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Related Categories: East Bay | Global Justice & Anti-Capitalism | Health, Housing & Public Services | Racial Justice
Tony Coleman Speaks Out About Threatened Eviction and West Oakland Gentrification
by Dave Id
Tuesday May 29th, 2018 11:56 PM
On today's Hard Knock Radio program on KPFA, Davey D interviews long-time activist and community organizer Tony Coleman of OneFam and Bikes 4 Life. Tony addresses their fight to stay in West Oakland after being threatened with eviction. He declares that they will fight to the very end and not take it lying down, the loss of the last visible spot where the community can come together and share Black culture in West Oakland.
(audio 12:55)


Tony Coleman starts by describing how former crack houses in West Oakland, a historically working class neighborhood, are now selling for close to a million dollars. More affluent white folks are being pushed out of San Francisco — due to expenses and lack of enough housing there — and landing in West Oakland.

Tony says that the level of gentrification in West Oakland has far surpassed the first wave ten years ago where new West Oakland residents were "progressive" politically. It's reached a point now where gentrifiers are looking at him like he doesn't belong, referring to the recent "BBQ Becky" incident at Lake Merritt.

Tony explains that back in the day 7th Street in West Oakland was a big jazz and blues club area for middle class Black people, along with the Fillmore District in San Francisco which was known as the Harlem of the West. After white flight in Oakland left the city economically depressed, West Oakland faced decades of neglect.

Nevertheless, Tony and others built up unused storefronts by the BART tracks on 7th Street to serve the neighborhood, including One Fam, hosting countless community and artistic events, and Bikes 4 Life, providing bicycles for local kids and teaching related maintenance skills.

Tony says it's time for people of color and long-time Oaklanders who care about equality and retaining the culture to make a stand to protect the Black community, to support Cat Brooks for Mayor, and to defend OneFam and Bikes 4 Life as the last bastions of original culture remaining in West Oakland.

If you are interested in helping to save the building for community use, Tony urges you to show up for an organizing meeting at Revolution Cafe, Wednesday, May 30, 6pm (1612 7th St).


More information:

West Oakland Community Organization OneFam Fights Illegal Eviction
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/05/20/18809304.php

http://www.onefam.org
http://www.bikes4life.com

§Police Bill and Gentrification (full May 29 episode)
by Hard Knock Radio, KPFA Tuesday May 29th, 2018 11:56 PM
(audio 59:58)

Ben McBride discusses developing a new Police Conduct Bill. And later Tony Coleman of OneFam / Bikes 4 Life talks about their fight to stay in West Oakland.

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Hard Knock Radio is a drive-time Hip-Hop talk show on KPFA (94.1fm @ 4-5 pm Monday-Friday), a community radio station without corporate underwriting. Hosts Davey D and Anita Johnson give voice to issues ignored by the mainstream while planting seeds for social change.