Saturday, April 13, 2013
For a very long time, organized hostile forces in business and government have abused the predominantly black neighborhoods near Atlanta's business and convention core. These neighborhoods have endured the construction of four stadiums requiring 12,000 or more parking spaces each; expressway construction; meager support for community development; punitive or nonexistent social welfare programs; a public housing subsidy system that strongly favors wealthy homeowners over everyone else; and other damaging assaults. But neighborhoods are now marshaling their own resources and fighting back. Joined by neighborhood residents we explored some of these battles Today as part of the "Taking Back Our Neighborhoods Bus Tour."
The tour, organized by Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America and Occupy Our Homes Atlanta started in Peeples Town with brief talks about current and past struggles by residents in Pittsburgh, Peeples Town, English Avenue, and Vine city.
The tour then became mobile, taking time in each community to create space for residents to tell their story's of struggle, victories, and shortcomings.
One highlight was the stop at 1043 Windsor street, where home liberator's Reneka Wheeler and Michelene Meusa pretty mush reenacted their home liberation press conference on the actual porch of the home liberated in an act of civil disobedience December 6th of last year. Joining them on the porch was long time Pittsburgh organizer and former State Rep Douglas Dean, who spoke of the importance of bold community action that push the boundary's of unjust policy, perhaps even crossing those lines when it makes sense to do so.
After the tour we reconvened at the American Friends Service Committee's downtown office for a delicious dinner and more discussion, which seemed very focused on the new stadium, which seems to be just about a done deal....or is it?