Friday, April 20, 2012

Stop Columbia University Displacement Activists To Rally Against Columbia's West Harlem/Manhattanville Construction Project

COMMUNITY RALLY, MEETING, FIESTA THIS MONDAY, APRIL 23, 6:30PM ONWARDS ST. MARY’S CHURCH, 521 WEST 126TH STREET * HEAR ABOUT THE OCCUPATION OF A BUILDING THAT COLUMIBA WANTS TO EVICT, * COME TALK ABOUT THE NEXT STEPS TO STOP COLUMBIA’S DISPLACEMENT * BRING YOUR INSTRUMENTS, COME JAM, WE’LL HAVE FOOD TOO Community residents, workers, property owners, and students joined in a building takeover of property on historic 125th Street that Columbia plans to evict and destroy soon as part of its expansion. We joined forces again in a way that is reminiscent of the coalition developed during the Hunger Strike of 2007 and Tent City in 2005. During this occupation process, the Coalition to Preserve Community (CPC) and Stop Columbia University Displacement (SCUD) established a strong coalition between the community on campus and the community in the community and we hope everyone can come to St. Mary’s Church on Monday, April 16 at 6:30 to participate in a rally, meeting, and fiesta (food and music featured). Let’s keep our momentum going! We declared 655 W. 125th Street a liberated zone, taking it away from the clutches of the Empire State Development Corp and giving it back to its rightful owner. We slept there, enjoying the night air on the sidewalk for many nights, and brought the sounds of James Brown back to street level on 125, reflecting the soulful custom of so many of those long gone music shops that gave Harlem its beat and contributed to its character of free expression. Sometimes a painting or a poem would magically appear on our wall of art. A group from St. Mary’s church came by and read a Frederick Douglass poem. Ramon Diaz, owner of Floridita Restaurant, and his family came by and lent support. The students held a meeting on campus where community members were the featured speakers – for the first time since Low Library cracked down on such meetings about 5 years ago. Sarah Martin, the president of Grant Houses and Professor Mindy Fullilove were particularly powerful voices in the defense of the neighborhood. The Rev. Earl Kooperkamp spoke with both passion and humor, and he will also make his last appearance at a CPC meeting next Monday, so don’t miss that. Come on out and get an update, bring your ideas, and enjoy some music, food and some good company. The gathering will start at 6:30pm and will go on as long as people care to stay. SPONSORED BY CPC AND SCUD. AND CHECK OUT THE UPDATED WEBSITE: