Read

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.”

Add new comment

Sign Up

Article Tabs

No Confidence Vote, Wisconsin teachers movement, tenure changes, hire and fire policies, education privatization, corporatization of education, Scott Walker, University of Wisconsin System, no-confidence votes

Just as Gov. Scott Walker’s Act 10 dismantled the security and stability of union protection in K-12 education, recent tenure changes threaten a fair hiring and firing process in the University of Wisconsin System.

Podemos, Spanish elections, Spanish populism, Pablo Iglesias, Spain austerity policies

Spain was plunged into the political unknown on Sunday night as no single party emerged as the winner in its closest general election since the end of the Franco dictatorship 40 years ago.

Bernie Sanders, grassroots candidates Bernie candidates, Sanders supporters, political revolution

From deep blue California and New York to deep red Utah and Nebraska, Bernie supporters are answering his call by running for local office.

Brexit, E.U. Referendum, UKIP, British austerity policies

Scotland was told in 2014 that a vote for British unity was the only way to stay in the E.U. Now, the opposite is true, and along with Northern Ireland's growing call for independence, the fragmentation of the U.K. appears to have begun.

Dozens of members of the Traditionalist Worker Party gathered with the Golden State Skinheads for a rally at the state capitol and were met by about 400 counter-protesters.

Hawaii GMOs, anti-GMO movement, genetically engineered crops, Syngenta, Monsanto, Earthjustice

Most people know Hawaii for its beautiful beaches, world-class surfing and delicious Kona coffee, but the islands are also ground zero for GE crops – and last week various counties were in court to defend themselves against them.

Posted 6 days 23 hours ago
Abby Martin, Monsanto, World Health Organization, carcinogens

Few corporations in the world are as loathed – and as sinister – as Monsanto, but the threat posed to people and planet could be reaching new heights.

Posted 4 days 22 hours ago
Brexit, Jo Cox, E.U. referendum, Britain Stronger in Europe, Electoral Reform Society, Left Leave, rightwing movements, U.K. xenophobia

Many are calling the U.K.’s European Union referendum vote on Thursday, the most important vote in every British person’s lifetime.

Posted 5 days 21 hours ago
Jo Cox, white supremacy, racism, anti-immigrant, Brexit, Tommy Mair, political killings, E.U. referendum

The murder of Jo Cox has shocked British society, sparking renewed discussions about how to deal with racism, hatred, xenophobia and white supremacy just days before the Brexit vote.

Posted 6 days 22 hours ago
gun violence, gun lobby, mass killings, National Rifle Association

Powerful almost by default, and handled with a clear mission at hand and an eye for empathy, "91%" is a call to activist arms.

Posted 3 days 22 hours ago
Brexit, Jo Cox, E.U. referendum, Britain Stronger in Europe, Electoral Reform Society, Left Leave, rightwing movements, U.K. xenophobia

Many are calling the U.K.’s European Union referendum vote on Thursday, the most important vote in every British person’s lifetime.

Abby Martin, Monsanto, World Health Organization, carcinogens

Few corporations in the world are as loathed – and as sinister – as Monsanto, but the threat posed to people and planet could be reaching new heights.

Hawaii GMOs, anti-GMO movement, genetically engineered crops, Syngenta, Monsanto, Earthjustice

Most people know Hawaii for its beautiful beaches, world-class surfing and delicious Kona coffee, but the islands are also ground zero for GE crops – and last week various counties were in court to defend themselves against them.

Bernie Sanders, political revolution, National Nurses Union, racial inequality, economic inequality, Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party, Democratic Socialists of America, Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative, People and Planet First Budget

Last weekend's People's Summit concentrated on domestic policy and economic inequality, featuring spirited debates, discussions and workshops that tried to chart the path ahead for America's new left.

tax avoidance, corporate tax evasion, corporate taxes, job creation

While candidates bicker and Congress stagnates and the rest of us dwell on the latest shooting tragedy, the super-rich enjoy the absence of attention paid to one of our nation’s most destructive issues: tax avoidance.