Thursday, November 22, 2012

The ugly combination of gentrification & racism

In this moving photo, Vicente Gabarri Valdes comforts his 7-year-old nephew, Saul, distraught at the demolition of his home in the Spanish Roma settlement of Puerta de Hierro in the outskirts of Madrid. Roma families settled that area in the 1960s but since 2010, the Madrid development authorities have been forcibly evicting them & bulldozing their homes under the pretense the settlement is illegal. It is really, of course, part of the global urban process of gentrification--evicting the poor in order to build luxury condos & shopping malls for the rich--in this instance combining the escalating European persecution of Roma with gentrification. Some seniors residents have been provided public housing; most are left homeless. (Photo by Susana Vera, who has documented this eviction/Reuters)

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