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Archive for the ‘Survivors Village Events’ Category

THE VILLAGES

(Lower 9th Ward Village & Survivors Village)

present

the community market place

 Premiering Saturday, Sept 17th at 12 noon

 featuring:

hand made crafts and furnishings from young men currently incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola

Fresh fruits and vegetables

red beans and rice, bar b q, boiled shrimp, turkey necks, corn and potatoes

beer, soft drinks, ice tea, and water

music

located at: The New Day Center

across from the 3800 block of St. Bernard Ave.

3820 Alfred St.; New Orleans, La. 70122

communitiesrising@gmail.com 504 -239-2907

community market place flyer

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The Katrina Commemoration Committee will sponsor its annual march from the base of the Industrial Canal in the 9th ward to Hunters Field on the 29th of August 2011.

Last year the prevailing thought was that the 5th year event was going to be the last chance to really make a statement because after that the media and others around the country/world would definitely move on to other events and disasters. That is probably true from a media marketing perspective, but for those of us that lived and are still living the disaster, moving on is not an option. The storm that brushed by New Orleans on August 29, 2005 was never the cause of the disaster. The shoddy work of the U.S. Government that led to the levee failures and flooded the city was only the beginning of our troubles. The real disaster began immediately after the storm when the city’s white supremacist economic elite and its “colored” collaborators decided to remake the city in their image, which strongly resembles a 21st century plantation. These collaborators which included the mayor, city council, head of HUD, and almost every black elected official, thought that the plan would only affect the poor, who they never represented anyway! They were not only unprincipled, but pretty misguided in not realizing that the majority of people in New Orleans were working poor and anything that affected them would change all the power relationships in the city.

It started almost immediately with the governor labeling blacks in New Orleans looters and giving the police department and National Guard the power to shoot to kill. This was parroted by the then mayor. We now can see how that worked out. Then the state took control of the public school system, firing all the experienced teachers and breaking the union. This was done for the expressed purpose of privatizing the industry, so now profit is the goal, not serving the children. Then it was decided that certain areas in the city should not be repopulated; all of these areas such as New Orleans East, the Lower Ninth ward, and all of the traditional public housing developments were areas that were almost exclusively black and working class. Then the decision was made to not open the public hospital that was a critical life line for the black working poor community.

Then the political attacks began, and are still going on!! Though the city is only 30% white, the white supremacist economic elite has used the weakened state of the black community— as well as the failure of blacks, other people of color, and progressive whites to forge any kind of united front–to take away any semblance of power by blacks and people of color in the city.  All of the major power bases in the city that were majority black are now majority white. This includes the mayor, city council, district attorney, police chief, school superintendent, and judges elected since the storm; in fact any position of power that has been filled since the storm has most likely been filled by a white person or a non New Orleans native. This has been accompanied by a sustained war against the poor, the homeless and all other lower working class persons in the city. Since New Orleans was declared a blank slate, we are the social experimental lab of the world. Anyone with money and a new idea…come to New Orleans…”they will accept anything.”

 This is just meant to be a sample of what has happened to the city since the storm. As a native New Orleanian and a Black person, I could go on and on with examples of how sad it feels to be politically and economically powerless in my own city. Suffice it to say calling this a 21st century plantation is not meant to be a joke.

 All people that believe in social justice should make it a point to march on August 29th. We cannot afford to move on because the disaster is not over; it’s an ongoing living event that seems to get worse each year since 2005. Therefore we must march each year in order to remind ourselves that we are in a fight and cannot rest!! We have lost many battles, but the war is ongoing and we must not quit!

I hope to see you at the levee breech on the 29th! 

AND after the march and program at Hunters field, everyone is invited to join the residents and former residents of the St. Bernard community in their annual

“UNITY IN THE COMMUNITY

CELEBRATION OF LIFE”

AT

3820 Alfred St

(the 3800 block of St. Bernard Ave.)

4pm-until

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SURVIVORS VILLAGE

SPRING CELEBRATION AND

TREE PLANTING CEREMONY

 

On Sunday, March 20, 2011 we will plant trees at the FIGHTBACK center in honor of Troy Avery and Ms. Gloria Irving & create a living testament to the hard work and sacrifice that they gave to the St. Bernard community.

 

This will be followed by a celebration of the continued struggle that we will wage in their honor and memory.

 

WE INVITE ALL OF OUR FRIENDS AND ALLIES TO

JOIN US AT THE FIGHTBACK CENTER

FOR OUR FIRST DAY OF SPRING CELEBRATION.

 

Date: Sunday March 20, 2011

Time: 3 pm. until ??

Place: The FIGHTBACK Center

3820 Alfred St.

New Orleans, LA

 

please bring a dish/drink or both to share if you are able

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Five years ago, on the Martin Luther King Birthday holiday in 2006, a group of public housing residents and New Orleans community activists announced that they were going to begin cleaning up public housing units and urging residents to return to their homes. In response, the federal government built six feet barbed wire fences around most of the public housing in the city and announced that residents would not be allowed to return to their homes and that most of the public housing in the city would be demolished.

On the Martin Luther King birthday holiday in 2007, hundreds of residents and community activists from around the city tore down the fences in the St. Bernard development and allowed residents to reclaim their space, recover their personal items and briefly occupy the places they called home prior to hurricane Katrina and the government caused flooding of the city.

The long struggle for the recognition of the right to housing in New Orleans and the rest of the nation continued this Martin Luther King birthday holiday, January 17, 2011, when a large and energetic group of volunteers from the Delta Corps joined a spirited group of community members in investing their time and effort into rehabilitating a building that is called the FIGHTBACK center. This building is a former community center, day care center, youth development center and headquarters for the New Day organization, a long time advocacy group in the St. Bernard community. It also was the base and beginning point for the post Katrina housing struggle in the city of New Orleans.

