Voiceless Politics and Gentrification

Voiceless politics to me, although something I had never considered politics before, is an interesting concept.  Just because you do not take part in an argument or debate, you can still have your thoughts and ideas voiced through actions.  That is how things operated in the “Young people’s voiceless politics in the struggle over urban space” article.  I would assume they knew about the debates of privatizing the park, yet they continued to go to the park as if nothing were wrong.  The park was a public space for all to share and for them to use as they see fit.  How they went about using it may have had some illegal or confrontational aspects, but using the space itself was not illegal.  They never attacked or criticized those wanting to privatize the area, yet they managed to make the debate go on for years due to their “refusal” to listen.

Within urban politics, it seems that voiceless politics actually have a decent amount of sway.  They do not have to publically protest a rule, law, or what have you.  But, refusing to abide by it en masse can create a disturbance.  On a local scale it can mean a lot, but at a national scale, it may not have much sway or impact.  It seems there are very few things that would actually have enough impact in the national scale, but be very effective in urban politics.

Gentrification, although may help the economy in the area and help bring more people in, is something that can be seen as destroying the original integrity of the region.  In the case of Little Portugal, Portuguese citizens and immigrants are being pushed out of where they had once flocked together to make a place for themselves.  They are getting hit hard and are having issues keeping up with the changing place image and the heightened payments required to live there.  In the end, either gentrifies, or people of other immigrant groups buy up the land or house and take away a little more of what Little Portugal once was.

Gentrification does have the ability to change the city or region, for better or worse, depending on how you look at it.  When it comes to minority groups in cities like Little Portugal, China Town, or areas of that nature, gentrification can be seen as harmful, as it takes away from what it once was.  Gentrification as a whole though can bring people with higher incomes in though, and that can help stimulate the economy a bit because they will have more money to spend and to put into the economy.  That in turn can help attract more and more people of higher income to the area, and more gentrification will occur.  It displaces many people though, and in the end they have to find new homes for themselves.

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