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EVICTED! First They Came for the Homeless Forcefully Removed from Berkeley Post Office.

Berkeley Post Office Occupation Raided This Morning, Dismantled, Hauled Away     At 5:00AM this morning, US Postal Police and Inspectors, with support from the Berkeley Police Dept., arrived at the Main Berkeley Post Office, 2000 Alston Way, and literally dragged protesters out of their tents, seized all their belongings, and tore down the information tent, the shelter for our 17-month occupation. While trespassing was given by Postal Police as reason for the raid, no protesters were cited for any infraction. Two groups of activists – First They Came for … Continued


Public Land for Public Good: Still a Good Idea!

Originally posted on Facebook, drafted by Amy Vanderwarker, E. 12th Coalition. On March 15th, literally behind a closed door in the Mayor’s conference room, Oakland City Council voted 6-1 to approve moving forward with the luxury tower proposal from UrbanCore/EBALDC for the E 12th parcel, over the community-driven proposal from Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA), or “A People’s Proposal.” The City had a clear choice between prioritizing more affordable housing for families in crisis and standing with the constituents of Oakland. Unfortunately, they chose more luxury housing and private development … Continued


A Eulogy for Matt Day, SF Occupier.

By Mike Zint of First They Came for the Homeless Today, I got confirmation that Matt Day, A.K.A. Mad Matt, died alone on the streets. His body was found at Fisherman’s Wharf in November. It took so long to find out because when homeless people die on the streets, it’s not news. Usually there is no mention. A life lost while homeless is not equal to a life lost when housed. I first saw Matt at the Occupy encampment at JHP. (Justin Herman Plaza) Matt was running around yelling at no … Continued


Oakland Wasn’t “Open For Business” Today.

Oakland housing activists and supporters shut down a Chamber of Commerce sponsored event at which Mayor Libby Schaaf was scheduled to speak on the topic of “Oakland: Open for Business.” The protest was aimed at the ever-increasing gentrification happening in Oakland, pushing out more and more of its long-time residents as rents skyrocket while elected officials create eight-year plans that offer nothing to those who can no longer afford the rent or are being evicted to make way for a richer and whiter elite. The protesters made three demands: Stop … Continued


A Brief History Of Techquity

Kudos to Elizabeth Schaaf, for bringing into the world yet another ham-fisted buzzword, one which not only embraces and mingles the bleak connotations of “tech” and White Supremacy, but more importantly where these things intersect. It is well apparent, her inner entrepreneurial bureaucrat is unhinged, unchained, and best of all, unchecked! Lizzy modestly describes techquity as mere trickle-down economics, but it is so much more than that. To appreciate what is meant by techquity, one must appreciate the deep historicity of the term, especially as relates to Oakland. To understand … Continued


Solving Homelessness One Tiny Homes Community at a Time.

How do you solve homelessness? You give people housing. How do you convince politicians to do what’s right? You get the public on board. HOW TO GET PUBLIC SUPPORT? – PLANT A SEED USING CROWDSOURCING!   First They Came for the Homeless has been fighting homelessness for years, as well as fighting against the privatization of the Postal Service and the sale of Berkeley’s downtown Post Office along with other activists. They have literally been ‘on the sidewalks’ in Berkeley for almost two years, and before that in San Francisco. … Continued


Three Ballot Initiatives Filed in Oakland: Minimum Wage, Police Accountability and Rent Stabilization

Three ballot initiatives have been filed with the City of Oakland and will soon be ready to begin signature gathering. These initiatives represent a message to the City Council and the ‘Housing Cabinet’ : half measures aren’t going to cut it. People need living wages without every wage increase being consumed (and more!) by rental increases. People need to know they aren’t going to be evicted without cause so real estate moguls can make even higher profits. People need to know they can walk down the street without fear of … Continued


SF Police: “We Object!” -To Policy Recommendations That Suggest They Stop Executing People At Will.

San Francisco has a police department whose members get to send racist texts without any reprecussions and execute people firing squad style without a care – and want to keep it that way. No matter that the firing squad execution of Mario Woods and the publishing of some truly disgusting racist remarks – that you’d think would only be overheard at a Trump rally – have outraged much of San Francisco. The police are showing no love towards the idea that there is an alternative to “shoot first, shoot often.” … Continued


OPD Is (Still) Out of Control.

Twelve years of federal monitors, $30M in taxpayer money to pay for them, and more than $70M in lawsuit settlement costs later, OPD is no closer to not being a rogue agency than it ever was. Having managed to hide the video of Hernan Jaramillo being suffocated to death by its officers for years, even apparently from the family until after a lawsuit settlement was seemingly agreed to; having managed to kill Demouria Hogg after finding him asleep or unconscious in his car, unable with an entire squad of officers … Continued


Mehrsa Baradaran Writes the Book, Nails the Talks and Brings Home the Candidate on Postal Banking.

How the Other Half Banks is both the historical story of banking for the non-wealthy in America and why we once again need postal banks to serve the un- and underbanked, now in thrall to “alternative credit services” such as payday lenders. When the book, authored by Mehrsa Baradaran, was published last Fall, Strike Debt Bay Area (SDBA) was all over it, having been advocating for Postal Banking for years. One of their members wrote the first Amazon review and they invited Professor Baradaran of Georgia University’s Law School to … Continued