OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - The Housing and Dignity Village, a shelter for unhoused women and children in East Oakland, was evicted Thursday.
Skyfox flew over the homeless encampment located at Edes Avenue and South Elmhurst Avenue where homeless advocates tried to block the eviction. Protesters were met by Oakland Police Department and the city's Department of Public Works.
The eviction was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but those who run, what activist Cat Brooks describes as a "women of color-led clean and sober camp", were able to negotiate with the City of Oakland to delay the eviction until Thursday and to meet under more respectful conditions.
The Village said two people were cited, but not arrested in a tweet sent out just before 6 p.m. Thursday evening.
KTVU reached out to confirm the number of arrests, but was referred to the City of Oakland, who said no arrests were made, but that one individual was briefly detained for refusing to move for a DPW truck.
The city said all 15 people "illegally camping" on the public property were offered shelter, but the residents refused. They added that personal belongings would be stored for 90 days and can be retrieved by the owners.
"DPW workers cut through chains the residents had used to lock fences together. Outreach workers had visited the site and met with residents several times throughout the last week, including twice
yesterday and earlier this morning," the city wrote in a statement.
Local media organization IndyBay documented the event, posting photos of the dismantling of the Village. One of the videos showed Needa Bee, a Village resident and activist, decrying the city's treatment of its homeless population. She gave a scathing critique (expletives included) of the mayor. She turned to face police, who were holding the line and yelled that she hoped none of them lose their home, adding that "Jesus'" birthday was coming up, noting that Christ himself was homeless, as if to point out hypocrisy if any of them happen to be Christian. You can watch the video here courtesy Indybay.org. Warning video includes profanity.
Videos posted on social media showed women talking about the importance of women and children experiencing homelessness to be off the streets and away from drug users. They also expressed that the Village has clean bathrooms and that the city does not provide adequate facilities and that port-a-potties that are provided, are not clean.
Advocates had previously sued to keep the Village open, but a federal court found that the planned shut down did not violate the occupants' constitutional rights.
The City of Oakland said it has fulfilled its obligation and has offered the residents shelter.
The “help” offered is shelter beds - but they’re in such short supply that Oakland officials would kick other unsheltered folks out of the beds to put these residents up for a few nights. The residents of #HousingAndDignityVillage preferred the space they created for themselves.— The Village, Oakland (@VillageOakland) December 7, 2018
The two people moved & cuffed for their resistance were cited, not arrested - Oakland is toeing the line of Martin vs. Boise very carefully - courts & City are fine w/ letting people sleep in the street, but can’t criminalize them/supporters.— The Village, Oakland (@VillageOakland) December 7, 2018
After camp negotiated eviction yesterday, city agreed to meet in more respectful way - today Cops swarmed Housing & Dignity camp (women of color-led clean and sober camp). Eviction in progress! Support needed NOW. Edes & Elmhurst Cops throwing everything away & making arrests— Cat Brooks (@CatsCommentary) December 6, 2018
The police just swarmed the residents of #HousingAndDignityVillage and busted the lock. They are evicting the encampment now - when there aren’t TV cameras or supporters from the community.— The Village, Oakland (@VillageOakland) December 6, 2018
WE NEED FOLKS AT HDV (Edes Ave & S Elmhurst Ave in Deep East) NOW.