Over 150 people packed into the Park Community Church near Cabrini Green on Thursday night for a Town Hall Against Displacement and Evictions. While most of those in attendance were residents of Cabrini Green, many supporters from around the city were also in attendance to show solidarity. Dozens of people got up to share their own experiences with evictions, mistreatment by management, displacement, police harassment and many other issues. As sad and infuriating as many stories were, a common thread of inspiration ran through the evening as every speaker pledged to fight back and join together. As one woman who was evicted from Cabrini Green and now lives in a nursing home said, “I don’t care how, I’m going home. Steel doors can’t hold me back from my community.”
The town halls are going to continue as weekly or bi-weekly events to build momentum and organization for the Anti-Eviction Campaign in partnership with the Cabrini Green LAC. The crowd pledged to support an action next Thursday by Anti-Eviction Campaign member group Southside Together Organizing for Power, who is protesting at the City Plan Commission meeting against slumlord Leon Finney, Jr.’s disrespect, neglect and intimidation of tenants of the Kimbark Tenants Association in Woodlawn. The action will start at 12:30pm on the second floor of City Hall (121 N. LaSalle) Thursday January 21st.
While the momentum is strong, at the end of the day Lenise is still homeless and 50 other families at Cabrini Green may soon join her if the powers that be have their way. It is up to all of us not to let them. Get involved in the Anti-Eviction campaign by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.