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Now this should have been the Opening Ceremony

Protestors conducting a sew-in on an Athens rooftop. Photo: Olaf Kraak.Considering that official competition in the Athens Olympics began on Wednesday the 11th, the logical time to have held the opening ceremony was on the Tuesday, and not leave it till the Friday night. Well, there was an olympic ceremony in Athens on Tuesday, and it was full of surreal images and symbolism that would have made Friday night's organisers proud. Perhaps.

Twenty women, wearing "faceless" white masks, conducted a "sew-in" on a rooftop in Athens to launch the "Fair Play at the Olympics" campaign. This is a world-wide campaign to bring attention to the generally appalling working conditions of labourers in the sportswear manufacturing industry worldwide. The "sweatshop" workers, if you want to use that expression.

According to the press release from the Fair Play campaign, a petition containing half a million signatures was turned away by the IOC in Athens last week.

For more information, see the Play Fair at the Olympics website. The campaign is a joint effort of Oxfam, the Clean Clothes Campaign, and Global Unions.

The event received plenty of publicity in the left-wing media, but little in the mainstream. All I have found is a paragraph towards the end of this column in the Toronto Star, which paraphrases the official press release.