Friday, June 3, 2011

MP replies to hermit of africville social media campaign - and so does eddie



after two weeks of steady emailing, the social media campaign to get the africville heritage trust to rescind its eviction notice to long-time protester eddie carvery got its first reply. the emails are directed to AHT chairwoman daurene lewis, but CC other involved parties, including halifax ndp mp megan leslie. 

click here to get details about sending yours today.

i stopped by africville this morning and taped eddie's response to the letters of support. last week, i printed them off and brought them to him. i went out for a few minutes to fill his propane tank and when i came back, he was wiping tears from his eyes. it means a lot to him to know others share his fight and support his cause. 

you can click on the video to see his response.

the reply came from leslie and i'll paste it below, followed by a few thoughts. 

Dear X,
Thank you for your recent email regarding Eddie Carvery and Africville.
I have spoken with Dr. Lewis, who has provided me with some background on the project, and on the Trust’s relationship with Mr. Carvery. As noted in the media coverage, the AHT Board has recognized Mr. Carvery’s support for the construction of the replica Church in Africville.  His move will allow the construction to move forward without risk to Mr. Carvery, or anyone else, as a result of his occupation of the building site.
I look forward to seeing the Church rise in Africville as a symbol of the spirit of Africville, and the struggle by all of the people of Africville for recognition. I also look forward to the day that school children from Halifax and across Nova Scotia will visit the Church to learn the lessons of courage and community in the face of racism.
It is my understanding that Mr. Carvery’s continuing protest will form part of the story of Africville that will be included in the memorial project—and that his struggle will be part of the lesson taught to students and other visitors as part of the programming within the Church.
Thank you for your interest in the project—and for your commitment to social justice.
Warm regards,
Megan
Megan Leslie, MP
1-2207 Gottingen St., Halifax, NS  B3K 3B5

it's interesting that "the AHT Board has recognized Mr. Carvery’s support for the construction of the replica Church in Africville. His move will allow the construction to move forward without risk to Mr. Carvery, or anyone else, as a result of his occupation of the building site."
Eddie Carvery at his former protest site in Africville on June 3 2011.
- note that AHT has not recognized his protest, or his 41-year fight to expose the racism that is buried beneath so much of our history - including the destruction of africville -, but his support for the replica church. and note how it is framed to suggest he was occupying the building site - as though he had recently arrived for that purpose, rather than that he has been on that particular site for more than a decade and in africville since he was born in 1946. 

and of course there is no mention of the central issue - the eviction threat that continues to hang over his head. 

but it's great that megan is taking an interest - i understand she recently had a good conversation with eddie about his protest.

meanwhile, a month after the frantic effort to evict eddie to make way for the bridge - sorry, to make way for the church this time - the site remains undisturbed, apart from a few signs forbidding access. 
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