Occupy protest blocks 2012 build on Leyton Marshes

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: LEYTON: Occupy protest blocks Olympics build LEYTON: Occupy protest blocks Olympics build

PROTESTERS are camped out on Leyton Marshes in an attempt to prevent a temporary Olympic training centre being built.

Around 20 people have set up tents to stop diggers starting work on a basketball court, car park and holding area on pubic land off Lea Bridge Road.

The plan was controversially approved by Waltham Forest Council in February despite a petition opposing the plan signed by 1,250 people.

The protesters are a mix of local residents and members of the Occupy London movement, which recently set up camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral.

The Leyton Marshes campsite was established on Saturday (March 24) to protest against the use of protected, public land for Olympics development.

Campaigner Matthew Waterfall, 33, of Manor Road in Leyton, said: "I’ve been coming down here every day to show my support.

"I don’t think the Olympic Delivery Authority should be building the basketball court here because it’s public land.

"The Occupy guys are peacefully protesting which is great.

"We don’t want to obstruct anyone from using the land but do want to stop them building here.

"It could set a precedent where other green spaces could be built upon in future."

The Lee Valley Park Authority, which owns the marshes, will receive £65,000 for the use of the land. Residents will be denied access to a number of the borough's green spaces throughout the summer.

Drapers Field in Leyton will be used as a storage area, while a campsite is planned for the Waterworks Nature Reserve in Leyton and Low Hall playing fields in Walthamstow.

A company has claimed to have sealed a deal to create campsites at Ive Farm playing fields in Leyton and on land at George Monoux College in Chingford Road, Walthamstow.

Part of Wanstead Flats is also to be used as a temporary police base.

The council said that any money earned from the use of green spaces will fund community events.

The ODA has vowed to return Leyton Marshes to public use as soon as possible after the Games.

A spokesman for the ODA said: “We are liaising closely with the land-owner, the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, and the Metropolitan Police to ensure the safety of the workforce and the public, and the security of the construction site.

"This is a temporary facility, occupying just one section of Leyton Marsh, and will be removed soon after the Paralympic Games.

"We remain totally committed to restoring the area to its previous state. In addition, the Lee Valley Authority will be investing £65,000 of funding from the ODA in improved seating, pathways and gateways and enhanced habitats for wildlife.”

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Comments (25)

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2:21pm Mon 26 Mar 12

Claxon Foghorn says...

Well done to these protesters. It is about time action is taken against this wanton seizure of public space for a folly that will have no benefit for local people.
I hope they stay there and their actions prevent this building from being erected. I will surely go and offer token support myself.
Well done to these protesters. It is about time action is taken against this wanton seizure of public space for a folly that will have no benefit for local people. I hope they stay there and their actions prevent this building from being erected. I will surely go and offer token support myself. Claxon Foghorn
  • Score: 0

2:46pm Mon 26 Mar 12

sensibility says...

perhaps the ODA should rethink and use the empty Walthamstow Stadium as a venue for this instead
perhaps the ODA should rethink and use the empty Walthamstow Stadium as a venue for this instead sensibility
  • Score: 0

4:54pm Mon 26 Mar 12

Dave mp says...

Good for them. Why not use Walthamstow Stadium for something like this? Let's hope the protesters can make their point.
Good for them. Why not use Walthamstow Stadium for something like this? Let's hope the protesters can make their point. Dave mp
  • Score: 0

4:57pm Mon 26 Mar 12

hatemordor says...

It is really wonderful that Occupy are supporting our local struggle to protect our green open space for all.
It is really wonderful that Occupy are supporting our local struggle to protect our green open space for all. hatemordor
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Mon 26 Mar 12

mdj says...

