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Archive for the ‘Take Back The Land’ Category

Survivors Village and May Day NOLA cleaned out a Road Home property in the St. Bernard community today, announcing our intention to prepare the home as a step toward addressing high rates of homelessness and displacement. Among the supporters who joined us were members of Stand for Dignity.

See video of the action here.

Those participating in today’s action assert that all displaced and dispossessed residents –esp those forcibly relocated by the Federal Government after Hurricane Katrina–have the UNCONDITIONAL right of return to their homes and communities. Our objective is to make these rights real by sheltering residents in need in the many vacant properties being warehoused by the Road Home Program.

Among its many problems, the Road Home program completely ignored the majority of New Orleanians who were renters and now owns many vacant properties in a city with an affordable housing crisis. Survivors Village intends to do what the local, state and federal governments are not doing and that is making a real road home for the many New Orleanians who are still displaced, as well as the city’s growing homeless population.

The action today was the third and final day of our Right to Return Weekend which was organized to call attention to the human right to housing and to highlight the failure of local and national officials to address the fact that more than 1 out 4 New Orleanians are still displaced, that all but one public housing development have been demolished, and the city’s homeless population has ballooned to well over 20,000 people.  The Right of Return Weekend was organized in conjunction with the May month of actions called by Take Back the Land Movement (TBLM). TBLM is a network of autonomous organizations affiliated with the US Human Rights Network (USHRN) dedicated to realizing the human right to adequate housing and community control over land.

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St. Bernard residents and supporters have erected a tent city on public land outside of where the St. Bernard Housing Development used to be. The Freedom Encampment reaffirms the right of community control over their the land and asserts people’s fundamental human rights to unconditional right of return.  See video at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RjHnH41VGA&feature=player_embedded

With over 1 out 4 New Orleanians still displaced from hurricane Katrina, all but one public housing development demolished, and over 20,000 people homeless, local housing advocacy groups are hosting a Right of Return Weekend, to raise awareness that Housing IS a Human Right.

The Right to Return Weekend challenges the forced removal of all public housing residents following Hurricane Katrina and the discriminatory policies of the government to permanently displace low-income Black communities from the “new” New Orleans. Columbia Parc and HANO claim that 130 of the new units will be affordable housing units. However, HANO officials are now on record stating that anyone who claimed that former housing residents would be able to return “was lying.”

The former renters of St Bernard are not alone. Housing recovery is moving much slower for renters than homeowners across the New Orleans metro region. Though they made up 70% of the pre-Katrina population few programs have been put in place to ensure renters return. Most government funds have
gone to renovation programs run by private companies.

It is inexcusable to have this much vacant land and property in the hands of banks and the city government during this ongoing housing crisis. People have the right to live in and develop land and buildings that they can live in ” says Stephanie Mingo of Survivors Village.

Today’s action was the second day of actions planned as part of The Right to Return Weekend which will continue Sunday, May 30th with an action to end the escalating homeless crisis in New Orleans.

Survivors Village is affiliated with the Take Back the Land Movement, and the Right of Return Weekend is part of the May month of actions called by Take Back the Land Movement (TBLM). TBLM is a network of autonomous organizations affiliated with the US Human Rights Network (USHRN) dedicated to realizing the human right to adequate housing and community control over land.

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Today’s Right to Return Rally was a great success.  The rally concluded with members of Survivors Village, including former residents of the St. Bernard Housing Development and other supporters taking over the rental office at Columbia Parc to demand that all former residents of St. Bernard be unconditionally admitted to the Columbia Parc development.  Columbia Parc is located on publicly owned land which used to house thousands of St. Bernard residents.

See video at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu3gzq5EJ5s

REMINDER:  Join Survivors Village at 9 am tomorrow Saturday, May 29 at the 3800 block of St. Bernard Ave. for Day 2 of our Right to Return Weekend.  Day 2 will focus on action against land grabs by developers and crooks!!  Come on out to send a strong message:  ALL VACANT LAND SHOULD BE DEVELOPED BY THE COMMUNITY FOR THE COMMUNITY!!!

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SURVIVORS VILLAGE

RIGHT TO RETURN

WEEKEND

Day 1:

Right to Return

Rally/Protest

Friday May 28– 12 noon

LET THE PEOPLE IN!

Day 2: Action against land

grabs by developers

& crooks!!

Saturday May 29 – 9am

Our Communities Our Responsibility!!

All Vacant land should be developed by the community for the community !!

Day 3:  Action to fight homelessness.

