AUDIOS are from the February 2nd, 2014 broadcast of Radio Autonomía: Zapatismo in the Bay on Berkeley Liberation Radio, 104.1FM, livestream at http://www.berkeleyliberationradio.net
This month, we explore neighborhood organizing and everyday forms of uprising against gentrification.
Block by block, whole communities throughout cities worldwide are being displaced by neoliberal forces. Gentrification is used to explain the phenomena of displacing working class communities and communities of color from, mostly, urban centers. In the last 20 years, we have witnessed the reversal of the mid-20th century white-flight from US urban hubs. This month, we ask, what are the signs of gentrification? What is at stake when community members and neighbors are starkly divided by class, cultural and racial lines? What does it mean to protect your block? How do we create another type of community, that is not mediated by capital and displacement, but rather one that it’s fabric of relations is rooted in dignity?
Recently in San Francisco and Oakland, several activists have taken up the anti-gentrification tactic of preventing commuter buses, serving Silicon Valley-Tech workers, from going through their neighborhoods. By literally blocking the buses with their bodies, the activists are claiming a stake in the urban space where they live, work and struggle. Google, and other tech companies, as well as liberal city officials are arguing that these “tech-buses” are providing a service and benefit to Bay Area communities because it is more environmentally sustainable to have tech workers commute on a bus rather than having each worker drive to the Silicon Valley from San Francisco or Oakland. This argument, sounds all too familiar to the current arguments used in the displacement of poor indigenous communities by ecotourism efforts and multinational corporations privatizing natural resources throughout the Americas.
In the stories and interviews highlighted in today’s show we take on these concerns and emphasize the surge of local resistance; we will hear from activists carving out an autonomous cultural center in the heart of the monstrous city of D.F., we will be joined live in studio by community organizers of the Phat Beets collective to discuss some of their on-going efforts to resist the total displacement of working class communities of color from the white-and-green washing of the east bay; and finally, we will hear movement artist Boca Floja of Quilombo Arte, a trans-national and localized art-in-resistance project, present his latest literary creative project, “Prognosis; decolonial poetic exhale.” Join us in exploring anti-gentrification projects here and across the globe, while considering autonomist scholar John Holloway’s poignant question, “How can we create autonomous anti-capitalists, anti-state spaces or moments in the city?”
To listen to the audio from the show, click on the links below.
1. Full February 2014 Show
2. Interview with Phat Beets Collective
3. Boca Floja Segement
4. Interview with Colectivo Karakola
La Karakol@ culture and social center
For information about the featured stories, check out these links:
Phat Beets Produce
Boca Floja & Quilombo Arte
zapatista inspired mural
Film screening at La Karakol@