Yesterday, the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign hosted the first screening of the Campaign to Restore National Housing Rights’ national week-long launch of the film (in solidarity with the International Alliance of Inhabitant’s World Habitat Day’s Zero Evictions month of events.

Over 70 people – community members, students, and academics came together to watch the film and discuss what’s happened since the Rapporteur’s visit in 2009.  Topics touched on included Occupy Wall St., the ripple of Housing Liberations growing across the country and the important role of groups like the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign in making the human right to housing a reality for all.

The film proved to be a real eye-opener for many in attendance. After seeing the film, one youth in the audience asked, “How do we restructure the system — really deconstruct the mindset of people — when they are so dependent on it?”  J.R Fleming, Chairman of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, noted, “We have already begun to deconstruct this mentality of WHAT IS the human right to housing by touching the lives of those around us, from members of our own community to the police.”

The excitement was clear by the repetition of questions from audience members of: “What can we do next?” & “How do we get involved?”

On Sunday night, members of the National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT) from across the country gathered to watch More Than a Roof as part of the largest tenant organizations’ annual conference in Washington D.C.  Many local NAHT affiliates played key roles in facilitating mulitple of the stops on the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing’s 2009 mission.  According to Michael Kane, the Executive Director of NAHT, the film received “rave reviews” all around!

Members of the Campaign to Restore National Housing Rights met in Chicago, IL this week for several days of strategic conversations, solidarity in a direct action with local member the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign,  & to watch together a near-final cut of the Campaign’s first co-production of a documentary film, More Than a Roof!  Post-screening, the Campaign reflected on the Special Rapporteur’s visit in 2009, the resulting solidification of the Campaign’s grassroots Steering Committee, and how the crisis and movement have developed since the visit.  Rob Robinson, Special Advisor to the Campaign and a Co-Founder of the Take Back the Land national movement, facilitated the post-screening reflections and discussion as part of the broader weekend of strategic dialogues & action.