SMASH NYPOST RACE TERROR MVMT
- wait. if the race-baiting slander article came out Friday, then why are we getting this only through third parties and only days later? why is the first time anyone hears about this outside of (i assume) at most perhaps a few score co-workers -- and way more likely only 5 or 10 organizers -- why is the first time only after the multi-paragraph essay below was composed and committee-vetted for correct line and analysis, and grammar-checked & spell-checked, etc.?
thanks much for this work. but what is the big secret, again and again that all our groups are keeping from each other and from the people? do we imagine opponents do not already know every musical note that we all missed when singing in our showers, these past two days?
why do we even wonder that ever scarier ultra-right forces grow bolder by the day, when we ourselves see the people as such a threat to our gigs and social positions or whatever? i swear i wish i to one day have a fraction of the commitment and skills and effectiveness that i observe in most of the organizers whom i suspect finally released this (whoever they are). but what part of ``serve the frigging people`` don't we understand? why do we fear our own species so terribly that we only rarely and reluctantly even speak with them?
ok lecture over for now. i have a 90 minute train ride to complete in 18 minutes.
= = =
Date: Sun, 01 Apr 2012 10:52:08 -0400
From: IAC Solidarity Center <internationalactioncenter.nyc@...>
Subject: Picture The Homeless - EMERGENCY PRESS CONFERENCE AND RALLY TODAY!
Picture The Homeless
Emergency Press Conference and Rally Today
NOON, April 1, 2012, 110th Street & Lexington Avenue in East Harlem
NY City Council Moves to Freeze Critical Not-For-Profit Funding
Homeless People Fight Back
Supporters challenge politically motivated move spurred
by misinformation in recent New York Post article
March 31, 2012, New York, NY.-
Picture the Homeless was "informed" by the NY Post on Friday, March 30, that The Post had obtained a leaked letter from the New York City Council directing the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to freeze PTH funding in the wake of a misleading and racially-charged article the Post ran last Sunday. Picture the Homeless has not received any letter or other communication from the City Council regarding this matter, though HPD officials contacted PTH on Thursday and directed PTH to turn over certain business records.
Picture the Homeless and supporters will gather tomorrow, April 1, 2012, at noon, outside a full block of abandoned buildings at 110th Street and Lexington Avenue in East Harlem, to respond to these attacks on its funding and work and to highlight the real issue at hand for the majority of New Yorkers an issue that this Administration has failed to resolve the housing crisis.
"Unsubstantiated allegations should not be the basis for the loss of public funds," said City Council Member Letitia James. "Until an independent investigation is completed, Picture the Homeless should continue receiving public funds. They serve a vulnerable population and are addressing crucial issues especially at a time when the housing crisis is causing homelessness to increase at a devastating rate."
Last Sunday, the New York Posts article Squat the Heck inaccurately reported that the organization has used taxpayer money to train homeless people to engage in criminal activity, and implied that homeless people (more than 90% of whom are Black and Latino) are all pimps, vagrants, thieves, and addicts. This racially-charged and inflammatory article led to a barrage of hate mail and abusive phone calls aimed at PTH, as well as extensive racist commentary in white supremacist blogs.
"If this is true, it's an outrage that the City Council would move to freeze our funding as a result of unfounded and inflammatory allegations," said Lynn Lewis of Picture the Homeless. "The funding that Picture the Homeless receives from HPD is money well spent. We are creating solutions to the housing crisis, and providing critical support to homeless New Yorkers and communities harmed by the failure of this Administration to address the housing crisis. We challenge the Mayor to explain why the Department of Homeless Services spent 1 Billion dollars of taxpayer money last year when there is a wealth of untapped resources in communities hit the hardest by the housing crisis this summer, counting vacant property in collaboration with Hunter College, we found enough space in a third of the city to potentially house 199,981 New Yorkers."
Picture the Homeless Board Member Ryan Gibbs said, New York City has spent nearly three billion dollars in the past four years on a broken shelter system where homeless people are warehoused instead of focusing on housing. This is the real issue at hand- not that the city spent 240,000 dollars the last five years on an organization working towards a change in housing policy.
A team of legal allies are working with PTH to respond to this attack on what amounts to over 10% of PTHs annual budget, said attorney Gideon Oliver, the current President of the New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. Until we see this alleged letter from the City Council, we cant predict what the next steps might be, but this business of leaked letters and unilateral directives to freeze funding smacks of backdoor politics and raises serious Due Process and other legal concerns. We are considering all options, including litigation.
Contact: Sam Miller or Lynn Lewis
Email: sam@..., lynn@...
In addition, PTH will be tweeting updates from the press conference.
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