Uhuru Solidarity Forum: No Bailout for Baywalk!
Thursday, September 24th, 2009 • 6:00 pm
Atlanta Bread’s community room, 175 1st Ave. S., St. Petersburg, FL
Uhuru Solidarity Forum: No Bailout for BayWalk! Support Economic Development for the African Community Join us as we take a deeper look into the $700,000 bailout of BayWalk. While Africans are getting jailed by the City of St. Petersburg’s public policy of more police into the African community, BayWalk is getting jailed with more public money!
The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) is waging an ongoing campaign to stop the $700,000 giveaway to Wells Fargo Bank, who now owns BayWalk after foreclosing on the previous new owner. C.W. Capital Holdings, the management company/front men for Wells Fargo, is demanding that the city give them the north sidewalk to “control crowds.” What they want to control is free speech. Wells Fargo Has Caused Immense Suffering to Africans and Latinos – Yet The Bank Demands More Wells Fargo Bank is currently being sued by the city of Baltimore and the state of Illinois for targeting Africans and Latinos for what Wells Fargo called “ghetto” loans, otherwise known as sub-prime predatory lending.
These loans have resulted in thousands of foreclosures and the largest loss of wealth for African people in generations.
This is the company the City of St. Petersburg wants to bailout with $700,000. The City of St. Pete should stand by their own policy which mandates they refuse to do business with companies that discriminate!
The African Community Is Blamed For A Failed Economy and A Failed Business Model The City of St. Petersburg wants to make people believe that the African community is the problem behind BayWalk’s economic troubles and foreclosure – yet malls across this country are going bankrupt because of the economy. C.W. Capital Holdings said they don’t forsee making a profit from BayWalk, but will only minimize their losses. They refused to commit to invest any money themselves or submit a business plan. Our tax money should not go to bail out a failing economic project! The Owners of BayWalk Prefer to Attack Free Speech Than To Remedy The Real Grievances of the African Community The Uhuru Movement spent eight months in 2003-04 demonstrating every Friday at BayWalk after the frame up arrest of InPDUM member Mtundu Dialobe who spoke out against police brutality he witnessed at BayWalk. Sembler Corporation, which owned BayWalk at that time, then attempted to convince the City Council to pass an ordinance making it illegal to demonstrate in front of BayWalk. The Uhuru Movement organized with other groups and stopped the ordinance. While African people are suffering at 15% unemployment and 71% of the African community in St. Petersburg lives at or below the poverty line, the City of St. Petersburg has refused to make economic development happen in the African community. Instead, the City gave $20 million to Sembler Corp. to build BayWalk. Sembler made a handsome profit from the sale of BayWalk without ever investing any of their own money. The City’s budget has $86 million for police and only $1 million for “economic development” in “Midtown.” When have police ever solved poverty? As a matter of fact, the city’s public policy of police containment as opposed to economic development has resulted in the police murders of Tyron Lewis, Jarrell Walker, Marquell McCullough and Javon Dawson. The police are now harassing Africans at Ike’s Liquor Store on 16th St. South as they play checkers and cards. The approach of the city toward Africans at Ike’s is in stark contrast to the proposed welfare bailout for BayWalk. What is the SOLUTION? The $700,000 should be used not as a giveaway to wealthy corporations and banks, but to create an African community marketplace, to create businesses and foster an economy by and for African people! The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement is calling on all who believe in justice to join the campaign to stop the bailout and demand reparations and economic development to the African community. Join with INPDUM, the voice of the African community who is suffering the brunt of the economic crisis, the City’s decisions, and is being viciously slandered as the cause of BayWalk’s failure! WHAT YOU CAN DO: – Speak out at the City Council public hearings against the BayWalk bailout proposal. Email or call Mayor Rick Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org, 727-893-7201 and City Council at email@example.com, 727-893-7117 – Demand genuine economic development for the African community!
– Support Uhuru Movement programs that address the economic crisis faced by African community such as the African Village Survival Initiative with community gardens, alternative energy, rainwater harvesting and economic self-reliance programs. Volunteer, donate equipment/funds, help raise funds! – Get involved! Come to these Uhuru Solidarity Movement meetings, help put up posters, do media and internet outreach to raise awareness and get more people to participate.
SUPPORT THE DEMANDS OF INPDUM: 1. Stop the $700,000 welfare for BayWalk, and keep the sidewalk public. 2. Stop the police harassment of African people sitting under the trees at Ike’s on 16th St. So. 3. We demand billions of dollars in reparations to the African community to create economic development and businessess for themselves. 4. End the policy of police containment and implement a policy of economic development for the African community. 5. We demand the right to free speech and peaceful assembly.