top
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Sat Apr 7 2007
Rust Belt Ruckus: Inhabiting Industrial Collapse
Sat Apr 7 2007
Rust Belt Ruckus: Inhabiting Industrial Collapse
Staring off of my porch toward the river I see dozens of buildings: dilapidated, sinking into the river, being demolished, and wasting away. I scan the horizon, and through the blizzard I see a huge city, a once bustling metropolis, now eerily silent. I look down my street, and on either side are vacancies; some in bad shape but the majority are inhabitable. I stand on the porch of the biggest one I could find and smile, and then I go back inside and stoke the fire. Life is good to me, and I feel invincible. There is an old Earth First! slogan that comes to mind: “visualize industrial collapse.” Not only can I visualize it by looking out the window, but I am living here—right smack dab in the midst of it—like a king.

The Great Lakes region is an economic phenomenon. In its heyday, the Rust Belt’s economic activity formed a significant sector of the American economy including manufacturing and the automobile industry. In 1900, Buffalo rivaled New York City as one of the country’s most populous cities. By the 1920s, with the steel industry at its peak and the Erie Canal opening up the Great Lakes to trade, Buffalo was bursting at the seams.

But when the Great Depression set in, the steel industry took a dive, setting the stage for the economic growth of other Great Lakes cities such as Cleveland, Chicago, and Milwaukee. Buffalo’s economy slowed and slowed as the bulk of industrial jobs disappeared to South America and Canada.

The population has been in steady decline since the 1950s. The infrastructure is in place for the functioning of a major city but it is so spread out and under-funded that this once ‘all American city’ is now the ideal reeding ground for squatters. Everything is abandoned everything is falling apart—and we are dancing in the ruins and making out like bandits.

There is a serious housing crisis here in Buffalo. PUSH (People United for Sustainable Housing) has estimated that there are 100,000 abandoned houses and 20,000 awaiting demolition. According to the Buffalo News, there is an overwhelming 40 percent vacancy stretching out to the suburbs where a ‘plague of vacancies’ is sickening an already hurting economy. Many of them are in limbo due to utilities lines and mortgages, and tens of thousands of houses are held as assets by private creditors such as our very own ex-governor George Pataki. In parts of our neighborhood, there are two or three un-maintained houses on every block. In fact, in 2003 the city issued a state of financial emergency and created the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority to handle the collapsing economy.

Taking What’s Ours, and the City Conceding



Read More
09/09/17 Nationwide Protests Against Trump DACA Action, UC Sues DHS, Colleges Vow Support Front Page | San Francisco | South Bay | East Bay | North Bay / Marin | California | Immigrant Rights | Santa Cruz Indymedia09/08/17 Pajaro Valley Pride Honors and Celebrates LGBTQIA+ Community Front Page | LGBTI / Queer | Santa Cruz Indymedia09/08/17 Nazis Doxxing, Stalking, and Threatening Movement Allies in the National Lawyers Guild Front Page | Racial Justice | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | San Francisco | East Bay | Government & Elections | Immigrant Rights09/06/17 MHCAN Faces a Crisis with Police and City Agencies Breathing Down Its Neck Health, Housing, and Public Services | Santa Cruz Indymedia09/04/17 An Open Letter to Oakland's Elected Officials from Oakland Privacy Working Group Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | East Bay | Government & Elections | Immigrant Rights09/04/17 Anarchist Bookfair: Solidarity, Direct Action, Healing, Autonomy, Sabotage, Mutual Aid Front Page | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Indymedia | East Bay | California09/04/17 Repression of Independent Media Won't Silence Us: Not in Germany, Not Anywhere Else Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Indymedia | International | Government & Elections09/03/17 Corporate Media Attacks Antifa Weeks After Ridiculing Trump for Blaming "Both Sides" Front Page | Racial Justice | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Indymedia | San Francisco | East Bay | U.S.08/30/17 Ripple Effect of Outing David Duke Campaign Contributors Spreads Beyond California Front Page | Racial Justice | San Francisco | East Bay | North Bay / Marin | California | U.S. | Immigrant Rights | Santa Cruz Indymedia08/29/17 Trump's Pardon of Arpaio: "A Dark Day In Our Nation" Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | U.S. | Government & Elections | Immigrant Rights08/26/17 German Government Shuts Down Linksunten Indymedia: What It Means and What to Do Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Indymedia | International | Government & Elections
Related Categories: U.S. | Fault Lines | Health, Housing, and Public Services
Nonprofit organizations accept donations from David Duke campaign contributor Lynda Carson (1 comment) Wednesday Sep 20th 3:54 PM
Interview with Lauren Turner of No Dream Deferred Production co. Theodore Hilton Wednesday Sep 20th 7:19 AM
Male domination of women caused every crisis we now face Elaine Charkowski (1 comment) Tuesday Sep 19th 3:09 PM
10/6-7-8 Nat Workers Conference to Organize the Fightback and Build a Solidarity Network Nat Workers Conference to Organize the Fightb Tuesday Sep 19th 11:46 AM
Protest at FCC Chair Ajit Pai's Talk with Tech Execs in SF R. Robertson Tuesday Sep 19th 12:58 AM
The World at Risk under Trump Heribert Prantl Monday Sep 18th 6:06 AM
After the Hurricanes Joseph E. Stiglitz Friday Sep 15th 6:46 AM
"Eco-Fascist" Groups Applaud ISIS, Murder of Heather Heyer, and Publishers free speech warriors (1 comment) Wednesday Sep 13th 6:41 PM
Nuestra Voz: Schools for Education not Criminalization WTUL News & Views Wednesday Sep 13th 9:14 AM
Cannabis for the Treatment of Cancer - Scientific Details in Report Justin Kander (report author) (1 comment) Wednesday Sep 13th 7:47 AM
Trump and Climate Change Helmut Selinger Tuesday Sep 12th 5:25 AM
Sites of Resistance in New Orleans WTUL New Orleans 91.5 News & Views Monday Sep 11th 4:49 AM
Exposing OPD and ICE Lies About the Raid of West Oakland Latina Home Dave Id (1 comment) Sunday Sep 10th 10:06 PM
AFGE Leader Eugene Hudson Jr. Announces Campaign For AFGE National President Labor Video Project (1 comment) Friday Sep 8th 6:56 PM
Trump Plans Massive Raids on Immigrant Communities Starting Mid-September Detention Watch Network Thursday Sep 7th 4:43 PM
NLGSF Statement on DACA & Planned Raids NLG-SF (1 comment) Thursday Sep 7th 4:29 PM
LBC Tabler Physically Attacks Anarchists, in Defense of Eco-Extremism Anonymous (1 comment) Wednesday Sep 6th 11:58 PM
Facebook lied about profiting off of Russian fake news operation in 2016 election fuck facebook (1 comment) Wednesday Sep 6th 7:27 PM
The Purse is Mightier than the Pen George Monbiot Tuesday Sep 5th 6:23 AM
Statement on Repression of Juggalos GDC-IWOC (1 comment) Monday Sep 4th 6:17 PM
More News...