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Bork Chained to Bulldozer at B.W. Cooper Homes
by Infoshop News Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007 at 8:49 AM

Affordable housing and homeless advocate Jamie "Bork" Loughner has chained herself to a bulldozer this morning at the B.W. Cooper housing complex in New Orleans.

Bork Chained to Bulldozer at B.W. Cooper Homes

Infoshop News, December 19, 2007, 7:50 am

Affordable housing and homeless advocate Jamie "Bork" Loughner has chained herself to a bulldozer this morning at the B.W. Cooper housing complex in New Orleans. The government this week started demolishing buildings at the B.W. Cooper complex, which has 1000 buildings and is located across the highway from the Superdome. The city this week delayed demolition at three other complexes, but started demolishing B.W. Cooper over the objections of residents.

Loughner is a member of Mayday NOLA, an advocacy group for housing and the homeless, and she was a co-founder of the Common Ground Clinics.

In today's issue of the New York Times, critic Nicolai Ouroussoff argues against the demolition: "If the government gets its way, a rich architectural legacy will be supplanted by private, mixed-income developments with pitched roofs and wood-frame construction, an ersatz vision of small-town America. That this could happen in a city that still largely lies in ruins is both sad and grotesque." Ouroussoff concludes by arguing that the demolitions are a great travesty: "Blow after blow, in the name of progress. Cast as the city’s saviors, architects are being used to compound one of the greatest crimes in American urban planning."

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Activists Chained to Bulldozers in New Orleans
by Infoshop News Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007 at 9:29 AM



Dec. 19, 2007, 9am EST

Contact: Jay Arena, (504) 520-9521


NEW ORLEANS – A small group of local housing activists chained themselves to bulldozers early this morning that were slated to resume demolition of the B.W. Cooper housing complex. The Cooper houses are one of four public housing complexes that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development plans to raze, eliminating more than 4,500 apartment units in a hurricane-damaged city desperately short of housing.

The community activists chained themselves to the bulldozers on the morning of a day when the New Orleans City Council is scheduled to make a final vote on whether to approve the demolitions. “We are refusing to leave unless the City Council stops this illegal, unjust, and immoral plan to destroy vital housing,” said Jamie “Bork Laughner of MayDay NOLA, an advocate for the human right to housing. Along with MayDay NOLA, C3 Hands Off Iberville and Friends and Residents of B.W. Cooper make up a coalition calling for civil resistance to HUD's plans.

“People here are prepared to resist what amounts to an assault on their communities,” said Laughner.

The planned destruction of New Orleans public housing, part of a wider plan to dissolve poorer communities and gentrify the city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, has sparked unprecedented resistance in New Orleans as well as protests across the country. In today's New York Times, architecture critics Nicolas Ouroussoff calls the demolitions “one of the greatest crimes in American urban planning.”

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Strategic importance of New Orleans housing for ALL cities
by Luke from DC Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007 at 12:07 PM

New Orleans is being used by the gentrifiers as a NATIONAL laboratory to see how far they can go before people push back.
You can bet every mayor and developer in the US is watching this one. I've seen stories in the New York Times about this issue!

Washington,DC is also used this way, indicating that if the New Orleans projects are destroyed, every public housing project in DC could share their fate. Already Sursum Corda is being set for demolition-and a developer chosen for its replacement.

In New Orleans, the intent was and remains to demolish ALL of the city's public housing at once. If they get away with it there, and then in DC, their next move would be an attempt to replicate this "sucess" in every city in the US.

Therefore, the fight against demolition in New Orleans is a strategic battle in the greater war against gentrification and homelessness.

Bork-I salute your continuing use of the most direct tactics in this ugly, nasty war, just like you did in DC in the old days(before the storm). We are still fighting up here as well, with mixed results as you have no doubt heard. Unless people in New Orleans win, I expect we will be seeing mass bulldozing in DC next.

No matter where you live, you need to watch this one closely and offert whatever support and solidarity you can from wherever you are, or your home might be next!

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