Archive for the ‘Columbia Parc’ Category

Sharon Jasper keeps her voucher!!

A major victory for residents and the movement!

The recent failure of the housing authority to take away Sister Sharon Jasper’s voucher is a major defeat for (King) David Gilmore and the regressive forces that are currently managing HUD/HANO. Make no mistake, King David needed his other subjects to understand that not groveling at his feet could have serious and dreadful consequences. When he summoned Ms. Jasper to his throne, and told her that if she would apologize, he would stop the termination process and she showed up with her lawyers, refusing to give up her dignity and self respect, and accepted the threat of homelessness, she set a bad precedent for his other subjects.

The cat is out of the bag now: the king is not invincible. He can be beat. Residents can fight back and win. The Jasper case shows that.


This victory also shows that there is still a very strong, diverse group of social justice activists in the city of New Orleans, and the struggle appears to be getting its second wind after the devastation of December 20, 2007 and the great sadness that enveloped all of us after we lost the battle to preserve the public housing communities after Hurricane Katrina.

The local movement has been joined by strong support group of national and international progressive social justice activists. This is a very important development because New Orleans will be the epicenter of the attempt to implement all of the private property related initiatives that the right envision for the next decade. Subsequently, we need progressive forces to continue to support the front line forces and soldiers as we fight to stop the flood of injustice and greed that has infected our city since we were weakened by Hurricane Katrina.

We must stay on the battle field with our swords and shields held high!!



  • the “one strike rule” is cruel and unjust on its face and has caused many poor black women to lose their homes. It must go!!
  • Iberville must be preserved for current residents and preserved in a manner in keeping with their right to self-determination!!
  • PETRA must be opposed!!


Many thanks to all who have fought these battles with us thus far!!


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Employees of Columbia Parc resisted all efforts on the part of the Municipal court judge and the New Orleans city attorney’s office to settle the case against Ms. Sharon Jasper and forced a full fledged trial yesterday in municipal court.

The court heard testimony of nine witnesses from both sides, then set a date of October 14 at 4 pm for a ruling. We must all now wait two more weeks to find out the fate of our comrade and strong sister.

Ms. Jasper was represented very well by Miles Swanson, an up-and-coming movement defense attorney.

It is clear to all that this trial is not about Sharon Jasper, but an all out attempt to use fear and intimidation to keep residents of public housing in New Orleans from opposing the destruction of their communities. The plan is to convict Ms, Jasper of this trumped up charge and use the conviction as a reason to take her housing voucher away. In doing this they will rid themselves of a fearless and uncompromising resident leader and make other residents afraid to oppose them in the future. This is a form of terrorism, using housing vouchers as the weapon of terror.

Ms. Jasper had a great show of support today. The court officers were not ready for this kind of community support, so after awhile they started turning people away from the court until Attorney Davida Finger intervened to insure that people were allowed to enter.

We cannot waste the next two weeks. We need to build an even stronger movement around the case. We need to make sure our voices are heard by HANO, HUD, the receiver, Mr. Gilmore and Shaun Donovan. We cannot allow Sharon Jasper to be sacrificed on the altar of injustice.

If they win this one, New Orleans will be a very dangerous place for all who refuse to suffer in silence. October 14 must be our day!! We’ll plan to gather around 3 pm for a rally to support Ms. Jasper. SEE YOU THERE!!

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Five years into our fight for the right to return to our neighborhoods we are not invisible and we will not be silent.

Therefore as the rest of the city of New Orleans focused on the disaster of August 29, 2005 as an event that happened and has passed, residents of public housing and supporters stood in an all day rain to protest the visit of President Obama to a neighborhood that has been purged of poor people, turned over to Warren Buffet and his investor friends, and is being promoted as the future of public housing around the country.

The struggle continues for the brave and resilient public housing residents and the many people who believe in social justice and are willing to fight regardless of the odds.

Special thanks to attorneys Tracie Washington, Davida Finger, and William “Bill” Quigley, for going way above and beyond the call of duty.  Also thanks to Willie J.R. Fleming, the crew from Chicago, and brother Kali Akuno, from the U. S. Human Rights Network.

Now the battle moves into the next phase which is to defend our sister Sharon Jasper.

  • Her voucher termination hearing is this Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 10 am
  • Her trial in Municipal court is Tuesday, September 14, 2010

the struggle continues…

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Also see commentary and video

from Kali Akuno

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Community Rally to Educate President Obama

Sunday, August 29, 2010  — 11 am

Fight Back Community Center

3820 Alfred St., New Orleans, LA 70122

(across from the 3800 block of St. Bernard Ave.)

President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the St. Bernard community TODAY at 3 pm to view the Columbia Parc development as part of events to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Survivors Village will host a community rally in the St. Bernard community starting at 11 am to highlight the exclusionary policies, retaliatory tactics, and outright lies of the Columbia Residential corporation and to educate President Obama about the ongoing struggle of the former St. Bernard residents to realize their human right to return to their homes and community.

