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Interview with Midtown Rent Strikers

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03.12.16 - In 1964, out of the ashes of 'Urban Renewal,' which sought to push out poor, working-class, and people of color in one of the early waves of gentrification in San Francisco, a group of apartments were built in the Fillmore District, named Mid-Town, which had a total of 139 units and three stories. Unlike other buildings, the units were marketed as homes that those living in would eventually own after the city paid off the building. But more than 50 years after they were built, those located inside the units are still paying rent and are now threatened with eviction, with the city claiming that Mid-Town residents can't pay for repairs needed on the facility. As the struggle began against Mercy Housing California, a company with offices in the SOMA District, residents began a rent strike: a collective refusal to pay rent. As of this date, the rent strike in the longest running in San Francisco and one of the longest in the country. Wanting to know more, we sat down with some Midtown residents to hear about their unfolding battle. Read…

Pro-Police Rally in SF and Anti-Black Racism

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02.23.16 - On February 20th, 2016 at 10:30 am a few hundred demonstrators gathered at Justin Herman Plaza to denounce the conviction of Peter Liang an Asian American NYPD officer who shot and killed unarmed black man Akai Gurley. Liang was found guilty of manslaughter and official misconduct. The protesters, mostly Asian Americans, demanded justice for Peter Liang, claiming he was scapegoated by the criminal justice system on the anti-police sentiment that has been sweeping the US since the murder of Alex Nieto, Michael Brown, Jr., Eric Garner and hundreds more. Read…

Fires Of Revolt

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02.08.16 - The Super Bowl may have come and gone in the Bay Area, but the accompanying extensions of the state security apparatus are here to stay. While many activists are praising Beyonce's dancers for holding a paper sign with the words "Justice for Mario Woods" off stage at the game, it's hard to be excited about such a shallow proclamation of solidarity (only marginally less shallow than Beyonce's new music video which has been a hot topic amongst activists as well). Read…

UBER Building in Oakland Attacked as Action Continues Over MLK Weekend

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01.18.16 - This weekend, a wide variety of groups, individuals, and organizations took to the streets as part of mobilizations around MLK weekend. Some of the actions included home demonstrations in SF and Oakland for both cities' Mayors, as well as the Oakland Police Chief. In Oakland, people protested at and disrupted a McDonald's in order to push for the hiring back of a fired worker, two were arrested. People also attacked the former Sears building in Downtown Oakland, writing anti-Uber and gentrification messages. Today, a mass march is schedule to leave Oscar Grant Plaza and march to Emeryville. Read…

History of the Foreclosure Defense Group: An Interview with Brooke on Race, Class, and Housing

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01.15.16 - Occupy Oakland is now over 3 years old, but looking at many of the groups and projects that came out of it can shine light on times when radical and anarchist ideas of working-class self-defense, mutual aid, and solidarity were given life in a real way and revolutionary ideas exploded out of a subculture and into a movement. What follows is an interview with Brooke, a participant in Occupy Oakland and the Foreclosure Defense Group (FDG), which used direct action to fight to keep people inside their foreclosed homes in the East Bay Area. Beyond just being a history of the group, Brooke discusses the rise and fall of movements, the nature of white supremacy, the importance of looking at class, lessons for current housing and anti-gentrification struggles, and the often repeated shortcomings of the radical milieu. Read…

Oakland Report Back from the Rojava Revolution

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12.18.15 - Paul Z. Simmons recently traveled to Rojava, an autonomous region in war-torn northern Syria. Local residents shared with him how they, despite the obstacles, are currently building a society based on principles of direct democracy, gender equality, and sustainability. In Oakland, as part of a Bay Area tour, Paul spoke about his experiences seeing the Rojava Revolution first-hand. Dave Id brings us pictures and a recording of event. This Sunday, there will also be a solidarity demonstration against aggression by the Turkish State in San Francisco against the Kurdish resistance as well as a a film series happening in Oakland. Read…

Rises in the East: Responses to the Police Killing of Richard Perkins

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11.28.15 - In the past weeks, participants in the 'LA 2 the Bay' sideshows in East Oakland involved hundreds of cars from across California and the US and showed unity among participants across geographical and racial lines. But the sideshows also took a remarkably political turn, and led to clashes with law-enforcement and sadly the police slaying of 39 year old Oakland resident, Richard Perkins. This killing is the 5th fatal shooting by Oakland Police this year and led to a walkout at Clastlemont High School and protests in the Fruitvale District and Downtown Oakland. Meanwhile, the topic of sideshows have generated further cries from politicians and the corporate media for a crack-down on black and brown youth living in poverty stricken neighborhoods, eyed for gentrification by developers. Wanting to know more, we talked with a member of Keep Hoods Yours, a graffiti crew that stands against police terror and gentrification to get their take. Read…

Report back from the Rojava Revolution Bay Area Tour

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11.26.15 - In Santa Cruz, Monterey, Cupertino, Oakland, and San Francisco, Paul Z. Simmons will speak on their series of recent dispatches from the liberated territories of Rojava in Northern Syria, a region besieged by war yet is also in the midst of one of the most far reaching social experiments of the 21st Century: the 'Rojava Revolution.' The liberated territories of Rojava are a thriving example of stateless democracy and of a people who are overturning traditional institutions such as patriarchy and social hierarchies. All events will be by donation and free copies of Paul's dispatches will be on hand along with other revolutionary anarchist publications. Read…