By new orleans indymedia team Friday, Nov. 16, 2007 at 8:12 PM
Many activists believe New Orleans is a test ground for the US Government to demolish public housing across the nation and replace it with "mixed-income" developments that would displace thousands of families.
Pledge to come to New Orleans and resist this privatization of public housing!
Many activists believe New Orleans is a test ground for the US Government to demolish public housing across the nation and replace it with "mixed-income" developments. According to HANO's contracts with developers, 82% of the pre-storm units would be lost in the development process.
Yesterday the Housing Authority of New Orleans backed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development of the Federal Government told the federal judge hearing the public housing lawsuit that the demolition of all four complexes will start in mid-December.
Judge Ivan Lemelle responded by saying he will not prevent the demolitions from occurring. The unilateral decision forced Bill Quigley and the rest of the lawyers representing some of the public housing resident plaintiffs to appeal to the US District Court of Appeals. The hearing on November 28 would delay any action until the appeal is heard in court.
In a grassroots email campaign, People's Hurricane Relief Fund (PHRF) and Survivor's Village issued this call for national supporters to pledge that they will come to New Orleans to defend public housing with their bodies:
I believe in the fundamental human right to housing, and I will not be a witness to the denial of this right to the peoples of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. I therefore pledge myself to resist the denial of this right by all civil and humanitarian means available, including civil disobedience. I pledge to stand ready to take action against this imminent threat and to put myself on the line, either directly in New Orleans or in strategic locales throughout the US, in support of the demands and leadership of the peoples of New Orleans and their organizations in the struggle for housing and human rights.
We ask that all those interested in coming to New Orleans to contact us before making the journey. We need to ensure that everyone coming is registered, properly orientated and trained in order to partake in this act of resistance in the manner determined by the local leaders and residents. Please contact us via email at email@example.com, with the word "registration" in the subject line. Also, please include the following information:
Affinity Group/Organization (if applicable):
Have you ever received any training in civil disobedience?
What skills/resources are you able to bring to New Orleans?
All making this pledge must be advised of the following:
1. As of now we do not know exactly when the demolition orders will be given. We hope to have this information within at least 48 hours of the scheduled demolition to contact you and give you sufficient time to act (including travel for residents and allies coming in from out of town). 2.
Given the limited timeframe and resources of the various organizations spearheading this fight back, access to the following will be limited:
* Legal counsel and aid. All effort is and will be made to provide adequate legal support, but the reality is that it is limited at present.
* Lodging and food. Again, given the uncertain timeline and limited resources, housing venues are presently limited, but all effort will be made to support all those making this bold pledge.
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