[News] Pledge of Resistance in Defense of the Right to Housing in New Orleans

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Nov 12 10:57:14 EST 2007

<mailto:blackleftunity at googlegroups.com>blackleftunity at googlegroups.com

Greetings Comrades,

Please spread this pledge around to as many Black 
activists as you can. The demolition of public 
housing in New Orleans, starting with the Lafitte 
projects is imminent. As of now, December 15th 
appears to be the drop dead date - meaning that 
if we don't secure an injunction from the courts, 
or Federal legislation passed by that date, the 
HUD will have the green light to start demolitions immediately.

So, we need to start acting and acting 
immediately. This is one step towards that. I'm 
putting it out here first cause we MUST ensure 
that their are a fair number of Black activists 
engaged in this struggle. We are sure that a good 
number of white activists will be engaging the 
struggle, and that is appreciated, but we HAVE to 
have a Black strong Black presence in order to really bolster this fight.

So, comrades. Please do whatever you can to 
spread the word and encourage our people to get 
engaged. Also be on the lookout for action blasts 
targeting Senator Vitter and Council Woman Stacy 
Head whom are acting as the main enemies on the legislative front ASAP.

In Unity and Struggle,


Pledge of Resistance in Defense of the Right to 
Housing in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A major human rights crisis exists in New Orleans 
and the Gulf Coast. It is a crisis that denies 
the basic rights to life, equality under the law, 
and social equity to Black, Indigenous, migrant, 
and working class communities in the region. 
While this crisis was in existence long before 
Hurricane Katrina, the policies and actions of 
the US government and finance capital ( i.e. 
banking, credit, insurance, and development 
industries) following the Hurricane have seriously exacerbated the crisis.

One of the clearest examples of this crisis is 
the denial of the right to housing in New 
Orleans, particularly in the public housing 
sector. Since the Hurricane, the US government 
through the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development (HUD) has denied the vast majority of 
the residents of public housing the right to 
return to their homes. Unlike the vast majority 
of the housing stock in New Orleans, the majority 
of the public housing units received little to no 
flood or wind damage from the Hurricane. Yet, as 
of October 2007 only ¼ of the public housing 
units have been reopened and reoccupied. The Bush 
government refuses to reopen the public housing 
units in New Orleans because it appears intent on 
destroying the public housing system, demolishing 
the existing structures, and turning over the 
properties to private real-estate developers to make profits.

Based on the discriminatory Federal Court ruling 
issued on Monday, September 10th, all of the 
major public housing units in New Orleans are now 
subject to immediate demolition (the latest 
report from Monday, November 5th is that HUD will 
attempt to start the demolition on Monday, 
November 19th. However, this is being challenged 
by various legal advocates and will be delayed 
until at least Wednesday, November 28th pending a 
Federal court hearing). The first site on the 
schedule for demolition is the Lafitte housing 
project. Lafitte therefore, is the line in the 
sand that must be drawn by all peoples in support 
of the human right to housing.

"I Pledge"

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.

Organization (if applicable):
Have you ever received any training in civil disobedience?

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 
<mailto:action at peopleshurricane.org>action at peopleshurricane.org.

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.

For more information, please contact the Peoples' 
Hurricane Relief Fund (PHRF) at 504.301.0215 or 
<mailto:info at peopleshurricane.org>info at peopleshurricane.org 
or Survivors Village at 504.239.2907 or 
<mailto:survivorsvillage at gmail.com>survivorsvillage at gmail.com.

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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