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3 Common Ground Volunteers Arrested at Woodlands Complex

friends,

Please read the press release below and call or email Soleil and ask
how you can help.

Soleil < commongroundlegal@gmail.com> 504-717-7324

Your help is desperately!
January 6, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Soleil Rodrigue, Legal Coordinator, 504-717-7324

3 Common Ground Volunteers Arrested at Woodlands Complex

(New Orleans, LA) 01/05/07 -Three Common Ground volunteers were
arrested Friday evening by two New Orleans police officers. The three
had spent the day at the Woodlands apartment complex in Algiers
helping residents who were being evicted move out of their homes. One
of the officers was previously involved in another controversial
incident at the Woodlands.

"Common Ground is concerned that this incident represents a new trend
in police harassment of Common Ground volunteers. The fact that the
same police officer, Officer Lusk was involved in both events is
troubling and an unlikely coincidence," says Sakura Kone' of Common
Ground Relief.

Common Ground volunteers Suncere Ali Shakur, from Washington, D.C.,
age 36, Aron Shimeles, from Seattle, WA, age 18, and Maryliz Van Nes,
from Martha's Vineyard, MA, age 19 spent the day at the Woodlands
helping residents move out of their homes. At about 5:15pm the three
were sitting on a bench at the Woodlands waiting for a ride to the
volunteer center across the river. Shimeles noticed a police car
pulling up to them.

Two officers got out of the car and approached the volunteers. One of
them, officer Lusk (badge number 1811) was involved in a previous
incident where, he, Anthony Reginelli (the previous owner of the
complex) and another off duty officer broke into the administration
office of the Woodlands complex without a warrant and in uniform
taking computers and files belonging to Common Ground. At the time
the complex was under Common Ground management, and had been sold to
Johnson Properties Group, LLC.

The officers told the volunteers they were in violation of a court
order that prohibited Common Ground volunteers from being on Woodlands
property without being lease holders. The police then handcuffed them
and drove them to the edge of the property. A commanding officer
arrived and lectured the three of them about the alleged character of
Common Ground co-founder Malik Rahim. "It seemed to me that he was
trying to give us a bad impression of Malik," says Shimeles, "but it
didn't work."

The three were cited for trespassing, and will be arraigned in the
coming days. The officers and the commanding officer acknowledged
that the Johnson Properties' Group had issued a good faith extension
of time for Common Ground to assist the remaining Woodlands residents
in moving. It seemed the officers had a personal vendetta against
Malik Rahim. Common Ground demands that all charges be dropped and
that harassment and intimidation of its volunteers, as well as the
residents it represents, cease and desist.
###
The Administration Does Not Want New Orleans 08.Jan.2007 18:08

gully

If you follow the footprints it will lead to the truth.
First, the people were not warned early enough to evacuate from their homes, or were able to get out due to lack of funds. The government did nothing to evacuate once the storm hit, nor three days after. They are not providing assistance for the "refugees"; even though they are tax paying citizens. This prevents people from comming back to New Orleans to protect their property from theiving real estate companies. Now this police state is preventing volunteers from rebuilding peoples homes! They do not want New Orleans to be rebuilt.
I want to thank all of the volunteers at common ground for what they are contributing to New Orleans and the people there.