06.12.14 - Nearly a hundred people took the streets Wednesday evening in a protest against the West Oakland Specific Plan and the gentrification it will bring. The plan outlines renovation of "under-utilized" as well as vacant properties, creating a path to develop the area and create a west Oakland for the rich and white.
Headed by banners reading “West Oakland 4 The People, Evict Developers” and “Swat WOSP” the march made it’s way from DeFremery Park (sometimes referred to as Lil Bobby Hutton Park) to City Hall. Flyers were passed out by several participants to people along the march route, that explained the WOSP and the incoming capital’s effect on the neighborhood.
Upon reaching City Hall, some went to block the entrance of the meeting but police intervened and two people were detained, though released later without arrest. Participants then filed inside to speak out at the Planning Commission meeting that was underway, where their last vote (before heading to the City Council) was going to take place. Multiple people gave speeches outside the chambers, including former Black Panther Elaine Brown, as well as members from Advance the Struggle and Causa Justa.
The remaining protesters continued to disrupt the meeting, though the Commission, who likely knew exactly how they would vote beforehand, approved the plan. The City Council will have the final vote on July 29th.