Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mission Gears Up for 'Eviction Free-Summer': Marches, Graffiti and Meetings

Residents march through Mission on history tour of Ellis Act evicted properties.
Graffiti outside of Adobe Books
Tonight while on a walk in the Mission District, I came across this graffiti outside of Adobe Books on 16th Street which reads, 'Fuck Liz Claiborne.' The message is a direct reference to the landlords who pushed out Adobe Books, raising their rent from $4,500 to $8,000 before finally pulling the plug on the business, a mainstay in the Mission. The upscale clothing store, 'Jack Spade,' is slated to take the place of the used bookstore. Support for the Adobe Books Collective has been high, with it even raising up to $60,000 in funds to help pay it's rent. Esta Noche, a bar about a block away on the same street is also threatened with eviction as well. The graffiti comes after a recent march through the Mission which was a history tour visiting various businesses that had been closed and homes where Ellis Act evictions had gone through. View a march route with stops of interest here.

People gather in Adobe Books
Since the Anti-Gentrification Block Party in the Mission last month, talk about the start again of a movement against evictions and displacement has been simmering. The SF Bay Guardian recently published a map showing Ellis Act evictions that have taken place in the neighborhood over the past year - one that is at a record high. The numbers are clear. Rent in most cases have gone up, sometimes doubling. In working class areas, Ellis Act evictions have displaced those with rent control and entire neighborhoods have changed while thousands have been forced to leave the city. From the Guardian article:

Ellis Act Evictions in SF
In 2011, San Francisco rents were 34 percent higher than they had been 2003; by 2012, they had jumped to 53 percent higher, according to a market analysis prepared by The Concord Group. According to San Francisco Rent Board data, 1,757 eviction notices were filed from March of 2012 to February of 2013, reflecting a 12-year high. It's as if there's no longer any room for the working class — the people who, for example, keep the city's number one industry (that's hospitality and tourism, not tech) functioning. It's terrifying. Neighborhood after neighborhood is losing affordable rental housing as landlords cash in on soaring prices. And there's a huge human cost.
In another recent article about projected development and growth from local elites, the Guardian points out how much developers and city planners are already planning on the city growing, and us leaving. As the article states, "Regional planners want to put 280,000 more people into San Francisco — and they admit that many current residents will have to leave."

Someone used to live here.
With the gentrification pandemic reaching such a high point and more and more people starting to get involved again in thinking about resisting the current wave of evictions - a group is calling for a meeting to plan an 'Eviction Free-Summer' this Saturday at the historic Red Stone Building. In a sick Ironic way, the plot right behind the building is set to be turned into condos. Facebook event is here. The text reads:

We invite you to come out and be a part of this critical first meeting of a citizen driven anti-eviction league, whose purpose is to directly confront the serial evictors taking us away from our homes.

During the meeting, we hope to bring out a lively and diverse crowd ready to take on some serious strategizing. The purpose of the group is anti-eviction home defense, which can mean a lot of different things (phone calls, direct action, petitioning). We can't wait to hear your ideas!

Join us in getting people reeved up for and excited for this new group! Bring your family and friends, and share this invitation widely. And, most importantly, come to the REDSTONE BUILDING
2926 16th STREET AT CAPP,
from 1pm to 2:30pm

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