Almost every city in Bosnia-Herzegovina has been shaken by a series of mass demonstrations that started Feb. 4. Government officials have been forced to resign amid mass workers’ uprisings and assemblies in a country that was once part of the former (socialist) Yugoslavia.Protests started in the industrial city of Tuzla.Since Feb. 4, almost every city and even large towns in Bosnia-Herzegovina have been shaken by a series of mass demonstrations and mass assemblies calling for an end to the privatizing and looting of the remaining industry. These mass actions have forced government officials to resign.The upsurge began in Tuzla, a major industrial city of Bosnia-Herzegovina, against the privatization and closing of formerly state-owned factories. Thousands of largely unemployed workers took to the streets and stayed in the streets in a massive and determined occupation. (BBC News, Feb. 7)Demonstrations and mass protests quickly spread to more than 30 cities of Bosnia, including Sarajevo, the capital, and Zenica, Mostar, Jajce, Brcko, Doboj and Srebrenik. The heads of four regional cantons — Tuzla, Zenica, Sarajevo and Bihac — have been forced to resign. Government buildings were set on fire in Zenica, Tuzla, Mostar and Sarajevo.The contrast between the imperialist posture regarding Ukraine on the one hand and Bosnia on the other indicates the different content of those two distinct struggles. Top United States and European Union politicians back the Ukraine rightists’ violence against the state, and the corporate media give the protests favorable coverage. For Bosnia there is only limited corporate media coverage of the mass assemblies and as of now no political support.In Ukraine, once a republic of the former Soviet Union, rightist demonstrators demand alignment with the EU and NATO, the U.S. commanded military alliance. Thousands of Western supported and well-funded nongovernmental organizations and right-wing, religious and even fascist groupings — back the protesters.In Bosnia, a country of 3.8 million people, and throughout the former Yugoslav Federation, there are few illusions that economic and political integration into the economies of the EU and U.S. imperialists will improve life.In the two decades since the U.S. imposed the Dayton Accords, U.S. and EU imperialism has fractured the former sovereign Yugoslavia into seven puppet ministates and systematically looted it of almost all of its industries and resources. In Bosnia, the violent process of privatization and the selling off of entire industries for scrap metal has resulted in an official unemployment rate of 44 percent, with youth unemployment of over 75 percent, according to a United Nations survey a year ago. (BBC, March 4, 2013)Tuzla demandsWhat has marked the recent mass actions in Bosnia is the working-class character of the demands, the calls for unity and against ethnic and nationalist divisions. This is an important departure from the chauvinist and separatist political movements that German and U.S. imperialism backed during the Bosnian Civil War of 1992 to 1995.The current protests started in the industrial town of Tuzla after four state-owned companies were privatized and sold off after promises that Western capital investments would modernize factories. As in industries throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe, however, the new owners quickly downsized, declared bankruptcy, moved the equipment and sold the remains for scrap, leaving workers unpaid and without jobs or pensions.Workers who had been picketing for months against the selling of their factory took to the streets on Feb. 4 to demand a reversal of privatization and payment of their health care benefits and pensions. Thousands of workers responded in an action that grew into a mass occupation. By Feb. 7, workers had seized the government building and demanded that the local government resign. (Reuters, Feb. 7)After the local government resigned, a mass assembly put forth a “Declaration by the Workers and Citizens of the Tuzla Canton (tinyurl.com/mrtqo2a)The declaration called for annulling the privatization agreements, restoring production, returning the factories to workers’ control, confiscating illegally obtained property, recognition of seniority and secure health insurance for the workers, and equalizing the pay of high-paid government officials to that of workers in the public and private sector.News of the workers’ action and the Tuzla declaration spread quickly to other cities. Graffiti and signs reading “EU Out” and “Death to Nationalism” plus red flags are the symbols in many cities. At this time the call is for unity among the ethnic groups that have been brutally divided.A danger that this mass workers’ uprising faces is that many political operatives and Western funded NGOs and “civil society” groups will attempt to hijack the movement and refocus the mass anger. Some groups have already raised slogans calling for faster and more complete integration into the EU as the solution. Maintaining independent workers’ demands is the challenge of every revolutionary movement and spontaneous upheaval.The other immediate threat is of U.S. and EU military intervention. A U.S./EU appointee, the “High Representative,” currently Austrian bureaucrat Valentin Inzko, oversees all the multiple layers of government in Bosnia. This appointed, foreign official holds almost absolute authority to remove any public official at his personal whim or to enforce binding decisions. This dictatorial power has functioned for two decades to create