As you probably know, right now the Olympic Games are taking place in London. But with the goodwill and festivities in the massive crowds, dark sides can emerge including hypocrisy by Olympic sponsor companies, an increase in human trafficking, and an increase in workers’ rights violations among others.
Ellen Teague of the Columban Justice and Peace team in the UK updated the CCAO on what actions were being taken to expose these issues in London during the Olympics. On June 8, ‘100 Days of Peace’ was launched in London in order to promote peace before, during, and after the Olympic Games. It began with a 12-hour vigil at St. Martin the Fields, Trafalgar Square, attended by the Columban JPIC, Pax Christi, and Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster among other church leaders. ‘100 Days of Peace’ was created in order to build a legacy of peace for London and beyond once the games end. Many Catholic schools in and near London undertook peace education, focusing on concepts such as nonviolence and ending war.
Also, Columbans in Britain worked in the ‘Greenwash Gold 2012’ campaign. This was launched by the Bhopal Medical Appeal, the London Mining Network, and the UK Tar Sands Network. Greenwash Gold 2012 organized a vote to “award” the company with the worst environmental record and human rights abuses. The three main competitors were BP, Rio Tinto, and Dow Chemical Company. Olympic authorities were urged to present reforms to the process by which sponsors are accepted in order for polluters and human rights abusers to never tarnish the Olympic image of peace and goodwill.