Those who continue to struggle for safe, decent, and sanitary housing as a human right plan to use this building to rebuild the spirit and continue the struggle. As we move to help the residents of Iberville fight for their survival, organize a renters rights movement, fight against the selling off of public housing

to private banks, link our local struggle with the national movements, and fight for public policies that are fair and just to those who lack the resources to represent themselves, the FIGHTBACK center will be a vital base from which to launch our struggle.

As I emphasized to our volunteers on Monday, we do not have time to worship the accomplishments of others: “ Each generation has an historical mission to either accomplish or betray”.

Martin Luther King Jr accomplished his mission, its our turn now !!

Before and After:

the back of the Fight Back Center before the workday

the back of the Fight Back Center after all the good work...

and some more pictures of all the good work!  

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

photos by Kwame Juakali & David Ferris

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The Survivor’s Village headquarters is located in an old community center on Alfred St. in St. Bernard. On Jan 17, Delta Corps members removed the shutters and began stripping the aluminum siding of paint to prep it for new paint. We scraped window trim and soffit. We deconstructed the back shed area, salvaged and removed nails from the lumber to be reused. We cleaned the back area as much as we could – we filled an entire dumpster until it was spilling over the top. We removed stumps along the south wall, to make way for raised beds of herbs and vegetables. Some things did not go as planned, yet we still got a lot of work done.

Neighbors and supporters told us about the history of this building and this block, as a place where babies were cared for while parents were at work, kids were offered tutoring and mentorship, teenagers would come and dance and socialize, and neighbors could congregate to make groceries and conversation together. SV cooked us lunch – grilled chicken (donated by Magnola Meat Market), salad (donated from Our School at Blair Grocery and Hollygrove Market and Farm), and Stephanie’s white beans and rice (made vegetarian specially for us). Endesha reminded us that Survivor’s Village started 5 years ago on Martin Luther King Day at this center to promote the right to housing, the right to dignity, and the right to self-determination of poor communities in New Orleans. We were led on foot through the new Columbia Parc development, and around the blighted and largely vacant neighborhood adjacent. “St. Bernard and other displaced residents have fought and fought against losing their homes, against losing their community,” Endesha told me. “I want this building to be the center of positive development in the neighborhood, something people can fight for and believe in.”

I am proud that our network took some leadership from Survivor’s Village and leveraged some of our resources to further their mission. I am proud of our ongoing effort to learn from SV and from the residents of New Orleans, to listen and respect the experiences of ordinary people. I am also proud of our effort to engage in an honest dialogue with SV about housing and about their struggle, despite some reservations, confusion, or discomfort we may have experienced.

Reading the words of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., I recognize that he always chose love. In the face of white hatred, bigotry, and withdrawal, and African American fury, frustration, and disenchantment, King implored us to love, as a choice and an action, which means to challenge one another, to be humble, caring, responsible, nonviolent, honest, respectful, and committed. This is my favorite quote:

 

“All I’m saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we’re caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

There are many people, neighborhoods and organizations in New Orleans and across the world working to change their circumstances for the better, to free themselves from domination and injustice, to create loving community. Our fate is bound up with theirs, “pressed down, shaken together, and running over,” in a larger struggle to realize Dr. King’s dream, to make a world where we can all realize our potential. We all bring valuable knowledge and resources to this mission. Let us be aware, let us learn and teach, let us love, and let us have faith in our potential.

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This coming Monday, Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, a group of 40 volunteers from the Delta corps will work to clear up all the violations the city have cited for the FIGHTBACK center. This is a great and much needed action.

It is very appropriate that it happens on MLK birthday for it was on this day in 2006 and at this building that the long struggle to preserve public housing and the right to safe, decent, and sanitary housing for poor people in New Orleans was started.

It is very important that we preserve this building as the base for our continued efforts to represent the interest of the poor, black, and unwanted survivors of the war against the poor in the city, state, and nation. Last year at this time the building was unoccupied and was a major eyesore, which made it a target for the city. We occupied the building and have made major progress with the help of a small but dedicated group of volunteers–the FIGHTBACK CENTER (FBC) ACTION group. We have made the building both viewable and usable. We have water, electricity, and plumbing. The yard is in decent shape and we are prepared to start gardening soon.

With your help we can remove the dangers of demolition and/or liens being placed on the building this Monday. We will have many workers.  All we need is the materials to do the work. A small donation or a Home Depot or Lowes gift card from you could help solve this problem. If you are in New Orleans and can donate or loan materials, see the list of needed supplies below.

If you can help please let us know. Donations can be mailed to the FIGHTBACK CENTER at 3820 Alfred St. , New Orleans, LA 70120.

The struggle continues…with your help! Thanks ! Endesha

Supplies we Need:

Dumpster

New hack saw blades

Gloves ( 30 pairs)

Masks

Eye Shields

Nails and Screws

1x4s, 2x4s, plywood

Brushes and rollers

Sand Paper

Sander

Caulk

Wood Siding

Scaffolding

Paper plates, forks etc.

Water

Port-a-potty ($60 – $70/ month)

Tissue paper

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UPCOMING EVENTS


Sharon Jasper’s fight against HANO and HUD is coming to a head this month.

Voucher termination hearing: October 27, 2010 at 10 am.

Info about location will be forthcoming.

Final verdict on her trial will be the next day–October 28, 2010 4pm —Municipal Court Section D

WE NEED EVERYONE TO SHOW UP AND SUPPORT MS. JASPER IN HER FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH!!

——————————————————————–

SURVIVORS VILLAGE MEETING

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2010

3PM at the FIGHTBACK Center

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