supporter. It would have been amazing watching a game of table tennis while listening to a Vuvuzela concert though.

No but really, 6 quid for a hot-dog?

 

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McDonald’s volunteers to find out their Olympic roles this week

As initial offers for the volunteering roles during the 2012 Olympics are sent out this week, some successful 10,000 Game Makers have two weeks to accept them. McDonald’s anticipates the replies particularly impatiently, because the fast-food giant is in charge of providing training for the volunteers.

 

However, it is just the beginning of a long process of filling up all of the 70,000 unpaid positions for the Olympics. Over the next few months thousands of e-mails will be sent to applicants, aiming to inform everyone about the progress of their application by the end of this year. LOCOG officials also claim the last interviews are scheduled for March, 2012 and the last role may be taken even as late as April, 2012. All candidates have to undergo security checks before signing the final contract.

The first volunteers who received conditional offers are inter alia: Nader Mozakka from North West London who will be an NOC Assistant in the Athletes’ Village; Maggie Hendry from Dundee, Scotland who will be a Physiotherapist at North Greenwich Arena at Games time; Erin Morgan from Newry, Northern Ireland who will be an Event Services Team Member at the Olympic Park and Charlotte Evans from Caerleon, Wales who has been assigned a role as an Event Services Team Member for Wimbledon.

LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe stressed the importance of the offers made, as it marks the new stage of the Game Makers programme. He said: “It has been a privilege for my team to meet and interview so many enthusiastic and dedicated people from right across the UK who would like to volunteer with us and make the Games a success for athletes, media and spectators alike.”

Jill McDonald, UK chief executive of McDonald’s, added: “We aim to help provide the volunteers with the skills, knowledge and confidence to deliver an outstanding level of hospitality at the Olympic and Paralympic Games next year.”

The “McJobs” offered are perhaps not the world’s most desirable employment, although initially promised to be financially rewarding, will be unpaid for the 2012 Olympics. Spectacle has already covered McJobs, which can be found in the Olympics 2012 section of Spectacle’s Blog.

Unsurprisingly, the official volunteer t-shirts will not be the only place where golden arches will be seen at the 2012 Olympics, as McDonald’s also obtained a monopoly on food sold during the Games. This has stirred up a debate on public health and well-being, which could be argued as not being on McDonald’s priority list. This American meal brand plans to open the largest McDonald in the world in the Olympic Park, Stratford. It is also interesting to know that there will be no kitchens provided to athletes, who will be forced to dine in the dining halls catered also by McDonald’s.

Obviously, McDonald’s sponsorship is happily welcomed by LOCOG, but should their profit really overshadow the Olympic’s overriding goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle?

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Central YMCA – Body Confidence Campaign

Central YMCA with the support of MP’s from major parties have launched their Campaign for Body Confidence, as well as the All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image (APPG) to which Central YMCA will be proving the secretariat. The campaign has the weighty task of addressing and resolving some of the problems concerning negative body image in British society, particularly amongst the younger generations. They are striving to curb the manner in which people view themselves and others by reaching out and engaging with individuals and communities a like, as well as with working with the leading media based industries that promote unrealistic expectations of body image. Jo Swinson, (LibDem MP,) explains that:

These problems urgently need addressing and the APPG on Body Image will bring together some of the key players in this debate in a cross-party forum – youth organisations, the advertising industry, health sector and media. We will challenge some of the root causes of negative body image, highlight best practice and work towards building a society in which people feel more body confident.

Spectacle contributed a short animated film to the campaign, that provides the viewer with a brief overview of the extensive research carried out by Central YMCA and Centre for Appearance Research in the University of the West of England, which premiered recently in the House of Commons. The film also draws attention to the financial, physically and psychological harm that appearance issues can invoke, ranging from the billions of pounds spent annually on dieting pills and food supplements, to the often devastating attitudes towards, and consequences of steroid use and cosmetic surgery. The video can also be found on the YMCA Body Confidence homepage.

As society in the UK becomes ever more sexualised and appearance oriented, the issues and pressures surrounding body image and appearance are becoming dramatically more significant and problematic. In Central YMCA’s research, statistically one in four people openly admitted to being depressed about the way they look, and as many as half of young females were open to the idea of using cosmetic surgery to enhance their looks in their future. The suggested ideals of beauty that is all too often plastered upon billboards, magazines, television, and the internet, shape the way that people, (in particular the younger generations,) perceive beauty and intrinsically sexuality. However it is thought that as little as five percent of the population look like, or could ever realistically achieve, the image of beauty and sexuality promoted by the models and celebrities.

This issue is of course further complicated by the introduction of image manipulation and airbrushing, which is now routinely used to perfect and enhance the outlandish ideals of beauty that the images promote. This means that not only are people being pressured into pursuing an image of beauty possessed by a tiny percentage of the population, the images often do not naturally exist in reality and are essentially unobtainable.

Results are leading to a steep rise in the number of young people affected by sever eating disorders, with girls recorded as starting their first diets at as young as eight years of age.

To help combat these issues amongst young people, Y Touring, which is part of Central YMCA, recently worked with a group of young teenagers from London to create a project that explores true body image through photography. Beautiful Photography Project 2010 empowers the teenagers involved to represent themselves and beauty as they perceive it, rather than the images fed to them by the aforementioned industries. Please show your support.

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