Hundreds of organizers gathered at noon on January 28, 2013, on the Eastern steps of San Francisco City Hall to demand an end to proposed legislation from Supervisor Mark Farrell and Supervisor Scott Wiener that threatens the rental market and rent control laws in San Francisco. The measure would lift the standing annual limit on TIC condo conversions to permit 2,000 more conversions, increasing price pressure on real estate, effective pushing more rental units out of the housing market in San Francisco.
Speakers and/or organizers from the San Francisco Tenants Union, Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, San Francisco Community Tenants Association, Gray Panthers, AIDS Housing Alliance, Sierra Club of San Francisco, Senior and Disability Action, Occupy Bernal, Occupy Noe, and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), and many other organizations and individuals attended the press conference and rally, then entered City Hall for a Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee hearing to provide public comment on the proposed measure.
Organizers from the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, San Francisco Tenants Union, Senior & Disability Action, AIDS Housing Alliance, Causa Justa::Just Cause, Chinatown Community Development Center, Occupy Bernal, Occupy Action Council SF, and other supporters gathered at 12:00 noon on December 19, 2012, to protest a rash of Ellis Act evictions of tenants living in San Francisco. A number of tenants spoke to the crowd in front of the Christmas tree on Castro Street near 18th Street, explaining how they are facing eviction in neighborhoods all over San Francisco when property owners use the Ellis Act to take the property off the rental market as an excuse for evicting them from their homes, including some who are seniors, disabled, living with AIDS, and/or have lived in their homes for decades. Representatives of various organizations spoke and the crowd chanted, displaying protest signs and banners.
Update as of 3:57pm on December 6, 2012: The protest was an amazing success as more than 60 organizers occupied and shut down the Bayview branch of Wells Fargo in San Francisco as part of a nationwide Occupy Our Homes anniversary day of actions. The protestors chanted “Stop the Evictions, Stop the Foreclosures”, “Save the Wells 27” (click on the link to call and email in support of the 27 San Francisco families at risk of Wells Fargo foreclosures and evictions during the holiday season), and other slogans, as well as decorating the interior and exterior of the bank branch with crime scene tape, displaying banners and placards, and chalking body shapes and slogans on the sidewalk in front of the branch.
Wells Fargo security closed the bank branch and contacted the San Francisco Police Department and eventually the nonviolent protestors voluntarily departed from the bank branch after delivering demands to the bank manager. Then, a number of Foreclosure and Eviction Fighters and representatives from organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Color People (NAACP) spoke to the crowd assembled in front of the branch and demanded an end to predatory foreclosures, short sales, and evictions, as well as demanding that Wells Fargo provide fair deal loan modifications for all homeowners, particularly those who are elderly, disabled, have school-age children or life-threatening illnesses, during the holiday season and beyond.
ACCE members, Occupy Bernal, Occupy Noe, Occupy Action Council SF, Senior and Disability Action, and Allies,
The movement for housing justice and bank accountability continues. We have had many victories and saved many homes, but the Big Banks continue to operate as “Community Killers”, wreaking havoc on our families and neighborhoods. It’s time to demand Wells Fargo and other big banks fix the economy by addressing the massive underwater crisis facing California. It’s time for the resetting of mortgages to fair market value.
What: Don’t Sell Californians Short — Affordable Mortgages, NOT Short Sales! Justice for the Wells 26! No Holiday Foreclosures or Evictions! Speeches by Wells Fargo Foreclosure and Eviction Fighters Larry Faulks and Bernetta Adolph.
When: Thursday, December 6th 10:30am
Where: Meet at Bayview KFC parking lot, intersection of 3rd St. and Jerrold
December 6th is the one year anniversary of Occupy Our Homes, a movement led by Occupy activists and community group allies that has helped to create the political will for a stronger settlement between the Attorney General and the 5 largest banks, as well as passage of Californians landmark foreclosure prevention bill, the CA Homeowner Bill of Rights.
A recent report by the independent monitor of the CA AG settlement showed that the “relief” banks banks claim to be providing is based more on Short Sales than anything else. We demand mortgage relief that KEEPS CALIFORNIANS IN OUR HOMES!
On November 17, 2012, Foreclosure and Eviction Fighters and their supporters gathered at a Chase bank branch at 15th and Market Streets in San Francisco to protest the effect of bank foreclosures and evictions on homeowners and renters. About 10 police officers turned out for the protest. Meanwhile, someone altered the signage at a nearby Wells Fargo Home Mortgage location so that it became a Wells Fargo Homeless Shelter.
The protestors moved to the Wells Fargo location on Market Street between 15th and 16th Streets and set up a soup kitchen, played music, and spoke about the problem of foreclosures, evictions, and homelessness, as well as connections with the banks investing in prisons and environmental degradation.
The protestors highlighted the case of Larry Faulks, a disabled African-American gay senior — while negotiating a loan modification with him, Wells Fargo sold his home at a foreclosure auction and now refuses to buy it back from DMG Asset Management, the company who bought the property at the auction. Wells Fargo also refuses to give Larry Faulks a fair deal loan modification.
As one participant read off the names of families at risk from Wells Fargo’s foreclosures and evictions, the group responded by chanting “…shall not be moved” after each name.
Thanks to Arizmendi for donating delicious bread and pastries from their worker-owned cooperative bakery and to Space Transformers for organizing the fabulous soup kitchen. Representatives from many groups participated, including Occupy Bernal, ACCE-SF, Occupy Direct Action Workgroup, Occupy Action Council of SF, Occupy SF Environmental Justice Workgroup, Community Not Commodity, Occupy Noe, San Francisco Tenants Union, Senior and Disability Action, Manilatown Heritage Foundation, Communities United in Defense of Olmsted, and Occupy South San Francisco.
Who: So far, we’ve got bread donated from Arizmendi and Ryan and the Space Transformers folks are setting up a soup kitchen, Bob on transport, Lisa and David on signage, music including guitarists Francis Collins and Tommi Avicolli-Mecca.
Brought to you by Occupy Bernal, ACCE-SF, Occupy Direct Action Workgroup, Occupy Action Council of SF, Occupy SF Environmental Justice Workgroup, Community Not Commodity, Occupy Noe, San Francisco Tenants Union, Senior and Disability Action, Manilatown Heritage Foundation, Communities United in Defense of Olmsted, and others coming soon.