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Indybay Feature
Wed Feb 8 2017 (Updated 02/10/17)
Oakland Deploys an Army of Police and DPW to Destroy Homeless Sanctuary
Wed Feb 8 2017 (Updated 02/10/17)
Mayor and City Administrator Bulldoze Homes & Village of Services for Oakland’s Homeless Residents
On January 21, a network of Oakland community members took over Marcus Garvey Park, a public plot of neglected land at 36th Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in West Oakland, to create a village of homes and services for Oakland’s homeless residents, named “The Promise Land” by residents. The group — which included folks living on Oakland streets, activists from Feed the People and Asians for Black Lives, The Black Land Liberation Initiative and various individuals from the community — said that the move-in demonstrated their ability to provide what the City of Oakland cannot to its most vulnerable residents.

At 8:30am on the morning of February 2, at least 80 Oakland Police raided the village. Structures were then bulldozed by the Department of Public Works (DPW). The inhumane action went against the wishes of hundreds of Oakland residents who contributed to building up the sanctuary for two weeks. Sixteen residents, half of them elderly, were displaced. An additional four guests who were seeking sanctuary for the night were also rudely awakened. Two of the evening guests who slept in The Promised Land open air living room, sought refuge because Caltrans [California Department of Transportation] had destroyed their encampments down the street.

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Related Feature: Oakland Land Reclaimed for Housing by Homeless Residents and Activists
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