Local News/Neighborhoods

Moral Mondays begin at DC Council

On the 12th of September, DC social activists and religious leaders began holding "Moral Mondays" at the DC Council demanding that miniumum wages be raised, public housing be perserved, schools and public property not be privatized, mass incarceration be ended, and more. Moral Mondays began in North Carolina as a protest against right-wing and racist policies of the state government such as restricting voting rights and cutting social programs. In North Carolina Moral Mondays are known for civil disobedience, DC councilmembers should consider the possibility that failure to address the needs of the people could force the use of civil disobedience here in DC as well.

Marching around the Wilson Building on the first of DC's Moral Mondays

Lawsuits Filed Over Donald Trump's Privatization of Pennsylvania Avenue, “America’s Main Street”

Civil Rights Group Challenges Buffer Zone that Restricts Free Speech at New Trump International Hotel

A section of Pennsylvania Avenue, a National Historic Site that runs from the White House to the Capitol, will be turned over for the use of the Trump Organization along with the large (7,000 square foot) previously public plaza that features an 1889 Benjamin Franklin statue and that abuts the soon-to-open Trump International Hotel at the Old Post Office, as well as a portion of the sidewalk space abutting the Avenue.

The turnover of these spaces creates a “buffer zone” that appears to suppress or extinguish free speech in proximity to the building leased by Trump, restricting access to priority or exclusive use of the Trump Organization.

Congress Heights redevelopment STOPPED after slumlord Geoff Griffis gets another home demo

Update July 28:WMATA tables proposed sale of Metro property required for Congress Heights redevelopment, blocking Geoff's proposed luxury apartment and office plans.

Geoffrey Griffis, managing member for CityPartners, LLC is up to his neck in the efforts to evict all residents of Congress Heights in Anacostia so a new "mixed use" development can take their place. On the 23rd of July under scorching heat, dozens of Congress Heights tenants backed up by residents of other properties facing deliberate slum conditions and other illegal eviction schemes showed up at Geoffrey's luxurious Cleveland Park home to warn that he can't try to put people out of their homes, then return to his home and not have problems. Protesters called out CityPartners LLC for a business model based on emptying out buildings so the condos can come.

Video including Geoff coming out in an attempt to buy off protesters with bottled water

The scene in front of Geoffry Griffis home, quite a contrast to what he has done to Congress Heights

Protesting an evicting slumlord at his Cleveland Park home

1320 Nicholson tenants rally, meet with city officials over unpaid refunds for illegal rent hike

The landlord at 1320 Nicholson St owes but has not been paying tenants refunds for an illegal rent hike invalidated by the DC courts.Since a new management company took over the building conditions have deteriorated and this illegal rent hike was attempted, possibly in an attempt to clear out the building. On the 22nd of June, tenants rallied outside and met with councilmember Anita Bonds and Councilmember-elect Robert White(GOP never wins in DC) demanding action to recover the money they are owed and fix the building.

Video from the rally at Nicholson St

Protesting a landlord's refusal to refund a rent hike ruled illegal

Metro construction/partial shutdown leads to near gridlock

The 6th of June was the first day of Metro's emergency "Safe Track" repair program. Construction is being done in a staged manner and started with only delays and not the coming closures. This still put enough extra cars on the road to put some intersections dangerously close to literal gridlock, as some drivers got caught in the intersections as lights changed. Drivers are told to never, ever enter the intersection until there is room to get back out of it, but will disregard this if they fear turning cars will otherwise take the space. If adjacent intersections get blocked this way, the result can be a spreading nightmare of traffic that cannot escape until the gridlock is taken apart from the outside in.

Video showing drivers blocking the box during severe traffic on 16th st about 5:30PM June 6, 2016

Metro Safe Track traffic mess Day 1

Mayday reportback from DC and around the world

On Mayday (May 1), there were two marches in DC. One was the annual march from Malcolm X Park to the White House, which included demands that ICE be expelled from DC, that the TPP trade deal never be ratifed, and that area stores respect the Driscolls Berries boycott. The other march began at Marbury Plaza where Alonzo Smith was murdered by "special police" in Anacostia and ended at the 7D police station.

Video of the Malcolm X Park to White House march

Empower DC's video of a speaking stop during the Anacostia march on 7D

Marching down 14th st

Mayday march to White House in DC

Developers' gentrifying, "space finding" bus tour blocked in Anacostia

On the 19th of April, some of DC's gentrifying developers held a "space finding" bus tour of Anacostia looking for convenient places to displace local people and build new settlements for the wealthy. Like the settlers who came before them, they found they were not welcomed by those they seek to evict from their homes. Protesters from Empower DC and Black Lives Matter blocked the streets and forced them to turn back. The Washington Business Journal. Cops ordered the bus driver to reverse out of the trap, then arrested one of the activists to retaliate for driving off the condo builders and their bus. This was the second time this same bus tour was attempted and blocked.

Very intense 3 min video cut from Empower DC's half hour video

Blockading developer bus tour in Anacostia

Bowser's regime raids another homeless camp

On the morning of March 10, Mayor Bowser's DC government declared the homeless people living in tents along the 1st st wall near Union Station to be garbage and sent the Department of Public Works to discard their belongings. Some but not all of the tent campers were offered housing, some have no place to sleep tonight. Once again those who don't make $100,000 a year can thank Mayor Bowser for her determination to prevent those who cannot afford rent from sleeping anywhere that offers overhead cover except for the very limited space in government-approved shelters.

Video from clips by Street Sense and Mike Brice Saddler

Photo by Street Sense

Anacostia residents protest Congress Heights mass eviction plans

On the 9th of March, Anacostia residents rallied at the Congress Heights Metro to protest continuing attempts to force out tenants at the Congress Heights apartments. The landlords there hope to illegally evict or drive away all tenants so the apartments can be razed and replaced with a larger complex of shops, offices, and luxury housing. Residents are standing their ground and refusing to leave in spite of a total maintenance cutoff and other harassment. They were supported in this protest by residents of Barry Farms, who are resisting similar displacement/gentrification plans.

Video from the Congress Heights Rally: "we ain't going anywhere!"

Photo by Justice First

Anacostia residents vow to defy mass evictions