Housing/urban Issues/Gentrification

Blockade defends Baltmore homeless camp as cops show up to evict

On the 26th of June, cops and city workers were met with barricades as they arrived to evict a homeless camp under a Baltimore freeway overpass. The campsite is at Martin Luther King Ave and Mulberry st, sheltered by the freeway overpass. Using civil disobedience, activists sought to defend the camp from this assault by the forces of wealth and urban removal.

Video of the blockade by Harris from the Post,originally uploaded to Vine

Photo by Harris from the Post

Museum Square tenants rally against mass eviction in Chinatown

The residents of Museum Square, one of the last Section 8 rentals in Chinatown are facing mass eviction followed by demolition and condo construction. Bush Companies (of Williamsburg, Va.), the landlord, offers only an option to buy the building for nearly ten times what the DC government assessed it as being worth for property taxes. On the 23ed of June, the tenants staged a mass protest against the planned evictions. They were backed by the National Alliance of HUD Tenants.

Video highlights of the rally (2 min)

Empower DC visits DC Council demanding money to fix vacant public housing

On the 20th of April, Empower DC sent a delegation to the DC City Council to demand a total end to demolition of public housing. They also are demanding that that the 2016 government budget include money to repair vacant public housing units so homeless familes can move into them.

DC Residents protest gentrification at Mayor's State of the District Address

On the last day of March, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser held her "state of the district" address. Outside were scores of DC residents excluded from the event-and apparently excluded from the Mayor's promises about affordable housing. There was even talk of housing that someone with a $75,000 a year income can afford being defined as "affordable." The "Real State of the District" protesters beseiged the Lincoln Theater where the Mayor was speaking and at one point took to the streets to blockade 13th and U sts. A key slogan was "Black Homes Matter!"

Video of the "Real State of the District" protest

Protesting "Condo Madness" coupled with demolition of public housing

People for Fairness Coalition marches w/ casket for 55 homeless who died on DC streets

In the last year 55 homeless people have died on the streets of DC-55 too many. On the 19th of December, after an all-night vigil on Freedom Plaza, the People for Fairness Coalition marched a casket representing these 55 people from the plaza to the NY Ave Presbyterian Church, and from there to Mitch Snyder's gravesite.

Stirring video of the march

Homeless and supporters march to Freedom Plaza from Mitch Snyder's grave site

On the 18th of December, DC homeless folks and their allies gathered at Mitch Snyder's gravesite, then marched to Freedom Plaza to an all-night vigil for those who have died on the streets while homeless. Many carried signs bearing the names of people who died on the street. At the vigil a casket is set up in a tent representing those who have died, it will be marched up to Mitch Snyder's grave site on Dec 19.

Video-The march plus interview(begins 1:42) with vigil participant who discusses Mayor-Elect Bowser's choice to support DC's Olympic bid instead of helping homeless people

Setting out from Thomas Circle

Call-out for international solidarity with social center De Vloek

The city government of The Hague, The Netherlands wants to evict social center De Vloek on January 5, 2015 to make room for a sailing center. Located in the harbor of Scheveningen, De Vloek was squatted 12.5 years ago and meanwhile has grown to be an essential social space in the harbor. There is already enough space for sport sailing in the harbor, but De Vloek must nevertheless move aside for the latest prestigious real estate project which nobody is looking forward to.On Monday October 13, the city council will make a final decision about whether or not De Vloek must disappear.

DC Homeless Civil Rights Challenge to Shelter Closings Update

Prior to the closing of La Casa Shelter, and as part of an ongoing pattern of displacement, the District closed Franklin Shelter, another low barrier shelter in Northwest, Washington, D.C.[vi] Between the two closures, the District removed all available shelter space in District operated facilities in the Northwest quadrant of the city and reduced its available shelter space for men by over thirty percent (30%).

The pattern of targeting and removal of the largely minority homeless population exhibited by the District defendants and of record includes: i) a clear and undisputed pattern of closing all low barrier public shelter services in largely Caucasian Wards 1 and 2 and relegating the remaining public shelters to Wards 5, 7 and 8, with highest minority populations....

Great Zine On Collective Housing Strategies and Tactics

Hey Folks! We have just finished writing a zine on living in an activist collective intentional community. It was written as a practical guide with tools and references to assist in achieving a more sustainable approach to strategies and tactics for reaching goals. We approach this work from the experience in our shared collective narrative in an effort to ground much of the theory in our practice.

Thousands gather in Dupont Circle to watch World Cup "Eviction Games"

On the 26th of June, a huge, mostly white crowd gathered in Dupont Circle to watch the US team lose to Germany in the World Cup. These Eviction Games were made possible by tens of thousands of evictions of favela residents in Rio and tens of thousands more in the rest of the country. The next Eviction Games in Brazil are the Olympics, and here in DC the rich want both the Olympics in 2024 and the evictions.

Stirring "Eviction Games" Video