Sunday, April 13, 2014

demolition, eviction, and bogus new construction

Between Scotland and Brazil, you get the picture: sports is an excuse for displacement.

The Guardian offers a successful cautionary tale from Glasgow, which proposed imploding five  blocks of Red Road, a 60's era apartment development, as part of the opening ceremonies to the Commonwealth Games. Read the comments for the true outrage the article lacks: "the demolition of the Red Road flats is just part of the wider annihilation of social housing in Glasgow. The eight transformational regeneration areas (TRA’s) in the city, for instance, will see the demolition of 11,000 GHA (Glasgow Housing Association) homes. these will be replaced by 6,500 private homes and a dismal 500 social homes. an astonishing loss of 10,500 social homes in just one regen programme! (not even including Red Road).” If this is what First Minister Alex Salmond envisions for Scotland as an independent nation, it's a pretty sorry sight.

Meanwhile, The New York Times opens our eyes to the myriad desolate and decaying projects Brazil's government has pushed over the past decade. Unsaid in the article is the accusation that, despite evictions and dislocations and war against its residents in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is way behind on its construction obligations for the World Cup. From the article: Back in 2007, when the deal was cut, then president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said the World Cup stadiums would be financed mostly by private companies, but today it's known that public funds are behind the vast majority of them, either through loans or tax breaks." And the government is continuing to evict people from favelas.

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