As part of the Take Back the Land Movement May 2010 Month of Action, Operation Welcome Home (OWH) hosted an open house celebration on May 10, 2010, and introduced the world to Desiree Wilson, an after-school program assistant supervisor. OWH spared this mother of two and her family from homelessness by moving them into a long abandoned foreclosed home on the westside of Madison, WI. OWH organizer Z! Haukeness said it well: "It's unjust and immoral that there's homeless people on one side of the street and empty buildings on the other side of the street."
Desiree Wilson said it best: "If this isn't neighborhood revitalization, I don't know what is."
Operation Welcome Home is asking police and local officials to refrain from evicting the Wilson family and, instead, work with them on finding real solutions to this extreme housing crisis. They also ask that instead of the scheduled May 18th foreclosure sale, the property be handed over to a community land trust for the benefit of the community.
See the story, photos and video here: http://www.takebacktheland.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=newsstory&newsletterID=142
On the 50th anniversary of the first civil rights era "sit-ins," this "live-in" is a part of the Take Back the Land Movement May 2010 National Month of Action, where local community organizations "liberate" vacant homes or defend families from eviction, all in pursuit of elevating housing to the level of a human right.
May 2010 has already been a busy month, with actions including:
Right 2 Survive (right2survive.wordpress.com) seized a vacant lot in front of a long abandoned school in SE Portland and erected a tent city. Story and video: http://www.takebacktheland.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=newsstory&newsletterID=127
The Toledo Foreclosure Defense League made national news as they helped Keith Sadler resist eviction before the SWAT team raided the home. There were no injuries and the Stony Ridge 7 are charged with 2 misdemeanors each. Story and video: takebacktheland.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=newstory&newsid=143
The Atlanta chapter of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) disrupted a foreclosure sale on the courthouse steps. Story and video: http://www.takebacktheland.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=newsstory&newsletterID=131
The Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign (chicagoantieviction.org)protested the HUD office for their attempts to evict a family from public housing, a campaign could eventually lead to a defense. Story and photos: http://www.takebacktheland.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=newsstory&newsletterID=132
In Philadelphia, PA the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign liberated a vacant city owned house and moved in a family.
In Sacramento, CA a small faith based group continued their good works by moving two families into foreclosed homes in May.
In April, Homes Not Jails San Francisco liberated a home for an octogenarian facing homelessness. http://www.takebacktheland.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=newsstory&newsletterID=115
Additional actions are planned for New York City, Boston, MA, Washington, DC, St. Petersburg, FL, New Orleans, LA and other locations.
The Take Back the Land Movement networks local organizations engaged in housing is a human right work. The Movement is supported with staff and technical assistance by the US Human Rights Network (USHRNetwork.org) and strategic partners the Ruckus Society (www.ruckus.org) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (www.ccrjustice.org). The network includes over a dozen organizations, including the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign (www.economichumanrights.org). We urge you to join and support this movement.
What Can You Do?
- Have your organization join the movement. Go to takebacktheland.org and join a growing movement for community control over land and housing as a human right.
- Support the Take Back the Land Movement. Log in and sign the online petition to demonstrate broad support for the movement. Make a financial contribution to defray costs associated with training and support. Both can happen from takebacktheland.org.
- Write, blog, tweet and re-post stories about the May 2010 Month of Action. Make sure people know about what is going on and grow the story and the movement.
- The most important thing you can do is to be an active member of an organization fighting to elevate housing to the level of a human right. Find your local organization and ask them to join the struggle. If there are none in your area, start a new organization.
A movement is growing to elevate housing to the level of a human right, in our lifetime. Join the movement to Take Back the Land.
Community control over land!
Housing is a human right!
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