"Eviction Free Summer" activists show up outside a landlord's office to protest an eviction

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On July 2, activists from "Eviction Free Summer," formed to defend tenants facing eviction, gathered outside landlord Rick Holman's South Park office building in San Francisco to protest an eviction he'd initiated against a Mission-based activist collective.

Organizer Fred Sherburn-Zimmer said it was one of many peaceful protests the housing activists plan to stage against property owners this summer. "We're taking it to the landlord's homes and offices," Sherburn-Zimmer said. "They can't pretend they're not ruining people's lives by displacing them."

This past April, collective members from In The Works, an organization that rents space in what is often called the "17 Reasons" building, at 17th and Mission streets, received an eviction notice from Holman alleging illegal subletting.

Holman is a managing partner at Asher Investment Group, and from the perspective of Sherburn-Zimmer and other protesters, his move to evict the collective is helping to propel a trend of gentrification in the Mission. "We need this space, and if the whole neighborhood is high-end realty, then it's not really helping the community," Sherburn-Zimmer said.

The In The Works Collective bills itself as an anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist arts and events collective, which regularly hosts skill-sharing workshops and other activism-oriented events. A collective member who introduced herself as Madeline said Holman has not been the most hospitable landlord.

"When he first came to talk to us, he said we had bad posture and body language," she recounted. "The day after we got the three-day notice, the locks were changed." 

When the Guardian reached Holman this past May seeking comment for a longer article about widespread evictions, he declined to comment on the matter but emphasized that he planned to keep the building as commercial office space rather than convert it into high-end condos, and said his other tenants had expressed no complaints.

Like many folks facing eviction from San Francisco rental properties, In The Works may be forced to find another space. Currently, Madeline says the collective is paying 72 cents a square foot for the 5,200 square foot place -- and it’s highly unlikely that they’ll find a place in the Mission for a similar price. That's why they welcomed support from the activists at Eviction-Free Summer.

"I totally respect them helping us out," Madeline said. "It's important that we stick together. Our place has always been big on solidarity and community building." 

Eviction Free Summer hasn’t revealed what other landlords they might target, yet they plan to continue staging protests outside landlords' homes and offices in coming months. "This is just the beginning of this direct action group," Sherburn-Zimmer said. "We will do anything to prevent people from losing their homes and spaces."

Comments

So Holman, the landlord, alleged 'illegal subletting'.

Perhaps you could have included a sentence or two about the validity of that claim?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2013 @ 9:48 am

From my understanding, the landlord bought the building and immediately locked the tenants out. Only after did he start evicting them. Regardless of the merits of the allegations, shouldn't landlords respect due process, or are they above that?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2013 @ 1:33 am

protests on an empty street, does it still emit a foul odor?

Posted by Chromefields on Jul. 03, 2013 @ 11:16 am
Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

Sorry newbie...SFBG rules are that you assume that the big guy/landlord is nothing but evil and villainous while the little guy/tennant is approaching sainthood.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2013 @ 11:28 am

So you make a point to indicate that the landlord declined to comment on the record- probably on the advice of his attorney, but completely ignore anything about questioning the tenants on the validity of the allegations of subletting- which if true would certainly have violated the lease.

Posted by Whackamole on Jul. 03, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

Make fun of people you don't know all you want, trolls. These people are doing far more for the inhabitants of San Francisco than you posting your lame ass hate on a comment section. Feeling big?

We all know what the target is...flippers, the soulless real estate industry and mega investors from all over the world who see our homes as strictly something on a spreadsheet. But instead of joining in the fight and helping your community you would rather convince yourself you are too righteously superior to give a damn about anyone, while defending your captors. Don't worry, the greedy ones will be coming for you too and there will be no one who cares about your plight because you are so unpleasant to be around. Apathy breeds apathy.

Posted by Sigmarlin on Jul. 03, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

This article (and apparently you) condemns the landlord (who you don't know) without even considering or discussing their point of view. You make a big stink about "our homes", but the property in question is not even a residence. In fact, it appears as if it may have been illegally occupied as a residence, forcing the landlord to evict - if he didn't he may have been in violation of the law.
The actual number of evictions in SF is rather low (there were 116 Ellis evictions in 2012), and I am sure Sheriff Ross is doing his part to slow it down by not enforcing evictions. Rent control protects law abiding renters from steep increases.
The affordability issue here is that it is too costly to move here from somewhere else, and if you do get evicted, sayonara!

Posted by Richmondman on Jul. 03, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

116 Ellis is the official number. But what are the real numbers?...Official Ellis, Owner Move Ins, Condos, Demos, illegal hotel units PLUS all threats of such which never make it to the official record. Most people self evict or take a buyout because they are told they will never be able to rent again with an eviction on their record. You seem to be claiming displacement is not really happening when all evidence (the tenants orgs statistics and anecdotal stories point otherwise. Are you Mayor Lee? Because he too doesn't believe there is a housing crisis. I would think we could at least agree that they city is being changed...

Posted by Sigmarlin on Jul. 03, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

Your 'unofficial' numbers are cases where tenants were happy to extort tens of thousands of dollars from their landlord on their way out. I'm sure they're laughing all the way to the bank.

Posted by RemyMarathe on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

116 Ellis is the official number. But what are the real numbers?...Official Ellis, Owner Move Ins, Condos, Demos, illegal hotel units PLUS all threats of such which never make it to the official record. Most people self evict or take a buyout because they are told they will never be able to rent again with an eviction on their record. You seem to be claiming displacement is not really happening when all evidence (the tenants orgs statistics and anecdotal stories point otherwise. Are you Mayor Lee? Because he too doesn't believe there is a housing crisis. I would think we could at least agree that they city is being changed...

Posted by Sigmarlin on Jul. 03, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

You all do more for San Franciscans when you stop evictions than when you say you want to stop evictions.

What's going on here is not helping keep vulnerable Mission residents in their homes.

No, this is about the counterculture coming out for the counterculture, the choir preaching to the choir.

There is a heavy narcissistic component to radical activism these days. It is not about putting together a campaign to actually win anything. It is more about activists being see by activists as saying more radical things than the next one, generally by yelling those things at empty buildings.

How about a plan to achieve concrete goals that is based upon building the necessary elements of political power to change the outcomes?

How about all of these community organizers who come to work in the Mission actually, well, organizing the community to demand political change?

Posted by marcos on Jul. 04, 2013 @ 7:08 am

Well said.

Posted by RemyMarathe on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

me and my dad lived 28 years in the mission on 20th st the owner burnt the top unit to get us out and its bin 2years place fix and still waiting he got away with it thank you god that me my dad my dog were saved

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

The city is filled with bad landlords & bad activists, which insures that nothing will get done. I feel sad for the innocent, decent seniors/disabled/people with AIDS who can't get help.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

7 minutes away on BART but for their union.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

You know it's getting bad when the Foreign corporate "alt weekly" can't get things right that a blog (Uptown Almanac) did, and did so a long time ago.

How long will the New Corporate Plantation Owners put up with this crapola?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

Very nice blog. It is really very informative. Thank you.

Posted by How to Evict on Sep. 05, 2013 @ 8:46 am

I'd be willing to bet most of these tenants have already found new homes.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 05, 2013 @ 9:13 am