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Non-Violent Direct Action to Support Pensioners

Media Release - Council Housing Action Group

14th June 2002

Non-Violent Direct Action to Support Pensioners

Pensioners actively resisting Auckland City Council orders to move from their current Council homes will be matched by active support from members of the wider community. A Pledge Campaign was launched last night by the Council Housing Action Group to sign up volunteers who will commit themselves to physically block the unwanted removal of pensioners from their homes.

90 day notices could be given to the first pensioners earmarked for relocation shortly after Council's decision next week on whether it will proceed with plans to sell council housing. They would be moved to an empty pensioner unit somewhere else in the city, in order to clear their site for sale.

Despite the huge number of objections to the sale of Council housing raised in submissions to the draft Annual Plan, there is concern that these will be ignored by Mayor John Banks, and Auckland Citizens and Ratepayers Now and Independent councillors.

With submissions against the sales by the Anglican Church, NZ Association of Gerontology and a range of other organisations involved with the welfare of older and poorer people, along with thousands of individuals, the Council Housing Action Group expects to generate a large number of people who will be prepared to take non-violent direct action.

This action supports a resolution, passed by pensioners at a public meeting last week, that pensioners cannot, and will not, move from their homes. 14 of the 53 sites, housing around 250 pensioners, have been targeted for sale in the next 4 years. Site representatives will attend an organising meeting in 10 days time.

For further information contact Sigrid Shayer, CHAG spokesperson, ph 3611517

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