They know how to evict people in the US, but they know how to oppose them too. Early yesterday morning I joined an eviction blockade near where I was staying in San Francisco. It was a classic case: a senior Google executive trying to squeeze even more profit from property by replacing long-term tenants with new ones able to pay higher rents. By 7am, there were about 60 people ready to obstruct the local sheriff in any attempt to evict a mentally ill woman from the home she’d lived in for 25 years. The local neighbourhood was woken to the sounds of chanting, drum beating and powerful speeches, including the brilliant one on my Facebook page (sorry, struggling to upload it from my phone here, but please have a look and share it).
I had to leave to visit a friend in Sacramento who has also been made homeless (more anon), so I don’t know how things turned out, although there was a feeling that the eviction would be postponed. A small victory perhaps, but in the context of a great many defeats, as captured in the following photo of one of the many murals the Mission area is noted for.
Window poster at house where eviction was due to take place.