Sunday May 30 – 9 am

60,000 vacant buildings, 20,000 people homeless!!

END HOMELESSNESS NOW!

All actions located at the

3800 block St. Bernard Ave.

All former residents of public housing have an unconditional right to come home !!!

HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT!!

Survivors Village is affiliated with the national TAKE BACK THE LAND MOVEMENT!! Right to Return Weekend co-sponsored by MAYDAY NO

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GOING ON FIVE YEARS AFTER THE FAILURE OF THE GOVERNMENT SPONSORED LEVEE SYSTEM FLOODED 80% OF THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, OVER 150,000 PEOPLE ARE STILL NOT HOME.

MANY OF THEM WERE BLACK AND POOR.

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.

WE KNOW NOW THAT THIS WAS ALL LIES!!

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!!

MOST OF THE FORMER RESIDENTS ARE BEING EXCLUDED. THE PEOPLE WHO WERE LIVING ON THIS LAND HAVE AN UNCONDITIONAL RIGHT TO RETURN TO THEIR FORMER HOMES!!

LET THE PEOPLE IN NOW!!

COME SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE RIGHT TO RETURN

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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Homecoming Party for the Right of Return!!!
Friday May 14th!

7pm-11pm @ 215 S. Clark

  • Luisa Dantas, Filmmaker/Director/Producer/Editor of Land of Opportunity and Evan Casper Futterman, Associate Producer & Survivors Village member

    3 short films about fighting for human rights by Luisa Dantas:  Deep Sixed, Sectioned Off, & Out of Site.  See short clips from the films at:  http://joluproductions.com/videos.html

  • Guest Speaker Endesha Juakali
  • Dance party with DJ Karo on the ones and twos

Come Celebrate the Human Right to Housing and the Right of Return as part of the Take Back the Land Month of Housing Actions.  Until We All Come Home.

Mayaba Liebenthal, Organizer for the Right of Return Homecoming Party, at a Survivors Village event earlier this year

For more information contact Mayaba, mayaba@graffiti.net

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TAKE A STAND FOR THE LAND


SUNDAY, APRIL 4, 2010– 5 PM


RIGHT TO RETURN MARCH & RALLY

& the starting point of the Poor Peoples Economic
Human Rights Campaign’s march from New Orleans to
Detroit to the U.S. Social Forum in June

SURVIVORS VILLAGE

3800 block of St. Bernard Ave.

Residents are being systematically excluded from the land they lived on prior to the storm using income requirements, credit and background checks, and oppressive rules.

They were already excluded from 75% of the land by just being poor, since this land was reserved for mixed income(non poor) tenants.

ALL RESIDENTS IN ST. BERNARD PRIOR TO THE

GOVERNMENT CAUSED DISASTER HAVE AN ABSOLUTE

UNCONDITIONAL RIGHT TO RETURN TO THEIR

COMMUNITY.

Open up the new development to the

people NOW!!!

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Survivors Village

& the USHRN Land and Housing Action Group (LHAG)

**

invite you to a presentation and group discussion

on the national take back the land movement

& the Human Right to Housing

**

Saturday March 13   11 am

Survivors Village Fight Back Center, 3800 Alfred Street (across from the 3800 block of St. Bernard Avenue

**

Guest Speaker Max Rameau, Take Back the Land, Miami, FL

***

Let’s take the next step toward our May campaign to present housing as a human right in New Orleans, the nation, and the world.

***

For further information, contact Endesha Juakali at 504-239-2907 or Mayaba Liebenthal at mayaba@graffiti.net or 917-385-5472

**

meeting flyer

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On the MLK birthday holiday in January 2006, Survivors Village and the public housing struggle in post-Katrina New Orleans were born when former public housing residents and their allies took possession of the fenced-in St. Bernard Housing Development. Each Martin Luther King Day holiday has been a time of both reflection and direct action for Survivors Village and its supporters. We’ve had ups and downs in the past 4 years, but the struggle continues. In accordance with the traditions of Survivors Village, our next bold step forward will occur on January 18, 2010 with the opening of the Survivors Village Fight Back Center and the launching of the New Orleans Take Back the Land initiative in conjunction with the National Take Back the Land Initiative and the US Human Rights Network Land and Housing Action Group.

All comrades and allies are invited to celebrate this important step in our struggle and learn about plans for the Take Back the Land Campaign

Date: Monday, January 18, 2010

Time: 12 noon until …

Place: Fight Back Center 3800 block of St. Bernard Ave.

Food!!! Music!!!! Information!!!!