favorable conditions for foreign businesses.That Inzko is Austrian recalls the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s rule over much of the former Yugoslavia, including Bosnia, before World War I. High Representative Inzko has ominously warned of sending EU troops to prevent Bosnians “from looting.” (Radio Free Europe, Feb. 17)Roots of the protestsThe roots of the present protests in Bosnia-Herzegovina go back to the breakup of the Yugoslav Socialist Federation, which was based on the socialist idea of “brotherhood and unity” among the distinct nationalities of six republics and two autonomous provinces.In 1991, the imperialists recognized separatist demands for independence from the Yugoslav Federation by right-wing nationalist groups in Croatia and Slovenia. As in Syria today, the U.S., German and French governments funded chauvinist militias and separatist movements to inflame ethnic and religious differences. In multiethnic Bosnia this spiraled into a devastating civil war. Bosnia’s Serbian-origin population was especially targeted and demonized. The resulting civil war ripped apart relations among the many nationalities of the Yugoslav Socialist Federation.Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, U.S. imperialism was particularly anxious to justify the expansion of NATO, a U.S. commanded military alliance, into Eastern Europe. The wars in Yugoslavia, especially the civil war in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995, were the immediate pretext for NATO’s expansion.In 1995, the Clinton Administration carried out 3,515 bombing sorties against Serb targets in Bosnia, declaring that this was a “humanitarian war,” and then forced the various sides into “Peace Talks” in Dayton, Ohio. The Dayton Accords stationed a U.S./NATO force of 60,000 in Bosnia.Claiming that the only way to end “ancient ethnic hatreds” was to set the most divisive ethnic relations in stone, the U.S. created a totally fragmented and powerless political landscape.The Dayton Accords established in Bosnia two autonomous regions, the Muslim Croatian “Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina” and in two separate pieces, a Serbian “Republika Srpska” (not to be confused with the neighboring country of Serbia). The Federation was divided into ten cantons, each with a full-fledged government, and one separate city, Brčko District, which officially belongs to both entities but is governed by neither.Over the entire convoluted structure is an appointed “High Representative” who can overrule any law passed by any of the 150 competing ministries. The entire structure was built in order to keep those who actually live in Bosnia as far away as possible from the political process.In 1999, after 78 days of NATO bombing in the neighboring Republic of Serbia, the province of Kosovo was ripped from Serbia and thousands of NATO forces were stationed in five separate segments of Kosovo. This was once again colonial reconquest through endless fragmentation.Today’s mass actions are challenging the violence of corporate looting, ruin and desperation. Can this new movement stay united and focused against EU and U.S. corporate power? Will it be able, through united actions of all the nationalities, to raise the struggle to get NATO out of Bosnia and out of the Balkans?This is a big challenge. But the demands and example of the workers in Tuzla may become a new chapter in the long history of resistance in the Balkans. Only a united workers’ movement can challenge imperialist division and ruthless capitalist exploitation.Sara Flounders, who was in Yugoslavia with an International Action Center solidarity delegation during the 1999 US/NATO bombing, is a co-author and editor of the books “NATO in the Balkans: Voices of Opposition” (IAC, 1998) and “Hidden Agenda: U.S./NATO Takeover of Yugoslavia” (IAC, 2002).FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has no desire to sell Debuchy, who signed a five-and-a-half-year deal when he joined the club from Lille in January last year for around £5.5million. However, the player has spoken of his desire to play Champions League football once again, something Newcastle cannot offer him, and rather than try to hold on to a potentially unhappy player, they could be prepared to cash in – but only if the price is right. To that end, potential suitors have been warned that they will have to meet the club’s valuation – in the region of £12million – if they are to prise the France international, who is currently on World Cup duty in Brazil, from their grasp. Contingency plans are being drawn up should that prove to be the case with Toulouse’s Ivory Coast international Serge Aurier among the candidates to replace the Frenchman. The Magpies have also been linked with Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson and Manchester City’s Micah Richards, although the latter’s current salary may prove an obstacle to any move. Debuchy’s situation is an unwelcome distraction for Newcastle, who were already facing a sizeable rebuilding job with strikers and attacking flair the priority. They went some of the way to addressing that situation on Tuesday evening when Ajax skipper Siem de Jong, the older brother of Borussia Monchengladbach striker Luuk, who spent the second half of last season on loan at St James’ Park. He becomes the club’s third summer signing after Jack Colback and Ayoze Perez. Newcastle face a fight to hang on to France full-back Mathieu Debuchy as interest mounts in his signature. Press Association Sport understands suggestions