Lying Media Bastards

October 28, 2006

DIY Housing


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Nice to have some good news every once in a while.

Folks in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami have had enough with government policies against the homeless and the poor, so they’ve taken over a vacant lot and are turning into a tent city to house and feed people. Organizers say that this is not some sort of statement or publicity stunt, they intend to live, shelter and feed people here indefinitely.

According to the author of the article, not only is there a drastic lack of low-income housing in South Florida, but the local and county governments are actually decreasing the number of units available (one project of 851 units was destroyed, and replaced by a new building with only 80 units). In other words, not only is the government not helping, it’s making things worse.

So, local folks have decided that they can’t count on any governmental assistance, and are doing it for themselves. Apparently this land seizure is technically legal, due to a 1998 ruling which “prohibit[s] Miami police from arresting homeless people engaged in ‘life-sustaining conduct’ — such as sleeping or eating — on public property when there is no shelter space available.” Which sounds almost reasonable. Of course, history teaches us that just because you’re doing something legal and reasonable doesn’t mean the cops won’t come around and bust some skulls.

The first link up there has photos of the actions and tells how to donate food and supplies to the effort, but it’s mostly about where locals can physically drop things off. I’ve emailed the author to see if there’s any info about how us out-of-towners can help, I’ll post any details if I get a response.

[update]

That was fast! Max Rameau got back to me quick with some info.

Read their blog
Sign their online petition
Their blog has a button for paypal donations, or you can send em money at

Center for Pan-African Development
PO Box 510232
Miami, FL 33151

I also found a video clip from a local CBS news station, which refers to a corruption scandal regarding the county housing department. Interviewees also mention that there are 40,000 people on the wait-list for housing assitance.

Posted by Jake on October 28, 2006 12:49 pm

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