An Olympic word to the wise | Bleader

An Olympic word to the wise

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"The modern Olympics have an especially dark but little-known history," writes Mike Davis in Planet of Slums. "In preparation for the 1936 Olympics, the Nazis ruthlessly purged homeless people and slum-dwellers from areas of Berlin likely to be seen by international visitors. While subsequent Olympics -- including those in Mexico City, Athens, and Barcelona -- were accompanied by urban renewal and evictions, the 1988 Seoul games were truly unprecedented in the scale of the official crackdown on poor homeowners, squatters, and tenants: as many as 720,000 people were relocated in Seoul and Injon, leadng a Catholic NGO to claim that South Korea vied with South Africa as 'the country in which eviction by force is most brutal and inhuman.' Beijing seems to be following the Seoul precedent in its preparations for the 2008 games."

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