Martin Luther King’s dream of justice and equality for all was celebrated on the late civil rights leader’s birthday Monday, January 16 at a rally at Lincoln Place in Venice.Community and religious leaders spoke of Dr. King’s life, work and legacy.The rally was held at Lincoln Place “to focus attention on the dismantling of affordable housing in Venice and to re-ignite King’s vision of decent housing for all,” according to its organizers. On December 6, 86 Lincoln Place residents (including 21 children) were locked out of their homes in the largest one-day lockout in Los Angeles history. AIMCO, the corporation that owns Lincoln Place, is seeking to replace Lincoln Place’s 696 garden apartments with more than 800 luxury rentals and condominiums. “The evictions at Lincoln Place show that Dr. King’s struggle for justice has not been completed. Our community will stick by the tenants…as long as it takes to achieve justice,” said Suzanne Thompson, one of the rally organizers.This is the latest in a series of community skirmishes with developers. It has previously foiled plans for a yacht harbor in its canals, Miami Beach-style high rises on Ocean Front Walk, a freeway bisecting Venice, and a shopping center on the site of the rally.Among the sponsors of the rally were L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, the Lincoln Place Support Committee, Lincoln Place Tenants Association, Venice 2000, Venice Progressives, SPARC, Venice Arts Council, Venice Peace and Freedom, Free Venice Beachhead, Venice Community Housing Corporation, Venice Community Coalition, Ulan Bator Foundation, Venice Neighborhood Action Coalition and the Oakwood Seniors.
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