Tuesday, February 07, 2012

don't they deserve dignity?

Treating people with dignity seems out of the question in Brazil, where authorities are moving ever faster to transform 12 cities for the World Cup and the Olympics. As the Associated Press reports, about 170,000 people have been threatened with ejectment, or have already been ejected from their homes.

Evandro dos Santos, from Favela do Metro, whose home and store are scheduled to be destroyed in a sprucing up of Maracana stadium, told the AP, "I have built something here - a house, a business. That's what I want. Not a gift, not charity. I want to keep on working and earning my money and feeding my family."

From the article:
With preparations starting for the Olympics and World Cup, Metro's residents initially were offered government-built housing in a working-class suburb 45 miles away, with poor access to transportation and jobs. About 100 families accepted, under duress. Another 100 or so took the offer that followed: resettlement in a closer housing project. About 270 families are resisting the move, said the Metro residents association president, Francicleide Souza. "We are living in fear and uncertainty," Souza said. "We don't know what will happen to our families tomorrow." Compensation paid per home for Rio's removals in 2010 averaged $16,000. The amount varies according to the size and quality of a structure. The money offered is not nearly enough to find another home in Rio, said Eliomar Coelho, a city councilman heading an investigation into removals. Market studies say Rio's real estate is now among the most expensive in the Americas.
The world over, fancy sporting events have always meant massive evictions. The question is why? Why are poor people considered an eyesore? Why does the convenience of tourists matter more than the dignity and well-being of the population? Why do governments refuse to treat people with justice, fairness and dignity?


Dosch said...

The same holds for other international spectacles. Currently hundred of people in Baku, Azerbaijan are forced to move because of the Eurovision Songfestival later this year...

rn said...

Thanks, Dosch. I found this BBC item from late last year -- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16223311 -- about the evictions in Baku.

Paolo Boscolo said...

It is a shame that government are always investing in the rich rather that in
the poor. Architect in Manchester

aditi said...

It's such a shame that these authorities don't see the "informal" city dweller as a part of the city so they need to 'clean up the city' and push them out. The same has happened at such a large scale in so many of the large cities in China.

The authorities are more than likely going to cause bigger problems for these people by pushing them to peripheral sites away from work and connection to the city.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Robert! Hi all readers!

I don't know if you know the Raquel Rolniks-Blog.
Unfortately it just for people who understand portuguese:(. Rauql ist an urbanist in SP and htis blog she writes a lot of unknowing "data & facts" about "the progratic expulsion of squatters in Sao Paulo", included the "(re)moving from squatters because of the world wide events 2014 and 2016.

Anonymous said...

I suspect it has a lot to do with making the developers happy. Once cities have laid in the infrastructure, they're keen to get their money back out of the developers who come in and start building after the games are over. Using your parlance, its a good way to enclose the geography of System D into the formal economy.