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The Latest Battle in the War Against the Poor

recorded 9/20/07

1) 2:35 Radio Essay short - Mp3

2) 3:48 Radio Essay long - Mp3

The Latest Battle in the War Against the Poor

[col.writ. 9/19/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal

    For a growing number of people all across the country, homes are becoming an endangered species.

    In many cities, the forces of gentrification are weighing not only on home-buyers, but on renters, for as the price of housing properties increase, so does the price of rental properties in a market that is bursting through the roof.

    But, for many, the bubble has burst.

    Just as Congress made bankruptcy more difficult to obtain, the adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), industry has garnered billions from young folks eager and willing to join the ranks of property owners.

    But, like the spring-loaded top of a mousetrap, the ARMs snapped shut, and as sub prime lenders now depart the market, its effects are rippling throughout the economy.

    In a sense, there is a perverse logic to this gambit, for it comes just as the national economy began to adjust to the de-industrialization of big cities, which spelled the end of good paying jobs for a generation.

    For a brief moment, there seemed to be a window of hope offering affordable homes for many folks who thought it was beyond their reach.

    As soon as they reached for the brass ring, however, the booby-trap popped up: foreclosure.

    In Buffalo, the city plans to raze over 5,000 abandoned houses, relics from a time when the city was a magnet for manufacturing.

    In Philadelphia, North, South, and West Philadelphia renters are being squeezed to make room for yuppies, and homes, when they are built, are for buyers, not renters.

    In New York City, homeowners are spending between 30-- to -- 50% of their income to pay for the mortgage.  The prices, even of rents, drives people from Manhattan, from Brooklyn and from Queens, into the Bronx.

    In San Francisco, homes for the poor are becoming rarer and rarer.

    In cities across the country, working-class Blacks are being forced, by the inability to make ends meet, to leave the cities of their birth and familial memory.

    In South Philadelphia, renter Victoria Fernandez, told a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune that poor Black folks were on their own.  "The government don't care about us," she exclaimed. "We vote, but do we have a say? No." {Philadelphia Tribune, Fri., Sept. 14, 2007, p.8A}  Her family has lived in that city's Black community for generations, but the city looks to young, white entrepreneurial types, or students, to buoy the city's taxes and fortunes.

    Victoria Fernandez explains, "It ain't never been fair for poor people.  We're drowning."

    In New York, the nation's financial capital (or capital of capital) foreclosures are becoming almost routine.  Ismena Speliotis, executive director of New York Acorn Housing described the conditions facing low-and moderate income folks in the city, and of homeowners, "We've seen a huge increase in defaults and foreclosures in Brooklyn, in East New York, {and} East Flatbush," she said.

    This is the latest front in the continuing war against the poor.  That it comes at a time when the nations's political leaders have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on a war that was as unnecessary as it was stupid, is nothing short of a crime against humanity.

    For what does it matter if the Dow Jones Average or the NASDAQ is breaking new records, if homeowners are facing imminent foreclosure, renters are fleeing cities, and both are facing the invisibility of homelessness? For whom is the economy working?

    For the poor, it's just another kind of war.

--(c) '07maj

[Sources: Mayes, Eric, " 'Gentrification' -- There Go the Neighborhoods", Phila. Tribune, Fri., Sept. 14, 2007, pp.1A, 8A;  Fernandez, Manny, "Housing Takes Bigger Bite of New Yorkers' Incomes, Census Data Shows", New York Times, Thurs., Sept. 13, 2007, pp.B1,B4.' Belson, Ken, "Vacant Houses, Scourge of a Beaten-Down Buffalo," New York Times, Thurs;, Sept. 13, 2007, pp. B1,B6.}

 

[Mr. Jamal's recent book features a chapter on the
remarkable women who helped build and defend
the Black Panther Party: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
#1-800-533-8478.]
===============================


MUMIA'S COLUMNS NEED TO BE PUBLISHED AS BROADLY
AS POSSIBLE TO INSPIRE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT AND
HELP CALL ATTENTION TO HIS CASE.

The campaign to kill Mumia is in full swing and we need you to
**please** contact as many publications and information outlets as
you possibly can to run Mumia's commentaries (on-line and
**especially off-line**)!! The only requirements are that you run
them *unedited*, with every word including copyright information
intact, and send a copy of the publication to Mumia and/or ICFFMAJ.
THANK YOU!!!

Keep updated by reading ACTION ALERTS!!
at http://www.mumia.org, http://www.onamove.com/ and their links.
========================================

To download Mp3's of Mumia's commentaries visit
http://www.prisonradio.org or http://www.fsrn.org
==============================================>

The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

PLEASE CONTACT:
International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - icffmaj@aol.com
AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES!

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

Subscribe: mumiacolumns-subscribe@topica.com
Read: http://topica.com/lists/mumiacolumns/read
Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing
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[Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
#1-800-533-8478.] 

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die.
And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

MUMIA'S COLUMNS NEED TO BE PUBLISHED AS BROADLY
AS POSSIBLE TO INSPIRE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT AND
HELP CALL ATTENTION TO HIS CASE.

The campaign to kill Mumia is in full swing and we need you to
**please** contact as many publications and information outlets as
you possibly can to run Mumia's commentaries (on-line and
**especially off-line**)!! The only requirements are that you run
them *unedited*, with every word including copyright information
intact, and send a copy of the publication to Mumia and/or ICFFMAJ.
THANK YOU!!!

Keep updated by reading ACTION ALERTS!!
at http://www.mumia.org, http://www.onamove.com/ and their links.
========================================

To download Mp3's of Mumia's commentaries visit
http://www.prisonradio.org or http://www.fsrn.org
==============================================>

The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

PLEASE CONTACT:
International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - icffmaj@aol.com
AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES!

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

Subscribe: mumiacolumns-subscribe@topica.com
Read: http://topica.com/lists/mumiacolumns/read
Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing
icffmaj@aol.com!


For additional information and to order Mumia's new book We Want Freedom,

visit: southendpress.org

Check out Mumia's NEW book:
"Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life of African and African-American People" at www.africanworld.com


The Power of Truth is Final — Free Mumia!

PLEASE CONTACT:
International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES!

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa