A large abandoned building overlooking Lincoln’s Inn Fields in central London, owned by Anish Kapoor - millionaire artist, businessman and designer of the "meccano on crack" ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower in the Olympic Village - has been liberated for a one-day arts event from 4pm today. Dubbed ’Bread and Circuses’, after the Roman formula employed to distract people from the collapse of the Empire, the event intends to make apparent links between the darker side of the Olympics, creeping privatisation and the economic crisis.
The events today, supported by Occupy London, will feature political talks, screenings, art exhibits and assemblies from 4pm onwards, with live music after 9pm. Speakers include activist Trenton Oldfield, who famously stopped this year's Boat Race in protest at elitism, Julian Cheyne from the Counter Olympics Network, one of the co-organisers of the upcoming demonstrations against the corporatisation of the Olympics, plus John Hilary, director of War on Want.
Jeniffer Taylor, a member of Bread and Circuses Collective, has explained that:
The ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower in the Olympic Park, which Kapoor designed, is a partly publicly funded mega-structure sponsored by ArcelorMittal - one of the world’s largest steel and mining companies - guilty of crimes in Eastern India, with plans to construct the largest industrial development in the Arctic Circle.