“Orwellian effort at civic image control"

British press report on VANOC homeless crackdown

The campaign to remove the 2,500 homeless people from around the Olympic site before the games begin next week has captured the attention of the British media. The Guardian reports the mounting anxiety felt by those living on the streets “stems from a recent provincial government law empowering the police to force rough sleepers into shelters in extreme weather, a move which homeless groups appear to view as an Orwellian effort at civic image control.”  Meanwhile, those accused of trying to “clean up” the city argue that they are “investing in the community” and that changes made now, in preparation for the events, will only help the homeless community over the long term. Wayne, who has spent the last six years sleeping on the streets of East Van, has his own solution: “I despise the Olympics, but you know what the answer is? Just pull down the whole of the Downtown Eastside, with its bedbugs and cockroaches. Just destroy it all.”

The Guardian