Thursday, December 13, 2007

new orleans solidarity action

this is a call for action from the catalyst project

To Our Family, Friends, and Comrades,

We really want to encourage you all to do what you can to support the struggle to stop the demolitions of Public Housing in New Orleans, below are some ways you can. This is an incredibly intense and important moment right now to support thousands of working class and Black residents of New Orleans from being permanently displaced from their home. National solidarity is needed!
Catalyst Project organizers Clare Bayard and Ingrid Chapman are in New Orleans, working with our local and national allies supporting the grassroots mobilization. Ingrid sent us these suggestions for support and the overview of the situation.

Ways to show support:
Participate in a solidarity actions (see the list of events below).
Call all the representative you can and put the pressure on Nationally (all numbers listed below).
Share this information with others and ask them to take action.
Send folks you know who are from New Orleans or live hear loving and supportive email text and phone messages.
Donate money for supplies, many orgs down hear are broke.
Prey, meditate, do what ever you do to send some hope, energy and love to folks in and from New Orleans engaged in this struggle.

We have been in New Orleans the past week and we're really feeling the enormity of this moment. This week developers are scheduled to begin demolishing 4 major public housing complexes, a total of 4605 low-income housing units. Only 744 are slated to be rebuilt. Resulting in thousands and thousands of low income families unable to return home to New Orleans and or homeless. This is all happening while the government is evicting thousands of people out of the FEMA trailers parks. They are planning to kick everyone out within the next 3 month, that is 52,000 families! This is also happening at the same time that there are hundreds of homeless people camped out in tents across from city hall. The city gov has been threatening to go in this weekend and destroy the homeless encampment and erect a fence around the park. Protest has pushed this back temporarily.

Homeless folks have been organizing under the name of Homeless Pride and have had up to a thousand people sleeping across from city hall and have been occupying the park for months. They estimate that there are currently between 12 and 16 thousand homeless people in New Orleans right now.

Residents of Public housing have been fiercely organizing to reopen public housing for the past 2 years. They have done many marches, occupied the multiple housing complexes, done sit ins at government officials offices in Washington DC, erected protest villages in front of the fences holding them out, had sit down meetings with city, state and federal officials and much more. Residents and Allies are working really hard to hold off the wrecking balls and bulldozers these coming weeks. National solidarity is vital right now.
Contractors have to begin Demolition by the 18th to get millions of dollars in tax credits. Direct Actions are being organized for next week to trying do what every we can to hold off the developers until the 18th in hope that can give us more time to build pressure to permanently hold them off. Hundreds of people are stepping up locally and nationally committing to risk arrest and participate in these direct actions. There is a strong call from folks locally for people nationally to come to New Orleans and participate in the Direct Actions, the call is below.

There are also solidarity actions happening around the country.

To my folks in the Bay. There is an action Friday 12/14 @ 12pm, Oakland! at 13th St. and Broadway in Oakland. For more information on the Oakland action or to let them know you are coming please contact

With much love and appreciation,

Ingrid, Catalyst organizer

The country is mobilizing in response to the horrendous treatment of New Orleans citizens. Below you will find a list of events being held around the country, as well as a list of phone numbers you can call to raise awareness and push for justice.

National Solidarity Events

1. California, Bay Area
Informational picket line on Friday, Dec 14th 12:00 in Oakland, at the entrance to Civic Center Plaza on Broadway, between 12TH & 14TH street.
Contact: Katrina Solidarity Network
Phone/s: Rebecca Ruiz-Lichter 415-902-2794 Sharon Martinas 415-647-0921

2. D.C.
Event in front of HUD building Dec. 13th
Contact: Legba Carrefour
Samantha Miller
Phone: 818-419-6994

3. Philadelphia
Possible press conference, and coordinating to support events in DC and NY
Contact: Drew Christopher e-mail:
4. Denver
Contact: Luis Manriquez
Phone: 303-709-5497

5. Cleveland
Demonstration in front of HUD office Monday, Dec. 10th
Contact: Hannah Mccorkel

6. New Jersey
Housing vigil Saturday December 8, 1:15-1:45
On Pinebrook Road (and Mitchell Drive intersection) Howard Commons Housing (about 1/4 mile north of the intersection of Pinebrook Road and Hope Road just beyond Eaton Crest Apartments).
Local public affordable housing is also planned for demolition in Eatontown at Fort Monmouth's Howard Commons on Pinebrook Road despite a $20 million renovation project.
Contact: Tom Mahedy
Phone: 732-292-0662

7. Boston

For more information and a constantly-updated list,

Make Some Noise!
We are calling on our national allies to take action at home against the demolitions and in support of housing as a human right. Because the assault on public housing in New Orleans is a threat on public housing across the U.S., we must stand up nationwide in the fight against neoliberalism and racism. We need people to make calls demanding the reopening of public housing AND organize demonstrations at local HUD and other government buildings on December 10th - Human Rights Day.

Call-In Numbers:

City Council Member Stacey Head: Head has been the leading force on the City Council in pushing for the demolitions and mixed income housing. (504) 658-1020

City Council Member Shelley Midura: Encourage Midura to oppose the demolitions and support the reopening of public housing. (504) 658-1010

D.H. Griffin: The Contractors hired to demolish Lafitte. . For the locations of local offices across the South (888) 336-3366

Senator David Vitter: The Louisiana senator actively support the demolitions by blocking the passage of Senate Bill 1668: The Gulf Coast Recovery Act. Put pressure on him to support SB 1668. Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-4623 New Orleans Office (504) 589-2753

Senate Banking,Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Members: SB 1668 is currently stuck in the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committee. Demand that they approve SB 1668.

Senator Christopher Dodd (202) 224-2823
Senator Tim Johnson (202) 224-1638
Senator Jack Reed (202) 224-4642
Senator Charles Schumer 202-224-0420
Senator Evan Bayh (202) 224-5623
Senator Tom Carper (202) 224-2441
Senator Robert Menendez (202) 224-4744
Senator Daniel Akaka (202) 224-6361
Senator Sherrod Brown (202) 224-2315
Senator Robert Casey (202) 224-6324
Senator Jon Tester (202) 224-2644
Senator Richard Shelby (202) 224-5744
Senator Robert Bennent (202) 224-5444
Senator Wayne Allard (202) 224-5941
Senator Michael Enzi (202) 224-3424
Senator Chuck Hagel (202) 224-4224
Senator Jim Bunning (202) 224-4343
Senator Mike Crapo (202) 224-6142
Senator John Sununu (202) 224-2841
Senator Elizabeth Dole (202) 224-6342
Senator Mel Martinez (202) 224-304

Send info about any solidarity actions happening to with "Solidarity" in the subject line.

If you have any questions contact the Stop the Demolition Coalition at or call us at (504) 458-3494.

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