'The council said that any money earned from the use of green spaces will fund community events.'
But the events are already a (£1.5 million) commitment, so if the money doesn't come in, they're unfunded! One more Olympic 'benefit' the public will be paying for.
The article could have reminded readers that the application was approved without an Environmental Impact Statement being drawn up, as the Planning Committee itself admitted. What are we to do when those in authority blatantly tear up the rule book in this way?
It needs to be made clear that the protesters are upholding the law, not defying it.
'The council said that any money earned from the use of green spaces will fund community events.' But the events are already a (£1.5 million) commitment, so if the money doesn't come in, they're unfunded! One more Olympic 'benefit' the public will be paying for. The article could have reminded readers that the application was approved without an Environmental Impact Statement being drawn up, as the Planning Committee itself admitted. What are we to do when those in authority blatantly tear up the rule book in this way? It needs to be made clear that the protesters are upholding the law, not defying it. mdj
  • Score: 0

6:30pm Mon 26 Mar 12

Minxey says...

So good to see the barron bit of grassland being used - it's not somewhere I'd go especially after dark. And with blokes in masks and tents there now, it ain't going to make me feel any safer.
So good to see the barron bit of grassland being used - it's not somewhere I'd go especially after dark. And with blokes in masks and tents there now, it ain't going to make me feel any safer. Minxey
  • Score: 0

9:08pm Mon 26 Mar 12

The Stowaway says...

Oh the joy of being a protester in the Occupy London movement, spend all winter tucked up in the warm city, have a nice couple of sunny weeks up to Easter camped out on the marshes, before all clearing off the the west country for the summer.
Oh the joy of being a protester in the Occupy London movement, spend all winter tucked up in the warm city, have a nice couple of sunny weeks up to Easter camped out on the marshes, before all clearing off the the west country for the summer. The Stowaway
  • Score: 0

11:03pm Mon 26 Mar 12

Sam Hain says...

Well said The Stowaway, Trustafarians the lot of 'em!
Well said The Stowaway, Trustafarians the lot of 'em! Sam Hain
  • Score: 0

11:15pm Mon 26 Mar 12

Minxey says...

Ha ha! You have to wonder why they have to cover their faces - either because they're known to the police or daddy is a High Court judge!
Ha ha! You have to wonder why they have to cover their faces - either because they're known to the police or daddy is a High Court judge! Minxey
  • Score: 0

4:12am Tue 27 Mar 12

BarryBRB says...

Leyton Marsh is not a barren piece of land. Its Metropolitan Open Land. Which has the same legal status as the Green Belt.

The ODA had years to find a brownfield site but they didn't even try. Why that is they refuse to say.
Leyton Marsh is not a barren piece of land. Its Metropolitan Open Land. Which has the same legal status as the Green Belt. The ODA had years to find a brownfield site but they didn't even try. Why that is they refuse to say. BarryBRB
  • Score: 0

10:05am Tue 27 Mar 12

Sam Hain says...

Minxey wrote:
Ha ha! You have to wonder why they have to cover their faces - either because they're known to the police or daddy is a High Court judge!
You have to wonder, Minxey, whether this is the same bunch who organise/attend illegal raves on the Marshes that keep us all awake at night some summer weekends.
[quote][p][bold]Minxey[/bold] wrote: Ha ha! You have to wonder why they have to cover their faces - either because they're known to the police or daddy is a High Court judge![/p][/quote]You have to wonder, Minxey, whether this is the same bunch who organise/attend illegal raves on the Marshes that keep us all awake at night some summer weekends. Sam Hain
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Tue 27 Mar 12

clawsie says...

"pubic land"? LOLLOLLOL
"pubic land"? LOLLOLLOL clawsie
  • Score: 0

1:28pm Tue 27 Mar 12

Tom Thumb says...

Sam Hain wrote:
Minxey wrote: Ha ha! You have to wonder why they have to cover their faces - either because they're known to the police or daddy is a High Court judge!
You have to wonder, Minxey, whether this is the same bunch who organise/attend illegal raves on the Marshes that keep us all awake at night some summer weekends.
Calm down, Sam.

These protesters will enjoy a lot of local support
[quote][p][bold]Sam Hain[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Minxey[/bold] wrote: Ha ha! You have to wonder why they have to cover their faces - either because they're known to the police or daddy is a High Court judge![/p][/quote]You have to wonder, Minxey, whether this is the same bunch who organise/attend illegal raves on the Marshes that keep us all awake at night some summer weekends.[/p][/quote]Calm down, Sam. These protesters will enjoy a lot of local support Tom Thumb
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Tue 27 Mar 12

Tom Thumb says...

