(cross-posted from Feministing) To update from my post on Tuesday about the demolition of four housing projects in New Orleans, activists (including my homies at Ruckus–raise the roof!) yesterday stopped the bulldozers with a 30 person blockade. via AP.
Protesters wielding bullhorns and shouting “housing is a human right” stopped demolition at a massive public housing complex Wednesday in this hurricane-ravaged city in dire need of homes for the poor. More than 30 protesters blocked an excavator from entering the fenced-off area of the B.W. Cooper complex. It was the first of what likely will be many standoffs between protesters and demolition crews that are tearing down hundreds of barracks-style buildings so they can be replaced with mixed-income neighborhoods.
As many had suspected all throughout, disguised in the language of “re-development” most of the redevelopment initiatives in post-Katrina New Orleans have been driven by greed and profit motives as opposed to moral and ethical commitments to the people that have been displaced from their homes, that should be given their right to return. New Orleans has shown us the lack of commitment our government has to protecting basic human and civil rights. It has also shown us the devastating and dishonest nature of disaster profiteering in communities of color and that clearly HUD is more interested in what developers want as opposed to what communities they are supposed to be providing housing for need. Don’t let the displaced and homeless people of New Orleans down in this holiday season. TAKE ACTION NOW! Sign the petition to stop the demolition and to support SB 1668. Also, Ruckus has a list of other things you can do to take action. Finally, for more information on this check out Defend New Orleans Public Housing, Justice for New Orleans and People’s Hurricane Relief Fund.