From New Orleans to New York to Nairobi: Housing is a Human Right!
This is the Black Agenda Morning Shot for Monday, August 30, 2010 being brought to you by Kali Akuno from New Orleans, Louisiana. As Black August 2010 draws to a close, Black people in New Orleans, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and throughout the country commemorated the Ma’afa or great calamity of Hurricane Katrina that struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast on August 29th, 2005.
The day was one of remembrance for those who needlessly lost their lives due to government incompetence and strategic neglect and those who were and remain displaced. It was also a day of continued resistance to the ethnic and class cleansing taking place in New Orleans and other Black and oppressed communities throughout the Gulf Coast.
Perhaps the most strategic act of resistance occurred in the St. Bernard Community of New Orleans where Survivors Village protested President Barack Obama’s visit of the Columbia Parc development, which rests on the site of the demolished St. Bernard Development.
In a statement issued after the demonstration, Survivors Village stated: “as the rest of the city 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 future that Obama came to support today is the total privatization of public housing throughout the country, which his administration is advancing with its promotion of the PETRA Bill. As billionaire Warren Buffet stated on his visit of the Columbia Parc development in March, “New Orleans is Key”, by which he meant the total destruction of public housing which he is promoting through his Purpose Built Communities organization which he co-founded with Atlanta Tom Cousins, who administered the destruction of all of Atlanta’s public housing earlier in the decade.
However, activists in New Orleans have no intention on submitting to the designs of PETRA, or complaining with Buffett’s dreams and going the way of Atlanta. They are mobilizing on the following demands:
• that any former resident wanting to live in Columbia Parc 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.
To learn more about this story or to support the initiatives of Survivors Village visit http://communitiesrising.wordpress.com.
Also visit the US Human Rights Network www.ushrnetwork.org.
Again, this is Kali Akuno bringing you some news you can use for the Black Agenda Report.