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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | San Francisco | U.S. | Health, Housing, and Public Services
Love Letter to the Movement
Heart of the City Collective sends its love, respect and appreciation to all those working to preserve rights to the city, to housing, to public space and common resources. We support the actions across the Bay, in Venice Beach, Seattle and beyond.
Heart of the City Collective sends its love, respect and appreciation to all those working to preserve rights to the city, to housing, to public space and common resources. We support the actions across the Bay, in Venice Beach, Seattle and beyond. Different groups are organizing in ways that they see fit. Each one is trying to curb the throttles of gentrification and displacement precipitated by investors and speculators taking advantage of the new technocratic class subsuming our cities. While we might not be literally organizing together, we are collectively working against a common systemic behemoth, one where new and old money are merging to rid our cities of marginal and longtime communities.
Gentrification is nothing new. It is both a tool and an effect of neoliberalization. New, however, is the ruling tech class and its role in displacing our communities. Rents have dramatically increased in Los Angeles, Seattle, Austin and many other cities as well. We’ve had the “it’s a free country and folks can do as they please and live where they want” argument thrown at us. However, most people the world over don’t benefit from capitalism and have a lived experience of the “free market” as being neither free nor market, for that matter. It’s a system where those with the most capital exploit the world’s resources as well as the labor and knowledge accumulated by all of humanity to do as they please without regard to the ecosystems and communities they’re affecting.
We are not pivoting ourselves against tech workers. We implore them to organize with us. There a number of actions that they can take: become a housing rights activists, make conscious efforts to not move into units in which people have been evicted, and support local non-technocratic economies. Net neutrality, access and the commodification and surveillance of private communication are reasons we hope they get involved in an open-source revolution. In the meantime, they should lobby their employers to pay their taxes, stop privatizing public assets, and use their “innovative” skills to support affordable housing and housing policies that benefit the majority. As we have said, "Get Off the Bus, Join Us!"
We recognize the insidious nature of tech giants like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and even Twitter. Alongside their for-profit surveillance, these companies play a role in the profiling, policing, and targeting of activist. They have historically marketed themselves as benign and even democratic, even though many contribute to ALEC, the conservative, neoliberal, anti-environment, anti-immigrant, pro-privatization political action committee. We see through their masks and the ways they’re creeping into our physical lives and political systems. As actions in other cities have made evident, we are not alone. Hearts afire, the movement is building!
With love, investment in and accountability to our community and the movement,
Heart of the City Collective