Stop white takeover of South St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, FL—Just a mile away from St. Petersburg’s “glitzy” beaches and nightlife bars enjoyed by the white residents and tourists of this city, the African community is catching hell, suffocated by police terror, poverty and mass incarceration.
 
The city of St. Pete has been steadily ramping up its gentrification efforts to displace the African population of south St. Pete and facilitate the invasion of the community by white realtors, “investors” and business owners.
 
The historically African south side community of St. Petersburg, Florida, has been impacted by a frenzy of condominium development, speculation and gentrification over the past seven years that has pushed out African families from homes they have shared for three and four generations.
 
This is a community where 71 percent of the people live at or below the poverty level. In one instance, in the Ingleside community, over 20 properties were bought up by two individuals who are “rehabilitating” them for resale.
 
The corner park where elderly men once could be seen sitting under trees watching their grandchildren play is now fenced off, artificially landscaped and empty.
 
Compounding the devastating consequences of colonial gentrification is the intensification of police terror against the African community and a rise in poverty and homelessness.
 
The Pinellas County School system is a notorious example of the colonial “school to prison pipeline,” failing 79 percent of African males–the lowest graduation rate for black males in the entire country.
 
In Pinellas County, over half of African youth are unemployed.
 
African people of all ages are subject to sheer terror at the hands of the St. Pete police. We have not forgotten TyRon Lewis, Javon Dawson, Marquell McCullough and so many other young African men shot down in cold blood by the SPPD and Pinella’s County Sheriff’s Department.
 
Nor we have forgotten Hydra Lacy. Lacy’s home was demolished by bulldozer by order of then-mayor Bill Foster, publicly destroying evidence left behind by the cops who bombarded, tortured and killed Lacy.
 
In the same year, a St. Pete cop named David Crawford stalked a 16-year-old African named Nick Lindsey in the street, and Nick is alleged to have shot Crawford dead in defense. Now Nick is behind bars serving a life sentence.
 
After Crawford died, the police invaded and cordoned off the south side of St. Pete. The cops brandished rifles as they searched the cars of Africans in the community, ransacked our homes and pointed assault weapons in children‘s faces.
 
This is life under colonial occupation.The solution will not come from City Hall or the charity organizations that claim to speak on our behalf.
 
The solution will come from us, the African community itself, organized to advance our own agenda, our own aspirations, our own interests.
 
The Uhuru Movement has been hard at work in this regard, building concrete organizations and programs to create genuine economic development in the hands of the African community—not a cynical and deadly public policy of police containment and gentrification.
 
Organizations such as the African People’s Education and Defense Fund (APEDF) and the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP) work around the clock to build programs that address the needs of the African working class.
 
The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) holds weekly meetings on Sundays at 4pm at the Uhuru House where Africans and supporters of African self-determination gather to organize for power over our own lives.
 
Join in and become part of the solution!
Let’s push back the attacks on our community
Down with colonial gentrificationand police terror!
African self-determination is the solution!

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