Nearly Six sites in east London have been identified for the deployment of supersonic surface to air Rapier and Starstreak missiles, these missiles are capable of shooting down an air borne target within the range of nearly 7 KM (approx. 4 miles).
The unusual thing in this news is the installation of missiles in the residential area on the rooftop of the occupied homes. Ten soldiers will operate the weapons at all times, possibly with armed police protection. The property owners defended their decision of allowing the ministry of defence to place missiles on the rooftop by making it an issue of national security. However, Some residents fear that the super sonic missiles which would be fitted on the water tower could itself become the target of the extremists or terrorists thus risking the lives of many residents.
Residents of Bow Quarter Estate are challenging the deal between the property owner company and the Ministry of Defence to install surface-to-air missiles to guard against potential airborne terrorist attacks. Many lawyers and legal agencies have opened up to help such residents with full support providing them the toll free 0800 numbers uk
Normally all the cities prepare themselves to face the worst in the situation of any terrorist attack, however London is all set to get fortified and militarized to an extent which was seen only during second world war. During the Olympics, London will have more soldiers on the streets than at any time since the Second World War and that there will be more armed personnel patrolling the capital than the entire number of British troops serving in Afghanistan. Which is way too large than what was in the Beijing Olympics.
Militarization of London to this extent could be justified since NATO and other western powers which includes Britain have been involved in various military interventions in Middle East since last few years. Resulting into rising threats against London’s security. But conducting games, which is a source of entertainment, in such a tight environment doesn’t solve the purpose of holding games.
“We have appointed lawyers with a view to make a legal challenge to the management company’s decision to allow the MoD to install the rockets here,” said Brian Whelan, a resident to the Guardian
. “They didn’t consult with us and they have neglected their duty to ask the residents’ opinions about this.”
Further he told another news journal London Evening Standard, “The Ministry of Defence have tried to claim that I am a lone nutter, but I am not alone. There are a lot of people opposed to this. We will protest and if it gets to it we will ring our buildings and take to the streets to stop them.”
Other than Bow Area, sites where missiles hosting is planned are Blackheath Common, the Lea Valley Reservoir, Oxleas Wood, Barn Hill in Epping Forest, and a playground in Waltham Forest.
Founder of the Stop the Olympic Missile campaign Chris Nineham, told Russia Today
that there had been no consultation from the Ministry of Defence or the Government with locals.
He said that a meeting of local residents on May 31st voted unanimously that the missile plans were not sensible. Nineham believes that the government should not be able to dictate to local residents and is hoping that their campaign will see a reversal of the proposal. He added that if the government did not back down there were two legal challenges already in place.
According to Nineham, a senior source in the military said there was no credible intelligence of a terrorist attack on the games. Nineham said that in his opinion such a large scale deployment of force does not make London safer but instead encourages a reaction from those elements of world society who have a grievance with UK foreign policy.
Nineham added “it’s surreal, the games are talked about as if they have some strange military dimension to them and we’re losing sight that they are first and foremost a sporting event.”
However, Ministry of Defence maintained that “All legal requirements for the deployment of the equipment will be met.”
The idea is to prevent London Olympics from any September 11 style attack. For this, beside having Surface to Air missile installations, ministry of defence is planning to have the Royal Air Force to keep an eagle eye on all aircraft movements over most of southeast England in a major security alert to run from July 16 through August 15. Also, military snipers will be deployed in helicopters to shoot pilots of low-flying aircraft that might be involved in terrorist attacks.
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