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Commonwealth Games Death Watch



Chicago As we pack to leave for Vietnam and another great Organizers’ Forum dialogue and then to India, the Commonwealth Games is on a death watch.  New Zealand, Scotland, and the Welsh put the games on alert.  Canada, which is crucial to the games and has been silently allowing all of the displacement to go forward, has now delayed its flight to the games during the death watch.  The head of the Games who has presided over this disaster is supposedly flying (according to the Guardian to meet with Prime Minister Singh.

This is all too little, too late.

The real death watch should have been looking at the body count of injured workers and tragic working conditions in the Games, which we have frequently reported at www.commonwealthgamescampaign.org.  The real watch and demand should have been for decent living conditions for all, not just some elite athletes from around the world.

Some years ago they changed the name of the games from British Empire Games to the Commonwealth Games.  Even with the name change, it still all seems the same!


Commonwealth Games – Sheets & Toilets

Athlete Village at Commonwealth GamesNew 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

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