“The land has been used for illegal dumping for at least a decade. We were unhoused women. We and others like us needed a place to land: women. women in crisis, women breaking free from toxic relationships, women who took care of their children, women who’s children took care of them. we needed a place to find sanctuary in this Sanctuary City. So we cleaned up the illegal dumping, activated The Village network, and joined forces with The East Oakland Collective.
We were only in existence for a little over a month, but during that time we were able to create a space where unhoused women and their children felt safe. We created a place where women could get clean and sober. We created a community that took care of the housed and unhoused in the neighborhood. it was a beautiful thing. Indigenous Day of Mourning and Remembrance (promoted by the colonizer as “Thanksgiving” at The Housing & Dignity Village we fed alot of people in the rain!!!! November 2018
#HousingAndDignityVillage is throwing down in the kitchen today to bring a feast to the people across Oakland! We’re aiming to serve 400 plates to folks in encampments. #FeedThePeople #FuckThePolice #DayOfMourning #Thankstaking pic.twitter.com/YEtul6ckX3— The Village, Oakland (@VillageOakland) November 23, 2018
High ranking administrators and officials who NEVER come to evictions were there on Dec 5th, 2018. But so was the community to defend and support Housing & Dignity Village.https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Oakland-officials-converge-on-banned-homeless-13445647.php
For several hours in the rain advocates negotiated with City officials, while supported blocked the gate and chanted, and residents barricaded themselves inside the gates of The Village.
By early afternoon, The City officials, advocates and residents all agreed on a next step: The City would not demolish The Village and evict the residents until all parties met at the table to flush out The City’s last minute and questionable offers of shelter or discuss other possible solutions.
But 24 hours later while the children were at school and most residents were at work, Oakland Police Department and Department of Public Works swarmed the camp and destroyed it all. No property was salvaged. No one was offered shelter.
the demolition of Housing & Dignity Village by Mayor Libby Schaaff and Asst. Administrator Joe De Vries, in The City of Oakland, CA December 6, 2018
One of the residents is live-streaming from the site now. Here’s photos of the cops who showed up at the HDV this afternoon. https://t.co/I9w1AIxBrP pic.twitter.com/3LNW9SV1dy— The Village, Oakland (@VillageOakland) December 6, 2018
The demolition went well past midnight. When they were done, OPD and Public Works drove off, leaving all the residents on the sidewalk outside the gate of the now empty lot. a majority of the residents stayed outside the lot for a little over a week since there was no where else to go. During that time, one of the residents had her trailer stolen from the street.
Now Oakland city council is disrupted, members of the public shouting at the councilmembers. Many are venting about the recent closure of the Housing and Dignity Village homeless camp. #OakMtg pic.twitter.com/TxdV1v4KjE— Darwin BondGraham (@DarwinBondGraha) December 12, 2018
And the fight continues….read about life after Housing & Dignity Village here