Filed under: Action, Housing, Northwest
Since June, a ongoing blockade organized in Eugene, Oregon has sought to block the eviction of Candice King and her family, successfully stopping an eviction attempt by police in July. On September 11th, the courts moved to evict King’s neighbors, who were standing in solidarity with the rent strike, claiming that they were in violation of their lease due to “having guests on their premises.”
Community mobilizes to stop eviction attempt by police in July.
On Sunday, September 17th, a community celebration of the ongoing blockade was held at King’s residence in Eugene, according on Instagram to, “gear up for the week to come.”
Rent striking tenants and their supporters report that they are fighting for “cooperatively owned housing for working people,” and are rent-striking in an attempt to create a land-trust that can be managed directly by the tenants. On Instagram the group wrote, “Friends and neighbors are defending the space from law enforcement until we win. We are so close to or goal; join us and make a real difference!”
This is a developing story and It’s Going Down will continue to post updates about the eviction blockade. To check out updates from the ground, go to Eugene Rent Strike on Instagram.
The following is a statement from the campaign on the move by the courts to evict Candice’s neighbors:
In a stunning verdict made on Monday, September 11th, Annamae and Alexis, tenants of the forming Almaden property co-op, were found guilty of violating their lease for the act of “having guests” on their premises. The guests in question were not your typical visitors; they were protesters showing solidarity with a rent strike occurring at the neighboring house. Notably, these protesters had set up a blockade not on Annamae and Alexis’s residence but in the throughway, a shared driveway leading to other houses on the property, and have maintained their occupation since the eviction of Candice King on July 5th.
An unusual part of this case is the aggressively manipulative tactics employed by the landlord and property management company, who sought to bribe and intimidate the tenants into either breaking their lease agreement or compelling the removal of the protesters. Despite neither of these actions being within Annamae and Alexis’s control – as the protesters were not on their property – the judge ruled against them, setting a disconcerting precedent that has led to their imminent eviction. Annamae and Alexis are scheduled for removal at 12am on September 17th.
“We feel that it’s completely unjust to evict us from our home just because we didn’t feel comfortable calling the cops on people. That’s not a reasonable expectation to have over a group of folks who ultimately were never our responsibility to begin with,” stated Annamae Petty, who is currently facing eviction
This is all part of an ongoing attempt to stop Candice King and the large community supporting her. After several years of reliably paying rent, King became fed up with the bare minimum of maintenance being done to the house, and general outdated fixtures. Prager, who inherited the Almeden lot (as well as one in South Eugene) balked when King’s made multiple offers to purchase the home at market value. When Prager’s grandparents acquired the property in 1941, Oregon real estate transaction encompassed exclusionary laws to prevent Black people from buying homes in Oregon until 1968, and before that it was illegal to be Black in Oregon until 1926. That’s nearly a hundred years of exclusion of Black people from buying property. Meanwhile, white settlers, Prager’s ancestors, were able to accumulate wealth for over 150 years of wealth from buying and renting properties.
As of May of 2023, 1,888 tenants in Lane County had been evicted, with only 6% of those even having legal representation. Landlords and house hoarding have had a devastating impact on our community, and the legal system fails to deliver justice at every turn.
The tenants of the Almaden Co-op, beginning with Candace King and followed by her neighbors, say NO to kicking the repercussions of housing injustice and land theft to the next generation. Now is the time to amass our collective power and demand that tenants have the agency over their own homes. We need broad community support from the working class and tenants of Eugene, Oregon and surrounding areas.
This project is a genuinely community-driven solution, as the Almaden St. tenants and their community supporters have struggled to take ownership of this property and devised this plan themselves as a way to do so.
We’re not going anywhere until the King family and all other tenants of the property own their home.
photo: Screenshot via Instagram