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District Office - 450 Golden Gate Ave. - 14th Floor - San Francisco, CA 94102 - (415) 556-4862
Washington, D.C. Office - 2371 Rayburn HOB - Washington, DC 20515 - (202) 225-4965

Elizabeth Milos wrote:

Dear Honorable Nancy Pelosi,

The Bay to Gulf Peoples' Pipeline, Malcolm X Grassroots Organization and
the Hurricane Evacuees Council of the Bay Area call on you to stand up
for the predominantly African American and low income people of the
Ninth Ward in New Orleans whom are facing the destruction and usurpation
of their homes and property by the local city government through the
unconstitutional and discriminatory use of eminent domain laws.

As San Francisco and Bay Area residents we are deeply concerned about
this dangerous precendent.  If this is allowed to continue, residents of
the Bay View Hunters Point, the Mission District, Potrero Hill and other
low income communities of color can potentially face the same
consequences in the event of a natural disaster.  If this is allowed to
continue, we pledge to organize within our communities to prepare
ourselves to defy any mandatory evacuation orders which may be emitted
by the authorities.

Some of us have witnessed with our own eyes the total devastation that
resulted from the flooding of New Orleans. We have gone to New Orleans
to volunteer with Common Ground and the People's Hurricane Relief Fund
to help clean out people's homes and defend their civil and human
rights.  We have seen how the $71 million dollar Bush Administration
cuts to the levee repair and maintenance budget to fund an illegal war
in Iraq has affected an entire city, a city unlike any other in the
entire world.

Some of us are working with evacuees whom were summarily tranferred to
the Bay Area and have not received adequate support from FEMA or any
other government agency to be able to settle here.  Many of the evacuees
are facing evictions from their hotels on February 7th and do not have
the resources to go back to New Orleans to reclaim their property.

As Minority Whip, you hold tremendous power in the U.S. House of
Representatives and we ask you to weild this power to support the people
of New Orleans and the efforts of Common Ground and the People's
Hurricane Relief fund to stop the bulldozing of the Ninth Ward
neighborhoods and to pressure FEMA to abide by the Stafford Act and
afford the evacuees with the legally permitted eighteen months of
monetary and housing assistance that this Act guarantees. The evacuees
whom have been dispersed throughout the country need to know that they
will not become homeless from one month to the next, they need jobs in
order to be able to provide stability for their families, transportation
vouchers and health care.

Many of the evacuees come from the Ninth Ward and have not been able to
go back Those that have gone back face a curfew, enforced by armed
personnel in humvees, and arrest if they stay in their own homes after
dark. We ask that you protect the civil liberties of the people of New

We can not claim to be a democracy if we permit local, state or the
federal government to trample on our civil liberties and our property


dorinda moreno, hitec aztec communications, elders of 4 colors  4 directions

City of New Orleans Violates Restraining Order (New Orleans)
9th Ward Advocates Gear up for Hearing to Defend Residents Rights 

Media Alert fromPeople’s Hurricane Relief Fund 

For Immediate Release 

Attention: News Assignment 

Cassandra Burrows 
casbur hotmail com 

City of New Orleans Violates Restraining Order 
9th Ward Advocates Gear up for Hearing to Defend Residents Rights 

New Orleans residents faced a standoff with demolition workers in the lower 9th Ward of New Orleans on Thursday morning after city officials ordered the violation of a temporary restraining order against demolition. Community members and legal activists have been working to insure that all residents receive notification and give permission when their property becomes a target for demolition. 

The City stated that they were removing debris from the sidewalk for public safety reasons. Lawyers supporting the 9th Ward residents, however, pointed out that in fact the workers were illegally removing private homes and property. Eventually lawyers advocating for residents rights announced that the city had conceded that the cranes must cease until the scheduled hearing. 

“The US and Louisiana Constitutions say that no one's life, liberty, or property can be taken by the government without due process of law,” stated Bill Quigley, Attorney representing Lower 9th Ward Residents. “The people of the Lower Ninth Ward demand and are entitled to the same legal protections as anyone else.” 

Attorneys will meet with Judge Martin Feldman on Friday, January 6, at 10 AM in his chambers for a status conference. Though this will not be in open court, the lawyers will be available after the conference outside the courthouse to answer questions from the media. 

Reporter Resources:
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