Renters Day of Action rally in DC demands rent freeze, eviction moratorium

The 22nd of September was the national Renter’s Day of Action, with protests in over 50 cities. In DC, tenants from Congress Heights, Museum Square, and other threatened buildings gathered on Alabama Ave by 3200 13th st. Geoff Griffis of City Partners(investor) and Sanford Capitol(landlord) plan to demolish it and the adjacent occupied buildings anyway to build luxury apartments. They are stopped at the moment by Metro refusing to put a related land sale on the agenda. The banner at 3200 13th st read “liberated territory” and police acted like they expected OneDC and Justice First! to sieze the building like what happened at Parcel 42 back in 2010.

At one point “special police” just like those who killed Alonzo Smith walked right through the protest, photographed a building street number sign, then went into the parking lot behind the still-occupied building. For police or security to brazenly walk right through protesters like this is often considered and in some cases may be intended as an act of aggression. Afterwards they walked around the adjacent vacant building (3200 13th st) carrying some kind of bags. This was the sort of behavior that suggested they expected a building takeover.

One DC and Justice First had no such plans because with WMATA’s related land sale to Geoff Griffis/City Partners tabled, the luxury apartments slated to replace Congress Heights cannot be built. Geoff Griffis, City Partners, and Sanford Capitol will probably lose this fight. It’s just a matter of how many protests at their homes, their places of work, and their parties they want to endure before they and abandon their now almost impossible luxury apartment dreams in Anacostia.

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