It began with a tweet last night:
@KissMyEntireAzz: Homeowner in foreclosure seeks occupiers at his property in Oakland
Use the link, make sure it's on 'satellite', and zoom in to the penultimate magnification. See that lot below the grey house? It's now #Occupied with about 10 tents, 20 people, and a kitchen. There were, as of an hour or so ago, four television news vans parked on the adjacent streets. I hope the #Occupiers enjoy the donuts I brought them.
The house itself? It's that same grey one immediately above the lot. I'm told it's a duplex, with one of the apartments vacant, and that someone who does not reside at the property owns both the lot and the house. From the San Jose Mercury News:
Protesters with 10 tents, awnings and camping gear put down stakes at about 7 p.m. Monday night on a large fenced-off lot adjoining a home at the corner of 18th and Linden Streets. More prospective campers were seen walking toward the camp early Tuesday morning...
Alameda County records confirm that the lot is the subject of foreclosure proceedings. A notice of trustee sale was published Monday by the county clerk-recorder...
Camp members say they have permission to be there, believing that will keep police from being able to clear out the camp. A patrol officer stopped momentarily at the site but did not engage the campers before moving on.
Indeed, there wasn't an Oakland Police presence there or anywhere near that I could see. One of the campers who seemed to know something said that they had been in touch with the owner but that they did not, as yet, have clear permission for the campsite -- the owner was looking into the legal issues.
There hasn't been much tweeting about the property in the last couple of hours. Everything seems pretty mellow at the site, although that could change at any time if the police or the City of Oakland decide otherwise.
Here's the most recent relevant tweets I've seen:
talking to a neighbor of the new #occupyoakland camp. She says she's supports, says the camp is something new for her kids to see. A lesson.
2 hours ago
Overall, a wide variety of opinions from neighbors about the new #occupyoakland camp. Some pro, some anti, some indifferent. Some confused.
2 hours ago
This is exciting, even if it is mellow. If the #Occupiers can keep control of the site, not allowing it to turn into something neighbors and the owner might object to, they stand a chance of forcing the bank to negotiate a settlement with the owner, which, as one of them told me and some others gathered around, is their objective.
Spreading this action across Oakland to the hundreds, if not thousands, of houses in danger of foreclosure could prove to be a big win for #OccupyOakland in the coming months.
Here's something that just came across from Minneapolis, which is very inspiring. It's time to take it all across the country.
November 19th, 2011: Following two arrests and an incident in which a police officer tried to run down an occupier with a squad car, Occupy Minneapolis formed a human chain around Sa'ra Kaiser’s foreclosed home, preventing the officers from boarding it up, and ultimately forcing the police -- who had no legitimate legal pretense for preventing occupiers from being there in the first place -- to give up and leave.
"If your homes ever get foreclosed... Call us! We'll be there for you."
I love it.