The residents of Museum Square, one of the last Section 8 rentals in Chinatown are facing mass eviction followed by demolition and condo construction. Bush Companies (of Williamsburg, Va.), the landlord, offers only an option to buy the building for nearly ten times what the DC government assessed it as being worth for property taxes. On the 23ed of June, the tenants staged a mass protest against the planned evictions. They were backed by the National Alliance of HUD Tenants.
Rabbi Scott Perlo from a nearby synagogue spoke at the rally, saying “You can’t build community by bulldozing.” Other speakers found it interesting that the landlord trying to get rid of 300 Chinese and African-American families in Museum Square is named Bush Companies. A representative from DC Councilmember Bond’s office spoke at the rally, saying the councilmember is committed to blocking the evction/condo project. Emergency legislation to stop this project has already passed, permanent legislation is still being debated. Yet another speaker noted that a court hearing won a two year reprieve from teh bulldozers. Whatever happens elsewhere with big issues like the infamous TPP, what is happening at Museum Square is proof that land can be defended, protest backed by other forms of activism works, and the insatiable demands of the richest 1% if the population can be repelled.
Video highlights of the rally (2 min)