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(en) Greece, A.P.O. - RC: Let's talk about gentrification, in response to the fire in Grenfell Tower (gr) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 25 Jun 2017 23:45:38 +0300


"The value of chtirion that are built plots instead of going up instead falls down, and that's because the buildings do not meet the changed conditions. This is done primarily with tenement houses located in the center, their rents even with the greatest overcrowding rent can not exceed a certain upper limit. The pull down and in their place build shops, warehouses and public stores." ---- F. Engkels ---- On June 14 a fire broke out in Grenfell Tower, in a wealthy neighborhood of Great Britain. The gas explosion damaged a refrigerator tenant, bad wiring of the building are some of the theories about the cause of the tragedy. The alarm for the fire did not hurt because the building had long been neglected. The only certainty is that "stuck" in a liquidation plan any residue of a previous state of the area and maintaining the new rich and pure image.

The Grenfell Tower is a remnant residential projects cheap housing a previous planning phase of the region, which had come to house poor people in the richest and most expensive area in Great Britain. With the passage of time, the people who lived piled reported that every effort made to solve the problems of the building together with the management fell on deaf ears. Never had the resources or the time to deal with the damage to the elevator, the burners or emergency lights. Their administration clearly showed that they had to feel lucky and only have a home, especially since it is located in a privileged area. More specifically, there was a widespread feeling that the terrible conditions will give the administrator the ability to demolish the Grenfell. The tender for the renovation of the building was another indication.

Modern metropolises are products of mode and movement of global capital and the conditions that shape a society. Global capital evolves, like the societies of management within cities. So cities redesigned as purer, territorially-bound, financial market operators, rather than the external supplements. Neoliberal urbanism, new urbanism , is a constituent part of this broader redefinition of the scale of operations, activities and social relations.

The most important "strategic cities" that has emerged in recent decades as an expression of neoliberal urbanism is the phenomenon of gentrification . The process of gentrification is a manufacturing process of social and spatial conditions and gives the place a restructured identity and new features for the benefit of real estate and construction capital and the upper classes. This phenomenon appears to be based on investment flows and disinvestment in urban areas but also in new real estate strategies for Profiting from there, which prepare the way for broader and more central interventions.

A key feature of the process is the displacement of populations. Britain, after all, has been a historical example in the history of gentrification, with the decisive contribution of Margaret Thatcher, which has prepared the political ground with an unprecedented fragmentation of public housing and services. In various areas of London, such as Westminster, the gentrification became official government policy with the aim of expelling the residents adjacent to the trade union and the influx neosyntiritikon yuppies. In Stamfortnt Hill, in March 1988, hundreds of squatters evicted under the pretext of development.

In all cases, before the killing and displacement precedes a period full of state neglect and targeting. Something seemed to be done, clearly, in the case of Grenfell Tower residents. Depressed areas, which have occurred in this state by state, then, neglect come to gentrification processes in which huge numbers of people, former residents of these areas, displaced directly or indirectly, more or less violently. There are few examples of police operations against the homeless, drug addicts, immigrants in such areas and mass evictions in chronic residents who can not longer pay their rent. Unnecessary fires is such an instrument we have met before in such processes. This, of course, be expected if the global competition for the promotion of global economic and political centers to the city "image" be "clean" and free of anything to degrade and does not facilitate the flow of capital. The "delinquents" populations disappear. Displaced, directly or indirectly, and transferred to other neighborhoods, other ghettos that tomorrow may still abound according to the plans of global capital ...

It is another class barrier, this time for access to the city itself, access to housing, the survival of the plebeians themselves, workers, migrants, minorities and excluded. The gentrification is not something foreign or something not seen in the Helladic case in other ways, simply the phenomenon intensity changes with respect to global economic power. The cleaner operations against immigrants and drug addicts in 2012 in the area of Athens and other cities, the mutation of the Gazi area, the gradual change of Metaxourgio happening in recent years some specks of a strategy of complete extermination disposal whoever excess. The proposal to create a metro line in the area of Exarchia, in conjunction with the intensity of the action of narkomafion there and the rapid growth of the entertainment industry have the pretext of development and clearing of the area, but as real aim subjugation whoever resists a region historically linked with the social, class and political struggles.

In short, government policies subordination and profit drop in pumping wall encountering social resistances that stand against them. The movements of the residents of these neighborhoods have resisted mass and dynamically to any attempts of capital to impose on their premises and in their neighborhoods. Opposite sterilization objected solidarity and mutual aid. Against the enslavement collective action and collective life. Opposite to control and suppress the resistance and struggle.

Maria Bousdeki

https://ipposd.wordpress.com/2017/06/22
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