Demolition

Clays Lane Housing Estate is nearly empty. Scaffolded because overhead power lines are being taken down. Aug 2007

Clays Lane Housing Estate is nearly empty. Scaffolded because overhead power lines are being taken down. Aug 2007

Before physical demolition becomes visible damage to a familiar local landscape it emerges as boosterist black propaganda about ‘a tragic zone of industrial dereliction, incompetent local government, and feckless people living in degraded housing in blighted landscapes’. This demeaning and  oversimplified description in the present tense provides useful ballast for the Olympic developers’ argument for their preferred vision of transformation by Olympic Park and Monster Mall as the only viable solutions available.

Gutted student accommodation before demolition. Park Hill Estate, Clays Lane. Aug 2007

Gutted student accommodation before demolition. Park Hill Estate, Clays Lane. Aug 2007

The flight elsewhere of mobile capital via containerisation, from what was, in the 1960s, the largest cargo handling docklands in the world, with the subsequent abandonment and impoverishment of those unable to follow fewer jobs is not officially counted amongst the prior crimes of capital. They have a vision and the Games and the Mall are their price for bringing leveraged public funds to the processes of privatisation and gentrification.

A reminder that projects on this scale do not necessarily run smoothly. (Below)

A runaway fire was ignited during demolition of an  old clothes factory within the Olympic construction site at Waterden Road. (The black dot is a Police helicopter.) 12 Nov 2011.

A runaway fire was ignited during demolition of an old clothes factory within the Olympic construction site at Waterden Road. (The black dot is a Police helicopter.) 12 Nov 2011.

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