/New Orleans// – /Public Housing residents from around the country have just taken over the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO). The public building that they have occupied has been surrounded by the National Guard, the New Orleans Police, including a SWAT team. It is now two years after Katrina and New Orleans public housing residents are still prevented from returning to their homes. Public housing residents and advocates from Miami, New Orleans, Georgia, Texas, Rhode Island, Chicago, California, and New York have taken over the HANO offices at 4100 Touro St. to demand that public housing, both in New Orleans and around the country, is saved, preserved, and expanded.

Across the country public housing authorities are selling off land, raising rents, firing workers, and leaving countless residents with no place to live. In New Orleans more than 300,000 residents, mostly poor and black, have been denied the right to return to their homes since Katrina hit two years ago.

The Housing Authority building has been locked down and is being surrounded by the National Guard, the New Orleans Police, and Swat. Residents are determined to save their homes and to show that public housing is still a valuable community asset.

The take over of the Housing Authority of New Orleans is a part of the International Tribunal and 2^nd Survivor’s Assembly, which is being organized by Grassroots Global Justice (GGJ) and is being held to bring charges of racial discrimination and the denial of the right to return.

The Grassroots Global Justice delegation includes representatives from at least six different organizations from around the country including, Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE) in Rhode Island, Fuerza Unida from San Antonio, TX, Community Voices Heard from New York City, Southwest Worker’s Union from San Antonio, Project South from Atlanta, GA, and the Labor Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles. The delegation is providing logistical support for the tribunals and working in solidarity with the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund, as well as many other organizations and volunteers from around the country.