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News ::
14 Tenant Activists Arrested in Landlord's Office
10 Apr 2002
Modified: 26 Apr 2002
14 tenant activists are arrested in a landlord's office in Kenmore Sq. to defend 108 affordable home in Jamaica Plain.

At 3:30pm on Wednesday, April 3, 2002 sixteen housing activists entered the office of Forestvale landlord Francis Colannino in order to demand that he negotiate for the long-term affordability of Forestvale. Forestvale is an affordable housing development in Jamaica Plain of 108 homes. For almost two years now Colannino has rejected all proposals to maintain the affordability of these homes.

Yesterday, the sixteen activists, along with City Councilors Chuck Turner and John Tobin entered the Riverside Management office of Colannino in Kenmore Square with the hopes of negotiating an agreement that would preserve the long-term affordability of this expiring-use property.

Soon after the demonstrators entered the office, a rally began outside the building in support of those protesters who were inside. At the height of the demonstration, there were more than 75 people picketing the office in support of the folks sitting-in and the Forestvale Tenant Association’s demands.

At one point Colannino fled his own office, leaving the protesters who had occupied the office behind. The police soon arrived, and Colannino agreed by phone to meet with a group of three people in a room separate from where the sit-in was taking place. Helene Gonzalves from the Forestvale Tenant Association, Steve Meacham from City Life/Vida Urbana, and City Coucilor Chuck Turner met with Colannino when he returned to the building.

In this negotiating session, Colannino rejected the Tenant Association’s demands for the long-term affordability of their homes through the federal Mark Up to Market program, even though through this program the value of all ownership benefits over the next four years would be $8.4 million. Rather than renewing the project-based Section 8 contract that maintains 90 of these 108 units affordable, Colannino wants to give each tenant a Section 8 voucher. The Tenant Association and the community reject these vouchers as they will not maintain the property itself as affordable into the future.

At 7:30pm, after the negotiating meeting with Colannino had broken down, the police began to arrest the protesters who had occupied the office. Fourteen tenant activists were arrested on trespassing charges. They were led out of Colannino’s office building by the police and were received by the demonstrators outside who had been on a picket line and endured the rain for four hours. All the activists joined together in singing “We Shall Not Be Moved” as the arrestees were put into the police vans.

Bail was posted for all fourteen activists and they were arraigned in Roxbury District Court this morning. All fourteen pleaded “not-guilty.” The pre-trial date is set for May 8, 2002.
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Get Smart
13 Apr 2002
Why get yourselves arrested instead of arresting the landlords and banksters?

When you cut through the frauds of political-financial disinformation, you'll find that landlords are nothing more than tax-collectors for banksters.

Banksters (eg: World Bank Group, Federal Reserve Corporation) issue fraudulant "money" out of nothing and then charge people for it. That's unlawful.

Instead of futile "protesting", smart citizens create lawful political-economic systems such as LETS or TEA:
See also:
Are any posts safe from Chance
16 Apr 2002
Aaah... Jon, are you online all the time?? What happened to your TEA theory?
tenant buy-out
26 Apr 2002
Good to hear of tenants fighting back against the parasites that are landlords. I don't know the details, but it would be great if the campaign was geared toward a tenant buy-out of the property therefore, ensuring that the project based section 8 contract would be controled by the tenants. This control makes the section 8 contract quite permanent.

Why mearly demand affordable housing for a longer period of time when you can begin to create institutions controled by the poor? Why not push the landlord out of the picture and create more autonomy and control of one's community?