TOPIC: Foreclosure

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…

Land and Liberty

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04.15.14 - Debt, wage-labor, rent. These are the three scourges of the modern, fully capitalist world, the three faces of exploitation that confront the proletarian of today. Rent might be the least examined of these terms, the landlord all too easily conflated with banker and boss. Perhaps this is because rent is one of the most naturalized of property relations – a tax one pays for the simple crime of existing in space dimensional, of being a body not always in frantic motion, a body needing rest. The idea that space can be owned in the same way that one can own an object is so strange, if one thinks about it, that it is hardly surprising few of us actually do, that the landlord is forgotten about when we list the enemies we will send up the steps of the guillotine. Read…

Interview with East Bay Solidarity Network

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04.15.14 - Modeled after the Seattle Solidarity Network (SeaSol), EBSN is a group of workers and tenants who use direct action to fight landlords and bosses. Working against both wage theft at workplaces, despicable conditions in housing complexes, as well as against foreclosures, EBSN has worked to combat abuses and build power among workers and tenants. FireWorks through email reached out to the group to get more information on them and what it is they do in the East Bay. Read…

Where No Google Buses Go

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12.31.13 - For every word written about the gentrification and displacement that is tearing San Francisco apart, there should be ten words written about the the poverty, environmental racism, and financial predation battering the smaller industrial cities of Contra Costa and Alameda counties. In suburban hinterlands north and east of Silicon Valley and San Francisco are the bankrupted municipalities of the Sacramento Delta and Carquinez Straight. We’re talking Stockton and Vallejo. Even closer are other cities devastated by the economic crisis, places like San Pablo, or Richmond from where you can see the rising skyline of San Francisco across the Bay, growing with towers of luxury apartments as it is. Read…