With last week’s report that the demolition of four public housing developments—B. W. Cooper, Lafitte, C. J. Peete and St. Bernard—could begin on December 15, the temperature rose this week among groups trying to delay or even stop the demolitions. I joined a diverse group of ministers, community members, activists and public housing residents at a meeting of the City Council, where we were allowed to address the Council even though the demolitions were not on the agenda. My remarks to the Council pointed out that there had been no meaningful consideration of alternatives in the federally mandated consultation process with HUD and the Housing Authority of New Orleans about the redevelopment plans.
Unfortunately, any good will that the group might have gained from the Council was lost when a number of group members refused to disband after our time was up and tied up the chambers with chats of “No demolition!” until police came to break things up.