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International Declaration in Defense of El Barrio

By: 
Movement for Justice in El Barrio
Date Published: 
March 02, 2008

For Movement for Justice in El Barrio, the struggle for justice means fighting for the liberation of women, immigrants, lesbians, people of color, gays and the transgender community. We all share a common enemy and its called neoliberalism. Neoliberalism wishes to divide us and keep us from combining our forces. We will defeat this by continuing to unite all of our communities until we achieve true liberation for all.

Movement for Justice in El Barrio is fighting against neoliberal gentrification in our neighborhood, a process that is better understood by we, the humble and simple people who are affected by it, as the displacement of families from their homes for being poor, immigrants and people of color. This displacement is created by the greed, ambition and violence of a global empire of money that seeks to take total control of all the land, labor and life on earth. Here in El Barrio (East Harlem, New York City), landlords, multi-national corporations and local, state, and federal politicians and institutions want to force upon us their culture of money, they want to displace poor families and rent their apartments to rich people, white people with money. They want to change the look of our neighborhood, with the excuse of “developing the community.” They want to remove from the street the street vendors, who earn an honorable and dignified living, the families that have their small businesses and small restaurants, small clothing stores, and the small bodegas on the corners in our neighborhood. They want to displace us to bring in their luxury restaurants, their expensive and large clothing stores, their supermarket chains. They want to change our neighborhood. They want to change our culture. They want to change that which makes us Latino, African-American, Asian and Indigenous. They want to change everything that makes us El Barrio.

Now the multi-national, multi-billion dollar corporation Dawnay, Day Group, is waging a war against our community from their headquarters across the ocean in London. Dawnay, Day Group recently bought 47 buildings in El Barrio with the sole purpose of forcing us from our homes in order to increase their profits. Our struggle to fight back must also cross oceans and cross borders and that is why we are launching our “International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio.” Gentrification is one of the devastating manifestations of neoliberalism at the local level, but the threat transcends borders. Governments and institutions all over the world are sanctioning the violent, unjust, and inhumane displacement of people and communities from their rightful homes.

Together, we make our dignity resistance and we fight back against the actions of capitalist landlords and multinational corporations who are displacing poor families from our neighborhood. We fight back locally and across borders. We fight back against local politicians that refuse to govern by obeying the will of the people. We fight back against the government institutions that enforce a global economic, social and political system that seeks to destroy humanity.

We fight so that: The oceans and mountains will belong to those that live in and take care of them.

The rivers and deserts will belong to those that live in and take care of them.

The valleys and ravines will belong to those that live in and take care of them.

Homes and cities will belong to those who live in and take care of them.

No one will own more land than they can cultivate.

No one will own more homes than they can live in.

We are calling on all people of good conscience to support us in this fight. A fight against this global empire of money. A fight against neoliberalism. A fight for humanity.

As part of our “International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio,” we are organizing on a transnational level to combat displacement in El Barrio and we hope to build a multi-national network of allies and supporters who will stand by and support us in our struggle as we expand our resistance to take on Dawnay, Day Group in London and any other global, national or local threat to our right to dignified housing, autonomy and self-determination.

We are calling on all people of good conscience to support our struggle against the forces that seek to destroy our community by becoming allies to our “International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio.”

From El Barrio, New York.
Movement for Justice in El Barrio
March, 2008

How can you support? Please email us with your response to the options listed below and your name, the name of your group, your address, and your phone number.

1. I or my group, endorse the principles laid out in the International Declaration in Defense of El Barrio and would like to join a network of supporters.

2. I will attend the launching of the International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio on the steps on NYC City Hall on Sunday, April 6th 2008, at 12:30 PM.

3. I will attend a protest in NYC organized by Movement for Justice in El Barrio

4. I will host and financially sponsor an educational forum in my community on Movement for Justice in El Barrio’s International Campaign in Defense of El
Barrio.

5. I will organize a Movement for Justice in El Barrio support committee in my community or on my campus.

6. I will host and sponsor a benefit for Movement for Justice in El Barrio.

7. I am willing to make a donation to the International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio.

For More Info Contact Us at (212) 561-0555 or
[email protected]