Wednesday, May 11, 2011

how you can help africville protester eddie carvery fight off his latest eviction threat

Hi Friends,

You will recall last winter California journalist Michael Lawlor of Transmopolis started a highly successful social media campaign to force the city of Halifax to go public with much-delayed plans for the rebuilding of the Africville church.

The good news is that plans appear to be moving ahead. The bad news is the only physical step the Africville Heritage Trust has taken toward this is to evict long-time Africville protester Eddie Carvery.

You can read the letter here and here. Eddie has happily moved his protest to the waterfront, but the AHT has pledged to evict him from all of Africville – which will soon include the land he is now on.  You can watch this short YouTube video of Eddie’s response

Michael called last week about restarting the social media campaign and I took his ideas to Eddie, who gave his blessing. Michael sent the first email Monday May 9 and asked me to spread the word.

The plan is simple: copy and paste the letter below and send it to Daurene Lewis, chairwoman of AHT and author of the eviction letter,  from your own email, CC’ing those listed (MP Megan Leslie and MLA Percy Paris, Mayor Peter Kelly, plus Michael and myself). Of course, feel free to write your own message, or to add a note at the top of the main message. The idea is to make clear that we, the citizens of Halifax and beyond, value Eddie’s protest and do not want our tax money spent evicting him from Africville again, 41 years after so many others were evicted from Africville.  

Then, ask five of your friends to do the same – Facebook it, tweet it and email it. Eddie is doing his job to fight racism with the protest, but he still has no electricity, no phone, no internet. This part is our job.

Thanks for all your support – it means a lot to Eddie.


Jon Tattrie, author of The Hermit of Africville
Halifax, NS

SUBJECT: On Evicting Africville Protester Eddie Carvery

Dear Daurene Lewis,

I am writing to voice my concern about the April 29, 2011 "order to vacate" letter that you delivered to Mr Eddie Carvery. This letter (page 1, page 2) has become a topic of discussion on Facebook and other social media websites.

I take exception to your statement that Eddie Carvery “will be part of the overall story” of Africville and your decision to evict him from all Africville Heritage Trust lands. 

Eddie Carvery is part of the story of Africville and he has been part of the story of Africville since the day he was born. Through his 41-year live-in protest in Africville, he has kept the issue of Africville visible for decades and is recognized around the world as the voice of Africville.

Eddie has told the story of Africville in books, magazine articles, radio broadcasts, documentary films, and public speaking engagements at schools & universities for over 40 years.

Eddie has spoken out against racism on The World at Six, On This Day, and Information Morning CBC radio programs. His voice can be heard in Halifax Hearld newspaper articles and CBC News reports. His Africville protest has inspired an award winning biography, as well as feature stories in Halifax Magazine and the New York Times. Eddie appears in Remember Africville, a National Film Board production and he has spoken about Africville on many CBC television programs that are now available in the CBC Digital Archives on the Internet. 

Eddie's voice has become the sound of Africville. He has shaped the story of Africville for more than forty years.

Eddie Carvery is actively engaged in the longest civil rights protest in the history of Canada. At the heart of his protest is a refusal to accept racism, the social poison that caused the destruction of Africville, his childhood home. To this end, he has lived on the land of Africville for 41 years, despite many past efforts to evict him. 

For you, as a person representing the taxpayer-funded property rights of a trust, to tell Eddie Carvery that he “will be part of the overall story” of Africville, but to ask him to leave Africville, is disrespectful. He has happily moved off the site slatted for the replica church he has worked so hard for and he should be safe in the knowledge that he will not be evicted from his new location on the waterfront of Africville.

I ask that you apologize to Eddie Carvery and drop your threat to evict him from his civil rights protest in Africville.



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