No Peace In the Streets!

root - Posted on 14 August 2004

Section 8 tenants in Alameda fight back and WIN

PNN Media Resistance #2

by Clive Whistle/PNN

"No Justice No Peace

No Housing No Peace"

The words poured out onto the tidy white streets of Main Street, United Snakes of Amerikka (actually, Encinal Ave in the city of Alameda).

"Who has the money or the means to move to Eureka or Fresno?"

The words poured out of the mouths of children and families of all colors and cultures on the brink of homelessness. Suddenly the haves were not so safe in their cuccoons of lies. Suddenly the have-nots were taking over the streets!

On Friday, June 25th over 70 tenants along with advocates from Campaign for Renters Rights marched through the main street of the city of Alameda demanding justice, housing Justice.They did this in protest to the 264 Section 8 tenants who received eviction notices from the Alameda Housing authority less than a month ago. As reported in PNN/SF Bayview last week, the classist policies instituted by the Bush Administration' s appointee to Housing and Urban Development(HUD) Alphonso Jackson, who was publicly quoted as saying that poverty is just a state of mind, are causing poor families and elders across the nation to become homeless due to drastic and unexpected cuts to the Section 8 program.

As a formerly homeless San Francisco and Oakland resident who is now home-ful because of the Section 8 program, I "felt" this protest. When my editor, tiny informed me of this new attack on the poor, I volunteered to attend the march in solidarity with the Alameda Tenants. When I traveled over to Alameda on the bus, the real possibility of Class war started to hit me. Where would hundreds of thousands of poor people from New York to Los Angeles go?

" No justice No Peace!!! We marched across their brick lined sidewalks. We banged pots and pans. We spoke the truth."What if it was YOUR family about to be homeless?!!"

"No Housing No Peace" After we made it down Main Street. We marched into "their" neighborhoods. Over 40 tenants marched through the "nice" neighborhoods of Alameda. We were on our way to the Mayors House.

"No Justice No Peace."Over 40 tenants invaded the Bay Farm island neighborhood of Alameda where the mayor of Alameda resided. We marched for over an hour. We would not be silent. We would be back.!

And then suddenly, like "magic" "They" found the money to re-fund 105 vouchers. Later that same day, The Alameda Housing Authority began making calls to let the tenants know that 105 vouchers would be reinstated. Housing advocates cite the combination of legal pressure and people pressure from the protests. Bill Simpage, attorney for disabled tenant, Charlie Jammer,and attorney Benjamin Gould from Legal Aid who under the notice laws put pressure on the Alameda Housing Authority for not giving proper notice to tenants to move because Housing Authority only gave the tenants less than three weeks notice that they would not be funded in Section 8's program is still questioning how they are "picking" the tenants they will reinstate. As of this press date for instance, Charlie Jammer still has not been reinstated. But no matter, our voices are starting to be heard and we will not stop until all 264 tenants in Alameda are definitively reinstated.

And like my editor said in last weeks report, this is only the preview of bush's plans to cut funding for 250,000 existing Section 8 vouchers in fiscal year 2005. So as far as I am concerned unless people are completely numbed by too much corporate media slush their will be more neighborhood invasions, more truths spoken and no peace in the streets!!!


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