Tuesday, 31 March 2009

"Carry ID, or you won’t get home"

This was London Lite’s headline on 30 March 2009. The article referred to the fact that hundreds of people living near the G20 Summit will have to carry photo ID to get past road blocks to their homes.

This is a foretaste of what it could be like during the 16 days of the equestrian Olympics for Greenwich residents whose houses are on the roads - Crooms Hill, Nevada Street, Park Vista and Maze Hill - bordering Greenwich Park.

Hundreds of houses are only yards from the Park, many actually back on to it. Circus Gate, at the bottom of Crooms Hill, would be very close to the stabling for over 200 horses and security is bound to be at the highest level. It would not be surprising if cars were banned from these roads, and is it unthinkable that residents could be denied access to or from their homes without vetting? With such draconian powers available to the police, human rights go out of the window.

Local angle
Think of the impact upon the Greenwich Theatre. Imagine arriving at the security cordon with your theatre ticket but having forgotten your ID, with the result that after you had gone home and returned with your ID you actually got to see only half the performance because you were late and (in order not to disrupt everyone else) had to wait until the interval before you were allowed to take your seat.

Then, too, will we always remember to take our ID before we set off to find something delicious to buy from the delicatessen?

The equestrian Olympics don’t have to take place in a small, congested urban centre not used to holding events on such a massive scale. There are alternatives.

Update 4.4.2009: some lawyers have suggested that those residents who live closest to the Park could be forced to evacuate their homes for security reasons. If this worries you, write to your Councillor and request written assurance that this will not happen. If you don't get any joy from your Councillor, contact us at the Save Greenwich Park blog.

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