USA: Stop The Sweeps! Stop The War Against Our Homeless Neighbors!

Text from an outreach flyer about resistance to sweeps and evictions of houseless encampments. See below and here (pdf).

Millions of people sleep-rough in tents, doorways, or vehicles across North America. Police threats of violent arrest and seizure of their few belongings can annihilate any semblance of stability on any given day. Sweeps are a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. Homeless folks move to another spot, cops come again to inflict more violence and trauma.
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Ann Arbor, USA: Statement from FIGHT Concord Pines

Statement from FIGHT Concord Pines [previously on S!N] re: the events of 4/11 and 4/12
Nuthatch’s tree sit at the Concord Pines site ended last week as a result of horrific violence towards them and their supporters. They descended and exited the site safely. Sometime after they left, the tree and others around it were cut down.
An employee of Toll Brothers’ land clearing contractor, William J. Lang Land Clearing, used his tree-clearing equipment to physically assault a protester at around 7am on Monday morning 4/11 and to fell multiple trees next to Nuthatch’s sit the next day at around 6:15pm, one of which struck the platform and nearly killed Nuthatch. We believe the contractor was aware of Nuthatch’s presence in the tree, as supporters informed him, Bill Lang, and onsite Ann Arbor Police Department officers of it on Monday morning. That morning, a supporter also heard the contractor state that he would not hesitate to kill anyone he found in the trees. When the supporter informed the AAPD officers onsite of this threat, the officers, of course, did nothing.
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Ann Arbor, USA: Tree-Sit Launched & Evicted

Report from Fight Concord Pines, on recent tree-sit that attempted to block the construction of a luxury housing development which would destroy a section of forest.

On Monday morning, a forest defender calling themselves Nuthatch climbed a pine tree on the site of the Concord Pines development at 660 Earhart Rd in Ann Arbor. They intend to live in the tree indefinitely in order to prevent it and other surrounding trees from removal at the hands of the developer. Supporters occupied the forest floor immediately around the tree to show solidarity with Nuthatch and their distaste for luxury housing construction in the midst of a climate and housing crisis. The sit is part of an ongoing campaign of actions beginning in late March, which together have successfully delayed work for at least 24 hours.
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Philadelphia (USA): Squatting, Rebellion, Movement… An Interview with Philadelphia Housing Action

Podcast to download here (mp3).

On this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with two members of Philadelphia Housing Action, about the ups and downs of 2020 that has been outlined in the recent piece, Occupy, Takeover: How Philadelphia Housing Action Turned Vacant Buildings Into Homes. It details how throughout 2020, members of the group moved unsheltered individuals and families into livable, unused homes owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority. [Read More]

Portland (USA): The Red House and the Future of Eviction Defense

To the Barricades

Portland, Oregon has been in the headlines again over the last few days, and this trend will continue.  The reasons for the headlines will vary depending on who you ask.  If you ask the far right they will say something about Antifa terrorists having violent confrontations with the police because they hate law and order.  The mainstream media’s headlines will also tend to lead with the so-called violent clashes, but then they may inform us that the reasons for the confrontation have to do with folks trying to prevent the eviction of a Black and indigenous family that has lived in the Red House at 4406 North Mississippi for multiple generations. [Read More]

USA: From Hoovervilles to Trumpvilles, Homeless Crisis Deepens

Nearly a century ago, when the Great Depression descended on New York in 1929, Gotham, like cities around the country, sprouted Hoovervilles, homeless encampments. In New York, a dozen or so were in Central Park and dubbed “Hoover Valley,” “Shanty Town,” “Squatters Village,” “Forgotten Men’s Gulch” and “Rockside Inn.”

Other Manhattan encampments included “Hardlucksville,” the city’s largest encampment, at 10th Street on the East River, and “Camp Thomas Paine” in Riverside Park and the West 70s. Farther uptown, the homeless found residence in floating shanties along the Harlem River around 207th Street; at Camp Dyckman, which consisted mostly of World War I veterans; and at Marble Hill, just across the Spuyten Duyvil, where Sarah J. Atwood and her daughter, Mavis, ran a boxcar village.

The outer boroughs were also home to encampments. In Brooklyn, a large facility operated on Columbia Street, in Red Hook, and near today’s Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn Heights, some six hundred people lived in “Hoover City.” Writer Edward Newhouse lived for three weeks in a Queens encampment to do research for his novel You Can’t Live Here.

A new generation of homeless encampments – Trumpvilles – are spreading throughout the country.

