Occupy activists camp on Olympic site

 

An Olympic training site has become the target of an Occupy London protest.

A group of demonstrators from the group which camped outside St Paul's Cathedral in the capital for more than four months have pitched their tents in an east London park set to be used by basketball players during this summer's Games, putting up a sign reading: "This is just the beginning."

They joined a group of residents who have been protesting against the athletes' use of Leyton Marsh.

Reports suggested as many as 200 protesters had camped at the site. "This is what happens when you cut off one head, you have Occupy camps popping up in different places," said a spokesman yesterday.

A Save Leyton Marsh protest group has set up a petition and is in the process of holding marches. They are unhappy that public land will be unavailable for the duration of the Games.

A basketball hall being built on the marsh is due to be used by some of the world's top players when the US team trains. But work stopped at the site yesterday after protesters moved in. About 20 campaigners put up tents, lit fires and erected banners on the development's steel fencing.

The Occupy demonstrators came mainly from the Finsbury Square camp, while some were encamped at St Paul's before being evicted last month.

The group has promised more demonstrations in the future. It is the first time the Games have been targeted in this way and raises fears that the Olympic park itself could become a focal point for protest. Security was being stepped up at other venues.

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