Local News/Neighborhoods

Activists occupy McMillan Park in defiance of developers for dance party

On the 9th of January, community activists defied the closure of McMillan Park to the public, holding an underground dance party in the man-made cave complex beneath the site. These caves will offer potent defense possibilies if in the future it becomes necessary to hold the park against bulldozers and condo development by physical occupation.

Video originally posted to instagram by Rosina Teri Memolo

Still from Instagram video posted by Rosina Teri Memolo

Cave dancing for McMillan Park

Homeless memorial Vigil and marches remember 41 who died on the streets

On the 17th of December, the 3ed annual Homeless Memorial Vigil began with an event at Luther Place church followed by a march through traffic to Freedom Plaza. At Freedom Plaza activists and homeless residents are sleeping overnight across from Mayor Bowser's offices. This event remembers 41 homeless people who have died on DC streets this year and is demanding an end to the raids ("sweeps") on emcampments and full funding for the Homeward DC housing program

Video from the Dec 17 march in evening rush hour

Video from the Dec 18 casket march

The Dec 17 march

Marching to remember 41 homeless who died this year in DC

Gentrifying Congress Heights slumlord gets protest at his Cleveland Park home

Developer Geoff Griffis of City Partners is working with Sanford Capital's Congress Heights redevelopment project that seeks to replace the Congress Heights apartments on Alabama Ave in Anacostia with a "mixed use" project of condos, retail and office space. Since he got control of the buildings, all maintainance has stopped on the buildings in an effort to force tenants to move. On Dec 16, community organizers, tenants of Congress Heights, and their supporters descended on Geoff Griffis' posh Cleveland Park home to object in front of his neighbors to his illegal attempts to prevent tenants from buying the buildings and staying put.

Video highlights of the protest(2min 37 sec)

Gentrifying slumlord gets protesters at his house

DC government raids Va Ave tent city for second time

On the 3rd of December in mid-afternoon, a trash truck and work crew were seen at the former Va Ave/Rock Creek Parkway tent city site. No tents remained and what appeared to be people's belongings were being loaded into the trash truck. It appeared that all campers had been driven off earlier in the day. A few days ago, twelve campers were reported to be still waiting for city promised apartments, unknown if every camper got one or not.

Black Friday protest at H st Wal-mart demands $15 an hour and full time hours

On Black Friday, the 27th of November, protesters showed up in front of the H st Wal-Mart. They were demanding that Wal-Mart pay all of their "associates" $15 an hour and offer all of them full-time hours.A speaker at the DC protest cited workers having to go hungry and not eat in order to pay rent, due to the poverty wages Wal-Mart pays.

Video-a Wal-Mart worker speaks of having to go hungry to pay rent

Going hungry to pay rent on Wal-Mart's wages

Mayor Bowser begins raids on homeless camps

On the 20th of November, Mayor Bowser carried out her threat to begin DPW "cleanup" raids on homeless camps with an attack on the camp in Rock Creek Park near Va Ave. A trash truck, a box truck, and a shelter van were brought in, along with at least one police van for security. Recent Dept of Justice opinions opposing prosecution of the homeless may have deterred forcible removal, but it was clear that some belongings other than the tents were either being thrown in the trash or hauled away to a government warehouse. As of 7PM, many tents were still standing, and it appeared that most residents had refused the Mayor's demands to move to city-controlled shelters. The shelters are known for everything from metal detectors to bedbugs, and some refuse to use them.

Cops harass Black Lives Matter activists at SE home

On the 8th of November, reports emerged on Twitter that DC police from the 7D station shined lights into an activist home in Anacostia, and screamed at the women inside. Two cops showed up and shined lights into the house, then started screaming threats when asked why they were doing this. Cops also pulled over someone leaving the BlackJoySunday event that was being held at the house that evening.

Video originally posted to Twitter by Taylor Griffin

Cops harass Black Lives Matter activists at SE home

Proposed $600/month rent hike at Mt Vernon Plaza apartments draws protest vigil

Mt Vernon Plaza at 10th and M sts is owned by Bush Construction Companies, the same VA landlord who is seeking to evict all residents of Museum Square in Chinatown. At Mt Vernon Plaza Bush is attempting to shake down tenants for an extra $600 a month in rent, a 50% increase. On the 26th of October, tenants held a vigil outside reinforced by activists from the Black Lives Matter movement and other community activists. Bush Construction Companies was warned that evictions would require carrying people-including community activists-physically out of the building.

Video-Reverend Hagler speaking on gentrification and displacement as racism-including a direct comparison to the displacement of and theft of land from Native Americans

Rev Hagler at Mt Vernon Plaza

Museum Square residents defy landlord's deadline, take over Chinatown streets

Museum Square owner Bush Properties has defied DC law and told residents of Museum Square at 401 K street that they would no longer participate in Section 8, instead issuing vouchers they demanded be used elsewhere and asking them to be out by Oct 1. On the last day of September, at least half the building backed by supporters from as far away as Boston instead participated in a rally defying these demands and emphasising they intended to exercise their legal right to stay put. Furious with Bush Properties for illegally refusing to accept their vouchers, residents took to the streets, but not in the way Bush Properties had hoped.

Update Oct 1 4PM: Bush Properties now reported to be accepting the "enhanced" vouchers one day after protest and expiration of deadline.

Video highlights of the march plus analysis

THIS is now the way Bush Properties intended to put their tenants in the streets!

Chinatown rising against mass eviction