- June 5, 2007 at 11:39 pm #6340
Different numbers are given here, 1.5 million in the second paragraph and 1.25 million in the third paragraph. For the record, this isn't just a Chinese thing. While this is the most extreme, the report quoted below mentions every Summer Olympics since 1988 and none gets off clean, though Sydney in 2000 comes close due to the fact that the main sporting complex was built on “surplus government wasteland”.
GENEVA — The Olympic Games have led to the displacement of more than 2 million people in the last 20 years, mostly minorities such as the homeless, the poor, Roma and African-Americans, a rights group said Tuesday.
Some 1.5 million people will have been displaced by the Beijing Games alone, according to a report by the Geneva-based Center on Housing Rights and Evictions.
“Our research shows that little has changed since 1988 when 720,000 people were forcibly displaced in Seoul, South Korea, in preparation for the Summer Olympic Games,” said Jean du Plessis, COHRE's executive director. “It is shocking and entirely unacceptable that 1.25 million people have already been displaced in Beijing, in preparation for the 2008 Games, in flagrant violation of their right to adequate housing.”
- June 6, 2007 at 5:57 pm #23099
I've seen part of what Atlanta has done… and the Olympics are just part of the issue there… the city is GROWING… in the Olympic area they tore down shacks & built really nice two level town houses and AFTER the Olympics they resttled those with rent subsidized and welfare familes , but where all those people were during the Olympics is beyond me…
but the whole Atlanta area is still booming and others are STILL being displaced…
- June 6, 2007 at 9:16 pm #23100
Rita, I was wondering about that a bit. I've heard that cities like Atlanta offered the Athlete's Villages as rent subsidized/rent controlled housing after the Olympics. While that doesn't answer the question of where the people have to go during the Olympics, at least it would seem to lessen the effect and even make things better for at least some people after the Olympics.
Besides, one could easily say that a city that's not growing is a city that is dying and that is not a good thing for anyone in the city. Growth in a city means someone, usually the poor, get displaced. That may not be a nice thought but, to an extent, it is a fact of life. Whenever you hear about “redevelopment” in any city, just ask yourself what the area was before being redeveloped. Sometimes, truly empty space that was not being used. Other times, run down housing that was the only thing the poor could afford.
The reason this caught my eye and I felt deserved a post, though, is twofold. First, because it's a side of the Olympics that people often don't think about. They see the new development and think it's great for everyone involved (except the extreme cost that someone has to pay). They don't realize that the new development may have involved evicting some and pricing others out of their homes. Honestly, I never gave it much thought until reading a few stories about this report. Second, the sheer numbers of the Beijing situation. No matter what number you pick, we're talking over a million people displaced. That's astounding.
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