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Defend the Bay Area!
by #defendthebayarea
Sunday Mar 16th, 2014 9:47 PM
week of action against the destruction of the bay area begins march 28
#defendthebayarea

We find ourselves in the middle of a war. Not everybody knows they are part of it. Sometimes it just looks like a new gated building. Sometimes it just looks like a pair of ugly Google glasses. Most often it looks like people and communities desperately figuring how to hold on, how to live in a city, in a neighborhood, that more and more pushes them out. In any case, this war is now visible everywhere. Anger at the tech industry and its disastrous effects on the Bay Area is a daily news story. This anger is about more than big tech companies and their free buses, about more than rich people with their wearable technology. Every day we hear about another displaced family, another person whose rent has doubled, another racist development plan, another project to surveil and control the population of the Bay Area in order to make it safer for the monied classes.

We are opposed to their notions of "progress," to the dim "future" that these developers and tech companies offer us. But this struggle is really about what's happening right now, the terrible future that is already here. It is a struggle about time and space in the here and now. How many hours of your life do you work each week to pay the new rent, if you can even find a job? How many minutes of the day are you free from surveillance? How long can you afford to stay in the city? How many generations of history are being erased in West Oakland, the Mission and the Bayview? The effects of this takeover cascade from one end of the Bay Area to the other, endlessly pushing people out. Who gets to live here? Who has to sleep five to a room? Who has space? No wonder people are angry. No wonder the war keeps bursting forth.

We want to aid in the escalation and expression of this anger, and give people a chance to work together to resist what is happening in San Francisco, in Oakland, and beyond. People are already taking action; we are excited to help as it becomes more frequent and focused. The significance of this moment is that all sorts of people with all sorts of perspectives and politics are pissed off. We may not agree on everything, and we may not have the exact same priorities, but we can and should share ideas and coordinate our resistance in order to cause the most damage to our common enemies. We are issuing a call for all individuals and groups that are concerned with issues of rent, gentrification, surveillance, the police state, development and the destructive implications of the tech industry to begin a systematic campaign starting on March 28. We will use this website, Defend the Bay Area, to allow people to plan and coordinate actions, assemblies, marches, and other events during that week and beyond. Think about what you might do during that week -- with your friends, your affinity group, in your workplaces or communities. If it's something that can be publicized, contact us and we'll help spread the word.

More information about events planned that week will appear shortly. We are also interested in publishing original writing about these issues.

#defendthebayarea
§poster jpg
by #defendthebayarea Sunday Mar 16th, 2014 9:47 PM

§quartersheet pdf
by #defendthebayarea Sunday Mar 16th, 2014 9:47 PM

§quartersheet jpg
by #defendthebayarea Sunday Mar 16th, 2014 9:47 PM

§assembly poster pdf
by #defendthebayarea Sunday Mar 16th, 2014 9:47 PM

§assembly poster jpg
by #defendthebayarea Sunday Mar 16th, 2014 9:47 PM


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by ,
Sunday Mar 16th, 2014 11:17 PM
I appreciate that this doesn't try to frame itself as "THE" action(s) against development in the bay, rather as a contribution to a continued escalation, but I also figured that maybe such a dramatic callout for actions would involve... you know... a callout for an action. Yeah, an assembly at the end of the week is cool and all. But why not a kickoff action? Feels like you're expecting everyone else to do the tough stuff for you.

Stay strong comrades, keep fighting
by Harry
Monday Mar 17th, 2014 10:47 AM
...but it should begin with an understanding that the only way a struggle against gentrification can win is by not being isolated to a struggle against gentrification. It has to be linked itself to other forms of social struggle against capitalism. For instance, why is there no mention here of a perspective for fighting against employers in the workplace? Whatever happened to that "Service Workers Assembly" of several years ago?
by VNTNA
Monday Mar 17th, 2014 5:26 PM
This is the stupidest campaign ever. So are we now going to start protesting against our leftist friends that work in the tech sector? Tech workers are also workers... This campaign is polarizing in that it pits workers against each other. Tech is not the problem, capital is the problem. Choose your targets strategically rather than attacking the symptoms of larger structural problems. If the concern is that tech workers are engines of gentrification, then doesn't that mean that we have to evaluate the circumstances that allow for gentrifying forces to take place in the first place? After waves of resistance to gentrification, it is clear that private property laws that protect the business class (tech ceo's) ability to redevelop and speculate the local real estate market is a larger issue that should be addressed rather than attacking the local "tech worker."
by Rahula Z
Monday Mar 17th, 2014 7:58 PM
You know, creating jobs in this area is a good thing. And less cars on the roads is a good thing. I'd rather have tech here than more Walmarts or McDonalds.

