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    Friday, September 16, 2005

    HELP! Desperate Housing Shortage for September anti-war/global justice mobilization

    Desperate Housing Shortage for September anti-war/global justice mobilization (forward everywhere)

    Housing Update

    All the churches have been called (and are being re-called), numerous housing pitches have gone out to DC residents, activists, students, and others. At this point, we have a huge housing crisis for the anti-war/global justice mobilization. If you can please open up your homes, your couches, your floors, your backyards (I know, pretty scarce in these parts), we need you to post to the housing board at
    http://www.septemberaction.org/cs/housing .

    Here is the current situation. Besides St. Stephens Church, which has up to 400 spots for housing (300 of which are already occupied), there is no housing available for large groups of people. Given that the activities are going on from Thursday night through Monday, and given that many taking nonviolent direct action on Monday could be arrested and could conceivably need housing through Tuesday night, this is a bad situation. What makes it worse is that the housing on St. Stephens must be evacuated and cleaned by 7 AM on Sunday morning! When you consider that there’s a big march, a big concert, and many other activities going on through the night, that leaves people staying at St. Stephens with a potentially very short night of sleep, before waking up, helping clean up, and vacating. Furthermore, the 100 spots not committed will be handled on a first come, first serve basis.

    There are tent sites available outside the city for very little money.
    The campsite at Greenbelt Park run by the National Park Service is inexpensive with a lot of sites. You will need a car, though, to get to the Greenbelt Metro station from there.

    But, on the whole, the picture is bleak, and while we are continuing to work feverishly to find spaces, we have very little to offer.

    The housing boards have several listings but not nearly enough. Even if you add United for Peace and Justice’s housing board, you still have a severe housing crisis, in fact a more severe housing crisis.

    We quipped in our working group last night that the housing situation
    right now is so bad that one recommendation might be for people to be
    arrested on Friday and hope that they don’t get arraigned until Monday. While we were kidding, the scope of the crisis is very serious.

    However, you all can change that by opening up your homes and posting it to the housing board. We desperately need you to do so. If you feel uncomfortable posting, please, please, please look at the housing board for those who have requested housing and see if there’s a good match. What’s more, if you need housing, it will help many people who don’t want to post any of their personal information on the internet, if you will post your needs to the housing board.

    If you have big housing space to offer, which is also a desperate need, please get in contact with us at housing@septemberaction.org as soon as possible. If there’s a small cost associated with it, please let us know, anyway.

    Another way to help, whether you have housing to offer or not, is to
    forward this email (usually a personal note with it helps tremendously) to your friends or people on any community or neighborhood list.

    People will be coming to DC whether they have housing or not, in many
    cases, and we don’t need to add to our already overwhelming homeless
    population. We don’t need activists taking up precious shelter space in town.

    We need housing for the entire weekend, but of special need, of course, are Saturday through Tuesday nights, especially Sunday night. Many very important actions are taking place on Sunday and Monday.

    Help out if you can. We have worked very hard on this problem, and we are facing a huge crisis despite our best efforts. Please help out if you can at all. Many people are sacrificing perhaps too much to come to Washington; I hope we can sacrifice a little to make their stay worthwhile for the important actions upcoming.

    Thanks,
    Jim
    http://www.septemberaction.org
    http://www.dawndc.net

    PS Logistically, we will be handling housing from a desk inside of St.
    Stephens, which will serve as a 24-hour-a-day convergence space starting Monday thru 7AM on Monday. After that, we tentatively plan to set up the desk in Dupont Circle on Sunday (or in another space if there’s rain, on Sunday and Monday and will have a phone number to call for anyone who might need a place to stay on Tuesday).

    PPS We also need volunteers from out-of-town to help us with the housing desk at St. Stephens (16th and Newton Streets NW) and to help with housing issues for the large numbers staying there.

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