It has been quite a while since I wrote a new article here. To say things have heated up for those of us fighting racially motivated gentrification in Peekskill N.Y., is an understatement.
For those who don't know, Peekskill Democrats have decided that they were/are going to phase out Public Housing. Sadly, the public housing building that they targeted is located in, and has considerable voting clout in, an election district that goes to the Democrats every year.
As I have reported here in the past, these Democrats, led by closet Tea Party Mayor Mary Foster, has attacked our peaceful movement for Housing Rights. Even sending four police cars to try to block us from forming a legal Tenant Association.
This mayor has refused the cries of several women of color at council meetings asking for help. What kind of help? To get rid of the Housing Director Harold Phipps (now former director. We won that one without them).
These young women, and one husband, complained that Mr. Phipps entered their apartments, uninvited, and made "inappropriate remarks." For three years the mayor and council sat silently, looked at us until the speaking time-limit ran out, and then said, "Your time is up, sit down."
If you did not move from the podium right away, the police, sometimes as many as 15- who were in the council chambers just for us- would snatch the microphone from our hands. Last year the City of Peekskill made world news when the mayor and council passed a "no-clapping law" at council meetings- admittedly directed at us- under threat of arrest.
Mr. Phipps is gone. We continued to organize and kept the pressure on until he left. Along the way I have been illegally "Banned" from all Housing Authority Board meetings, escorted out of city council meetings, and hit with a SLAPP Suit to silence me. I am still in Federal Court. Still, we are stronger than ever!
I invite you to check out my website, Darrell Davis Radio dot Com. It is the home of two radio shows I do that air on five radio stations in New York. The last two shows I did are, in my humble opinion, very instructive in terms of real struggle, white allies, "Black Leaders" and why poor people and people of color are, for the most part, on our own.
While I speak passionately on the air, I am in no way bitter. I do however exercise my right to be offended by the behavior of some allies. I do express a healthy anger at some of these "book clubs" calling themselves activists.
Please listen and share.You can agree or disagree. Just leave your comment under the post.