Occupy D.C. may be slowly disappearing from McPherson Square, but there will be a new tent city—-albeit short-term—-later this month at Lamont Park in Mt. Pleasant. The organizers announced their intentions over a listserv yesterday:
We, a group of local housing justice activists coming together to connect the dots that have led us to the current housing crisis in our community, commend your organization on your continued efforts for a just world.
As fellow advocates for economic justice, we want to enlist your support for our upcoming event that will publicize and politicize the acute affordable housing crisis for low- and middle-income, homeless persons and families in distress in the District.
On June 24th, 2012, Right to Housing Working group, which includes economic justice advocates, persons affected by this housing crisis, community workers and others are working to create a symbolic tent city that will highlight the acute housing crisis in our city. In doing so, we will be having a mock Tent City in Lamont Park, located at the corner of Mt. Pleasant St and Lamont St., NW.
The event will include:
• mini-teach-ins spanning the topics that lead to the shortage of affordable housing, including but not limited to the erosion of rent control and rent caps, erosion of inclusionary zoning and affordable housing rights, the closing of public shelters and displacement of the poor, housing as a human right, self-determination through DC statehood…
• tents with exhibits which provide creative educational tools so that community members can learn about the various aspects of the housing crisis and local housing rights struggles
• live performances, spoken word, music, food & beverages
• exciting educational films concerning economic injustice
With well over 6000 persons sleeping on the streets of DC every night, and rents spiraling out of control, we must enforce housing as a basic human right in DC!
We believe our politicians have failed to successfully address the affordable housing crisis faced by nearly 100,000 DC residents. This is evidenced by the rapid proliferation of market-rate apartments – all while DC’s unemployment rate soars, truly affordable housing opportunities disappear, and thousands of long-time DC residents are displaced from the city or rendered homeless because of its skyrocketing cost of living.
I suppose it doesn’t hurt to have these things once every couple years.