that a move to Arsenal is all but done is premature, but there has been contact between the two clubs. In addition, long-time admirers Paris St Germain, who signed the 28-year-old’s close friend Yohan Cabaye from the Magpies for £19million in January, retain an interest, and reports have suggested Marseille too are monitoring his situation. De Jong, 25, scored 78 times in almost 250 appearances for the Dutch club, and that is a strength he hopes he can bring to Tyneside. He told nufcTV: “I hope to bring a lot of attacking play and goals. “At Ajax, I scored quite a lot of goals as an attacking midfielder – sometimes as a striker – and I hope to do that here too. I want to help the team be as good as it can be.” De Jong has spent the last three years learning from childhood hero Dennis Bergkamp, Ajax’s assistant manager, who famously scored one of the best goals in Barclays Premier League history for Arsenal at St James’. He said: “Dennis Bergkamp was my hero growing up. I watched him a lot. He came to the Premier League with Arsenal and was a great player for them. “The way he played, he was something special, and the goals he scored were great too. “It was great when he joined Ajax as a coach and I found it pretty funny to be working with my hero. “I learned a lot from him. He was assistant coach, but also was the forward trainer, so I picked up some good things from him and it was nice to work with such a great player.” Newcastle remain in the market for out-and-out frontmen with Loic Remy, who spent last season on loan with the Magpies, expected not to return, Luuk de Jong having returned to Germany and Shola Ameobi’s contract having expired. Hertha Berlin’s Pierre-Michel Lasogga and Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette are still in their sights, as too is Montpellier midfielder Remy Cabella, a long-term target. Press Association
Beauty from Hazlewood. Pujara breaks the shackles by going on the backfoot and steering a short ball outside off to the square third man fence. However, the bowler gets the fullish length ball to nip back in off the seam and it beats Pujara’s inside edge. 09:55 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 07:00 (IST) Here are the playing XIs of both sidesIndia: Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed ShamiAustralia: Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Tim Paine(w/c), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Kohli and Pujara are steadfast in their defence as Starc and Hazlewood extract plenty of bounce from the Adelaide deck. Pat Cummins is into the attack. 12:44 (IST) 05:46 (IST) What a knock! Simply sublime, gutsy and gritty! Cheteshwar Pujara scores his 16th ton and his first in Australia. He gets there with a clip off Mitchell Starc. Take a bow, champion! Hazlewood has settled into a nice rhythm and metronomy already. He is getting good bounce and the line is absolutely immaculate. He troubles Vijay with some extra bounce as well. This first hour is very important for the Indian cricket team. 12:24 (IST) Vijay strikes the first boundary of the series. Full ball bowled from wide of the crease from Hazlewood, it cuts away outside off, Vijay reaches out for it and steers it uppishly but safely over backward point. Risky but sometimes it pays off. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In RUN OUT! Perhaps, it was the only way he could be dismissed. However, it is also his most common mode of dismissal unfortunately. Pujara takes a quick single by nudging to midwicket but Pat Cummins reaches the ball, dives sensationally and scores a direct hit at the bowler’s end to catch him short. Ends a sensational knock and that will be stumps. India are 250/9 and Australia will be very happy with this effort. The second new ball is taken and Mitchell Starc traps Ishant Sharma. Umpire Nigel Llong raises the finger but on review, it is going over the stumps. Good call by Ishant. New Delhi: Cheteshwar Pujara was the star for India with his 16th century in Tests as India finished day one of the Adelaide Test on 250/9. During the course of his knock, Pujara went past 5000 runs and boosted India after the top order failed. Opting to bat after winning the toss, India lost KL Rahul cheaply and Murali Vijay to Mitchell Starc. Virat Kohli fell to a brilliant catch from Usman Khawaja while Rohit Sharma threw away his wicket after scoring a confident 37. Rishabh Pant also fell cheaply but Pujara held firm, sharing a partnership of over 50 with Ravichandran Ashwin and having good support in Ishant Sharma. For the Australians, all four bowlers excelled and they will be hoping that the batting does the job on the second day. (SCORECARD) 11:51 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 12:36 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Right, we are all set to begin. Three slips, gully and short leg in place as Mitchell Starc runs in. KL Rahul is on strike. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 09:45 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In A warm welcome to the first Test between India and Australia in Adelaide. It is that time of the year again. Alarm clocks at 5 AM, seeing the magnificence of the Australian grounds and getting a glimpse of action which will be thrilling to say the least Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In SIX and OUT! Oh, Rohit Sharma, what a brain fade! This was just not on. He had slogged a six over deep backward square leg where Marcus Harris took the catch but the momentum took him over the ropes. Next ball, Rohit attempts a similar shot but gets beaten in the flight and holes out. