Dozens of people gathered throughout the day on Tuesday, February 11th, in front of what seemed to be a derelict house at 625 23rd St, on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Oakland. At 9am, a banner was unfurled from the second floor that read “They Can’t Evict Us All.” People brought food and coffee to share with residents and other supporters, and a pleasant attitude permeated the street into the afternoon. Radicals and activists mingled with the residents and their friends who had come to support them. Sheriffs drove by during the day, but made no action to evict the house.
On January 1st, people marched and rallied in San Francisco against the 'Take Back the Plaza' campaign organized by wealthy business owners. Below are pictures from the march, a video, and a new PDF poster for printing and sharing with co-workers, neighbors, friends, and those in your community.
Blackstone is at the vanguard of a historic move to centralize the business of renting single-family houses in the U.S. after the real-estate crash, which left in its wake more than 7 million foreclosed homes and families lacking the credit to buy again.
I live in a co-operative housing community in Chicago. I am a renter, in an unconventional way. We, the residents in the co-op, are landlords, in an unconventional way. As a co-op committed to affordability, it is affordable, in unconventional ways. Conventional housing is individual ownership or rental of a house, condo (apartment), or townhouse. Home ownership is the centerpiece of our existing and dysfunctional American Dream. I am advocating a new American Dream where co-operative housing is the centerpiece. I want co-op housing communities to become viable alternatives to individual ownership or rental.
Since Cinco de Mayo, when local anarchists and housing advocates organized a block party in the Mission to call attention to the ongoing onslaught of Ellis Act evictions, a new ground swell of support has risen for direct action against displacement and gentrification in San Francisco. In June, a two week occupation began of the Hayes Valley Farm to block the construction of condos and in solidarity with the Turkish Uprising around Gezi Park. As the summer wore on, a new organization was formed, Eviction Free SF, which vowed to take on landlords that were evicting tenants to pave the way for converting homes into condos.
It wouldn’t be very groundbreaking to assert that the Bay Area is currently undergoing an unprecedented wave of gentrification corresponding to the second ‘tech boom’. Nor would it be newsworthy to lay out all the evidence thereof. The fact of a renewed process of gentrification can be plainly seen everywhere as a solidified and seemingly impenetrable social reality .
75 community members turned back 30 sheriffs in their attempt to evict the Ceballos home today. Two home defenders were arrested in acts of civil disobedience. Under orders from sheriff Richard Stanek, deputies kicked in the door without warning at 12:40pm this afternoon. One home defender was cut out of a barrel filled with concrete by deputies wielding a jackhammer and saw.
It’s so hard to feel alive and well, connected with one another in this network of crises called the city. At the same time, though, I’ve always felt drawn towards this semi-functional relationship between the city and its inhabitants – the beauty in the hustles, getting over on the system, playing the game, finding the holes in the plot, and seeking out others who feel similar – but I know all too well I didn’t create the city, so how could it ever really work for me?
Tenants facing eviction from the historic 17 Reasons building by developer and landlord Rick Holman protested outside of his home in South Park in San Francisco this Tuesday. Since the start of the eviction process, Holman has used a variety of tactics such as illegal lockouts of tenants, harassment from security guards, as well as a web of surveillance systems against those paying rent at the building that he wants gone. During a recent block party against gentrification in the Mission District, Holman also worked closely with the police to ensure that the building would not be "occupied" by protestors, and also issued an 'unlawful detainer' to residents inside on the day of the event.
Gentrification, etymologically speaking, is a relatively new word, coined in 1964 by the English Marxist sociologist Ruth Glass. Conceptually, some would claim that it has been a feature of urban life for hundreds of years. Between 1853 and 1870, for instance, the Haussmannization of Paris forced thousands of poor people from the centre of the city, where rents had traditionally been cheaper, to the urban periphery; these migrations were the forced results of structural changes Baron Haussmann had proposed to the city’s urban geography, and rapidly increasing rents. We might anachronistically consider displacements such as these an example of gentrification, but, as we will explore below, the term has some specificity and nuance that such comparisons fail to capture.