message from umoja village

From: Max Rameau

The link below is the New York Times (yes, that NY Times) story on the Umoja
Village Shantytown in Liberty City:

The Umoja Village Shantytown was started on October 23, 2006 in response to
the crisis of gentrification and lack of low-income housing and the local
government’s role- particularly Miami-Dade County- in exacerbating the
crisis. Bad public policy and the outright stealing of money earmarked for
the poor by Miami-Dade County has made a bad situation worse. A group,
calling itself Take Back the Land, took control over a vacant public land,
which formerly housed a low rent apartment building, and built a full-blown
shantytown in the US. There are currently over 40 residents who sleep and
eat there.

The shantytown is protected by the landmark Pottinger Settlment, in which
the city of Miami conceeded that it was not a crime to be homeless.
Therefore, anyone who is homeless, when there are no free shelter beds
(which is everyday), and on public land, cannot be arrested for engaging in
“life sustaining conduct,” such as eating, sleeping, bathing, responding to
calls of nature and building “temporary structures” to protect one from the

A key component of this model is that the residents must run their own
village, doing most of the work, providing security and making decisions
through consensus during group meetings.

In addition, check the newest documentary on the shantytown:

Visit our blog for all of the latest updates, including a new media coverage

Of course, you can always make a much needed donation via our paypal
Take Back the Land Paypal Donation


Max Rameau
Take Back the Land
a project of the Center for Pan-African Development


~ by Anayah on January 18, 2007.

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