Geoffrey Griffis, managing member for CityPartners, LLC is up to his neck in the efforts to evict all residents of Congress Heights in Anacostia so a new “mixed use” development can take their place. On the 23ed of July under scorching heat, dozens of Congress Heights tenants backed up by residents of other properties facing deliberate slum conditions and other illegal eviction schemes showed up at Geoffrey’s luxurious Cleveland Park home to warn that he can’t try to put people out of their homes, then return to his home and not have problems. Protesters called out CityPartners LLC for a business model based on emptying out buildings so the condos can come.
Geoff was called out for sending thugs to tell tenants to be out by 5PM or else without court orders and intentionally allowing rats, roaches, and bedbugs to infest Congress Heights. He was also called out for donating huge sums to Mayor Bowser’s campaign fund instead of spending the money on repairs. Since he took over Congress Heights conditions have steadliy deteriorated and even court orders have brought only temporary relief. After all, if the tenants leave and the city and WMATA also vacate two adjacent parcels, he can build his condos and shops over a Metro station!
With all this going on, Geoff foolishly thought he could buy off the protesters with a case of bottled water on ice. This set off a furious round of shouting as he appeared, and almost nobody touched his water except to throw several bottles back at his house. With both sides expecting the heat, protesters brought a cooler full of ice water of their own. This was not the first protest at Geoffrey’s house and it won’t be the last unless he stops trying to illegally evict the tenants of Congress Heights and instead repairs the damage he has done and permitted to occur.
Details on Geoffrey’s plans for Congress Heights
Video including Geoff coming out in an attempt to buy off protesters with bottled water
Marching up Ordway St from Connecticut Ave
The scene in front of Geoffry Griffis home, quite a contrast to what he has done to Congress Heights
Geoff emerges thinking his tenants and the other protesters will sell out for a bottle of water apiece!
Some of Geoffrey’s water bottles were thrown back like undesired fish from a boat.
Geoffrey’s own rendering (probably by a contractor) of his proposed “mixed use development” intended to replace the tenants of Congress Heights
On the 21st of July, six members of Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) locked down across the doors of Democratic Party headquarters in DC, holding the space for hours. The Democrats sent out two people to “negotiate,” but they said they had no authority to speak for anyone. Negotiations went nowhere, so the blockade went on for hours. The Dems were outraged that Green Party activists participated in the blockade but were warned that their pro-corporate, pro-fracking, pro-TPP politics were driving away their base. Suspicion that Hillary Clinton intends to return to supporting the TPP trade deal post-election could even hand the White House to Donald Trump, yet the Democrats refused to include an anti-TPP plank in their platform for 2016.
Earlier that morning, BXE) disrupted FERC’s monthly “public” meeting yet again, exposing the rubber stamp nature of how FERC approves eminent domain, pipelines, and fracking. Outside, those barred from entry wore blue dots over their mouths symbolic of blue dots put on ID’s at security checkpoints to identify those who are told they can never return. These dots can be peeled off ID’s but no doubt remain in FERC’s computer. Hours later the same activists delivered a letter to DNC chair Debbie Wasserman’s office around same demands as the later lockdown. These demands are that the Democrats include planks in the 2016 party platform supporting a national ban on fracking, opposing the TPP trade deal, and supporting strong action on climate change.
Video from the lockdown at Democratic Party headquarters
Blue dots symbolizing FERC’s blue dots put on ID’s of undesired participants in FERC’s monthly meetings (photo by Elizabeth)
From DC Indymedia https://dcindymedia.org/node/1181:
The Cleveland pigs have decreed that things like gas masks, food coolers, bicycle locks, and squirt guns are banned in a huge “event zone” covering a good part of downtown Cleveland during the Repugnican National Convention. Squirt guns are banned but due to the state’s “open carry” law REAL guns cannot be banned. This provides leverage for protest organizers.
As this is being written, both the New Black Panthers and some of the pro-Trump groups are already planning to march armed. Most of the groups that will be protesting do not normally march armed, but that could be made conditional on removing “event zone” regulations of items that are logistically needed such as coolers for cold food, locks for protester’s bicycles-and yes, gas masks in case the pigs open fire first with tear gas. State law says the city HAS to allow protesters to carry guns, no such law requires them to ban coolers and squirt guns. Thus they have some room to negotiate if they are provided with the appropriate incentive to do so.
Organizers of the mainstream protests can offer a simple choice: let us carry the equipment we need to carry, or we will carry the one thing you can’t stop us from carrying. There’s more than one way to make people think twice about using massive clouds of pepper spray on peaceful protesters or rooting through people’s bags for contraband cold food, after all. I think the Cleveland police would be quite happy to see mainstream anti-Trump groups marching with slung supersoakers under the heat of summer, rather than the slung rifles of this long, hot summer!
On the 9th of July, Black Lives Matter gathered at the African-American Civil War Memorial for what appeared to be another march on U st. While the march began there, it quickly headed west towards Dupont Circle, then dropped into Rock Creek Park announcing a destination at the MLK Memorial. Once in Rock Creek, the march pulled a surprise, going up the ramps into Georgetown on a night nobody had expected Black Lives Matter to go there.
When the march “circled up” at 30th and M sts, a speaker told the crowd of a formerly-secret text message system used by upscale Georgetown stores to profile African-American shoppers as presumed thieves. This drew a chorus of boos from the crowd and reminded everyone that there are many reasons it is important to disrupt “business as usual” in places like Georgetown.
At the conclusion of Saturday night’s disruptive street march, organizers announced that the businessmen, developers, and slumlords who are making Black people’s lives miserable should expect to be receiving protests at their homes, and that their addresses are already known. It’s going to be a long, hot summer for those who profit from gentrification, and street marches in shopping districts are just the beginning.
Video highlights of the march including both announcements
The beginning of the march on U st
Georgetown on Saturday night after Black Lives Matter marched in
On the 8th of July, Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets for a second evening in a row. Marchers started by circling the Department of Justice several times before heading to the White House. Demands at DOJ were for Federal civil rights investigations into all of the recent wave of police shootings of young African-American males. Some of the Federal Protective Services cops at the Department of Justice were armed with automatic rifles.
Marchers also showed that the recent wave of violence will not deter them from standing up for justice. Neither the sniper incident in Dallas, nor the 9-11 ambush of a cop in Ga, nor the probable KKK lynching of a Black man in Piedmont Park, Atlanta GA are being permitted to slow the demands that the lives of Black men be considered just as valuble as the lives of white police officers. White racists are trying to blame all of Black Lives Matter for actions by people who were not even involved in the protests, while at the same time excluding any collective responsiblity on the part of police for the behavior of their comrades. Even at Lafayette Park there was a woman with a Southern accent yelling about “all lives matter,” which is thinly-veiled code for “blue lives matter” which is used not only by cops but also by white supremacists against Black Lives Matter.
Video highlights of Black Lives Matter march including heckling Trump Hotel
Marching around the Dept of “Justice”
Black Lives Matter marchers giving Trump Hotel the finger