(en) South Bronx(nyc) Squat faces eviction

Blackout Books & Infoshop (Blackout@panix.com)
Fri, 28 Nov 1997 18:09:18 -0500

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This building is perched on the edge of the South Bronx, jsut alongside the Bruckner Expressway which was carved by Robert Moses and the City of New York through the heart of many vibrant neighborhoods. It is the home for many families, artists, the Adverse Possession Gallery and studio space, the office of Cherry Tree Association, a community non-profit organization and Casa del SoL a center for Native Spirituality. The city has recently issued a new Vacate Order for 672 East 136th Street in the South Bronx, and is planning to dispossess the occupants and forcibly evict them from their homes of over fifteen years. In 1982 a Vacate Order was issued, and HPD litigated not to enforce it on the grounds that to do so would be more grievous than permitting continued occupancy, and that the technical violations of the building did not threaten anybody. Today, thanks to the tireless energy of the residents who have invested $ 1 00,000's in time, effort and money to secure for themselves decent affordable housing, the building is in even better shape, not to mention the whole Mott Haven area. If there still exist any code violations, the question remains why isn't HPD seeking to work with the residents to arrange for repairs, rather than scheming to evict them and make them homeless?

As for the matter of electric heating, most new buildings are equipped with this method of heating, to save on the costs of maintaining and repairing a boiler. All kerosene and propane has been removed from the building, and the persons who relied on such have been moved out after arranging for deals with HPD to leave quietly. In this city some people are allowed to live 'in converted loft spaces, but if you're poor...

Circumstances leading to HPD's Action:

'fhe South Bronx is the new frontier of real estate development and the Economic Empowerment Zone. The city is trying to seize the building through an 'M-rem action, and accumulate more property, to be doled out to political patrons. The city is using administrative codes to deny the residents of their Constitutional Right to Due Process of Law, and to try to extinguish their rights and claims to the building. It is the climate of the times, that any locus of freedom and liberty will be met with opposition from the powers that be.

We want HPD to remove the violations according to er discretionary powers, and to work wi th th e residents, rather than against them. Banners have been hung all around the buildini,and the reseidents are prepared to resist any attempts to deprive them of their Constitutional Rights, and will not be vacated.

Demand Due Process of Law and respect for the Constitution

Every day we see how people in the city government are using their powers to take away what we have, depriving us Of economic opportunity and the pursuit of happiness. They want to take away our community gardens, our homes, our children and our civil and human rights.

'Mere is a war against the poor, against the people of the inner cities, a war that wants to drive us out of the city, to destroy our communities and give our land to the rich. We need 'obs, but they build jails.

We the People of the South Bronx have endured heU to stabilize our communities against greedy landlords, crime, abandonment, unemployment and cnimbhng schools. Now the Rich see the Bronx as a new frontier, they are coming with the help of the government to take our neighborhoods, and push us further into poverty and homelessness. But we won't go.

Now they want to destroy the only center of living art and enhghteruuent in our neighborhood. For more that 17 years people have s@ed to make 672-674 East 136th Street and @ neighborhood a decent place to live. Now the City wants to evict them without respecting their Constitutional Right to Dud, Process of Law. It is a home of artists, conim@ty activists, poets and offers a center of Native Spirituality. We the People of the South Bronx are not going to let the city destroy lives and give land to the wealthy.

New York City government officials are using statutory laws to deprive them of their rights to their building and depriving them of Due Process of Law. The city government has to abide by the Constitution. A revolution was made to create the Constitution which is the basis of our civil liberties. Today we have a government that is clearly violating our ' basic civil and human rights. If another revolution is necessary to defend the Constitution, let it begin here in the South Bronx.

We call the People of the South Bronx to Defend the Constitution.

We call the Proud and the Braves to take up anus to defend our community. Soon they will be @g to evict everybody. Already there are hundreds of empty apartments in the projects that they are waiting to give to people with more money. Am yourself and prepare to @t for our homes and our land. Defend the Constitution. Defend your Liberty. Enough is enough.

This is NO JOKE! In the meantime you and everyone. you know should contact Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Richard T. Roberts, at phone (212) 863-61 00, fax (212) 267-2565, 1 00 Gold Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 1003 8, and tell him not to destroy this community and to remove the Vacate Order on 672 East 136th Street, South Bronx. Tell Them to respect the Constitution.

We are the spoils of no politicians The 'olice are not the Emm The Enemies are the Government offlcials and the @ who want to de@oy our communities.

The South Bronx Committee to Defend the Constitution

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