Photo of Sharon Jackson [http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JBp5egCKV35Z8RTPkb3ONg?feat=directlink]
Sharon Jackson, member of Survivors Village and MayDay New Orleans, was arrested by the New Orleans police, who brought the SWAT team to apprehend this elder Black woman from her home.
Ms. Sharon is being charged with assaulting a rental agent during an action organized by Survivors Village and MayDay New Orleans as part of the Take Back the Land Movement May 2010 Month of Action. On Friday, May 28th, a group entered the Columbia Parc rental office and held a sit-in demanding the right of former St. Bernard Housing Project residents to return to their homes.
SEE VIDEO OF THE PROTEST HERE- http://www.takebacktheland.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=newsstory&newsletterID=156
SEE OTHER SURVIVORS VILLAGE AND TAKE BACK THE LAND ACTIONS HERE- Takebacktheland.org
The Columbia Parc development replaced the St. Bernard Housing Project after the City of New Orleans voted to demolish the 1,500 units of public housing and replace them with market housing. The action was part of the Right to Return Weekend in New Orleans. The Right of Return Weekend was organized in conjunction with the May month of actions called by Take Back the Land Movement (TBLM). TBLM is a network of autonomous organizations affiliated with the US Human Rights Network (USHRN) dedicated to realizing the human right to adequate housing and community control over land.
Police say Ms. Sharon assaulted a Columbia Parc rental agent during her entrance into the building. The rental agent did not complain about an assault and continued to work in the office the entire time of the occupation, including when police arrived. While there, police made no mention of an assault when explaining to the group why they should end their protest.
The truth is that the City of New Orleans did not arrest Sharon Jackson for assault, they arrested her because she dared to tell that truth and demand that public housing residents of New Orleans have the right to return to their homes. The arrest represents a clear effort by the City of New Orleans to represent the interests of the developers of the Columbia Parc while actively working against the former residents of New Orleans.
Survivors Village organizer Endesha Juakali and others are at the jail seeking Ms. Sharon's release. The Take Back the Land Movement has arranged for legal assistance for Sharon Jackson through the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York city and local New Orleans Attorneys.
The Take Back the Land Movement condemns this political motivated use of the public police in order to protect private developers from protests.
Survivors Village is protesting in front of Columbia Parc on Monday, June 7, at 12:00noon. Columbia Parc is on the 3600 block of St. Bernard Ave. in New Orleans.
Survivors Village is asking supporters to call Columbia Parc and demand 1). drop all charges against Sharon Jackson and 2). allow for the unconditional return of former St. Bernard Housing residents. Columbia Parc: (504) 284-4769, columbiaparc.com.
Video of Sharon Jackson's arrest, as well as updates on her legal situation, can be found by visiting Takebacktheland.org. Videos of the arrest are expected to be up on June 4.
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