Portland Coalition Rushes to Defend Evicted Woman's House

Search form

Portland Coalition Rushes to Defend Evicted Woman's House

Portland Coalition Rushes to Defend Evicted Woman's House
Wed, 8/8/2012 - by Pete Shaw
This article originally appeared on The Portland Occupier

Photo: Pete Shaw.

Nearly 75 members of Portland’s Rapid Response Network (RRN) assembled outside Alicia Jackson’s home at noon last Sunday, within ten minutes of receiving a text message calling for their assistance. “The cops were acting fools in the front and backyard,” said Lobo, co-founder of the Blazing Arrow Organization (BAO). “We were afraid they were going to come in here (Jackson’s house). We put out the call to protect Alicia and her house.”

The quick action of the RRN, many of whose members had arrived nearly 12 hours earlier when police descended upon the duplex that was claimed for a community center Sunday, apparently kept police from seizing Jackson’s property. During the early morning raid, Dir’k Zizka, an activist with the BAO and We Are Oregon, was arrested and charged with trespass and burglary. But according to Lobo, “Nobody was living in this duplex since it was built, because nobody has wanted to move onto land that has been stolen from the original resident. The burglary charge will not hold up in court because they have absolutely no evidence that the person who was arrested stole anything, or that they were planning to commit a crime.”

Taran Connelly, an organizer with the Portland Liberation Organizing Council, added, “After Alicia was illegally evicted last fall, a developer built a condo on her lawn. What’s happening with Mr. Zizka is a scapegoating of one person who took a stand for community control of community resources yesterday when that condo was turned into a community center. Mayor Sam Adams and his police are doing the bidding of the big banks right now, in full contradiction to his cheerleading of the occupy movement last fall.”

On November, 10, 2011, Mayor Adams said in his statement regarding the eviction of Occupy Portland, “It is my sincere hope that the movement, with its focus on widespread economic inequity, will flourish in its next phase—a phase where we can focus all of our energies on economic and social justice, not on port-a-potties and tents. I believe Occupy Portland can lead the nation in this next phase of the Occupy Movement, and I personally look forward to working with participants toward their broader goals.”

What support this land liberation movement lacks from the 1%, their politicians and their police bureau enforcers is more than compensated for by many within the community. Throughout Northeast Portland there are hundreds of lawn signs expressing support for those fighting foreclosure by refusing to leave their homes. As members of the RRN conferred in groups, a man drove by and stopped to comment.“They’re just scooping them all up,” he said, in reference to the duplex on Jackson’s property. “You’re doing the right thing. I appreciate it so much. Keep doing what you got to do.”

When asked about the police presence on her property, Alicia Jackson chose to emphasize the bigger picture. “Capitalists have been stealing from black and brown people for centuries. When we want back what is ours, only then is it called criminal. This is not burglary. We’re taking back what was stolen from us. We’re doing what’s right. It’s the banks that did the stealing.”

“They’re framing this from the typical point of view that the developer is a victim.” said Ahjamu Umi, of the Black Working Group and the Portland Liberation Organizing Council. “He’s not. He’s made his money flipping houses, profiting from people’s misery. Alicia and the community are fighting back.”

Lobo believes the Portland Police did the RRN a favor and sees it as part of a learning process. “We are learning to anticipate their moves. If they decide to initiate violence, we will be ready to respond.” Using Zizka as an example, Lobo acknowledged the challenges faced by those who agree with Ahjamu and Jackson, that the real crime comes in denying humans a right to shelter. “But it’s better to take a risk and get everything than take no risk and get kicked out of the neighborhood.”

Article Tabs

Guatemala protests, Otto Pérez Molina, #RenunciaYa, anti-corruption protests, CICIG, Guatemala massacres

Pressure to impeach President Otto Pérez Molina for his involvement in a major corruption scandal that has thrown the country into political crisis is mounting.

whistleblowers, Thomas Drake, Edward Snowden, Diane Roark, Ed Loomis, J. Kirk Wiebe, William Binney, NSA secrets, NSA revelations, National Security Agency, THINTHREAD, Michael Hayden, Keith Alexander, TRAILBLAZER, Whistleblower Protection Act

The NSA wasn't interested in having its faults pointed out – so it sent the DOJ after the whistleblowers.

350.org, The Academy of Sciences, fossil fuel divestment

The Natural History Museum and 350.org launched a collaborative campaign calling on the country’s top science and natural history museums to dump all stocks in oil, coal and gas.

household debt, student debt, credit card debt, debt illegitimacy, International Citizen debt Audit Network, odious debt, debt resistance, positive money, negative-interest currency

No street protests are necessary, no confrontations with riot police, to stop payment on a credit card or student loan – the financial system is vulnerable to a few million mouse clicks.

money in politics, Super PACs, Federal Election Commission, Citizens United, Campaign Legal Center, campaign finance laws, campaign finance reform

Spending more than twice as much as the last three White House races combined, the unregulated fundraising juggernauts backed by unlimited contributions from wealthy donors threaten to completely shape – and control – the 2016 race.

Al Jazeera, You Stink, Beirut,

Clashes intensify as protests sparked by the city's garbage problem widen in scope, and the prime minister calls an emergency parliament session.

Posted 4 days 13 hours ago
police body cameras, police surveillance, Michael Brown, Stingray

The spread of body cameras into our schools may come as surprise to some, but it shouldn’t.

Posted 3 days 16 hours ago
Seattle school protests, income inequality, wealth inequality, Seattle school policies, Seattle transit inequality

We want all inequitable policies to be challenged.

Posted 3 days 16 hours ago
Corinthian Colleges, Bank of America

An invisible entity strongly influenced the messy unwinding of Corinthian Colleges: Bank of America.

Posted 3 days 16 hours ago
Truthout, private corrections companies, Corrections Corporation of America, GEO Group, In The Public Interest

Private corrections companies are spending millions of dollars

Posted 2 days 15 hours ago
coal shipments, coal terminals, Bowie Resource Partners, Arch Coal

A secretive plan to ship coal through the Port of Oakland is being driven by a company that wants to massively expand its coal mining operations in Utah – and by a public official who stands to profit personally.

rising homelessness, chronic homelessness, Los Angeles homeless, Poverty Matters, Section 8 federal housing

The number of people who are chronically homeless has overwhelmed the dwindling supply of affordable housing in southern California's sprawling metropolitan area.

#BlackLivesMatter

Leaders of influential civil rights movement release the most comprehensive set of policy proposals yet calling for federal and state laws to combat police killings.

U.K. austerity cuts, rail worker strikes, tube worker strikes, U.K. working conditions

Train system employees have called for two 24-hour blockages on Wednesday and Friday.

Sign Up