“President Obama has to be exposed to the truth”, says former resident and Survivors Village member Kawana Jasper. “Columbia Parc received its contract through corruption, lied to the residents at every step of the development process, and is trying to intimidate the residents with false charges and threats.” Survivors Village member Stephanie Mingo says, “We will be heard. Obama promised that he would do right by the people of the Gulf Coast, and we intend to make him live up to that promise. If he continues to let Columbia Parc get away with their criminal and discriminatory behavior, then he will be doing no better than Bush”.

To ensure that the human rights of the St. Bernard residents are respected, protected, and fulfilled by the Obama administration, Survivors Village is demanding that any former resident wanting to live in Columbia Park should be admitted immediately and unconditionally; that the false charges against Sharon Jasper be dropped immediately and the threat to terminate her voucher be withdrawn; that the demand for more than 30,000 Section 8 vouchers be met immediately; and that the PETRA bill threatening to privatize public housing throughout the country be permanently withdrawn.

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Ms. Sharon’s hearing has been scheduled for:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 4 pm

Municipal Court, Section D

Tulane & Broad

We need everyone to come out in support of Ms. Sharon and the right of all to protest nonviolently.

See Youtube video re: Ms. Sharon’s story and the attack on her civil right of protest and human right to housing here:

Sign on to petition and send letters to the relevant parties here

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Survivors Village will be protesting at the Columbia Parc rental office on Monday at noon to continue our pressure on Columbia Parc to unconditionally admit former residents of the St. Bernard Housing Development.

On Friday May 28, Survivors Village and supporters protested at the Columbia Parc rental office. In an attempt to intimidate residents and supporters, the response of Columbia Parc was to file false charges against one of the residents who participated in the protest. Sharon Jasper was arrested close to a week after the protest on a trumped up charge of battery because of the claim of a rental agent that she was pushed and injured by Ms. Jasper. No such claim was made on the day of the protest despite heavy police presence. Now Columbia has gotten a restraining order against Ms. Jasper to restrict her right to protest there.
We must respond strongly to this attempt to intimidate former residents and their supporters and to suppress protest.

Come out to stand up for justice and to stand against these tactics of intimidation and exclusion being used by Columbia Parc to attempt to silence and permanently displace residents.

The Columbia Parc rental office is located in the 3600 block of St. Bernard Ave. Join us there MONDAY AT NOON

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See video re: Ms. Sharon’s arrest  here.

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Sharon Jasper, member of Survivors Village and MayDay New Orleans, was arrested by the New Orleans police who brought four SWAT cars to apprehend this elder Black woman from her home.

Ms. Sharon is being charged with battery of a rental agent during an action organized by Survivors Village and MayDay New Orleans.

On Friday, May 28th, a group entered the Columbia Parc rental office and held a sit-in demanding the right of former St. Bernard Housing Project residents to return to their homes. Police say Ms. Sharon assaulted a Columbia Parc rental agent during her entrance into the building. The rental agent did not complain about an assault and continued to work in the office the entire time of the occupation, including when police arrived. While there, police made no mention of an assault when explaining to the group why they should end their protest.

See more about the protest, including pictures and video here

The truth is that the City of New Orleans did not arrest Sharon Jasper for assault; they arrested her because she dared to tell that truth and demand that public housing residents of New Orleans have the right to return to their homes. The arrest represents a clear effort by the City of New Orleans to represent the interests of the developers of the Columbia Parc while actively working against the former residents of New Orleans. We condemn this politically motivated use of the public police in order to protect private developers from protests.

The Columbia Parc development replaced the St. Bernard Housing Project after the City of New Orleans voted to demolish the 1,500 units of public housing and replace them with market housing. The action was part of the Right to Return Weekend in New Orleans as part of the Take Back the Land Movement May 2010 Month of Action

Survivors Village will be protesting in front of Columbia Parc on Monday, June 7, at 12:00noon. Columbia Parc is on the 3600 block of St. Bernard Ave. in New Orleans.

Survivors Village is asking supporters to call Columbia Parc and demand 1). drop all charges against Sharon Jasper and 2). allow for the unconditional return of former St. Bernard Housing residents. Columbia Parc: (504) 284-4769, columbiaparc.com.

Video of Sharon Jasper’s arrest, as well as updates on her legal situation, will be posted on this blog as they become available.

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Columbia Parc "welcomes" residents home

Many former residents of New Orleans have chosen not to come home for many different reasons, but the residents of public housing did not have the opportunity to CHOOSE.

All but one of the public housing developments were first surrounded by 10 feet barbed wire fencing, and then eventually demolished. Residents were promised new improved neighborhoods, with less density and more amenities.


The former residents of these developments have been given vouchers that are worthless except to slum landlords that are now making GREAT PROFITS by renting substandard housing to poor people. The new upgraded housing is being reserved for the middle class, whites, students, and police officers!!




FRIDAY MAY 28 2010 – 12 NOON

3800 block of St. Bernard Ave.

cosponsored by Mayday New Orleans & the national TAKE BACK THE LAND MOVEMENT

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