[News] New Orleans Coalition to Stop the Demolitions Update
news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Dec 18 10:59:57 EST 2007
The Coalition to Stop the Demolitions would like
to thank all of our allies and supporters
throughout the United States and the world who
came and stood with us in New Orleans or took
action on the streets your city, or who called,
emailed, or faxed the New Orleans City Council,
Mayor Ray Nagin, Senator Vitter, the Senate
Banking Committee members, etc. Your support
played a pivotal role in helping us attain the
victories we accomplished last week in halting
the demolition of three of the four major public
housing locations in New Orleans.
However, the fight is far from over and we still
need your help. Despite our victories in both
State and Federal Courts last Friday, we
recognize that it is quite possible that we might
lose the City Council vote on Thursday, December
20th by a decision of four to three (or perhaps
even five to two). We are fairly certain that at
least three of the white City Council members are
going vote against us, including Jacquelyn
Clarkson, Stacy Head, and Shelley Midura. There
is a possibility that Arnie Fielkow, the current
Council President, might vote in favor or abstain
in order to not lose favor with a sector of the
Black electorate whom he will need to fulfill his
Mayoral aspirations. As for those who may stand
with us, there are likely only two members who
are solid. These are James Carter and Cynthia
Willard-Lewis. The third Black Council member,
Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, is definitely a critical
swing vote. We need to put pressure on each and
every one of these City Council members between
now and the 20th (please stress outreach to
Internally Displaced Persons in your area and
encourage them to call as a priority).
In addition, the Federal lawsuit filed on behalf
of the residents of the St. Bernard was
transferred from Washington, D.C. to the US
District Court Easter District of Louisiana.
Based on his past behavior, we do not expect this
judge will do anything to stop the demolitions.
What this means is that by Friday, December 21st
we may realistically be engaging in our second
wave of mass non-violent civil disobedience
action. Should this be the case, we are going to
need all of our allies and supporters everywhere
to be ready yet again to take decisive action to
stop these inhumane demolition orders.
Things we foresee as being critical this week:
1. We need to blitz the City Council of New Orleans and demand
a. That they vote NO to the demolitions, and
b. That they hold a public hearing on the
demolitions in the evening so that more working
class people can participate. Information on how
to contact the City Council is provided below.
2. We need for as many people who can come down to come down to
a. Pack City Council on Thursday, December 20th,
b. Be prepared to engage in non-violent civil
disobedience in line with the residents council
principles and the coalitions pledge of
resistance statement (see
for both documents). To engage in this initiative
you must register with the coalition at
<mailto:action at peopleshurricane.org>action at peopleshurricane.org.
c. We would also like to encourage Black and
other oppressed nationality organizers to come
down and help us with outreach, base building,
and coalition building work over the course of the next several weeks.
3. We need to continue pressuring Senator
David Vitter with calls, faxes, and emails
demanding that he support Senate Bill 1668 and
allow the bill to move from the Senate Banking,
Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee to the Senate for a vote.
4. We need to pressure Senator Mary Landrieu
to demand that the Federal government via
President George W. Bush and the Justice
Department suspend the demolitions until the
Federal investigation of Alphonso Jackson is complete.
5. We need to seize these next three days to
reframe the struggle to stop the demolition based
on the demands of the Coalition (see below). To this end we need everyone to
a. Write letters to the editor for your local news outlets,
b. Blitz the major newsprint, TV, and cable
media networks and demand that they cover the issue, and
c. To write articles on the issue based on the
Coalitions demands and post them to as many
listserves, blogs, and websites as you possibly can.
Finally, we need some resources to carry out this
work. Some of the things we need resources for include:
1. The "Stop Da Demolitions" Mixtape made by
Sess 4 5, Nuthinbutfire Records, and the
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement for the Coalition
the Stop the Demolition. We need $1,400 to
produce and print 2,000 CD's for youth outreach and education.
2. We also need resources to help with
transportation, food, and accommodations for both residents and volunteers.
3. We need resources the cover the Coalitions cell phone expense.
4. We need resources to cover printings (flyers and posters).
5. Finally, we need resources materials to
produce banners and other mobilization props.
Donations can be made out to the Mississippi
Disaster Relief Coalition (MDRC) and mailed to
P.O. Box 31762 Jackson, MS 39286 . Please
indicate on your donation "Coalition to Stop
Demolitions". All donations are tax-deductible.
I. City Council needs to vote NO on
demolition. The Council meeting should be moved
to an evening time to accommodate people's
schedules and allow a full public hearing on demolition before taking a vote.
II. The mayor needs to meet with the faith
leaders who have requested a meeting with him
about the housing crisis in the city
III. No Demolitions reopen the existing
units and rebuild dignified housing at former public housing sights.
IV. Guaranteed one-to-one replacement for all public housing residents.
V. All available public housing units should
be made available for the homeless and those
likely to face homelessness from the pending loss
of rent vouchers and trailer recalls.
VI. The Federal government needs to suspend
demolition until the investigation of Alphonso
Jackson and the contraction process is completed.
VII. Rent Control to provide deeply affordable
housing so that all will be able to return to the city.
VIII. Stop the privatization and gentrification of the City.
I. All Actions should be non-violent.
II. There should be no weapons or drugs at any
actions, and no alcohol or drug or weapon possession at any action.
III. No destruction or defacement of resident property.
IV. No coalition meetings without resident knowledge and input.
V. No media without residents or resident knowledge.
VI. Focus on defending public housing and
affordable housing in the city for all.
City Council Contact Information
Arnie Fielkow 504.658.1060 <mailto:afielkow at cityofno.com>afielkow at cityofno.com
Jacquelyn Clarkson 504.658.1070
<mailto:jbclarkson at cityofno.com>jbclarkson at cityofno.com
Stacy Head 504.658.1020 <mailto:shead at cityofno.com>shead at cityofno.com
Shelly Midura 504.658.1010 <mailto:smidura at cityofno.com>smidura at cityofno.com
James Carter 504.658.1030 <mailto:jcarter at cityofno.com>jcarter at cityofno.com
Cynthia Hedge-Morrell 504.658.1040
<mailto:chmorrell at cityofno.com>chmorrell at cityofno.com
Cynthia Willard-Lewis 504.658.1050
<mailto:cwlewis at cityofno.com>cwlewis at cityofno.com
In Unity and Struggle,
Monday, December 17, 2007
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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