Sunday, October 3, 2010

Iberville Public Housing Development

Here's an email I received regarding the Iberville Public Housing Development. Thought I'd repost it for ya'll.

Dear Fellow Friends of New Orleans’ Iberville Public Housing Development,
Iberville Public Housing residents need the support of you and your students.
Many of you participated in the New Orleans “Disaster Capitalism” tour while either at the Spring 2009 meeting of the Southern Sociological Association or the Fall 2009 gathering of the American Humanist Society. We salute you for bearing witness to the criminal destruction of public housing, including the Lafitte development, that the Bush administration carried out post-Katrina, in flagrant violation of international human rights law.

You also met residents of the Iberville Public Housing development, a community that still exists due to the courageous struggle of public housing residents and their allies. Their pressure forced the Bush administration to reopen the development. Now it is facing a new danger—from the Obama administration which controls the local housing authority. Iberville has been targeted as part of the Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) new ‘Choice Neighborhood’ program, which is the new name of the now discredited HOPE VI privatization and displacement scheme. Old wine in new bottles. We need the support of your students to defend Iberville.
I have enclosed a longer article that provides detailed background to the Iberville case. Suffice it to say, the destruction of Iberville would be a huge crime, due to the desperate need for affordable housing in the city and that that the land the development sits on--the former Storyville red light district--has witnessed two previous displacements of low income African American communities. We can’t let this happen again—especially since it is an attack that is part of a growing, racist austerity drive taking hold across the country. Iberville is an ideal place to draw the line against these racist attacks.
(see--Iberville: Birthplace of Jazz, Graveyard of New Orleans’ Public Housing?
You can help with the growing campaign in defense of Iberville in two ways:
1. The community group C3/Hands Off Iberville is requesting that you encourage students (and teachers as well) to come to New Orleans the week of December 15-22 for a week of solidarity actions in defense of Iberville. They can come for all or some of these days (or some other time, if these are impossible). If students or you are interested in participating, call me at 504-520-9521 or email me at Send this message to others who you believe may be interested.
2. Call U.S. President Barrack Obama and demand that the Housing Authority of New Orleans, which his HUD department controls, not support the demolition and privatization of Iberville under the ‘Choice Neighborhood program’, or any other scheme. Residents and supporters want the repair and reopening—not destruction-- of all of the over 800 badly needed public housing apartments at Iberville.
Email: Phone: (202) 456-1414
In solidarity,
Jay Arena
C3/Hands Off Iberville

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