Wednesday 25 July 2012

Real spirit of Olympics wins out over corporate hijack

Children, parents and teachers herald the Olympic Torch
Local people turned out in force today as the Olympic Torch came along Forty Lane.  The contradictions of the Olympics were much in evidence with the commercialisation competing with more traditional values of community and diversity.

Just before the Torch was due a Samsung vehicle drew up and in what at times was a potential mini-riot started distributing 'blow-up' Samsung flags on which Samsung's name was very large and the Olympic rings symbol very small. Samsung cheer leaders tried to get the crowd banging their Samsung advertising flags together to welcome the torch.

At first it looked as if  the hand-painted  banners made by school children with the Mahogany Carnival Arts workshop would be over-shadowed by corporate plastic  but as the photographs shows the beautiful banners won out.

The torch itself was preceded by sponsor vehicles from Samsung, Cocoa Cola and Lloyd's bank - the latter drew a shout of 'Give us back our money!'.

Nonetheless beneath the corporate shenanigans there was real enthusiasm and a sense of history being made from a typically diverse Brent crowd.

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