On Wednesday, February 26th at 11:30 a.m., about 150 tenants and community supporters, including Eviction Free San Francisco, rallied at 24th/Mission BART Plaza for a “March On Greed” to the office of serial evictor Kaushik Dattani at 3232 22nd Street to support long-time San Francisco tenants and roommates Patricia Kerman’s and Tom Rapp’s campaign to resist their unjust Ellis Act eviction by Dattani from their home at 3305 20th Street.
Rain may have dampened the still impressive turnout for this action, but it didn’t dampen the spirit and commitment of its participants. The rally at the BART Plaza featured a poignant speech from Patricia Kerman about her love for San Francisco, its history and spirit followed by music from the Brass Liberation Orchestra (BLO).
From there, the BLO led a spirited march, in the streets, to Patricia’s and Tom’s landlord’s office on 22nd Street between Mission and Bartlett Streets. There, the crowd encountered two SFPD officers guarding the shuttered entrance to the office in order to prevent any direct appeals to Dattani personally to rescind the eviction. In December, at an earlier event, people from Dattani’s office brandished baseball bats in order to intimidate the residents’ efforts to make a similar appeal.
Outside the office and across the width of 22nd Street, the group listened to short speeches from Tom Rapp and members of event sponsor Eviction Free San Francisco and of supportive community organizations like Causa Justa. Tom emphasized the urgency of tenants facing eviction to stand together to assert their rights in order to protect their homes. Alicia from Causa Justa related Dattani’s efforts to harass residents of another building that he recently purchased. Near the end of the action, many people called Dattani’s office and cell phones to demand the retraction of Patricia’s and Tom’s eviction.
Today’s rally, march, and protest is the latest in a growing number of grassroots events in response to the rapid pace of evictions and gentrification during this latest real estate boom. Eviction Free San Francisco is an entirely volunteer organization of tenants and their supporters using mutual aid and direct action to resist evictions and preserve our homes.
The current pace of real estate activity and accompanying evictions make many San Franciscans feel uneasy about their future here. Address those feelings by getting involved in advocating for each other. Already, the efforts of Eviction Free San Francisco and other allied groups have forced elected officials and city bureaucrats to publicly state their intentions to address evictions and push for reforms. And this groundswell of support has led to some tangible victories, including the rescinding and defeating of some Ellis Act evictions and the recognition of the legal right to residency for the tenants at 1049 Market Street.
Help Patricia and Tom fight their eviction by calling Kaushik Dattani and demand that he retract the eviction of Patricia and Tom, at 3305 20th Street.