2012 London Olympic Missile Update – By Melissa Kucemba, Legal Intern

Residents of London went to court when the government decided that their homes would be used as missile bases. For the 2012 Olympic Games, the British military has decided to set up six missile bases to protect the city from potential terrorist attacks. The military wants to prepare itself to launch surface-to-air missiles at any air raids that are spotted during the games. Although the military is simply trying to protect London’s citizens and the guests that will arrive from around the world, the residents of Fred Wigg Tower in Leytonstone believe that their homes will be put at additional risk for attack.

Judge Haddon-Cave ruled that the missiles placed on the rooftop of the Fred Wigg Tower will be allowed. Under the European Convention of Human Rights, the citizens have a “right to private life and peaceful enjoyment of their home,” but Defense Secretary Phillip Hammond has stated that the missiles are a safety precaution to provide protection and reassurance for the Olympics. Therefore, the residents will have to give up their “right to peaceful enjoyment of their home” for the Games to take place.

In addition, over the past week, fourteen people have been arrested for suspicion of terrorist attack. The armed British police have raided homes and businesses, arresting residents, without notice. The Muslim activist group stated that most of the suspects are British-Muslims and one Muslim was even a former police officer.

Many residents believe that the British police force and army are going to extremes to protect London and the Olympics from terrorist attacks. I also believe that the military and police have gone too far in the safety measures they are taking. If I were an average London resident, I would not want a missile base on the roof of my apartment complex. If any terrorists do happen to fly over the Olympic arena, then the missiles being shot from the rooftop might cause the enemy to shoot back in that direction, putting those specific residents at risk. The military should take precautions for terrorist attacks, but if it is going to set up missile bases, it should place them in non-residential areas away from neighborhoods and homes. Furthermore, it seems as if the police are racially profiling their suspects. Specifically arresting British-Muslims shows that the police may not actually have reason behind the arrest except for the fact that the individuals are Muslim. Raiding random British homes and businesses does not seem in the best interest for the citizens. The government and military should do what is necessary for the protection of London in preparation for the Olympics, but the residents should not have to suffer as a result.