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Minneapolis: Open Growth Space evicted

Open Growth Space, an occupied garden project in Minneapolis, is in the process of being destroyed by the landlord right now (September 7)!


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Seattle: Rent Strike

Around the country, as people lose their jobs and wonder how they will pay their rent or mortgage, the words rent strike are being heard more and more. This website https://rentstrike.noblogs.org/ will serve as a resource for how to make a rent and mortgage strike a reality in Seattle. Check back for more resources for how we can refuse to pay together.
Have a resource to share? Want to send us your own declaration of rent strike? Get in touch: rentstrike [at] riseup [dot] net

Why Strike?

In this moment, millions of people are being faced with the reality of being unable to pay their bills. Countless people who live from one paycheck to the next have lost their jobs and income already and have no way to make April’s rent or mortgage payment. Even under normal circumstances, people in Seattle have been struggling to pay rent for years, with rents that are 93% above the national average. It should come as no surprise that in this moment, people simply cannot pay.

Some are calling on the state and federal government to put a moratorium on rent and mortgage collections. If this happens, great. If it does not, this changes nothing. We still can’t pay, so we won’t. Banks and landlords should not be able to continue profiting on renters and mortgages when there is no way to earn money. That’s just common sense. If we can’t make money, neither can or landlords, neither can the banks. [Read More]

San Francisco: On rent strike against gentrification and the pandemic

An Interview with Residents of Station 40 in San Francisco

In the Mission District of San Francisco, Station 40 has served the Bay Area community as an anti-authoritarian collective living and organizing space for nearly two decades. Five years ago, their landlord attempted to evict them, only to be forced to back down by a powerful coordinated solidarity campaign. Now, Station 40 has taken the initiative to respond to the crisis currently playing out across the world, unilaterally declaring a rent strike in response to the economic precarity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We interviewed residents of Station 40 about the history of their project and the context and objective of their bold refusal.

What is Station 40?

Station 40 is a 17-year-old collective living space that has seen hundreds of residents and thousands of guests and many iterations over the years. This space has hosted numerous and diverse events, housed countless people, served food to the masses, beat the odds on everything from infestations to evictions. We’ve been a hub for organizing Mutual Aid workshops, healing pop-ups, memorials for fallen anarchists, revels, book releases, report-backs from comrades all over the world, prisoner support projects, reading groups, benefits for more projects than we can count. Food Not Bombs cooked here weekly for the better part of 15 years. Communication infrastructure like Indymedia and Signal have their roots here. [Read More]

USA: Rent strike declarations

Across the country some have already declared that they will refuse to pay rent on April first. Here are some of their declarations.

Station 40 (San Francisco)

Dear friends of Station 40,
We decided tonight that we’re going on rent strike. The urgency of the moment demands decisive and collective action. We are doing this to protect and care for ourselves and our community. Now more than ever, we refuse debt and we refuse to be exploited. We will not shoulder this burden for the capitalists. Five years ago, we defeated our landlord’s attempt to evict us. We won because of the the solidarity of our neighbors and our friends around the world. We are once again calling on that network. Our collective feels prepared for the shelter-in-place that begins at midnight throughout the bay area. The most meaningful act of solidarity for us in this moment is for everyone to go on strike together. We will have your back, as we know you will have ours. Rest, pray, take care of each other.

Everything for everyone! [Read More]

Los Angeles: A dozen vacant homes reclaimed by unhoused tenants as calls for rent strike grow across US

On Saturday, March 14th, a group of supporters mobilized to defend several families, who launched an occupation of a two-bedroom bungalow in the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Calling themselves “Reclaimers,” these new residents are demanding that housing owned by the California Department of Transportation or Caltrans, which for decades has laid vacant, be used to house the houseless in the face of the growing COVID-19 outbreak and continuing housing crisis. The group is inspired in part by Moms 4 Housing in Oakland, California, who led a successful housing occupation in January. [Read More]

Los Angeles: Reclaiming Our Homes

No one should be homeless when homes are sitting empty. Housing is a human right!

There are more vacant homes than people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. Some of these vacant properties are even owned by the state. We are taking this housing back for our community.
Impacted by the housing crisis, and feeling even more urgency in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, we are reclaiming vacant houses owned by the state to fight for housing as a human right. We the Reclaimers are calling on the city and state to immediately use all vacant properties to house people. We need all levels of government to make a massive investment in public and social housing so that everyone has a home during this housing and public health crisis.
In California, a person needs to earn $32.68 an hour to afford an average two bedroom apartment. It’s an outrage that the state and city are leaving homes and property unused when so many people need housing. We are holding them accountable and demanding immediate action. [Read More]