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How Would You Like to Lose Your Home to the Olympics?

Posted by libhom Sunday, August 10, 2008

Over 1.5 million people in Beijing have lost their homes due to the Olympics and other beautification projects. Here are some facts about the Olympics from the Indypendent.

1.5 million:
Estimated number of people to have been relocated from their homes in Beijing in the last eight years to make room for Olympic facilities and “beautification” projects. (“One World, Whose Dream? Housing Rights Violations and the Beijing Olympic Games,” cohre.org)

30,000:
Number of surveillance cameras, some with microphones, that have been installed througout Beijing. Capable of filming passers-by and recording conversations, they are designed to help the authorities identify suspicious behavior and locate suspects. (rsf.org)

20,000:
Approximate number of journalists and technicians at the Olympics who will face Internet censorship when reporting from China. Websites considered “politically sensitive” will be blocked. Reporters Without Borders has issued a guide on how to use proxy servers to navigate around China’s censorship (rsf.org)

3:
Number of U.S. companies — IBM, Honeywell and General Electric — who have been exposed supplying integrated surveilliance systems to China. Three U.S. cities — New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. — are experimenting with similar technology. (“China’s All-Seeing Eye.” By Naomi Klein, Rolling Stone)

$58-78 million:
Estimated amount the 12 global partner Olympic sponsors have paid for a four-year deal. These include Coca-cola, Visa, McDonalds, General Electric and Johnson & Johnson. (guardian.co.uk)

The Beijing Olympics get more and more disturbing as you learn more about them.

 

8 comments

  1. Christopher Says:
  2. It just gets better and better, doesn't it?

    First, the bully boys in Beijing arrest all the dissidents before the games began, then, the government sent out an order that bars in Beijing could not "serve blacks or Mongolians," then the few gay bars in Beijing were shuttered.

    Now what you're reporting.

    I'm so glad I don't have the blood of this ghoulish spectacle on my 48" flat screen.

     
  3. libhom Says:
  4. christopher: I didn't know the gay bars were shuttered. This gets more repulsive with each passing moment.

     
  5. Chilling statstics. I've been there. I never felt comfortable...

     
  6. i'd love to hear your stance on the whole google issue from about a year ago.

    did you hear about how the journalists weren't able to access the websites they were promised?

    i don't even know why i'm surprised...

    that said, i feel like it is just as useless for individuals to protest the olympics as it is for people to not shop at walmart. for me, it's not fair to assume that individuals should be doing the work of governments to regulate, and in this case stand against oppression. while it's ok for individuals to take an individual stance, this must be coupled with group resistance and governmental recognition of the human rights issues associated with china.

     
  7. GDAEman Says:
  8. I heard people in Atlanta and Los Angeles lost their homes, or at least businesses, in addition to 'round-ups of "undesirables." Quebec tax payers just recently paid off their Olympics.

     
  9. Riverwolf Says:
  10. A friend was describing the opening ceremonies, and she thought it was obvious how hard the Chinese participants had worked. I'm sure that's true and on some level, admirable. However, there were other little things she mentioned that made us both wonder if the participants were threatened or motivated by some great vision of the motherland. Wanting to do your best is one thing, and then there's going over the line to slavish, mindless devotion at any cost.

    I've also heard a few reports of Chinese athletes breaking down when they didn't win gold medals. Very sad.

     
  11. Disgusting and yet we will do anything to please them because thanks to people like Reagan, Bush I and Bush II we pretty much have to since they own our debt.

    Riverwolf:

    Yeah I feel bad for the athletes who don't win gold. I worry that they'll be shipped off to prison or something.

     
  12. Chandira Says:
  13. Wow.. that's scary shit right there..
    I'm boycotting the olympics, more out of boredom than political reason. I hate sport on tv..
    Pool is a great sport, so is Johnny Depp-lookalike-spotting.

     

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