London Plays Games, Part II


To go back to this thing about the ‘deprivation’ of East London … The problem here is that this is again used against East London because … East London is the poor part, it’s the smelly part [and this] means that it then gets treated as the part that needs to be ‘rescued’. So this is where all this language about deprivation and regeneration comes in, and therefore East London is very vulnerable because it means that not only is it valuable because the land is valuable, but it’s also a place that people make out that they’re doing you some kind of favour by coming along and kicking you out.

–Julian Cheyne

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Counter Olympics Network march in East London. Courtesy of Counter Olympics Network.

SECOND IN A SERIES | On the podcast, we hear from Julian Cheyne (Counter Olympics Network) on the relationships between the London Games, property (re)development, gentrification, and remaking of working class East London boroughs into (upper) middle class urban space. Goldman Sachs and CBRE (the world’s larger commercial development firm) provide perspectives from the elites who trumpet gentrification, redevelopment, and the displacement of working class housing and jobs. These processes of urban class transformation are made possible and underwritten, in part, by celebration capitalism-style mega-events like the Olympic Games.

London Plays Games (Part I): Olympics History, Civil Liberties, and the Militarization of Public Space is available here.


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