Hundreds march in Olympics protest in east London

Protesters at the demonstration Up to 400 protesters joined in the march

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Up to 400 people have marched in Tower Hamlets in east London to protest against what they claim is the "Corporate Olympics".

The demonstration, organised by Counter Olympics Network, began at Mile End station and ended at Wennington Green.

The march was over issues which included free tickets for sponsors and the sidelining of local businesses.

London 2012 organisers Locog said in a democracy big events attracted protests.

'Privilege and profiteering'

The Metropolitan Police said officers monitored the march which went without any incident.

Start Quote

We implore any protesters to consider the impact of any action on the athletes”

End Quote Locog

The Counter Olympics Network said it was demonstrating against "two million free tickets for the rich" and "roads being turned into exclusive highways for VIPs".

The march also raised the issue of missiles being placed on roofs of residential buildings to protect the Games and claimed local businesses and residents would not benefit from the event having been "sidelined".

"We do not consent to austerity, privilege and profiteering," it said.

"We reject Cameron and Coe's corporate Games."

Kate Morris, a supporter of Occupy London, said: "The Olympics are meant to be a celebration of human endeavour.

"However the 'people's games' in London are subject to the whims of global corporations and financial institutions who seek to 'legally' avoid tax and saturate sport with their own marketing in an attempt to sanitise their reputations, never mind limiting ticket availability and securing VIP lanes."

'Sport-loving nation'

Chris Nineham, who was protesting against missiles placed on residential buildings near the venues, said: "The local people think the idea of stationing high explosives in residential sites is a completely irresponsible and stupid thing to do.

"They should never have done it and they should never do such a thing again."

However, a spokesperson for Locog urged those protesting to consider the possible effect their demonstrations might have on the athletes.

"We live in a democracy and this country has a long tradition of staging and managing peaceful protests in a sensible and appropriate manner," he said.

"The Olympic Games is the biggest event in the world, and big events have always been a magnet for protests of all shapes and sizes; we have planned for this.

"We implore any protesters to consider the impact of any action on the athletes, most of whom have spent half their lives preparing for London 2012.

"We are a sport-loving nation, and ruining sporting events is not the way anyone wants London 2012 to be remembered."

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