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 08:56 (IST) 05:08 (IST) 09:33 (IST) 09:09 (IST) 11:57 (IST) Rohit shows why he has been picked in the squad. Cummins drags the delivery short and the batsman pulls it to the deep midwicket fence for a flat six. That should give them some confidence. 11:14 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In WICKET! Loose stroke and Vijay pays the price. Starc stays over the wicket and angles a full ball outside off, it holds its line and Vijay is lured into the drive, the edge is taken by Paine. Murali Vijay c Paine b Starc 11 (22). Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In This is a far better start by Pujara and Rohit in this session. Cummins and Hazlewood are maintaining tight lines and lengths but both batsmen are hanging in there. A DRS review against Ishant. Lyon gets the ball to spin down the leg side but there is no edge. Australia lose a review. Bad one taken by skipper Tim Paine. Pujara nears fifty with a delightful cut shot. Anything short outside off and he has punished the bowlers today. Hazlewood makes the mistake of erring in line and length and the Indian batsman nears his fifty. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In The partnership is moving on steadily. Pujara has gotten his eye in while Rishabh Pant is now starting to rotate the strike more consistently. 05:50 (IST) 11:24 (IST) 07:27 (IST) There is an even covering of grass on the wicket but all indications are it will once again be the Adelaide belter of the past. Remember, in the Pink Ball Test, there was plenty of movement off the wicket. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 06:24 (IST) CATCH DROPPED! Nathan Lyon into the attack and he almost gets a wicket. Ajinkya Rahane dances down the track and the ball kicks up from the deck, Rahane stabs at it and the edge flies past Marcus Harris and forward short leg. Would have been a blinder had that catch being taken. Australia maintain the pressure. 06:19 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 06:05 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 08:28 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 06:40 (IST) WICKET! Brilliant stuff from Hazlewood and he deserves the wicket. Full ball in the channel outside off and it swings away late, Rahul is lured into the flashy drive and Aaron Finch at third slip takes the catch. KL Rahul c Finch b Hazlewood 2 (8). Virat Kohli gets off the mark with a nudge to the leg side off Josh Hazlewood. However, this is time for the real battle. Mitchell Starc vs Virat Kohli. Bring it on! 08:45 (IST) 06:29 (IST) 07:31 (IST) 11:29 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In WICKET! WHAT A CATCH! Simply sensational. Pat Cummins strikes in his first over. Full ball and once again bouncing a bit more in the channel outside off, Kohli chases after it and the edge flies to Usman Khawaja at gully, the ball is almost past him but Khawaja leaps to his left and takes a stunning one-handed catch. A rare failure for Kohli in Adelaide and India are in trouble. Virat Kohli c Khawaja b Cummins 3 (16.) Great start after the lunch break for India. Rohit Sharma latches on to a full ball from Cummins and caresses the drive to the deep extra cover fence. 07:15 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 09:47 (IST) 09:28 (IST) 07:06 (IST) WOW! Sublime timing from Rohit Sharma. Full ball and in the slot outside off, Rohit presents the full face of the bat and effortlessly lofts it over widish long off for a big six. We saw the best catch today, we might have seen the best shot of the day if not the match. 08:35 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 05:59 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Four and a six. Pujara is batting in a proper Twenty20 mode here as he thwacks Starc to the deep midwicket fence and also upper-cuts him over deep backward point for his second six. That is rare. I think this is the first time Pujara has hit two sixes in an innings. Nope, he achieved it once against England in Vizag in 2016 when he hit two sixes Rohit gets going with a driven boundary through deep extra cover off Nathan Lyon. Australia are gunning for one more wicket before the lunch break. 05:32 (IST) 11:02 (IST) 08:39 (IST) 12:56 (IST) After some anxious shots, Pant seemed to have settled down and is playing with more maturity. That will be lunch on day 1 of the Adelaide Test. Advantage Australia. The likes of Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc have all bowled brilliantly. For India, they will rue the bad shot-selection that led to their downfall. Lot hinges on Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma. Starc and Lyon are desperately trying to break this stand but Pujara and Ashwin are solid in defence. The scoring rate might not be great, but this is Test cricket. It is Test of application. Starc and Cummins are operating now and the left-handed Starc is operating close to 91 mph. This is a tricky couple of overs for India before the lunch break. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 07:24 (IST) Pujara now gets bitten by the Rohit aggression bug. Short ball from Starc and Pujara upper-cuts it over the slips for a boundary to third man. Mitchell Starc is struggling to get his radar right but the bounce on offer on this first day Adelaide wicket is good. Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay get going with some streaky strokes. