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The California Apartment Association (CAA) has been meddling in the affairs of city after city in Northern California in an effort to stop any and all renter protections being promoted by renters, tenant activists, and their supporters. The same day that Oakland tenant activists filed a ballot initiative to strengthen renter protections called the Renters Upgrade, the CAA announced that they were keeping an eye on things, and are coming up with their own plan to counter the tenants' movement efforts.
Tue Mar 22 2016 (Updated 04/18/16)
Oakland Real Estate & Business Conference Shut Down
Before 8am on March 18, over a hundred housing activists caught the Oakland Chamber of Commerce off guard at their "Oakland is open for business" breakfast for real estate developers. Protesters were able to completely shut down the 2016 Economic Development Summit at the Kaiser Building on Lake Merritt before Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf could even give her opening remarks.
On March 15, the Oakland City Council approved moving forward with the latest iteration of luxury housing at the E12th Street parcel, public land that was created when the roads and bridges around the south end of Lake Merritt were recently reconfigured. Housing activists showed up at City Hall and successfully shut down the meeting, but the council then held their discussion and vote privately in Mayor Libby Schaaf's office. Critics vow to keep the fight alive for "public land for public good." A final vote on the proposed sale to UrbanCore will happen later this year.
Sun Feb 14 2016 (Updated 02/16/16)
Three Arrested Defending Gill Tract from Development
On February 9, farm defenders halted construction on the Gill Tract farm in Albany once again. Five farm defenders sat in silent meditation in the path of heavy machinery that was removing topsoil. Contractors attempted to operate the heavy machinery around them despite the risks to the safety of those on site. Three were arrested and two were taken to jail. The two were released later in the day.
Norman “Wounded Knee” DeOcampo (Miwok), a long-time resident of Vallejo, will be taking part in the Longest Walk 5 beginning February 13 at La Jolla Shores in San Diego, California. Wounded Knee is the Founding Executive Director of the Vallejo based organization Sacred Sites Protection and Rights of Indigenous Tribes. (SSPRIT). He is the only person who will have participated in all five Longest Walks.
On January 11, construction work began on the southern portion of the Gill Tract. The UC is privatizing this section for a high-end senior assisted living facility, a Sprouts supermarket, and a parking lot. The next day after working hours, about fifteen individuals entered the Gill Tract to remove surveying stakes marking the paths for the heavy machinery brought to pave over land. On January 28, farm defenders chained themselves to an excavator that was removing valuable topsoil, halting a day of construction.
Wed Jan 13 2016 (Updated 01/25/16)
Martin Luther King Jr's Radical Legacy Lives On
Hundreds of people from more than two dozen groupings responded to the Anti Police-Terror Project’s (APTP) call to come together for 96 hours of direct action over the Martin Luther King Day weekend, January 15-18, in San Francisco and Oakland. Mayors and police chiefs were targeted for protest. The weekend’s events culminated in a Reclaiming King’s Radical Legacy March and a surprise shutdown of the Bay Bridge on January 18.
East Bay:   3