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East Bay | Health, Housing, and Public Services

West Oakland Takes A Stand Against Gentrification
by FireWorks
Thursday Jun 12th, 2014 1:36 AM
Report back with pictures from march against the West Oakland Specific Plan (WOSP).

Nearly a hundred people took the streets Wednesday evening in a protest against the West Oakland Specific Plan and the gentrification it will bring. The plan outlines renovation of "under-utilized" as well as vacant properties, creating a path to develop the area and create a west Oakland for the rich and white.

Headed by banners reading “West Oakland 4 The People, Evict Developers” and “Swat WOSP” the march made it’s way from DeFremery Park (sometimes referred to as Lil Bobby Hutton Park) to City Hall. Flyers were passed out by several participants to people along the march route, that explained the WOSP and the incoming capital’s effect on the neighborhood.

Upon reaching City Hall, some went to block the entrance of the meeting but police intervened and two people were detained, though released later without arrest. Participants then filed inside to speak out at the Planning Commission meeting that was underway, where their last vote (before heading to the City Council) was going to take place. Multiple people gave speeches outside the chambers, including former Black Panther Elaine Brown, as well as members from Advance the Struggle and Causa Justa.

The remaining protesters continued to disrupt the meeting, though the Commission, who likely knew exactly how they would vote beforehand, approved the plan. The City Council will have the final vote on July 29th.

Text from the flyer distributed can be read here. Also visit Swat the WOSP on facebook.
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by FireWorks Thursday Jun 12th, 2014 1:36 AM
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§links
by FW Thursday Jun 12th, 2014 10:08 AM
links in the article didn't translate to this post

Flyer text: http://oaklandlocal.com/2014/04/wosp-the-city-of-oaklands-plan-for-gentrification-a-target-for-anti-displacement-activity-community-voices/

Swat the WOSP on facebook http://www.facebook.com/swatthewosp

there are others but those are the 2 important ones.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

Yes, I'm sorry I missed supporting this action as I have my hands full with Occupy 2 Decolonize (34th and Telegraph, 10 acres) which is on an Indigenous Burial Site for now 224 days. I support the efforts to Stop Gentrification in many different ways (especially inn defense of Elders) including Direct Action but I also don't advocate housing for Everyone. First there is enough housing in the Bay Area but we cannot keep assaulting our Forests (Trees) to hide from Nature. I'm an Indigenous who comes from the Plains Indigenous (Blackffeet Nation, Montana) and my ancestors would laugh at me to be soo spoiled I need to chop dawn trees especially at this Critical Time of Global Warming. Currently we are using the Strength of the Occupy Movement was to put pressure on the Illegal Powers at be by occupying the Commons and being Outside. Finally we as a population have Socially Engineered to be Afraid of Nature giving them (oppressor) the chance to poison us thru Floride in the Water, GMO foods and Nature to be Attacked (UC Berkeley cutting down 18,000 trees at night not even on their Stolen property but in Tilden Park) while we are hiding indoors.
by An evicted person
Friday Jun 13th, 2014 5:25 AM
Any march to City Hall is always and without exception a petition by marchers to their elected representatives to get their elected representatives to be more responsive to marchers needs. It is a wholly conventional aspect of democratic capitalist political activity. Across the political spectrum it is understood to be this, and to be nothing more than this. As such it amounts to nothing.

In capitalist America money talks and everything else walks. The only authentic "stand against gentrification" is one that damages or threatens to damage the economic interest of landlords, of bourgeois invaders of working class areas, and banks. Respectfully petitioning elected officials to be responsive to our needs is easily dismissed.
by hear ya
Friday Jun 13th, 2014 6:27 PM
I hear you on most of that, but in all fairness those who came to protest the plan within city hall were somewhat less than "respectful." There was lots of chanting, yelling, and shutting down of pro-gentrification voices.

In the end, it probably was still a form of petitioning, albeit a little more confrontational than the way you laid it out. It's unclear what realistic and achievable alternatives there are, however. It's not like 10,000 people are going to show up day in and day out and forcefully block bulldozers as construction begins or physically push back cops who come to protect the bougie. And if they did, then what? Wouldn't the Feds kick into overdrive directing, if not enforcing, the counter-insurgency, like they did during Occupy or like they do in countless communities of color already.

At some level, like it or not, most if not all goals of the radical require achieving some form of acceptance or acquiescence from the powers that be. That's usually done with enough large numbers of people, and doesn't seem specifically tied to any particular tactic, be it marching, civil disobedience, strikes, or whatever. It happens through mass resistance in whatever form it takes, the key being overwhelming numbers of resisters. Yet, total revolution doesn't feel like an option at this point in time in the US, or even Oakland, California. So, what then? Do nothing?
by shutting down
Saturday Jun 14th, 2014 8:00 PM
" There was lots of chanting, yelling, and shutting down of pro-gentrification voices."

-And you guys wonder why your cause isn't more popular. You may not like what they have to say, but they have a right to say it, and by doing this, YOU look like the bullies, not the developers.

Just sayin'
by Evicted person
Sunday Jun 15th, 2014 4:58 AM
A march whose destination is City Hall is a march whose destination is City Hall, and all the shouting and four letter words dont alter this direction. Without posting anything indictable on the internet, I shall vaguely suggest that the kind of public action needed here must both shatter investor confidence and do this in an extremely high-profile public way, offering practical tools to other working and poor people targetted by gentrification. Often the spectre of the right kind of sabotage and vandalism can be more effective than the acts of vandalism and sabotage itself. And in saying this I also think mass public action is more effective than individual acts; City Hall, its functionaries and pro-system housing activists have to be spliced out of the dynamic altogether.

"At some level, like it or not, most if not all goals of the radical require achieving some form of acceptance or acquiescence from the powers that be."

Actually both anarchists like Emma Goldman and the council communists has persuasively made the point that concessions from the exploiter class and their political servants come about becuase these class enemies are forced into it. It becomes too expensive for them to not give in. Gentrification is all about social predators and parasites making money and if they cant make that money they will fold up their tents and go away.