Filed under: Communique, Development, Southwest, White Supremacy
According to a recent post by Bella Eiko, October 16th, an eviction notice was posted to their door. Bella mentions the impact that Sullivan’s REO Homes LLC (and related companies) has had on Oakland, and West Oakland in particular. There are several resources that detail the ‘big picture’ of their exploits, such as this article in the East Bay Express last year, or another blog from 2013. However, radicals have faced off with REO Homes before. In 2013, the Stay Away squat in East Oakland built barricades in response to an eviction threat, after REO Homes bought the house they had occupied nearly two years prior. The G-Spot, a women/queer-only squat in West Oakland was also evicted by Sullivan.
Qilombo happens to be in a key location for the city. It is at the entrance of the San Pablo corridor, one section of the West Oakland Specific Plan which is the city’s plan to facilitate gentrification in the area. It is also just blocks from Uptown, where it was recently announced that Uber would be opening it’s new headquarters. With all of these development projects, it should not be a surprise that Qilombo is threatened with eviction.
While Bella Eiko lists a good number of contributions that Qilombo provides to the community, we must not forget that Qilombo does not simply exist in order to soothe the tension that capitalism brings to our lives—to make it easier to survive on minimum wage, if even that—but instead to build a culture of resistance that can subvert, and in our wildest dreams destroy capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, and all forms of oppression.
For these reasons, and more, we must not waste our time leaning on banks in an appeal to their conscience, as is suggested. We must instead obstruct any and all efforts to evict Qilombo by any means necessary. Those responsible for this eviction are not abstract concepts that we must battle for the moral high ground. Instead they are enemies we must attack. Luckily, Oakland has quite the history of creative and diverse methods and tactics for attack.
In conclusion, a short excerpt from Land & Liberty:
There is nothing inevitable about [gentrification]; it could be stopped, but only through a profound process of destabilization. An ungovernable city is a city in which no luxury condos are built, a city to which firms are unwilling to relocate their workers, a city in which rents stabilize or fall. … Not just one riot, which by temporarily lowering property values and galvanizing the political class toward new repressive projects, becomes a spur to redevelopment — but a series of riots, year after year, that drive a political polarization equal to the economic, that divide a city into those who love the cops and those who don’t. … [Gentrifiers] will not come if the neighborhood is made ungovernable, if evictions are resisted, if rent strikes are organized, houses are taken over and given to those who have been displaced or otherwise need housing, if the offices of developers and real-estate investment companies are targeted, if new construction projects are constantly sabotaged, if employers whose hiring reflects the increasingly polarized labor market are attacked at every turn.
Neill Sullivan owns a number of different, and by all appearances redundant, companies through which he conduct his business. The following are a list of addresses that are tied to his companies:
510 3rd St, Oakland, CA
1669 12th St. Unit O, Oakland, CA
580 2nd St, Suite 230, Oakland, CA
317 Washington St Oakland, CA
2527 25th St, San Francisco, CA
235 Pine St, San Francisco, CA