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has. It never will.”

The Struggle Continues!

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The USHRN Land and Housing Action Group is calling for a month of direct actions throughout the country, commencing on May Day 2010 (May 1st, 2010) to reclaim our homes and communities from the banks, speculators, and gentrifiers. Join us by organizing actions in your city and region, designed to meet your own local conditions and needs. We also ask everyone who supports this initiative to spread the word and help the campaign reach the critical mass necessary to effect change.

Building a Movement

A severe housing crisis exists in the United States. All across the country, despite courageous struggles against divestment, land speculation and gentrification, public housing communities are being permanently displaced as developments are razed to the ground. Millions of families have been dispossessed of their homes, wrongly evicted and displaced from their communities by the escalating foreclosure crisis. Homelessness is escalating to levels unseen since the 1930’s as a direct result of the various forces of displacement stated above and economic dislocation from increased automation, deindustrialization, and the globalization of production.

Historically oppressed peoples and women are bearing the brunt of the housing crisis. Working class African Americans in particular are being devastated by the destruction of public housing, evictions from foreclosures, the record loss of home equity, and spiraling homelessness.

The government’s promotion of discriminatory politics and policies lies at the heart of the housing crisis. It’s support of redlining, predatory lending, gentrification, hyper-inflated speculation and a near exclusive system of private homeownership and land tenure privileges wealthy elites and exploits the working class and the poor. The government’s unwillingness to change these discriminatory policies and practices constitutes a gross violation of its obligation to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to adequate housing for the individuals and peoples under its jurisdiction.

The Human Right to Housing
Housing is a fundamental human right protected by Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (CESCR), and Article 5 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), amongst others.

To realize the right to housing, and solve the housing crisis, we need a national “Take Back the Land” movement. To build this movement the Land and Housing Action Group of the US Human Rights Network (USHRN) – composed of the Coalition to Defend Public Housing, Picture the Homeless, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Survivors Village, and Take Back the Land – is launching a national “Take Back the Land” campaign.

Principles
The Take Back the Land campaign is rooted in the following principles:
1.  Housing as a Human Right. Land and adequate housing should not be commodities to enrich the elite but instead, like air, should be protected as a common good.
2.  Local Community Control over Housing.
3. Leadership by Impacted Communities, particularly low-income Black women.
4. Direct Action.

Call to Action
The campaign will focus on the following:
Foreclosure Related Evictions.● In the context of the millions of families across the country homeless and under-housed, continued foreclosure and demolition related evictions, of owners or renters in houses, apartments or public housing, is counter productive. We must put an end to foreclosure related evictions through campaigns of community and home defenses.
Foreclosed Homes● . After a vicious cycle of gentrification, which escalated housing prices and forced the removal of entire historical communities in the name of development, the foreclosure crisis has reached epidemic proportions. Perfectly good homes sit vacant, for years on end, the property of banks that already have been paid for them by the federal bailout. These homes must be filled with families in need of housing.
Vacant Buildings● . As the homeless sleep in the streets, cars and parks, vacant buildings, owned by banks and local governments, dot the urban skyline and shock the moral conscience. These structures must be put to use for the benefit of people in need of housing.
Vacant Land● . During the housing “boom,” local governments made publicly owned land available to politically connected developers at fire sale prices. Now that boom times are over, vacant land must now be returned to use for public housing and other public goods.
Public Housing . Even as the housing crisis intensifies, municipalities across the country are shedding public housing units through demolition, deliberate vacancy and privatization. In this time of great need, we cannot afford to loose one inch low-income housing. Public housing must be put to its intended use and controlled by residents and local communities.
Right to Return● . Whether through gentrification, public housing demolition or the combination of natural disasters and government actions, large numbers of people have been forced to leave their long time communities in order to make room for wealthier, often whiter, people. We must have the right to return to our historic communities and rebuild them for the benefit of all.

Take Back the Land is a comprehensive campaign initiative, which includes a direct action campaign and the grassroots initiative to build alternative institutions, such as land trusts, co-operatives, and other collective ownership and management vehicles to exercise direct community control over land and housing. Take Back the Land’s objective is to realize the human right to housing by opening vacant housing and transforming land use for the benefit of oppressed and low-income communities. We are calling on all those who have been displaced, dispossessed and discarded from their homes and communities, and all those believe in human rights, to join us in this campaign.

For more information,
email
housingrights@ushrnetwork.org or call 404.588.9761.

For a copy of this call to action in flyer form, see:  takebacktheland call

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