Minxey wrote:
Ha ha! You have to wonder why they have to cover their faces - either because they're known to the police or daddy is a High Court judge!
It might be because anyone turning up for any protest these days can expect to be repeatedly photographed by our authoritarian and time-wasting police force. The Stasi wasn't so different to our police, who obsessively keep records on anyone daring to dissent about anything.

The police have far better things to do than hang around in large numbers in the sunshine by a peaceful protest which undoubtedly enjoys popular local support.

Just a short distance away lies the A104, along which every day thousands of uninsured drivers pour, to the absolute indifference of the Met.
[quote][p][bold]Minxey[/bold] wrote: Ha ha! You have to wonder why they have to cover their faces - either because they're known to the police or daddy is a High Court judge![/p][/quote]It might be because anyone turning up for any protest these days can expect to be repeatedly photographed by our authoritarian and time-wasting police force. The Stasi wasn't so different to our police, who obsessively keep records on anyone daring to dissent about anything. The police have far better things to do than hang around in large numbers in the sunshine by a peaceful protest which undoubtedly enjoys popular local support. Just a short distance away lies the A104, along which every day thousands of uninsured drivers pour, to the absolute indifference of the Met. Tom Thumb
  • Score: 0

3:15pm Tue 27 Mar 12

hatemordor says...

There's only one thing worse than doing nothing to save our environment from destruction and that's attacking people who are trying to protect it for everyone! If these efforts prevent construction, it sends out a powerful message to all those seeking to privatise and destroy our remaining green belt land.
There's only one thing worse than doing nothing to save our environment from destruction and that's attacking people who are trying to protect it for everyone! If these efforts prevent construction, it sends out a powerful message to all those seeking to privatise and destroy our remaining green belt land. hatemordor
  • Score: 0

8:18pm Tue 27 Mar 12

LakeBreeze says...

Bravo to them and I agree with Claxon Foghorn. There has been too much seizure of what is supposed to be protected land. Enough is enough. The powers that be continually refuse to listen to the wishes of thousands of local people. It's a helpless feeling and things were not meant to be that way -- local wishes should be respected but that's not how it goes. Glad the Occupy guy are taking up the cause.
Bravo to them and I agree with Claxon Foghorn. There has been too much seizure of what is supposed to be protected land. Enough is enough. The powers that be continually refuse to listen to the wishes of thousands of local people. It's a helpless feeling and things were not meant to be that way -- local wishes should be respected but that's not how it goes. Glad the Occupy guy are taking up the cause. LakeBreeze
  • Score: 0

6:32am Wed 28 Mar 12

dukes of hazzard says...

Trustafarians? Is that an offence term?

The legacy of the games... Has anyone noticed we have more fat kids than we did before we won the bid? So much for inspiring kids to take up sport eh.
Trustafarians? Is that an offence term? The legacy of the games... Has anyone noticed we have more fat kids than we did before we won the bid? So much for inspiring kids to take up sport eh. dukes of hazzard
  • Score: 0

7:01am Wed 28 Mar 12

Claxon Foghorn says...

dukes of hazzard wrote:
Trustafarians? Is that an offence term?

The legacy of the games... Has anyone noticed we have more fat kids than we did before we won the bid? So much for inspiring kids to take up sport eh.
Yes, kids are getting fat!

What do you expect when they allow a 1500 seater McDonalds to open at Westfields and other saturated fat food producers there. The UK will be paying for this in 30 years time through the NHS if it still exists then.

This Olympic is and will be a a disaster long term. All seized open space and playing fields will never be returned. Like the Drapers Fields where I played competitive sport as a youngster. The whole thing is scandalous.

Keep going Occupy!
[quote][p][bold]dukes of hazzard[/bold] wrote: Trustafarians? Is that an offence term? The legacy of the games... Has anyone noticed we have more fat kids than we did before we won the bid? So much for inspiring kids to take up sport eh.[/p][/quote]Yes, kids are getting fat! What do you expect when they allow a 1500 seater McDonalds to open at Westfields and other saturated fat food producers there. The UK will be paying for this in 30 years time through the NHS if it still exists then. This Olympic is and will be a a disaster long term. All seized open space and playing fields will never be returned. Like the Drapers Fields where I played competitive sport as a youngster. The whole thing is scandalous. Keep going Occupy! Claxon Foghorn
  • Score: 0

9:44am Wed 28 Mar 12

Sam Hain says...