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In The Pujara-Ashwin combo is the last recognised pair for India. Bhuvneshwar can bat a bit but one feels, with this situation, Hanuma Vihari was a safer bet Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 13:02 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 08:16 (IST) WICKET! Another one falls for the trap. Full ball from Hazlewood and in the zone outside off, Rahane reaches out for it and the edge is taken at second slip by Peter Handscomb. India sink further. Ajinkya Rahane c Handscomb b Hazlewood 13 (31). 05:04 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In There is some banter going on between Rishabh Pant and Mitchell Starc. It is not sledging though, Starc has a wry smile as Pant plays and misses. However, in the next over, Starc floats a full ball on the pads and the batsman effortlessly flicks it to the deep square leg fence. Next ball, he gets an outisde edge that flies past the gap at gully for a boundary to third man. 06:49 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 10:54 (IST) The partnership is nearing fifty. Australia would be hoping that they get one more wicket before the second new ball, which is 12 overs away. Pujara gets the outside edge but this time, Usman Khawaja’s leap cannot help him get there and the batsman gets a boundary. Slight lapse in concentration there. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 20th fifty for Cheteshwar Pujara. What a mighty fine effort from the Saurashtra batsman. It has been a typically dour, gutsy knock from the right-hander. India need him to carry on. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Pujara’s strike-rate is 15 at the moment. It was this kind of dour batting that helped India win the Johannesburg Test. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 04:55 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 10:02 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Marcus Harris has become the 456th player to represent Australia in Tests. He will open the batting. Remember, he has been enjoying a good run in the Sheffield Shield but against this bowling line-up, it will be a different game altogether Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In SIX! Statement of intent from Ajinka Rahane. He dances down the track to Nathan Lyon and launches him into the stands at long on. That is one way of releasing the pressure. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 10:44 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Good first over from Starc. A bit of swing through the air but the bounce is true. Rahul get going with a clip through midwicket and that should ease his nerves. Let us see how Murali Vijay copes up against Josh Hazlewood. It is time for the second new ball now. 40 minutes of play are remaining. This session could make or break India’s push to 250-300. Pujara has batted brilliantly and he needs support from the tail Starc finally gets it right as he gets the full ball to curl back in on middle and leg stump, Ishant looks to work it to the leg side and gets an inside edge on to the pad and it hits off stump. Can Pujara get to 100? 07:18 (IST) Hazlewood and Lyon are building the pressure. Rohit Sharma was picked because he can play the pull shot and counter the short ball well. However, on this deck, one feels Australia might not bowl all that short and the full length is the key. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In The partnership between Ashwin and Pujara has crossed 50. This is gold dust and the Saurashtra batsman is nearing a double century, number of bals that is. 05:41 (IST) India have opted to bat. Big toss won and this will give them the advantage. Rohit Sharma included in the XI and thus, Hanuma Vihari misses out. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 05:35 (IST) Ashwin and Pujara are building a solid partnership and the Saurashtra batsman is nearing a special milestone. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In WICKET! Another promising stand is cut short by Nathan Lyon. Pant falls! This delivery spins away and kicks up a bit from the deck, Pant has a feel for it and the edge is taken. Rishabh Pant c Paine b Lyon 25 (38). Pujara and Rahane have ensured no further alarms in the session. However, Australia continue to apply the pressure. Lyon has bounced back while Cummins is maintaining tight lines and lengths. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 12:13 (IST) Uh oh! Pujara seems to be cramping and he is getting some treatment from the physio. Hope he recovers. By the way, this is now Pujara’s highest score in Australia. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 05:05 (IST) 12:18 (IST) The reasoning for Virat Kohli to include Rohit Sharma is that he can play the pull shot and tackle the short ball well. Actually, Rohit has a great record in Australia but not in the Tests. Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Pant’s current batting has a touch of Pujara now. Maybe, he had a word with the youngster and he is now playing with bit more maturity. 04:59 (IST) 05:00 (IST) Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In 06:10 (IST) WICKET! That is the vital wicket before the new ball and it is Pat Cummins who strikes. Full ball angled in on middle stump, it straightens and Ashwin edges it to second slip. Can’t do much on that. That is a top delivery and a stubborn stand is broken. Ravichandran Ashwin c Harris b Cummins 25 (76). Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In Facebook Twitter Whats app Linked In For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.
