Housing Complex

Block Party With A Twist in Shaw

Saturday afternoon entertainment. (Lydia DePillis)

Saturday afternoon entertainment. (Lydia DePillis)

Tomorrow, a block party will go off at 7th and S Streets just north of the Shaw metro station: Food, games, face painting, the works. But this isn't your average summer Saturday neighborhood bash.

The eating and playing will take place on Parcel 33, a piece of land now slated for a development that will house the United Negro College Fund. At 4:00 p.m., the tone will shift, with a press conference highlighting the pernicious effects of gentrification and displacement. Then, the party shifts to 7th and R, an empty lot known as Parcel 42, where the community justice organization OneDC intends to set up a tent city to protest the dramatically scaled-down development now on the table. After years of working with the Fenty administration, they see the reduced number of affordable units now planned for the site as a broken promise to provide 94 apartments affordable at or below 50 percent of the area median income.

Things could get rowdy.

"We expect a major police presence, as is often the case when the poor and homeless speak up for themselves," a mass e-mail to supporters reads. "IT MAY EVEN BECOME QUITE CONFRONTATIONAL, TO SAY THE LEAST."

The event is being co-hosted by Take Back the Land, a national group that has executed takeovers of empty and foreclosed houses in cities from Miami to Portland, arguing that bank-owned properties really belong to the taxpayers who bailed them out. OneDC and TBTL aren't planning similar actions for D.C.–but the tent city carries the same message.

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    Housing is not a right it's something you earn, by work and commitment to your living space!

    This socialist group, 'Take Back The Land' is nothing more that a gang of liberal guilt ridden whites, who do not live in our town going around as in other cities causing trouble! Go to the 'Block Party' and see if I'm not right! I also find it interesting that they have to entise people with food and drink to get numbers to show up!

    Gentrification and Development is good and if you don't like it move to P G County!

    Go sell you failed socialist programs to people who care, because we the citizens of Washington, DC are not buying your line of bullshit!

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    PS; The only reason they want you there is to show a lot of black faces for their propraganda videos and hope the media will also be there, which they won't, because the media knows this group! So if the turn out is low and no media, they will start a confrontation with the police to get a mention on the 6pm news!

    I take it back don't go!, they will use you like props on a movie set, unless you like to sell yourself for a soda and a sandwich!

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    well, certainly sounds like they're pining for a fight.

    how many people wearing black masks will drop in, stir up the crowd, and then take off when the cordon closes in?

  • Daddy Grace Fish Sandwich

    Maybe they will invited the Black Panthers from Philly to fight for them?

  • Ignacio

    Denegrify now!

    Don't let the door hit your fat asses on the way out of the neighborhood.

  • Grace Jones

    Ingnacio, you are such a racist. Are you related to Mel Gibson?

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    I actually agree with Mangus on this issue. This is promulgated by very liberal folks who are typically white and wealthy. They think they are doing a social good by encouraging poor (and mostly black in DC) to break the law because of some entitlement issue. Affordable housing should be a priority of the City, but not as a hand out. This entraps poor people into a cycle of perpetual dependency. We need a solution not a creation to more problem.

  • Shawresident

    This is crazy. That area is totally dominated by public housing projects. There are 5 or 6 major complexes plus a bunch of small ones dotting the area.

    Why would they build MORE affordable housing where they already have it?

    It's like these people are advocating for the creation of a ghetto instead of responsible options for poor people.

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