Friday, August 09, 2013

Imagining a new dream

According to journalist Laura Gottesdiener in her book "A Dream Foreclosed” more than 10 million people (the size of the state of Michigan) across the country have been evicted from their homes in the last six years (since the recession hit in 2007). Tens of thousands of foreclosures are still happening every single month across the country. Blackstone Group, one of the largest private equity companies in the world, are buying up hundreds of thousands of foreclosed houses.

In an interview on Democracy Now, Gottesdiener explains:- “...communities across the country, particularly in African-American neighborhoods, are refusing to move, and they’re saying, "We live in this neighborhood. We should have the right to control what happens in this neighborhood." And if we talk about community control of land, if we talk about the idea that people who live in this neighborhood should have the right to make decisions about how the land is used, that wouldn’t just help us have a legitimate housing recovery. That would also help us make safer and more informed decisions about economic, environmental policies. Imagine if we made decisions about mining based on what people in that community actually wanted. Imagine if we made decisions about schools, about hospitals, about prisons, all based on what actual communities needed....

...[Occupy Wall St]  opened up to imagine different ways to organize society. And, for me, the work that these communities, the Take Back the Land, the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, City Life in Boston, all of these groups are doing is imagining a new way we could structure society, a way that is more humane and that values human life over private property....”

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