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Demolition of B.W. Cooper Sets off Protest
by Edwin Lopez Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 at 3:16 AM
eil1970@yahoo.com (email address validated)

A bulldozer at the B.W. Cooper public housing complex tears down complex and sets off residents and organizers to protest and stop the demolition

Demolition of B.W. C...
dsc_0044.jpg, image/jpeg, 1023x676

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Early yesterday afternoon a bulldozer at the B.W. Cooper public housing complex clawed through brick and mortar, tearing down the very homes community members have fought to save and re-open.

Under a warm cloud of humid drizzle, protestors approached a diesel truck entering Erato Street. The large truck carried a second bulldozer. Intent on not allowing the machinery in, protestors formed a human chain that blocked its entry into the complex. As the bulldozer slowly inched its way toward the line of protestors, Mavis Yorks, Common Ground volunteer and media activist, blocked its path as she videotaped its approach. The operator, with no other recourse, was forced to bring the bulldozer to a halt. He eventually parked it a few feet away from the fence.

Nearly 500 protestors gathered around and chanted, but it was the voice of small children which best captured the loss caused by demolition. For over two years, families have been separated and displaced. Shut out of their homes since the flood, many public housing residents have attempted to make their way with a rise in a cost of living and a lack of employment opportunities. Needless to say, living in New Orleans has not been so easy. And so each time the bulldozer clawed into the walls of B.W. Cooper, the livelihood and future of each child from public housing grew ever more uncertain.

For over two years, residents and activists have been fighting to save public housing. And just three days ago, a small victory was accomplished when over 300 members of the Coalition to Stop Demolition attended the city's Housing Conservation District Review Committee to demand that public housing be saved from demolition. In a 3-3 vote the committee did not approve the demolition of the Lafitte public housing development. However, approval was met for the demolition of B.W. Cooper and C.J. Peete.

Many of those who attended Monday’s meeting were on the streets today protesting the demolition. After stopping another bulldozer from entering the complex, attorney Bill Quigley stated that it was shameful for [HUD/HANO] to begin demolition before December 15, the publicly projected date for demolition.

The evening came to close when Sam Jackson, public housing resident from B.W. Cooper, announced that law enforcement was going to leave. “I declare tonight that we did a victory here tonight. I want you folks to know that the support has been good and I need your support tomorrow.” With the authorities agreeing to stop demolition for the remainder of the evening, the crowd cheered and slowly disbursed.

For more information regarding the effort to save public housing, please go to the following link:

http://www.defendneworleanspublichousing.org/



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Save Public Housing Sign
by Edwin Lopez Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 at 3:16 AM
eil1970@yahoo.com

Save Public Housing ...
dsc_0016.jpg, image/jpeg, 1023x676

Photography by Edwin Lopez

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Sharon Sears Jasper Protesting Demolition
by Edwin Lopez Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 at 3:16 AM
eil1970@yahoo.com

Sharon Sears Jasper ...
dsc_0054.jpg, image/jpeg, 1023x676

Photography by Edwin Lopez

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Human Chain Stopping Bulldozer
by Edwin Lopez Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 at 3:16 AM
eil1970@yahoo.com

Human Chain Stopping...
dsc_0061.jpg, image/jpeg, 1023x676

Photography by Edwin Lopez

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Sharon Sears Jasper Speaking at Protest
by Edwin Lopez Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 at 3:16 AM
eil1970@yahoo.com

Sharon Sears Jasper ...
dsc_0117.jpg, image/jpeg, 1023x676

Photography by Edwin Lopez

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Mavis Yorks Stopping Bulldozer
by Edwin Lopez Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 at 3:16 AM
eil1970@yahoo.com

Mavis Yorks Stopping...
dsc_0180.jpg, image/jpeg, 1023x676

Photography by Edwin Lopez

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View from Human Chaing
by Edwin Lopez Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 at 3:16 AM
eil1970@yahoo.com

View from Human Chai...
dsc_0320.jpg, image/jpeg, 1023x676

Photography by Edwin Lopez

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Housing is a Human Right
by Edwin Lopez Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 at 3:16 AM
eil1970@yahoo.com

Housing is a Human R...
dsc_0359.jpg, image/jpeg, 676x1023

Photography by Edwin Lopez

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Activist Speaking at Protest
by Edwin Lopez Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 at 3:16 AM
eil1970@yahoo.com

Activist Speaking at...
dsc_0360.jpg, image/jpeg, 1023x676

Photography by Edwin Lopez

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Sam Jackson Announcing the Evenings Victory
by Edwin Lopez Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 at 3:16 AM
eil1970@yahoo.com

Sam Jackson Announci...
dsc_0129.jpg, image/jpeg, 1023x676

Photography by Edwin Lopez

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