Press Release, Rally: Support not Sweeps
Advisory of event next week, 6/22 @ 2 pm
Caltrans is about to displace more than 500 unhoused people from their property across California without providing adequate alternative housing options.
I’m writing on behalf of the 150 members of the Wood Street encampment in Oakland California, on Caltrans land facing displacement and closure by July 1st. Many of these residents are seniors, many have lived in Oakland their entire lives, many have disabilities, and all of them have nowhere else to go. Cob on Wood is in the next phase of planned clearing, and may soon face a similar fate.
The situation at Wood Street is not unique. Every other Bay Area encampment on Caltrans land has received similar notice. This will be an unprecedented displacement of unhoused California residents. This displacement will constitute little more than an inhumane shuffling of humans and shirking of responsibility by state agencies, Continuums of Care, and city governments. We have formed a statewide coalition of CalTrans land based encampments and liveaboard mariners living under the jurisdiction of affiliated agencies.
We are seeking media attention on this issue and the precarious fate of the hundreds of residents of these camps. We know that there are no simple solutions to this crisis, but mass evictions without the provision of adequate alternative housing is not an appropriate resolution. Every resident of these camps deserves to be respected and to live with dignity. Caltrans’ current plan frames these people as little more than inconvenient garbage to be bulldozed and sanitized.
To raise the voices of the impacted, we are holding a press conference on CalTrans District 4 Headquarters doorstep, at 111 Grand Ave, June 22nd @ 2 pm. Please show up to tell the story of the solutions driven by the unhoused, and help their demands be heard.
This situation is urgent. Everyone involved knows that these displacements are wrong, but Caltrans is proceeding at a speed that is too fast for residents and organizers to mobilize resistance or form a legal defense.
Wood St residents living on city owned land adjacent to CalTrans’ parcels between 18th and 20th have also been notified of displacement, despite ongoing support and negotiations with City officials for months ensuring that residents will be able to remain on site. The residents of the ‘bottoms’ at the Wood Street Commons (between 18th and 20th streets) have stated that “we do not wish for our community, which has taken years to build, to be dispersed by the city’s attempt at eviction on July 6-9, and that there is no compensation they could offer that can equal the loss of our unique experiment in creating a tiny home ecovillage with shared infrastructure that generates cooperative community by design, and that will eventually control the land we are living on through a resident controlled land trust.”
Please see the press release attached, as well as a flyer for the event.
Xochitl Bernadette Moreno / Co-founder Essential Food and Medicine, Project Manager at Cob On Wood
Leah Van Winkle / Cob On Wood Core Organizer