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National Call to Action: United Front for Affordable Housing Announces the Opening of the Survivor's Village

When: Saturday, June 3rd, 2006-August
Where: 3800 block of St. Bernard Ave., New Orleans, LA

Public Housing residents and their supporters in New Orleans have run into a brick wall in their attempt to return home following the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. Most of public housing remains closed since Katrina, with buildings boarded up and deteriorating. Survivor's village is an initiative of the residents of the St. Bernard Public Housing Development located in Mid City, New Orleans.
The people who lived in St. Bernard continue to be displaced throughout the United States, but want to return home to St. Barnard and their community. Since the hurricane, the residents have initiated several actions to raise public awareness about their situation, including demonstrations in February, March, April, and May. Following public attention focused on the situation at St. Barnard, the city erected a barbed-wire fence to prevent the residents from returning home. In the face of this injustice, the residents are determined to make their stand along this fence, and in full view of passing motorists.

The residents, and their supporters plan to build a tent city in front of the fence that separates them from their homes. The encampment will be built on the wide grassy area between the sidewalk and the road. This area stretches for many blocks and the residents hope to create a visible, and unignorable presence. Survivor's village aims to provide temporary housing for the displaced residents as well as to serve as an act of political protest, to raise awareness and force action from the City of New Orleans. A tent city, to be constructed across from the St. Bernard Housing Development, will serve as ground zero for this struggle. Residents, supporters and volunteers will have access to restroom and bathing and cooking facilities, and plan to spend their days engaged in political protest and workshops examining issues of gender, race, poverty, and life in public housing.

Displaced residents and non-local supporters plan to remain camped for June, July and August. Activists from all across the United States are encouraged to join with the residents of St. Bernards in their fight for the right to housing. The encampment is a short walk from the base of Common Ground so folks traveling to help can also join Common Ground in their struggle.

Survivor's village is a project of the United Front for Affordable Housing Coalition, and is made up of New Day, The New Orleans Housing Emergency Action Team (NOHEAT) , C3 NOLA/Hands Off Iberville, and Common Ground. Join us in this historic battle to reopen public housing in New Orleans, and support the working class citizens of New Orleans as they fight to make the right of return a reality.

--No to Demolition !!
--No to Racial and Class Cleansing!!
--Bring New Orleans Home NOW!!!

--Safe, decent, and sanitary housing is a right, not a privilege
--Everyone who was evacuated from New Orleans has the unconditional right to come back.
--All of the current public housing stock should be preserved. No to demolition.
--All units of public housing that were open before the storm should be re-opened
--Residents have a right to social, political, and economic SELF-DETERMINATION

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