On Sunday, November 24th, a coalition called Housing Justice Village set up a housing community in Oscar Grant Plaza. The City of Oakland decided that at 10:00pm the community became in violation of an overnight camping regulation. Police tore down the tents and arrested 22 coalition members on charges of overnight camping and suspicion of resisting arrest. All were taken to Santa Rita with bail set at $5,000.
Rather than answering this call to action for solutions to the housing crisis, the City silenced activists and destroyed all their tents and belongings. City officials, led by Mayor Libby Schaaf, have demonstrated that they are not interested in serving their constituents or even working on the housing crisis. Being unhoused has become a crime in Oakland.
SURJ Bay Area stands with more than 4,000 unhoused members of our community who are struggling to survive in a city with the resources to allow all its residents to thrive. We look to the leadership of Moms 4 Housing, who have reclaimed a house that was vacant for two years in the midst of this housing crisis. It is not a lack of homes that is fueling this crisis but a favoring of capitalism over basic human needs. In fact, there are 4,000 undeveloped, privately owned lots in Oakland, and 2,893 (71%) of those vacant lots are zoned for four units or fewer, which — if developed — could house well over 4,000 Oakland residents. Join us in standing with our community, housed and unhoused.
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