Chicago Residents Join Rally to Save Atlanta Public Housing
(APN) ATLANTA — Residents of, and advocates for, Chicago public housing joined Atlanta residents and advocates today for a rally at Atlanta City Hall. About 100 in total protested Atlanta’s plans to demolish public housing. The rally coincided with the first day of the US Social Forum.
Organizations represented included the Task Force for the Homeless, ACORN, Women in Transition, Poor People’s Human Rights Campaign, and Atlanta public housing resident associations. Tuna sandwiches and orange-colored drink were served for the homeless.
“I heard there’s a public housing crisis. I said, oh no, that’s where I wanna be. This is public housing people. This is family,” Willie JR Fleming, of the Coalition to Protect Public Housing, said.
“This is a clear cut national plan of economic cleansing. In United Nations talk, this is an atrocity, a crime against humanity. This is what we call human rights violations,” Fleming said.
“We’re here to protect rights of public housing [residents]. We represent ten Housing Associations. We’re at risk of being displaced. There’s organizations coming in, condos. They said it’s [Chicago public housing units are] physically obsolete. We want a structural engineer to come in. They’re trying to block her,” Lonnie Richardson, of Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP), in Chicago, said.
“Welcome to Atlanta, where we have $20 million for an aquarium, but we’re tearing down public housing,” former City Council Member Derrick Boazman said.
“Welcome to Atlanta, where Mayor Franklin won’t talk to you, but she has 100 police to keep you under control. But you can’t keep a good idea under control,” Boazman said.
“We’ve got redevelopers that want to take over the City. There’s one thing we know for sure. If we don’t fight back, they’re gonna keep the bulldozers coming,” Boazman said. “We spent $20 million to acquire the King Papers, but apparently we didn’t read them.”
“I’ve been around long enough to see Atlanta change. In the 50s and 60s, we came off plantations and the White people fled,” Joe Beasley, activist with the Task Force and Rainbow PUSH, said.
“This is about race, too much so. They said they’re going to deconcentrate poverty in Atlanta. We never had a choice. We live where people allow us to,” Beasley said. “Boazman would make a good Mayor,” he added.
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