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article imageGlasgow 2014: Demolition cancelled following protests

By Amanda Payne     Apr 15, 2014 in World
Glasgow - It must have seemed like a good idea to the organisers of this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, but the demolition of five tower blocks as part of the opening ceremony has been cancelled following protests.
As reported in Digital Journal, the Red Road flats, five tower blocks that are a major feature of the Glasgow cityscape, were to go out with a bang during the opening ceremony, with what was expected to be the largest simultaneous demolition ever attempted in Europe.
Right from the moment the plans were announced, there was a mixed response, with many wondering just what kind of image of Glasgow such an event would portray to the world. A protest campaign was started, with more than 17,000 people signing a petition started by former MSP Carolyn Leckie.
The chief executive of Glasgow 2014 made the announcement yesterday April 14, exactly 100 days to the start of the games, that a decision had been taken to cancel the demolition. David Grevemberg told The Scotsman:
"Our intentions from the beginning were to very much showcase the social history, commemorate the social history of Glasgow but also signify in a very bold way where Glasgow is going in terms of regeneration but we've always mentioned as part of this initiative that safety first. The nature of some of the debate and discussion and also some of the opposition to these ideas certainly became very, very focused and also we made a very very clear assessment over the past few days where that was going with our partners and had recommendations from Police Scotland that the nature of some of that opposition would make this not a commemorative event but would start moving this on to a potential protest and that’s not what the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games is about and it’s something we needed to reconsider and abort yesterday."
Those against the demolition felt that it was "distasteful and disrespectful to beam the demolition to a billion people as entertainment." It was also felt that the plan was insensitive to those who had lived in the blocks and to the asylum seekers who currently live in the sixth block.
There were also health and safety worries, with concerns that protesters would attempt to stop the demolition which would have then become the focus of media attention rather than the games themselves.
The Red Road flats will still be demolished but at a later date without the fanfare and media attention that has surrounded the issue so far.
More about Scotland, Glasgow, Commonwealth games, Glasgow 2014, Red Road flats
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