Sunday, June 08, 2008

Take Back the Land in Mother Jones Magazine


The May edition of Mother Jones Magazine features an article on Take Back the Land and our Take Back the Housing campaign.

You can find the article at:

The piece describes our campaign of identifying vacant government owned or foreclosed homes and moving families into those locations, providing housing for otherwise homeless families. Here are the opening paragraphs:

"Mamyrah Prosper steps gingerly over ankle-high grass strewn with plastic bags and empty soda bottles in the yard of a vacant redbrick house in Miami's Liberty City. She peers through a gap in a boarded-up window. "It looks in good shape," she says. "I mean, the walls aren't falling down. This is definitely one of our stronger options."

Prosper means that if the place checks out, she and her colleagues from Take Back the Land, a local group that advocates for affordable housing, will break in, change the locks, paint and clean, innovate a way to connect water and electricity, and then move a homeless family into the house. The criminal laws they'll violate in the process range from trespassing to breaking and entering (even burglary, if the police get ambitious), which requires the organization to keep a pro bono lawyer on standby.

"We call it 'liberating the housing,'" says Take Back the Land's cofounder Max Rameau..."

Remember, you can get a copy of the book about Umoja Village entitled "Take Back the Land: Land, Gentrification and the Umoja Village Shantytown" at, at or at Books and Books bookstore in Coral Gables.


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


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