Newswire noteworthy & interesting

Bay Set to Boil: Student Walkouts in SF

12.15.15 - Rage continued in the face of the police firing squad like execution of Mario Woods, as more evidence and video was released. In the Mission District, students walked out of class and marched on SF City Hall. In Monterey and Santa Cruz, actions continued against anti-homeless ordinances as the winter chill hit in full force. All this and more in this week's roundup.

Student Walkout In San Francisco in Mission and City Hall for Mario Woods

As more video and information continues to come out in the wake of the “firing squadlike execution of Mario Woods by SFPD last week, students at San Francisco High Schools self-organized and carried out a walkout, gathering at 16th and Mission before marching to SF City Hall. The walkout is only the latest in a string of actions organized by students which have already taken place in Berkeley and East Oakland. This Friday, a demonstration has been called at Justin Herman Plaza at 6pm.

Monterey Anarchists Protest Sit/Lie, Homeless Actions Continue in Santa Cruz

Members of the Direct Action Monterey Network (DAMN) continued their protests against an anti-homeless ordinance in the Downtown area. Alex Darocy writes:

On December 4, Direct Action Monterey Network (DAMN) organized its eleventh sit-in protest in downtown Monterey. Since February, community members have been gathering monthly on the sidewalk of Alvarado Street to defy the city’s sit-lie ordinance, which has been in effect for just over a year now. Sec. 32-6.2 of the Monterey municipal code bans sitting or lying on most commercial sidewalks in Monterey between the hours of 7am and 9pm. Based on their outreach with Monterey’s homeless community, DAMN believes the sit-lie ordinance is discriminatory and has been selectively enforced by police.

In Santa Cruz, actions also continued in protest of the sleeping ban outside of city hall.

Richmond Teachers Rally Against Charter Schools

Teachers in Richmond rallied against attacks on their wages and also against charter schools, which “cherry pick” students and divert money from public education. View videos and photos here.

Section 8 Discrimination, Continued Renter Attacks

Lynda Carson writing on Indybay reports of abuses to Section 8 tenants, who are also having a hard time finding housing in the rapidly gentrifying housing market. The report reads:

Section 8 renters are facing major problems in Oakland, the Bay Area, and across the nation because very few states, counties, and cities prohibit discrimination against Section 8 voucher holders.

The “Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program” provides rental assistance to the most vulnerable members of our nation, including woman with children, the elderly, and disabled. Section 8 renters generally pay 30% – 40% of the rent to the landlord, and sometimes more, and the housing program pays the rest. Despite the major problems Section 8 renters face because of discrimination, the Section 8 Voucher Program, presently called the Housing Choice Voucher Program, has become the dominant form of federal housing assistance across the nation. With more than 5 million people, in 2.1 million low-income families that are currently using vouchers to subsidize their rents, it is a very successful program all across the nation.

However, in October, it was reported that 609 residents in Oakland had secured a federal Section 8 housing voucher during 2015, and only around 115 of them had managed to find housing in Oakland with their vouchers. During April of 2015, in the nearby City of Richmond, it was reported that many public housing tenants trying to relocate away from slum conditions at their public housing units could not move, because landlords declined to accept their Section 8 vouchers.

In another article, Carson discusses the continued dim looking situation faced by renters across the bay area:

Funk Town which is near Lake Merritt is rapidly being gentrified. No longer can you hear the sound of immigrants calling out that they have tamales for sale along the streets near 8th Avenue and E.19th Street. The sound of tinkling bells no longer exist from vendors that used to sell ice cream from their push carts in the area. The corner fruit stands that used to be full of oranges and watermelons near the corner of E. 14th Street and 8th Avenue, have all but disappeared in the last year or two.

You can still find the words Funk Town scribbled on the concrete sidewalks here and there by locals when the concrete was still fresh at one time. But the effects of economic cleansing has taken it’s toll on the hood, and it is just not the same anymore. As the renters of Oakland are being terrorized by skyrocketing rents and greedy landlords evicting them by the thousands, city officials have mostly turned a blind eye to the economic cleansing taking place. During October, communities of Oakland became outraged when Rachel Flynn, Oakland Planning & Building Department Director, declared to a large audience, “Oakland does not have a housing crisis.”

The housing crisis is real, and the economic cleansing taking place as a result is terrorizing renters throughout the city. Renters throughout the city have no doubt that they have been targeted for displacement by unending rent increases, a lack of tenant protections, profiteers, evictions, and politicians ignoring their cries for real protection from the economic cleansing taking place. Rents In Oakland Have Almost Doubled Since 2011.

That’s it for this week, stay up with us here.