Building Unity to Take Back Our City: A brief report on the Mobilizations of Monday, February 19th, 2007

Building Unity to Take Back Our City: A brief report on the Mobilizations of Monday, February 19th, 2007

895693-609209-thumbnail.jpg On Monday, February 19th, 2007 for Lundi Gras more than 500 predominantly Black youth, elders, women, men, and children marched on City Hall to “Take Back Our City”. The People’s Hurricane Relief Fund (PHRF), the Black Love Movement, and Spreadin Positivity And Reinforcing Knowledge or SPARK organized the march to address the following community issues and raise the following demands:

  1. The unequivocal right to return for all those still displaced, including restitution and reparations for the damages caused by the great flood and the forced evacuation and displacement.
  2. The immediate opening of public housing.
  3. The immediate termination of the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA). Full restitution to all homeowners and renters for their damages and losses.
  4. The end of price gouging and the full incorporation of Tenant’s rights.
  5. Black unity, love, and internal accountability to end the fratricidal violence in our community.
The march was a critical first step in forging “Black Unity” in New Orleans, particularly amongst the hip hop youth, who composed the vast majority of the marches participants. However, a tremendous amount of work remains to be done. PHRF, the Black Love Movement, and SPARK are taking a concrete step in this direction by agreeing to hold joint study, work, and community outreach initiatives. The first of these are going to start on Monday, March 5th as a prelude to the Thursday, March 15th mobilization on City Council to institute an ordinance against price gouging and to fully recognize and institute comprehensive Tenants Rights (see our Price Gouging and Tenants Rights Petition for more information. Please return all Petitions by mail or fax by Tuesday, March 13th).


A further expression of this emerging Black Unity movement was the “One New Orleans Peace Concert”, organized by PHRF and Nuthinbutfire Records. The concert was held at the Venue in conjunction with the “Take Back Our City” March/Second Line on Lundi Gras. Over 300 youth turned out for the concert for conscious edutainment by Mia X, M1 of dead prez, 6th Ward Pook, 5th Ward Weebie, L.O.G., Hot Boy Ronald, Magnolia Shorty, Lil Razor, Cheeky Blakk, All Night Shorty, Kid Shawt, 10th Ward Buck, Block Burnza, Ms. Tee, and the Free Agents Brass Band. The theme of the concert was “Unity in the Black Community” to counter the escalation of violence in our community, including the rampant escalation of violence against women in the community.

Building on the spirit of unity built at the events, all of the hip hop artists pledged to do ongoing community outreach to stop the violence and to win the right of return for the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Projects are now in the works to produce a video of the Lundi Gras events and to produce a music compilation raising the demands of the people. So, stay tuned!

Article originally appeared on Peoples Hurricane Relief Fund & Oversight Coalition - Fighting for the Right of Return (
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