May 3, 2010- Today, the Take Back the Land Movement (TBLM, www.takebacktheland.org) announced a May 2010 Month of Action in direct response to the ongoing economic and housing crisis. The month of action commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first Civil rights era sit-ins in Greensboro, NC. Thousands from across the country will participate in “live-ins” to demand the fundamental human right to housing. Groups in over a dozen cities across the country will move families into vacant government-owned and foreclosed homes, without permission, or physically defend families from eviction and foreclosure.
The objective of the coordinated civil disobedience campaigns is to build a national movement to elevate housing to the level of a human right and gain community control over land.
“We are defending families facing eviction and moving homeless people into people-less homes,” said Max Rameau of Take Back the Land. “While banks enjoy bailouts, executive bonuses and record profits, human beings and entire communities are suffering. The government does not appear interested in helping poor people, so we have no other choice.”
The TBLM is a network of community organizations or initiatives committed to community control over land and housing as a human right. The Movement receives national staffing and administrative support from the US Human Rights Network (ushrnetwork.org) and is organized in conjunction with the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) (economichumanrights.org), an organization with a long history of housing takeovers and defenses.
Right 2 Survive, a Portland, Oregon based which empowers un-sheltered persons, seized control of a vacant lot in front of a long abandoned high school at 531 SE 14th Ave. in South Portland on May 1. Media coverage of the action is available at right2survive.wordpress.com and takebacktheland.org.
In Toledo, OH, Keith Sadler of Stony Ridge is due to be evicted from his home today (May 3). But Mr. Sadler intends to resist the foreclosure and stay in his home. “I am resisting this eviction through non-violent civil disobedience,” stated Sadler. “It's time to make a stand against this corrupt system.” The Toledo Foreclosure Defense League, a Northwest Ohio coalition of anti-foreclosure activists, will stand by Mr. Sadler to defend his home. Sadler and the Toledo Foreclosure Defense League will peacefully occupy the foreclosed home by sealing themselves inside until the foreclosure is called off and a moratorium on all residential foreclosures is enacted. A live video feed from inside the house will be provided online.
Actions are also expected on May 3rd in Chicago, IL, where the Chicago anti-eviction campaign is protesting the HUD offices, 77 W Jackson, at 11:00am, and in Philadelphia, PA by the Kensington Welfare Rights Union. Throughout the month, actions are expected in every region of the country, including in the:
Northeast: Boston, MA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington, DC
South: Louisville, KY; New Orleans, LA; St. Petersburg, FL; and Miami, FL
Midwest: Chicago, IL; Toledo, OH; Madison, WI; Detroit, MI; and Minneapolis, MN
West: Portland, OR
Details about upcoming actions are available at www.takebacktheland.org.
Housing is a fundamental human right protected by Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (CESCR), and Article 5 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), amongst others. In the context of the severe housing crisis and the multi-billion dollar bailout of the financial industry, participating organizations demand the US government enforce their international responsibilities and obligations to protect and fulfill this basic human right.
Take Back the Land - Miami started in October 2006 by seizing control over a vacant municipal lot in Miami, FL and building the Umoja Village Shantytown. Subsequent campaigns resulted in “liberating” and moving families into foreclosed homes, without permission from the banks.
The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign was founded in 1998 and is committed to unite the poor across color lines as the leadership base for a broad movement to abolish poverty by advancing economic human rights as named in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, such as the rights to food, housing, health, education, communication and a living wage job.
Civil Disobedience training support is provided by the Ruckus Society (www.ruckus.org) and legal support is provided by the Center for Constitutional Rights (www.ccrjustice.org).
Take Back the Land (www.takebacktheland.org)
Max Rameau firstname.lastname@example.org 786-231-3446
Ajamu Baraka email@example.com 404-588-9761
Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign (www.economichumanrights.org)
Cheri Honkala firstname.lastname@example.org 267-439-8419
Rosemary Nevils Williams email@example.com 612-296-3481