TOPIC: Housing

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…

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…

Bay Set to Boil: Student Walkouts in SF

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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. Read…

Bay Set to Boil: RIP Mario Woods

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12.06.15 - UC Berkeley students occupied the chancellor's office to demand justice for UC workers, people locked down in the middle of a meeting in protest of a new jail expansion proposal in SF, the Berkeley homeless encampment was dismantled, and San Francisco police shot and horrifically killed Mario Woods in a firing squad like execution caught on video leading to protests. Read…