Monday, June 05, 2017

Justice Tuesdays moves to *Wednesday* this week at HOC headquarters in Kensington

Macedonia Baptist Church's successful weekly protests against the plan by Montgomery County and Regency Centers to build a garage on top of an African-American cemetery in Bethesda - Justice Tuesdays - will move to Wednesday this week. On Wednesday, June 7, at 4:00 PM, church officials and their supporters will be protesting at the Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission board meeting, at 10100 Detrick Avenue in Kensington.

Internal documents show the HOC, developer Regency Centers, and Montgomery County had information showing that the graves were there, even as all three planned to build on top of the sacred ground. That disrespect has outraged church members, many of whom are former residents of the lost black community on River Road, or direct descendants of the community.

Harvey Matthews, an actual former resident of the River Road black community and a church trustee, accused the HOC of "hiding in the bushes" as Regency and Montgomery County have taken the brunt of the public criticism. "It's high time HOC—which supposedly looks out for people of color— takes its share of the responsibility for continuing to desecrate our ancestors," Matthews said. The cemetery was already desecrated once, during the construction of Westwood Tower during the late 1960s.

HOC is in a tight spot beyond the paper trail regarding cemetery. It allowed another African-American cemetery in Tobytown it was responsible for to fall into disrepair in recent years. Two sources have told me that HOC built homes in Tobytown on top of part of that same cemetery, and was never held accountable.

A Macedonia Baptist Church statement encourages everyone to attend, bring signs and bring friends. "Come and show the HOC Board Members that we are on to them and we will not let them get away with this unnoticed!"


Anonymous said...

is parking free?

Anonymous said...

At the HOC office? There will probably be huge white turnout.