Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies — wearing military camouflage and riding in military vehicles — removed a group of homeless mothers from a vacant home in Oakland, California, where they had been illegally occupying since November 2019 (MORE VIDEO BELOW).
HEAVY DUTY MILITARY GEAR SOLDIERS WITH WEAPONS HERE TO EVICT 4 UNHOUSED MOTHERS AND THEIR CHILDREN. Alameda Sheriff is functioning like a paramilitary gang. GET HERE NOW @moms4housing #moms4housing pic.twitter.com/1jcYxUbNwZ— #NoWarOnIran 🚩 (@pomegranatjewce) January 14, 2020
Housing advocates and supporters of “Moms 4 Housing” locked arms in front of the home and chanted at the police: “Shame On You,” notes KPIX.
Real estate investment firm Wedgewood Properties bought the house, which had been vacant for two years, for $501,078 at a foreclosure hearing on July 31.
Alameda County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly defended the militaristic confrontation in which five people were arrested:
The doors (of the home) were barricaded. They had fortified the doors, making entry into the residence was very difficult…We could not enter the home traditionally with a key or using a locksmith…We had to use a ram and a tremendous amount of force to get through.
We had different groups involved in this moment. Some are associated with some of the violent protests that we have seen throughout the Bay Area and we had reason to believe that had we gone in there at any other time other than the early morning hours it was likely that we would end up in a serious confrontation with those folks.
Mom 4 Housing leader Dominique Walker countered:
We’ve heard from people all over the world who are inspired by our nonviolent civil disobedience. People who say that our action has shifted their perspective and helped them understand that housing is a human right.
We’ve built a movement of thousands of Oaklanders who showed up at a moments notice to reject police violence and advocate for homes for families. This isn’t over, and it won’t be over until everyone in the Oakland community has a safe and dignified place to live. This house was a statement on what needs to happen in Oakland. This is a victory.