I don't get this campaign
by google bus
Monday Mar 17th, 2014 9:28 PM
wow, they're working overtime now.

also, google troll, google is capital, google is capitalist, if techies like u dont have a political or human consciousness for the areas you are directly impacting (negatively, obv.) while under employ of Google, then that yer fault, bruh
by Marc
Tuesday Mar 18th, 2014 2:33 PM
This campaign is so misdirected. Many of my friends have found jobs in the tech sector and some of them have found occupations that pay reasonable wages. Is it the role of the "activist" community to attack these workers for getting a just wage? Are we suppose to be anti-workers earning a living wage? Did people protest when tens of thousands of workers had jobs in the auto industry in Detroit in the 40s and 50s? The difficulty I have in understanding this misdirected campaign is that so much of the language being used appears to attack the culture of tech and the impact it has had on the San Francisco/Bay Area of yesteryear. If we follow this logic, then are we also suppose to protest how SF/Bay Area was affected by the new residents that changed the landscape and culture of the bay area in the 1800s, 1700s, or when it was still populated by indigenous tribes (who have not disappeared from the bay area)? A city is always changing and along with it, the larger culture. The problem is that this campaign to" defend the bay area" is reactionary and yearns for a diverse, progressive San Francisco/Bay Area that is not contaminated by tech. This is the wrong way of analyzing this problem... Tech is not the problem... the problems are those that take advantage of real estate opportunities in a precarious economy, businesses operating in a business friendly environment that gives them tax incentives, politicians that are propped by these business owners, and that with each new phase of development there is no parallel effort taking place to create new housing opportunities for working class laborers, immigrants, transients, and those being most affected by displacement. This displacement will not be challenged by a series of direct actions against the tech industry. This challenge will come from collective resistance against the institutions that allow this displacement to take place without providing opportunities for these residents to find housing or to gain employment in other jobs that provide wages that are comparable or even better. These opportunities will not come without collective struggle forcing these demands to be met or by alternative bottom up strategies providing viable and meaningful solutions of their own. Until then, this appears to be an attack on the culture of a neighborhood without making any effort to define that very culture with the voices of those struggling to maintain their livelihood with dignity.
by you need to do some rethinking
Tuesday Mar 18th, 2014 6:25 PM
dude, i know you techies want to equate yourself to mexican immigrants, but you just cant do that. alright. and also, there is something very particular about what tech culture does to your brains, it makes you guys kind of like the people in the Capitol in the Hunger Games, those books and films all those young people have seen. take your face computer off and get in line for reality, bruh
by Marc
Wednesday Mar 19th, 2014 2:55 PM
I am in fact a Mexican immigrant from the Mexican state of Michoacan. I came to this country while I was in middle school and enrolled in many after school programs that cultivated in me a strong interest in engineering. The fact that you failed to address any of my arguments and then assume I work for a google speaks in and of itself how stupid this campaign is and the people that are defending it. Beyond that, your comparison to the hunger games and "what this does to your brain" is illogical. Aren't you using the very medium you're critiquing to advance your argument (or lack of an argument in your case).
by California Freedom
Friday Mar 21st, 2014 12:12 PM
The Bay Area is being remade into a Billionaire's wonderland, and all the Google trolls want to do is make it all about themselves, like, "how dare you speak against your fellow workers!"
Their willfull blindness for the needs of lower-income residents, to have a stable economy not beholden to Billionaire dictates, and for a stand against tech company complicity in human-rights abuse across the world... to stand against their techie surveillance tools being used by security agencies (public & private) to attack advocates for human rights in the Bay Area...
I stand by this campaign, 100%, and I hope our fellow workers in the techworld take a note from Snowden and Manning (the whistleblowers), and support their lower-income bretheren! otherwise, the crypto dictatorship being installed by the tech billionaires will continue it's long march forward.