Local News/Neighborhoods

Tenants facing mass eviction, rent hikes storm Bush Properties office

On the 25th of February, tenants from Museum Square and Mt Vernon Plaza backed by ONE DC and API Resistance showed up outside their landlord's office in Clarendon, VA. Originally the plan was to send a delegation inside to deliver their letter demanding an end to illegal attempts to intimidate tenants into moving out. The tenants themselves though had another idea, with almost the whole group essentially storming the building and taking over the lobby. Bush Properties accepted their letter, but the person taking denied that they were even at the right office. Organizers knew better than to buy that excuse but everyone marched back outside, chanting "we'll be back!"

Video from the Bush Properties tenant protest

Tenants drive home the "no mass evictions" message to Bush Properties

Bowser faces disruption and St E's demolition ceremony for sports stadium

On the 19th of February, two women with a banner disrupted Mayor Bowser's ceremonial appearance at the start of demolition of part of the old St Elizebeth's psychiatric hospital. They were able to get behind the Mayor's podium and shout her down before being dragged away by dozens of men. The site is slated for replacement by a new stadium for the Washington Mystic also to be used for practice by the Wizards. Once again, professional sports is allowed to demolish public property in DC.

Photo by DCist

Rich Ward 1 residents scream about proposed homeless shelter

On the 17th of February, FOX News pre-empted the crime coverage that usually starts their broadcast to focus on furious upscale residents at a Van Ness community meeting. The subject was Mayor Bowser's proposal to locate one of 8 dispersed homeless shelters in their neighborhood. Objections to opening a homeless shelter in upscale neighborhoods like anywhere in Ward 1 are usually based in NIMBYism (not in my back yard) fortified with an unhealthy heap of racism. In this case, there are legitimate questions about Mayor Bowser's objectives, given her police raids on homeless camps and her seeming belief that more arrests,searches, and police harassment can solve any social problem.

"Muriel's gotta go-go" dance party demands removal of Mayor Bowser

On the 16th of January Black Lives Matter activists staged the first "Muriel's Gotta Go-Go" dance party outside the Reeves Center.The dance party was complete with a sound truck playing banned go-go music, prohibited in DC nightclubs by ruthless governmental harassment. Due to this ban the protest was billed as a civil disobedience just for playing the music. Demand included not only the removal of the ban on playing go-go music in clubs, but the removal of DC Mayor Bowser from office. In response to the Black Lives Matter movement she has proposed more cops, more fines, and more searches and activists are saying this shall not pass!

Video highlights of Muriel's gotta go-go(46 sec)

Photo by Preston Mitchum

Mayor Muriel Bowser's gotta go-go!

Wal-Mart cancels plans for two more DC locations

On the 15th of January, the Washington Post announced that Wal-Mart is canceling plans to build a "super-center" in SE at the proposed Skyland eminent domain project and in NE at Capitol Gateway. Wal-Mart was quoted as saying “Our experience over the last three years operating our current stores in DC has given us a fuller view on building and operating stores in the District,” perhaps meaning a failure to "capture 100% of the retail market" around each store.

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