LakeBreeze wrote:
Bravo to them and I agree with Claxon Foghorn. There has been too much seizure of what is supposed to be protected land. Enough is enough. The powers that be continually refuse to listen to the wishes of thousands of local people. It's a helpless feeling and things were not meant to be that way -- local wishes should be respected but that's not how it goes. Glad the Occupy guy are taking up the cause.
Believe me, Lake Breeze, if this 'temporary' facility isn't entirely removed after the Olympics and the land restored as if it had never been, I'll be joining any protest at that point. Until then I think attempts to disrupt the completion of the work which is now well under way is misplaced. By all means stand on the sidelines and protest but don't obstruct. Yes, the whole process was mishandled but it's a fait accompli now. Let's make the best of these Olympics, secure in the knowledge that after the bandwagon has moved on to Rio (God help them!) London will see nothing on this scale again and will at least have acquired the lasrgest new public park created in Europe in over a century, with cleaned-up waterways, new wetlands and wildlife areas. Frankly there are more pressing issues to protest about, these are just silly season posturings by professional protesters who want to lie around in the sun feeling self-righteous.
[quote][p][bold]LakeBreeze[/bold] wrote: Bravo to them and I agree with Claxon Foghorn. There has been too much seizure of what is supposed to be protected land. Enough is enough. The powers that be continually refuse to listen to the wishes of thousands of local people. It's a helpless feeling and things were not meant to be that way -- local wishes should be respected but that's not how it goes. Glad the Occupy guy are taking up the cause.[/p][/quote]Believe me, Lake Breeze, if this 'temporary' facility isn't entirely removed after the Olympics and the land restored as if it had never been, I'll be joining any protest at that point. Until then I think attempts to disrupt the completion of the work which is now well under way is misplaced. By all means stand on the sidelines and protest but don't obstruct. Yes, the whole process was mishandled but it's a fait accompli now. Let's make the best of these Olympics, secure in the knowledge that after the bandwagon has moved on to Rio (God help them!) London will see nothing on this scale again and will at least have acquired the lasrgest new public park created in Europe in over a century, with cleaned-up waterways, new wetlands and wildlife areas. Frankly there are more pressing issues to protest about, these are just silly season posturings by professional protesters who want to lie around in the sun feeling self-righteous. Sam Hain
  • Score: 0

6:37pm Wed 28 Mar 12

mdj says...

'Yes, the whole process was mishandled but it's a fait accompli now. '
You sound increasingly like a Councillor, Sam! In fact, the decision is subject to legal challenge because the committee did not insist, as the law does, on an Environmental Impact Statement. What do you think of Councillors who repeatedly break the law they're entrusted to enforce?
'Yes, the whole process was mishandled but it's a fait accompli now. ' You sound increasingly like a Councillor, Sam! In fact, the decision is subject to legal challenge because the committee did not insist, as the law does, on an Environmental Impact Statement. What do you think of Councillors who repeatedly break the law they're entrusted to enforce? mdj
  • Score: 0

7:49pm Wed 28 Mar 12

Tom Thumb says...

hatemordor wrote:
There's only one thing worse than doing nothing to save our environment from destruction and that's attacking people who are trying to protect it for everyone! If these efforts prevent construction, it sends out a powerful message to all those seeking to privatise and destroy our remaining green belt land.
Yes!

And if anyone cares to walk down Marsh Lane, not a vast distance from this protest, they will see a plaque commemorating the people of Leyton who rose up and tore down the fences when there was an attempt to enclose this common land.
[quote][p][bold]hatemordor[/bold] wrote: There's only one thing worse than doing nothing to save our environment from destruction and that's attacking people who are trying to protect it for everyone! If these efforts prevent construction, it sends out a powerful message to all those seeking to privatise and destroy our remaining green belt land.[/p][/quote]Yes! And if anyone cares to walk down Marsh Lane, not a vast distance from this protest, they will see a plaque commemorating the people of Leyton who rose up and tore down the fences when there was an attempt to enclose this common land. Tom Thumb
  • Score: 0

7:53pm Wed 28 Mar 12

Tom Thumb says...

