By Peter Cherry
On Sunday, nine activists from the United Neighborhood Defense Movement marched on Judge Christine Ward’s home in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The rally culminated with several household items and furniture being thrown onto her lawn by activists.
Judge Ward ruled in favor of the new landowner of Valmar Gardens apartment complex in Penn Hills, authorizing the eviction of the remaining nine occupants. Ward claimed that the eviction was for the tenants’ “safety and dignity,” citing the neglect of the building as a requirement of their displacement.
As the activists marched in front of her house, furniture was thrown on her lawn to represent the belongings that had to be left behind by tenants at Valmar Gardens, who could not remove everything within the allotted time that Ward provided.
Speeches were given about how no bourgeois politician or judge will be able to keep working people in their homes or defend working class communities from mass evictions. Demands were made for no rent without work or wages and to waive back rent.
Ward came to her door during the speeches and told the activists that she was watching Catholic mass on television and that she wished to not be disturbed, stating that none of the Valmar Garden tenants evicted had leases. One activist shouted her down, telling her that she has chosen to believe in the fabricated information of the mysterious new owner of the Valmar Gardens apartments who has not even met with any of the tenants.
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