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Indybay Feature
Wed Jan 25 2017 (Updated 02/09/17)
Oakland Land Reclaimed for Housing by Homeless Residents and Activists
Encampment Offers Safe and Dignified Space City of Oakland Unable to Provide
At 4 AM on the morning of Saturday, January 21, a network of Oakland community members took over Marcus Garvey Park, a public plot of land at 36th Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in West Oakland, moving in small homes, a hot shower, a healing clinic, and other services—declaring it a people’s encampment for those who need housing and basic needs and services. The group which includes folks living on Oakland streets, activists from #FeedthePeople and #Asians4BlackLives, and various individuals from the community, said that the move-in demonstrates their ability to provide what the City of Oakland cannot to its most vulnerable residents.

The group aims to demonstrate through their visionary encampment that housing is a human right. They also hope to demonstrate that, in the face of a city government that fails to meet the needs of its people, it is possible for the community to unite to serve those on the street in a dignified and humane manner. The group criticizes the inaction of the City of Oakland, saying that the City has proven to be disloyal to its long term families displaced in this city-initiated housing crisis. The group also claims that the City has not implemented sufficient efforts to address homelessness, such as building permanent public housing for those who have been displaced by the housing crisis, particularly Black and Brown residents.

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