Target: President of Brazil, Delma Rousseff
Goal: Increase rehousing efforts for hundreds of families displaced by construction of Olympic Village.
Brazil has demolished low-income neighborhoods to make way for luxury buildings and high-rise apartments in its Olympic Village. Historically, when the Olympics come to a country, thousands of people get kicked out of their homes and neighborhoods are destroyed. The 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics is gentrification at its finest, and Brazil is providing little relief for the thousands of people left homeless.
Ninety percent of the local neighborhood Vila Autodroma has been cleared already to make room for Olympic Village and Olympic Park. This means nearly 800 families have forcibly lost their homes, and that’s just in this area. In the last three years, at least 230 families were moved against their will to make room for highways from Olympic Park to the suburbs. Nine hundred more were moved from the Vila União favela for bus routes to and from the park. In 2014, the World Cup in Brazil uprooted at least 15,000 families for the building of facilities. It is estimated that by the end of the 2016 Olympics 100,000 families will have been evicted, but not nearly that many will be assisted with relocation.
Gentrification is often disguised as necessary urban renewal projects and something that will be good for the city. But it often results in the unfair displacement of impoverished families for the sake of building luxury condos and neighborhoods for the upper class. Gentrification happens most everywhere, but especially when coupled with the Olympics, these mass renewal projects have grim consequences. It uproots hardworking people’s families, scatters them about, and often leaves people unable to resume their lives. Once the crowds go home, neighborhoods are left ravaged and construction on homes for the higher class begins. There is an enormous level of debt and destruction left over when the Olympics are finished.
The occurrence of the Olympics creates countless human rights issues. Officials need to make up for displacing families and provide free or affordable living alternatives for families that lose their homes. Sign this petition to demand the government help families relocate or reimburse them for lost homes.
Dear President Rousseff,
Brazil’s efforts to make room for the upcoming mega sporting event, the Olympics, have resulted in the blatant disregard and mistreatment of people living in poverty in your country. Forcibly removing thousands of people and leaving them without options is irresponsible and wrong.
Gentrification has many negative effects on a large proportion of the population. Families who already live in poverty are separated and scattered, often left to find housing without help. The families that do get to stay in newly renovated areas are often socially and economically marginalized. These evictions often cause a rise in the rate of crime and dramatically affect local and national debt.
If you are going to remove hundreds of families in order to build over their neighborhoods, you need to provide realistic housing alternatives or reimburse families for the homes that were destroyed. The Olympics aren’t worth the destruction of people’s lives and homes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Wikipedia