BREAKING: On Saturday the @BHA_Boston, @MayorWu and various nonprofits held a “resident empowerment conference” to prepare public housing tenants for privatization. We showed up to protest their hypocrisy.
Incredibly, this event was being held RIGHT NEXT to the building they’ve spent the last week hastily pushing tenants out of. Groups like @CityLife_Clvu and @BostonLegalAid showed up to shill privatization instead of fighting for their basic rights.
Mandy, one of the residents in the conference, came out to talk with us and shared her experience growing up in public housing. She invited some of us to go back in with her and join the discussion with other residents, who were also concerned about privatization.
When a couple members of our group accepted this invitation and tried to enter the building, the facilitators of this “empowerment conference” barred entry, shoved them and called the cops on us.
As Ryan notes, this is the physical force that backs up gentrification. When the government and developers can no longer use the farce of “community engagement” to displace people, they take more direct measures to silence dissent.
Jackie, a Section 8 resident, reflected on her experience being denied entry to the meeting, and how token minorities are bought off to cover up Boston’s racist policies of displacement and gentrification.
We tried to ask @MayorWu some basic questions about her support of privatizing public housing and the residents right next door being displaced from their homes, but she ignored us and drove away in an expensive car. She has no defense other than hoping no one will notice.
Groups like @CityLife_Clvu and @BostonLegalAid have made their choice clear: instead of supporting tenants, they’ve partnered with landlords to dupe public housing residents into privatization. As Gabe points out, they’re the carrot to @BHA_Boston’s stick of corrupt negligence.
The sad fact is that @CityLife_Clvu, which helped run this “empowerment event”, has become little more than a poverty pimp. They are in lockstep with the Democratic politicians, banks and real estate developers in carrying out the next generation of Urban Renewal.
Matthew from New York spoke to the rally about how the situation there is virtually the same, with the dismantling of public housing moving forward and local politicians going along with it.
Saturday’s events reinforce a simple but crucial lesson: nothing and nobody will save the people except for the people themselves, organized through struggle. This lesson applies far more broadly than just the housing struggle.