Londoners oppose Olympic missiles

This video is called East London Residents March in Protest to 2012 Olympics Missile Plans.

By Rory MacKinnon at the High Court in London, England:

Missile residents fear ‘trophy’ terror attack

Monday 09 July 2012

Tenants of Leytonstone’s Fred Wigg Tower thronged the public gallery at the High Court today as they fought to keep deadly surface-to-air missiles off their 17-storey home.

The High Court heard that officials treatment of east London residents had been “wholly disingenous.”

The tower is just one of six sites across the capital picked by the Ministry of Defence to fire the missiles from in case of a September 11 2001-style terrorist attack on the Games.

The scheme, which was kept quiet until a journalist living at one of the missile sites received a leaflet in the post, has been bitterly opposed by residents who say they have been exploited with no consultation.

Barrister Marc Willers, representing residents’ group Harrow Community Support, told the court the issue went right back to the 17th-century “petition of right” against billeting of soldiers in civilian homes.

He said the law was clear: protecting the country doesn’t give the government “carte blanche.”

Meanwhile there was no evidence that Defence Secretary Philip Hammond had considered relocating residents, he said – and several now feared they could be victims of a “trophy” terrorist bomb plot.

“For the defendant to ignore that risk is wholly disingenuous and demonstrates contempt for the complainants.”

He said that, with seven years to prepare, the army could have simply built a temporary structure in nearby Wanstead Park.

“It cannot be beyond the expertise of the Royal Engineers … to construct a gantry or scaffold to take the weight of three or four men and a handheld missile.

“Indeed it would avoid the risks – whatever they may be – associated with using a block of flats.”

But David Forsdick, speaking for the defence, said national security operations did not have a statutory duty to consult.

But the court could take it on trust that human rights were “at the forefront” of the MoD’s risk assessment, which it refuses to show to anyone.

There was no risk of the missiles exploding until they were in the air, he said, and relocating residents was unnecessary as military intelligence did not believe there were any plots to bomb the launch sites.

“There isn’t a credible threat to the Olympics at all.

“Of this form,” he hastily added.

Nor could the army build a temporary tower, he said, as it would have to be 16 storeys tall and ready by midnight on Friday when the five other launch sites go active.

Any consultation would be meaningless as the ministry had already reached its decision, he added.

“There’s nowhere else for it to go.”

Presiding judge Mr Justice Haddon-Cave is expected to offer a ruling tomorrow.

See also here.

Update: The High Court threw out a bid today to save east Londoners from living with surface-to-air missiles on their rooftops: here.

‘TANKS ON YOUR LAWNS’ – warns Olympics missiles solicitor: here.

7 thoughts on “Londoners oppose Olympic missiles

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