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“Couldn’t Not Stand with the #Frisco5.”

Supporters of the #Frisco5 Hunger Strikers called a vigil for 3:00 PM on Friday, 5/6 at the UN Plaza, a block away from City Hall. But it was a diversion – a larger group entered San Francisco City Hall and took up a presence outside the Mayor’s office about 4:00 PM. As the evening wore on more supporters, now being referred to as the #Frisco500, came and occupied the lobby of the building. As of 8:00 PM when City Hall officially closed the protesters – along with a large presence … Continued


Open Letter from the #Frisco5 to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

Monday, May 2 Dear Ed Lee, We are the Frisco Five and we have offered our lives for the city we love. We know you are hoping that we are just a passing fancy who will grow tired and wither away. That is what you have experienced in the past. We aren’t going anywhere. This time is different. We are rejecting the little crumbs that you have offered in the form of COPS reviews and empty reforms propped up by your token community. We would rather go without than taste … Continued


Oakland Privacy Working Group Wins Round One vs BART Spying.

On Thursday, April 28th, 2016, The BART Board of Directors stopped, at least temporarily, the BART Police plan to install Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) at MacArthur BART – a pilot program to surveil all those entering and exiting the parking group. Alert members of the Oakland Privacy Working Group (OPWG) noticed the buried item on the BART Board’s agenda, and three OPWG members attended the 9:00 AM meeting to testify against this proposal going forward. 5B. Automated License Plate Reader Technology.     i. Test Deployment Report.     … Continued


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