Texas accused of moving freezing residents in order to stage cheerleading competition

The officials said the people would be moved to superior facilities

Shweta Sharma
Friday 19 February 2021 10:24 GMT
Customers queue up for over an hour in the freezing rain to fill their tanks n 17 February.
Customers queue up for over an hour in the freezing rain to fill their tanks n 17 February. (AP)

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A cheerleading competition in Texas has been reportedly scheduled to take place over the weekend in a convention centre, prompting outrage among residents as it might end up displacing the people who have taken shelter in the venue to escape the winter storm.

The cheerleading competition, which is named “Spirit Celebration” and is hosted by the hospitality industry of Forth Worth, faced uncertainty and was thought to be cancelled after a winter blast led to record-breaking fall in temperatures across the US, claiming more than a dozen lives.

The convention centre allowed those displaced by the winter storm to use its premises as a shelter during the week and about 170 people slept in cots in the facility on Tuesday night.

A city media representative told the Daily Beast that the people would be moved to upgraded and superior facilities.

According to the report, the Fort Worth Convention Center, that is scheduled to host the event, allowed people to stay there until Thursday evening. The workers are in confusion if the event will continue.

The event was listed on the website till Thursday morning but taken down following backlash by the resident, who said it would displace the people staying there.

“As the power is restored across the city and fewer people need warming stations, we will demobilise the Convention Center tomorrow (February 19), and instead transport guests to smaller centres that are more appropriate for the number of people who need it,” Mayor Betsy Price told the Daily Beast.

“All eyes on Fort Worth. Mayor Betsy Price is trying to throw people out on the street with nowhere to go. Her abysmal response to the storm has been diminished by our wonderful friends at Funky Town Fridge & SRA_DFWalready but they're going to need your support to see this thru,” said a Twitter user.

A local volunteer aide group, “Funky Town Fridge”, that has been providing support to the people, said the city is “ready and willing to kick the unhoused and displaces population” out in the harsh weather situation for a “little gymnastics competition”.

About 24 people have died across the US in winter storm-related incidents and millions suffer power outages after the overwhelming demand of electricity led the collapse of power grid in several areas, causing blackout.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Thursday that power plants in the state are back in order. Electricity was restored partially on Thursday but 350,000 still remained without power, according to PowerOutage.us.

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