Mother of Alonzo Smith Demands Answers

Dec 22, 2015


The mother of the late victim, Alonzo Smith is asking for the UN to step in. She also wishes for her son's body to be exhumed so that an independent autopsy can be made. Read more. 


No Vacancies: Squatters move in

Apr 20, 2012


Growing movements on both sides of the Atlantic try to turn bank-owned houses into homes. Read more. 


Rachel Maddow on Take Back the Land

Dec 16, 2011


Max Rameau of the Take Back the Land- Movement is on the Rachel Maddow show.


Max Rameau and Umoja Village Invade Art Basel

Dec 2, 2011


You can say Max Rameau is a social activist trendsetter. Long before the Occupy Wall Street movement was even an idea, Rameau was leading the charge for the disenfranchised 99 percent with his Take Back The Land organization.

Five years ago, Rameau came up with the brilliant idea of organizing dozens of homeless men to build a camp at NW 62nd Street and 17th Avenue, site of a barren patch of city owned land for a failed housing project. He named the place Umoja Village, after the Swahili word for unity, and found a loophole in city law that prevented Miami officials from kicking the men out.Yesterday, an artistic installation honoring Umoja Village took over a public space in Miami Beach for Art Basel. Read more. 

Virginia Quarterly Review Magazine April 2010

Apr 10, 2010



On a beautiful afternoon in February, in the west end of Miami’s Little Haiti, Max Rameau and I were having trouble finding the next house on his list, though we did notice one that had potential: small, stucco, sort of a Spanish colonial, beat-up but solid on the outside. From the street we could see over the low front patio, straight through the front windows to the kitchen in the back, and even the yard beyond. Clearly it was empty. “Plus, it’s got a lockbox,” I said.

“But the evens are on this side,” Rameau said.

We looked up and down the street.

“They’ve all got lockboxes,” I said.

He yanked the handbrake. “This is how it happens. We go to look for a place, and we find three.”...


CNN December 6, 2008

Dec 6, 2008


Fox News: Miami Activist Moves Homeless Into Foreclosed Homes

Dec 3, 2008


Rameau and a group of like-minded advocates formed Take Back the Land, which also helps the new "tenants" with secondhand furniture, cleaning supplies and yard upkeep. So far, he has moved six families into foreclosed homes and has nine on a waiting list. Read more.


Miami New Times' Best of Miami 2007: Best Gadfly

Jun 10, 2007 June 2007

Before the April fire that burned Umoja Village to the ground, Max could be found grinning and holding his baby boy while sitting on a stained couch in the middle of the homeless shantytown in Liberty City. Part street theater, part protest, the place, which was Max's idea, opened this past October 23 on an abandoned lot on NW 62nd Street. Wooden pallet shacks on the site housed 40 homeless people; they all ate and relaxed in a common area.


Miami Sunpost Top 50 People of 2006

Jun 10, 2006


Max Rameau - The Revolutionary

Max Rameau is a serious fellow, an activist who has fought various  injustices in Miami for the past decade and more. He played a role in  the effort to enact the Civilian Investigative Panel that oversees the  Miami Police Department, and was an early opponent of the Hope VI  project that wiped out Scott Homes in Liberty City without replacing  them with promised new housing. The reason you know his name is that he is arguably the city’s most  successful affordable housing developer...



Max Rameau takes an arrest

Max Rameau

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