Similar Process, Different Hierarchy
Today's New York Times features a piece on a woman's effort to save her historic ancestral home in Beijing. The story, Little Building Defies Beijing’s Olympic Ambitions, by Jim Yardley describes Sun Ryoh's resistance to the destruction of a home and business that has been in her family for generations. Apparently, it stands in the route of the Olympic marathon, but Ms. Sun suspects other motives as well. Salient quotes:
"In the spring of 2006, Ms. Sun said notices appeared in the neighborhood that buildings would be razed. No other explanation was provided, she said."
"Ms. Sun believes that the Olympics are only one reason that local officials want to knock down her home. She said one official told her that the area would be made into a park for the Olympics but that it would be developed later as a residential and commercial area. Officials have offered the family about 1.6 million yuan, a little more than $200,000, for the building — not enough for what is expected to become one of the city’s priciest districts. The family has refused."
“No matter what they offer, I won’t be able to afford an apartment here,” she said. “I want to be able to live here.”
Ms. Sun, you are a woman after my own heart. My thoughts and prayers are with you.