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New Orleans—December 15, 2007

Residents and supporters gathered outside the St. Bernard Housing Development today for a potluck and demonstration that was positive and energetic before police arrived in force to clear the street. Three arrests were reported.

At high noon today, as supporters set up tents on the neutral ground outside the St. Bernard Housing Development, more than one hundred residents, housing advocates, and supporters marched jubilantly up St. Bernard avenue with the clear message of “no demolitions” and “right of return for all,” Housing authority and New Orleans police officers stood in front of the fenced off homes, anticipating a push to enter the development.

The protest remained peaceful and positive through the afternoon, until 1:30pm local time, when police motorcycles and squad cars came blazing through the street demanding that people clear the street. Officers were seen shoving and pushing media and protesters until the streets were clear and the protest was confined to the sidewalk and neutral ground. At least three arrests were made on the scene, though it was not immediately clear what the charges were. Former public housing residents and supporters followed the arrestees to Orleans Parish Prison, where demonstrations continued for hours until 4pm.

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Unfortunately, the Times-Picayune today repeated uncritically many of the untruths propagated by HUD and HANO. Here is a list of Myths and Facts to help people understand the reality. By Bill Quigley




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