Occupy 477-Sugar HillAssists Seniors In Fight Against Predatory
Press Release from Delois Blakely. Occupy assists her as a predatory lender forecloses on Dr. Blakely and other seniors living in low income housing.
THE COMMUNITY MAYOR OF HARLEM,
QUEEN MOTHER DR. DELOIS BLAKELY
477 West 142nd Street, Suite 2
New York, N.Y. 10031
October 31, 2011
For Immediate Press & Community Release
"I think the first duty of society is justice."
Engaging in the perennial struggle for social, cultural and economic justice, some Occupy Wall Street protesters have joined forces with Dr. Delois Blakely to create Occupy 477-Sugar Hill. This is in order to support the preservation of a historical landmark and low- -income residential building in Harlem. The site located at 477 W. 142nd in the Sugar Hill neighborhood is a living history weaving the many hybrid narratives epitomizes the sacred, revolutionary and innovative neighborhood of Harlem. Occupy 477 also intends to put a human face on the victims of gentrification. The victims of gentrification are already marginalized, yet they are pushed out of their homes to very uncertain fates.
The building is on Alexander Hamilton's former estate, he was of the founders of the United States, and has served for decades as a cultural bastion, place of residence and key element of the black community in New York City. In an attempt to increase the ongoing, violent gentrification of Harlem, Madison Park Investors LLC and E.R. Holding LLC are attempting to boot the current residents, some of whom have lived here since the late 1970s. Terrorist tactics, all too common against marginalized populations are being used. The boiler has been sabotaged, effectively ending heat and hot water for the building's population as wintery weather approaches.
Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely is in dire need of pro bono attorneys, laws students, investigative reporters, and financial contributions to sustain her efforts to preserve and protect this 30 year legacy of low-income housing. She has done most of this work pro se since 2007 and has exhausted her resources. She asks God to continue in ordering her steps as she goes through this harrowing judicial process.
Tony Cochran, an activist who worked to bridge LGBT and Labor issues, recognize the extreme situation Queen Mother and her fellow residents are in. He organized a group of Occupy Wall Street protesters and they went up to Harlem to see the horrors of this site first hand. This contingent of Occupy Wall Street protesters along with the people of Harlem are uniting to fight against this grave injustice and to keep this property and its legacy in the hands of those who have lived here for so long. Many of the residents are elderly or have disabilities and few economic resources. They are the 99%.
Recognizing that black and brown communities in the United States and elsewhere have been historical targets of the colonial tactics of the 1%, who have used racism and ignorance to divide our communities, we come together in solidarity, as people from all races, genders, sexual orientations and cultures to say that will no longer be divided. We are united. We are the 99%.