HUNTSVILLE, AL — The Huntsville branch of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) ran an effective campaign this past summer against a blood sucking slumlord in Alabama. This negro slumlord who goes by the name of Billy Elmore has held the residents of the Elmore Village community under terrible conditions that were unfit for human habitation.
Elmore had also been sexually harassing the young, single, working class African women in his complex for more than 15 years.
InPDUM found out about the situation at Elmore Village when three tenants came to the Huntsville branch explaining the terrible conditions that they were forced to endure.
InPDUM immediately took to organizing the community against this slumlord armed with surveys and petitions to consolidate the community’s demand for community control of housing. The community promptly organized, with the leadership of InPDUM, to put an immediate stop to this slumlord’s oppression.
The campaign began with an outreach campaign to inform residents of their democratic rights as tenants. During this outreach campaign, two new comrades, James Brown and Renee Hammonds, were won to InPDUM’s platform. They became members after getting first hand experience in the struggle of working class Africans to gain community control of housing and push out the neocolonialist slumlords.
Sister Hammonds now has a case pending against Elmore due to the excessive mold in her apartment that is constantly having her young child in and out of the hospital with asthmatic complications. After attending a tenant meeting, the community united with the platform and began to protest, sign petitions, and file written complaints to the Huntsville Housing Authority.
Due to the diligent work of the residents, the slumlord was subjected to inspections and is still being investigated. The demands of the residents are as follows:
We demand the immediate removal of mold, which poses a significant health risk, from all apartments that are affected.
We demand that working fire alarms and fire extinguishers be installed in every apartment.
We demand proper maintenance of all apartments on a consistent basis!
We demand that all apartments be professionally exterminated for insects and roaches at least twice a year.
“The rights of the working class African tenants living in low-income housing in the state of Alabama are almost null and void. The slumlords are getting away with murder.”
We demand that all apartments have proper safety requirements met according to the code of standard set by the State of Alabama and HUD.
We demand an immediate end to the sexual harassment of women tenants and the soliciting of women tenants for sexual favors in the absence of rent!
The rights of the working class African tenants living in low-income housing in the state of Alabama are almost null and void. The slumlords are getting away with murder. African children should not be subjected to these oppressive conditions. African women should not be subjected to this historic colonialist rape and molestation.
Petty bourgeois slumlords are white power in black face
Although Elmore is an African, he has functioned to exploit our community the same way that white power does. Forces like Elmore are used in the African community to give a black face to imperialist white domination. This is neocolonialism.
It is the same function that forces like Condoleezza Rice play in the U.S. government. They are a small class in the African community called the African petty bourgeoisie that function as a buffer between white power and the African workers. They also serve as something white power can hold up to convince us that we are our own problem and that if we would just become sell-outs like them, we can get rich, too.
In reality, our problem is that every aspect of our lives are controlled by white power, whether it appears in white faces or with faces that look like ours.
This is why the African working class has to take control of our own lives and our own community. Point Six of the Platform of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement clearly states, “We demand the removal of parasitic merchants and slumlords from the African community.”
The Huntsville InPDUM Branch will diligently continue to strive to win the Africans of the community to unite with the platform and organize to defeat agents like Billy Elmore who drain the African community of millions of dollars for rundown, over-priced, substandard housing.
A goal of InPDUM is to organize to put an immediate end to the exploitation of the African community by parasitic slumlords. Africans must have community control of housing. African people must have self-determination!