Contact: AF3IRM San Francisco/Bay Area Chapter [email protected]
We are AF3IRM San Francisco Bay Area, the local chapter of a transnational feminist organization. The past few months, like many residents of the Bay Area and across the nation, we have been following and supporting the righteous and humane fight that three Oakland single mothers led by occupying a vacant home.
These mothers addressed the housing crisis head-on with direct action, and they reminded us of the power in woman-led movements that center mothers’ and children’s rights to safety and the right to live.
This home, like an estimated 46,000 around the Bay Area, sat empty and was made unavailable to local working-class families because of home-flipping companies, such as Los Angeles-based Wedgewood who buy, flip, resell around 300 Bay Area homes every year. For far too long, individual greedy companies and speculators have perverted housing policies to their favor, while everyday working people lose their homes. This structural and strategic pushout has left thousands houseless, finding refuge in temporary shelters, their cars, and curbsides. A quarter of the houseless population in the United States are struggling in California. This issue is particularly disturbing when considering that about half of women struggling with houselessness have left domestic violence relationships.
We fully believe that women who have courageously fled from domestic violence, like Moms 4 Housing co-founder Dominique Walker, deserve safe and affordable homes. Women who work multiple jobs, like co-founder Sameerah Karim, should not be left unhoused. Children deserve to feel safe and secure in a house rather than forced to sleep in the streets. Black Oakland residents have borne the brunt of corporate greed and displacement, and this violence is compounded for Black women who work tirelessly to survive and raise their children.
We condemn the police acting as guard dogs for corporate private property while completely disregarding the dignity and safety of women, children, and those vulnerable without a claim to so-called private ownership of the land. The appalling militarized eviction, complete with a tank and riot gear at 5 am, serves as a reminder of the brute force that police will employ to defend the interests of the wealthy.
We are inspired by the call to action by Moms 4 Housing and 37MLK as a call for radical care for one another and taking our futures into our own hands.
We reserve the right to defend our homes, our bodies, and our land. Many of our members are Bay Area natives that have experienced, for years, the violent instability the local housing crisis has created for our communities and our families. Our homes are not up for grabs.