New Orleans In Delhi 250,000 of our slum dwellers have been displaced in order to allow the Delhi Municipal Corporation and India to preen before the dozens of countries coming to the Commonwealth Games being hosted in the country for the first time. Tens of thousands of our bicycle rickshaw pullers and other informal workers are being pushed off the streets in order to allow the city and the country to pretend that the poor are nowhere rather than everywhere, making them not only invisible but also robbing their livelihoods file this farce is played out on the world stage. This disaster led ACORN International to launch the Commonwealth Games Campaign (www.commonwealthgamescampaign.org) to try to win some support and assistance from not only India but to enlist the aid of other countries in making sure that the poor were not run over by the race to the games. With the games hardly two weeks away the piper is now being paid, the chickens are coming to roost, though little of this is giving much comfort or aid to the displaced still.
Luckily I’m writing about all of this, because if I were talking about it, I would probably be incoherent since my tongue is fixed so firmly in my cheek. Yesterday, England, Scotland, and New Zealand all stirred the pot with a roar of complaints as they inspected the athletes’ residences (whose construction affected much of the residential displacement!). The whine to BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/commonwealth_games/delhi_2010/9018515.stm) was unrelenting and included intimations by the New Zealanders that the Games