One of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s most ambitious goals is to get Los Angeles out of the housing crisis.That’s why standing in front of Circa, a $500 million dollar luxury complex whose grandeur prompts comparisons to Times Square, the mayor celebrated a cultural renaissance in the city last month as well as an economic revitalization of downtown Los Angeles. However, just a few days later, he was silent about nearby Skid Row activists protesting both delays in the construction of affordable housing projects as well as the recent passage of city ordinances 56.11 and 63.44, which criminalize homeless encampments in the area.Garcetti’s silence on city ordinances 56.11 and 63.44 reinforces accusations of Los Angeles’ history of housing discrimination; the bills grant legal authority for the seizure of homeless encampments and codify a “cleansing” of public areas at the expense of local residents. Violators are given 24 hours to remove all belongings from public sidewalks before their houses can be legally dismantled and their possessions destroyed. Without the means to pay fines and purchase housing, an entire community’s history and way of life have become illegal under city law.For a mayor who promised to build 100,000 new houses by 2021, this criminalization of homelessness underscores the city’s hostility to impoverished residents. A lack of compassionate policy solutions to the housing crunch sweeps away poor, primarily black and Latino residents’ property in the name of “economic revitalization.”The mayor is right about the need for housing solutions. Los Angeles is known for problems with housing equality, from its vacancy rate, which is lower than New York City’s, to its stunted housing permits per capita, which is lower than San Francisco’s. The majority of the city’s homeless remain primarily black and Latino, and minority families with discounted housing vouchers face traditional hostility in newer, suburban neighborhoods. The city’s notoriously brutal treatment of Skid Row residents and anemic municipal support for subsidized housing only worsen the rent/wage discrepancy and hike up the city’s historically high poverty rates. The establishment of 650 luxury condominiums, however, is an inappropriate response to housing inequities, and Garcetti’s lack of constructive dialogue only makes the city’s horrendous history of housing abuse all the more apparent.Harassment of the homeless downtown takes after a history of housing discrimination in the city. A 1968 epidemic of overt refusals of home sales and bank loans to black home buyers prompted the Fair Housing reforms in 1968, and almost two decades later, police crackdowns on Skid Row destroyed entire communities and left them without support or housing solutions.But even the fatal March shooting of a black homeless Skid Row resident raised questions over the brutal Los Angeles Police Department tactics in the area; while Los Angeles has taken large strides from the overt discrimination from the 1940s, the city’s languid response to homelessness and police brutality mark a tradition of neglect. The municipal government’s obsession with “cleaning the streets” and victimizing the homeless creates violent living conditions for those already struggling to survive.Today, the homeless spike in Los Angeles presents uncomfortable discussions about race and class amid the city’s remarkable economic and cultural growth. While construction cranes and new businesses dot the skylines of Century City, Santa Monica and downtown L.A., homeless shelters and housing projects support less than a third of the city’s homeless population. The mayor’s race for a new, cleaner town prompts questions over what his cleansing entails; Garcetti’s lack of response to police crackdowns on people’s homes and pandering to luxury business development hints at a vision for the city which excludes the needs of the minority groups who require it most.Los Angeles’ homeless need homes, not forced relocation policies that pressure them to leave. Affordable housing models have already been proven in large metropolitan areas to provide the poor with shelter and reduce stress on social services, but over 50 percent of Los Angeles’ homeless budget ends up in the hands of the police.Utah’s Housing First program, which provided thousands of homeless residents with homes, saved tens of thousands of dollars in social services all while treating people with basic respect. Los Angeles may be a completely different beast, but it certainly needs more humane solutions to poverty than current policies. As it increases its rapid pace of Downtown development, the city must not lose sight of a population struggling to find their own home.At USC, students take classes two metro stops away from one of the largest homeless populations in the United States. On a closed campus at one of America’s finest research institutions, it is easy to forget the privilege of living in a house, much less finding a home.Especially in a city enjoying a massive surge in urban development, students must look beyond “economic revitalization” rhetoric and search for the families and the faces impacted by Los Angeles’ race towards urbanization. Organizations for housing sustainability in immigrant and low-income neighborhoods are fighting to preserve a way of life in a city already difficult to live in. Finding solutions to an unsustainable housing system may be a requisite first step toward building the city as a home for everyone.