[News] New Orleans Coalition to Stop the Demolitions Update

Anti-Imperialist News 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.

Our Demands
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.

Resident Principles
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

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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