Oakland, Calif., activists occupy City Hall to protest gentrification

Oakland, Calif., action, June 17.

Oakland, Calif., action, June 17.

At the culmination of a week of actions highlighting that Oakland, Calif., is losing thousands of families per month to displacement and businesses like Uber are moving into the city with almost no accountability, a broad coalition of community groups marched into Oakland City Hall on June 17 and took it over for more than an hour to press their demands on Mayor Libby Schaff and the City Council.

The Anti Police-Terror Project, Black Power Network, ACCE Action, East Bay Organizing Committee (EBOC/Fight for 15), The East 12th Coalition and others called a series of actions June 12-17 to “Reclaim Our City.” The groups demanded immediate protections for renters, the redirection of city money to protect low-wage workers and public education.

The action on June 17 started at the East 12th Street parcel, city land that the government has turned over to private developers, despite a significant campaign to use it for low-income housing. The group then caravanned to City Hall and marched inside, demanding that the mayor and the City Council come out to talk to the people about their demands.

The week was organized to “target the repressive policies and practices of the Schaaf administration and fight back against private interests and large developers who are displacing our families and driving up rents.” The actions focused on “pressuring the City Council to extend the housing moratorium; building pressure to place the Oakland Renter Protection Act measure on the November ballot; [a] public education campaign around the connection between police terror, displacement and the impact on our schools/young people; [and] demands for community benefits including good jobs, affordable housing, and community stability to ensure that new development serves existing residents and workers.”

(Photo: Peter Menchini)

(Photo: Peter Menchini)