Europe

Row over London's Olympic missile plans

Published 11:37 AM ET, Fri May 4, 2012
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Britain's Ministry of Defence is to place ground-to-air missiles on an apartment block in Bow, East London. The building was formerly the Bryant and May match factory. George Webster/CNN
The building's former water tower was chosen as the possible site for a missile battery during the 2012 Olympic Games because of its location close to, and view over, the Olympic Park. George Webster/CNN
Match girls at the factory walked out on strike in 1888, in protest at the terrible working conditions which made many of them ill, and the system of fines that left them very poorly paid. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The strike was inspired by journalist and campaigner Annie Besant, whose article "White Slavery in London" provoked outrage at Bryant and May's treatment of its workers. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The strike led to a boycott of Bryant and May's matches, and forced the company to improve pay and conditions for the match girls, who went on to set up their own union -- the first of its kind for women workers. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Louise Raw, a historian who has written a book about the match girls' strike, called on residents of the apartment block to follow their example and protest at the decision to place missiles so close to their homes. George Webster/CNN