Wanstead Flats: Green space to Olympic holding cells?

Wanstead Flats: A vast, open grassland in Epping Forest, east London, surrounded by residential areas: This is where the Metropolitan Police plans to site an operational centre for the 2012 Olympics. On 5th September 2010, about 350 people attended a Mass Community Picnic on Wanstead Flats, demonstrating their opposition to the police’s proposal.

Official statements by the City of London, responsible for Epping Forest, have stated it will be a police briefing centre in the southwestern part of the Flats for a period of three months. However, subsequent conversations with officials have revealed that the site, covering three hectares, will seemingly be used for police deployment, and include a feeding station and stabling for police horses and also holding cells. Since those plans became public in June, local residents have started to organise their protest in order to preserve the open green space. Wanstead Flats are protected by the Epping Forest Act, 1878 which inhibits any use other than for recreation and public enjoyment and does not allow the erection of permanent structures. It is feared that the police’s proposal will set a precedent for further developments on the Flats in the near future. The fact that the Epping Forest Act has to be adapted in order to legalize the planned project is strengthening these apprehensions. These and other critical issues such as lack of public consultation, concerns about traffic and accessibility were discussed by local residents during the event on 5th September with Paul Thomson, Superintendent of Epping Forest. Two similar temporary police centres are to be erected for the Olympic Games, one in Hackney and another in Greenwich.

The next Local Residents’ Public Meeting of the Save Wanstead Flats Campaign will take place on Wednesday 6th October 2010, 7pm, at Durning Hall Community Centre, Earlham Grove, Forest Gate E7 9AB. For further information see savewansteadflats.org.uk

Wanstead Flats is one of many green sites that the “Greenest Olympics” will affect.

Sign the Petition now!

This is one of many green sites that the “Greenest Olympics” will destroy also see

Park to be tarmaced for Olympics

Basildon is latest signing to Disgruntled First XI

Greenwich Park, a centre for Equestrian Excellence? Perhaps not

Click London Olympics for more blogs

See our Olympics project pages for more information and videos.

Or visit PlanA our general blog on urbanism, planning and architecture.

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Mass Picnic To Save Wanstead Flats 5th September

The “Save Wanstead Flats Campaign” invite all of us to protest with a picnic on Sunday 5th September.


All welcome 1pm on the spot to the west of Centre Road where the police want to site their Olympic operations base in 2012. Ever since over 250 people attended a packed public meeting in July, residents living near Wanstead Flats have been demanding answers about plans by the City of London Corporation to allow the Metropolitan Police to base its Olympics operational centre on the Flats in 2012. In order to push this proposal through, the Corporation would need to amend an Act of Parliament that has protected Wanstead Flats from enclosure and development for well over a century.

Local people want to know why the proposed site for this police base, west of Centre Road, has been chosen, how that decision was made and why the Olympic stadium site itself cannot be used. There has been no consultation, even though the plans involve locating a fenced, high-security compound – with buildings, parking areas, stables and apparently even police holding cells – for at least 120 days and so close to residential neighbourhoods.

The Save Wanstead Flats campaign is organised by local people and on Sunday 5 September, we’d like to invite you to show your opposition to the City of London Corporation’s plans by joining us for a picnic – occupying the very spot where the police operations base would be constructed.  FLYER MAP

BRING FOOD, PICNIC BLANKETS, YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR FRIENDS! MEET ALL YOUR NEIGHBOURS WHO ALSO WANT TO SAVE WANSTEAD FLATS!

Sign the Petition now!

This is one of many green sites that the “Greenest Olympics” will destroy also see

Park to be tarmaced for Olympics

Basildon is latest signing to Disgruntled First XI

Hackney Marshes

London 2012 Equestrian Events

Click London Olympics for more blogs

See our Olympics project pages for more information and videos.

Or visit PlanA our general blog on urbanism, planning and architecture.

Spectacle homepage
Befriend Spectacle.Docs on Facebook
Follow SpectacleMedia on Twitter

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Criminal investigations into torture finally begins

According to The Guardian (July 10), the metropolitan police have launched an investigation into allegations by Binyam Mohamed that MI5 officers were complicit in his torture.

The investigation has been launched by the Attorney General after Binyam, a former Guantanamo detainee, persistently argued he was interrogated by MI5 and the FBI while being tortured in Pakistan.

Later on in his detainment, whilst being held captive in Morocco, Binyam became aware of British agents feeding his torturers questions and information. This supports  the claim of many other former captives, including Omar Deghayes who is featured on the Spectacle website, that British agents were not only aware of torture by foreign agents but used it to garner information from suspects.

The question we have to ask is why it has taken the police so long to launch this investigation and when  will criminal investigation be extended to every case of torture?

Furthermore, given the governments reluctance to release key documents related to Binyams case how indepth is any investigation going to be?

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