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Indybay Feature

Wood Street Community Launches Month of Actions Year After Evictions.

by Wood Street Community (woodstcommunity [at] gmail.com)
Members of the Wood Street community are hosting a press conference on Wednesday, April 10, marking one year since residents were displaced from their homes by the City of Oakland. Residents will share reflections from the past year and invite folks to join in on the next five weeks of action in solidarity to speak out against criminalizing homelessness and poverty and declaring once again that Housing is Human Right.
Press Conference and activities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts: John Janosko, 510-712-7639; Freeway, 510-576-9770 Jaz Colibri, 413-522-3116, woodstcommunity [at] gmail.com

What: Wood Street Community Press Conference
Where: 26th & Willow Streets, Oakland CA
When: Wednesday April 10, 12pm

Members of the Wood Street community are hosting a press conference on Wednesday, April 10, marking one year since residents were displaced from their homes by the City of Oakland. Residents will share reflections from the past year and invite folks to join in on the next five weeks of action in solidarity to speak out against criminalizing homelessness and poverty and declaring once again that Housing is Human Right.

Once home to over 200 people, Wood Street was a self-sustaining community, offering mutual aid for residents and the potential to organize together in a way many had never experienced before. Beginning in April 2023, about 70 remaining residents were forced to move from their long-standing homes at 1707 Wood Street, in a process that took about a month.

Under duress and with little alternative, many of the residents ended up moving to the city-sanctioned community cabin site, an RV lot in East Oakland, or were shuffled around the surrounding neighborhood through repeated evictions.

Wood Street Community Reflects on Year since Eviction

Costing 8.3 million dollars, the cabin site opened in March 2023, before construction was completed. The site lacked key amenities such as functional laundry machines, hot running water in the kitchen, and properly working showers in the bathrooms. Maintenance on the site has been inconsistent.

Additionally, cabin residents’ basic needs have often gone unmet. Essentials like toilet paper and drinking water have been scarce, if not missing entirely. Maintenance and custodial duties are often tended to by residents who were never paid or recognized for their efforts.

Residents have recounted being retaliated against for complaining about problems at the site, and have called staff abusive and unhelpful. There has been continued turnover in the housing navigator position on site, and this role was even left unfilled for several months.

You’re invited to join us and our partner organizations throughout the next five weeks, in a month of action and reflection. Below are some key dates (subject to change):

April 22: Sweep the Court Demonstration in San Francisco
May 1: Labor Day, Workers Solidarity and Poor People’s Campaign Teach-In
May 14: Wood Street Community Block Party and Resource Fair
Every Sunday: Houseless Community Outreach
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