Movement for Justice in El Barrio launched their International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio from the steps of NY City Hall yesterday. Follow this link for pictures from the launch.
Also this past weekend, three members of El Kilombo Intergaláctico came through NYC on their book tour discussing the themes touched upon in their self-published "Beyond Resistance: Everything!", as well as the pamphlet Feliz Año Cabrones. These are perhaps the two best documents discussing the Zapatistas, the Other Campaign and their relevance to us in the USA to have been written in recent history... check them out!
UPDATE Apr 14 '08 - MJB reports on the International Campaign launch and announces the schedule of their European tour...
Movement for Justice in El Barrio Launches International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio:
On Sunday April 6th, Movement for Justice in El Barrio took the struggle against gentrification in NYC to an international level. Through the new International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio, Movement for Justice in El Barrio is organizing on a transnational level to combat displacement in El Barrio (East Harlem) by building a multi-national network to go after one of their main targets, the multi-national corporation Dawnay, Day Group at their central headquarters in London and on multiple continents where they hold property. Movement for Justice in El Barrio and their supporters from around the city and nation gathered on the steps of city hall to launch their “International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio.” With speeches, banners, signs and chants declaring “We will not be moved!” and “El Barrio no se vende/El Barrio will not be sold” East Harlem tenants of Dawnay, Day and members of Movement for Justice in El Barrio delivered the message that they will not allow these international profiteers to operate with impunity from across the ocean and showed them that people power can be transnational as well.
Members of Movement for Justice in El Barrio demanded that slumlords and multi-national corporations ceasetheir attacks on the community and denounced the City Council and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development for facilitating the displacement of low-income immigrants and people of color from their neighborhood.
The International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio will launch into action with a European tour to garner support and organize international action against new international threats. The tour will cover 15 cities in five different countries including England, Spain, France, Scotland and Wales.
In March a delegation from Movement for Justice in El Barrio began a national tour that has included stops in California, Texas, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, in order to construct a national network of supporters for their work organizing against gentrification here in El Barrio.
When the multi-national, multi-billion dollar London-based corporation Dawnay, Day Group purchased 47 buildings in El Barrio, they announced in an interview with the Times of London their plan to take advantage of lax tenant protection laws in NYC to raise rents by tenfold, a massive rent hike that would only be possible by evicting the current low-income and immigrant families from their homes.
Dawnay, Day is not your everyday slumlord. With properties all over the world and a base overseas, the fight against Dawnay Day must be local and international at the same time, and to this end, Movement for Justice in El Barrio has developed a multi-pronged approach to fighting back. On the local front, Movement for Justice in El Barrio has:
* Launched a new and groundbreaking legal suit that is challenging Dawnay, Day Group for charging thousands of dollars in false fees to its tenants
* Held a huge and historic march against gentrification in El Barrio at the end of August
* Fought back building by building to demand decent living conditions and halt illegal evictions
Now, through the new “International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio” Movement for Justice in El Barrio is expanding the struggle to hit Dawnay, Day on their home turf.
United Kingdom Solidarity Gathering
Forums and events:
Recursos d’Animació Intercultural
Centro Social del Centro
26th-KRAX Conference with Participation from 11 countries including India, Chile,
Slovenia, Turkey and Finland.
29th-Collective in Solidarity with the Zapatista Rebellion
May 1st: Invited to Speak and participate in May Day March in Paris
Cities: Paris and Aulnay sous bois
Forums and Events: National Confederation on Work, Encuentro with the homeless, Encuentro with immigrants, Committee in Solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples in Struggle in Chiapas, Committee in Solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of America.
Cities: Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Brighton
Cities: Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh
Cities: Reading, London
May 25th: Return to El Barrio