"By all means stand on the sidelines and protest but don't obstruct." Unfortunately, Sam, protests like that achieve absolutely nothing. I do wish you would stop denigrating protesters about whom you obviously know nothing. Firstly you claim they are anti-social ravers, then they turn into that old cliche "professional protesters". Much more of this and they'll be giving you a column in the Daily Mail!
"By all means stand on the sidelines and protest but don't obstruct." Unfortunately, Sam, protests like that achieve absolutely nothing. I do wish you would stop denigrating protesters about whom you obviously know nothing. Firstly you claim they are anti-social ravers, then they turn into that old cliche "professional protesters". Much more of this and they'll be giving you a column in the Daily Mail! Tom Thumb
  • Score: 0

8:29pm Wed 28 Mar 12

Sam Hain says...

At least I'd get paid for that, Tom (and for being a councillor, mdj)! Firstly, I think some of my comments about protesters may have been taken a tad more seriously than they warranted. However, I certainly didn't "claim they are anti-social ravers" I merely wondered if they might be - and until I receive catagoric assurance that they are not I'll continue to wonder. For the record, I visited the Occupy London encampment outside St Paul's in its early days, spoke to young protesters and was deeply impressed by their patent sincerity and commitment. But they outstayed their welcome there and lost a lot of public sympathy, including mine, in so doing. Now, by becoming, effectively, 'rent-a-mob' and moving here (as some did at Dale Farm also) they undermine their own credibility and risk making themselves, frankly, objects of ridicule rather than admiration. I say again, for all the manifold and flagrant failures of process (and this is in answer to mdj also) this project is well underway and I would rather see it brought to fruition for the duration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and then reconsider tactics if the site is not made good afterwards as promised. This action is counterproductive and risks bringing very legitimate concerns into disrepute.
At least I'd get paid for that, Tom (and for being a councillor, mdj)! Firstly, I think some of my comments about protesters may have been taken a tad more seriously than they warranted. However, I certainly didn't "claim they are anti-social ravers" I merely wondered if they might be - and until I receive catagoric assurance that they are not I'll continue to wonder. For the record, I visited the Occupy London encampment outside St Paul's in its early days, spoke to young protesters and was deeply impressed by their patent sincerity and commitment. But they outstayed their welcome there and lost a lot of public sympathy, including mine, in so doing. Now, by becoming, effectively, 'rent-a-mob' and moving here (as some did at Dale Farm also) they undermine their own credibility and risk making themselves, frankly, objects of ridicule rather than admiration. I say again, for all the manifold and flagrant failures of process (and this is in answer to mdj also) this project is well underway and I would rather see it brought to fruition for the duration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and then reconsider tactics if the site is not made good afterwards as promised. This action is counterproductive and risks bringing very legitimate concerns into disrepute. Sam Hain
  • Score: 0

11:49pm Wed 28 Mar 12

Claxon Foghorn says...

Does anyone know the best way to access the venue in the current circumstances? Are the Police allowing new protesters to join? I would like to go down there at some point to show support and take them a few treats.
Does anyone know the best way to access the venue in the current circumstances? Are the Police allowing new protesters to join? I would like to go down there at some point to show support and take them a few treats. Claxon Foghorn
  • Score: 0

8:51am Thu 29 Mar 12

VillageIdiot69 says...

The Stowaway wrote:
Oh the joy of being a protester in the Occupy London movement, spend all winter tucked up in the warm city, have a nice couple of sunny weeks up to Easter camped out on the marshes, before all clearing off the the west country for the summer.
Thanks Stowaway, I nearly spat my coffee out reading that ! :D
[quote][p][bold]The Stowaway[/bold] wrote: Oh the joy of being a protester in the Occupy London movement, spend all winter tucked up in the warm city, have a nice couple of sunny weeks up to Easter camped out on the marshes, before all clearing off the the west country for the summer.[/p][/quote]Thanks Stowaway, I nearly spat my coffee out reading that ! :D VillageIdiot69
  • Score: 0

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