Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Iberville redevelopment’ Category

As Survivors Village and May Day New Orleans begins its campaign to oppose the destruction of the last traditional public housing development in the city of New Orleans, a deep sense of dread and fear courses into my mind. Its been only a few years since the last major battle to preserve the four other developments was fought and ended in the brutalizing of activists from across the country and a total violation of the rights of all involved. Since December 20, 2007, many have come to believe that organizing public housing is a lost cause. Others have moved on to other areas of injustice that need to be addressed as much as public housing. Those of us who have organized in public housing for decades and feel that the attack upon Iberville cannot go unanswered must try to find a new approach and apply the hard-learned lessons of the anti-demolition struggle to the conditions that currently exist in Iberville.

Though we probably made many other mistakes that need to be addressed I am putting my focus on three areas. These areas are as follows:

  •  We cannot fight for the people, we must fight with them. As hard as this job will be, we must build a core group of Iberville residents to lead and fight for themselves. Of course, everyone agrees with this, but doing it is hard work. It is much easier to get a few residents to stand in front of the camera while activists do all the real work and decide on what is to be done. The major weakness of the anti-demolition struggle was that although in the beginning there was a strong core group of residents, as residents got scared off, bought off, or just discouraged, and quit, we decided that we had an obligation to move forward without them. That was a failed strategy. In Iberville the hard work to build a core group of residents must be our first step, and every step taken from that point must be decided by that group.
  • We need to diversify our strategy & provide numerous ways for residents and others to be involved: The anti-demolition movement was fueled by a group of extremely sincere and courageous people. It was clear that nothing would happen if we did not disrupt the normal operations of the city – so that’s what we did. Direct Action became the strategy instead of a strategy. All of our efforts were put towards this one form of struggle. We must have a much more diversified approach in Iberville –and one that is chosen by the residents themselves–if we are to make a significant impact. Many people are not in a position to go to jail, get brutalized, or lose their homes, but that does not mean that they don’t want to participate. We must find a way to get them involved.
  • We must have a plan that comes from the people: During the anti-demolition struggle, everyone knew that we were against the demolition of public housing. But it was never clear what we were for. Going into Iberville, once the group of residents are identified and organized, the next step will be those residents making decisions about what they want their community to become. We will then organize around what the people want, and not just be perpetual anti-everything gadflies in the eyes of those we are trying to organize.

These are some of the things that I have identified that we can do better in Iberville.

Many of you that will read this on the blog fought in the anti-demolition struggle, or have been involved in other housing struggles: what are your thoughts on these issues? Going into Iberville we need all the fresh Ideas we can get, please share yours.

by M. Endesha Juakali, JD

See the flyer being used in our work organizing Iberville here

Read Full Post »

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.

NOW ON TO IBERVILLE!!

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!!

 

FUTURE BATTLEGROUNDS :

  • 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!!

THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES…

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.