Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Paging Walter Block: Activists Chain Themselves Together, Shut Down Oakland City Council Meeting in Opposition to Gentrification

Protesters in front of a “The People’s City Council”  banner they unfurled.
 Black Seed activists locked their arms through pipes in the center of the Council Chambers. 

An anti-gentrification activist group angry over a proposed high-rise  shut down an Oakland City Council meeting Tuesday evening, forcing the Council to shout over singing protesters just to adjourn the disrupted meeting, reports CBS San Francisco.

The activists arrived to protest the proposed $5 million sale of a parcel of city-owned land to a development firm for the construction of a 24-story apartment tower.

The proposed development near the east end of Oakland's Lake Merritt (Not far from where Janet Napolitano lives the pimp life.) would be comprised of 298 market-rate apartments and about 2,000 square feet of ground-level retail space, according to city documents.

The activist group Black Seed. criticized the project as being unaffordable to most Oakland residents and the latest project changing the demographic landscape of Oakland with the city becoming unaffordable to long-term, lower-income residents.

The activists claim one-bedroom units in the new tower could cost more than $3,000 a month, making them unaffordable to many current Oakland residents

According to CBS:
The Council had accomplished little of its agenda, only having a short discussion of Mayor Libby Schaaf’s proposed budget before the meeting was shut down during the public comment portion.
Councilmembers quickly called a recess and adjourned the meeting about an hour later, shouting over protesters singing “Which side are you on?”
City leaders said there was no point in making arrests. “What am I going to do? Lock everyone up? What is that going to solve?” Council member Noel Gallo said.
Police Chief Sean Whent told KPIX 5, “Could we go in there and arrest all these people? Yes, we probably could. But what are we really gaining by that at this point?”
The protesters, who had unfurled a banner reading “The People’s City Council” continued their discussion well after the meeting adjourned, with residents taking turns telling their stories of how rising housing prices are affecting their lives.
There also appeared to be something of a mixing of isses
The important libertarian Walter Block has written on  gentrification:
What is gentrification? It merely constitutes one aspect of bidding for scarce resources; that which occurs in the real estate market. The more general case occurs continuously all throughout the market. For example, I purchase a loaf of bread. There is only so much bread available at any given time. I raise the price of this product by an infinitesimal amount. And, also, I have precluded someone else from purchasing that particular foodstuff. That is the general case. The same principle applies to real estate. I rent an apartment, or purchase a home. In so doing, I made it impossible for anyone else to occupy that specific domicile. Assume, now, that I honestly earned the money with which I made both of these purchases, I have violated no law that a libertarian need respect...

 -- RW

No comments:

Post a Comment