1. thepeoplesrecord:

    Activists revive shuttered library in East Oakland
    August 14, 2012

    Around 7 a.m. Monday, activists took over a vacant building in East Oakland’s San Antonio neighborhood, which they said had been left unlocked. After word spread on Facebook, about a dozen volunteers arrived and set to work, stocking it with donated books and clearing out grime, old mattresses, graffiti and other markings of abandonment. A bilingual banner hanging in front of the entrance at 1449 Miller Ave. welcomed passers-by to the “Victor Martinez People’s Library,” named for the late Latino author.

    Decades ago, the building housed an official city library, an ornate space with built-in wooden bookshelves and high ceilings decorated with molding. Completed in 1918, it was one of four branches funded with a Carnegie grant. But that branch closed in the 1970s, and since then, the building has sat mostly unused, said Jaime Silva, one of the organizers. Squatters and illegal dumping have turned the property into an eyesore, he said.

    I think everyone in the community is psyched this will no longer be a dumping ground,” said Silva, 43.

    The building is owned by the City of Oakland’s Redevelopment Successor Agency within the Office of Neighborhood Investment. In an email Monday, an agency spokesman said the city would issue a dispersal order with a set time to vacate the property; his response didn’t include the city’s plans for the blighted building, which remains in disrepair.

    Late Monday morning, people began trickling in. Some checked out books, shared their ideas, or asked how they could help.

    “You open Monday through Friday?” one man asked a volunteer.

    “We have no idea,” the volunteer responded.

    Goldie Simmons of San Leandro, whose husband is the pastor of the nearby Agnes Memorial Church, said she and her husband had proposed that city officials turn the building into a youth center, but that they were told it needed to be retrofitted. She said she was glad people had taken matters into their own hands.

    “There’s nothing in this area, really,” she said. “There’s really no place for kids to come.”

    Silva and other activists say the goal is for the building to be used for a community purpose, whether it’s a library or a community center with a garden.

    “All we ask is that you consider keeping it out of the hands of a city which will only seal the fence and doors again, turning the space back into an aggregator of the city’s trash and a dark hole in the middle of the community,” according to the group’s news release, aimed at residents of the surrounding neighborhoods.

    Only thing is, without a permit and city approval, the police consider them squatters—and the building was raided tonight by Oakland PD. 


    I suppose the city would rather see an empty building go to waste rather than to have a library & garden open to the community.

    Libraries, not raids!

  1. gwenmcgregor reblogged this from absofuckingtively
  2. capitol-of-nj reblogged this from snarkbender
  3. amostpeculiarman reblogged this from thenewbohemia
  4. jjarichardson reblogged this from myheadisweak
  5. jjarichardson likes this
  6. whatshallwedo likes this
  7. feed-well likes this
  8. myheadisweak reblogged this from tardissr
  9. myheadisweak likes this
  10. pensamiento-serpentino reblogged this from tzunuun
  11. pensamiento-serpentino likes this
  12. punku likes this
  13. snarkbender reblogged this from tzunuun
  14. snarkbender likes this
  15. tzunuun reblogged this from likestepsonthemoon
  16. inbobbysocks reblogged this from likestepsonthemoon
  17. seanpadilla likes this
  18. kadalkavithaigal likes this
  19. holdinghope reblogged this from fuckcapitalism and added:
    This is SOOO amazing!
  20. holdinghope likes this
  21. nesbiff likes this
  22. fuckcapitalism reblogged this from tardissr
  23. tardissr reblogged this from thepeoplesrecord
  24. soiledpointsofview reblogged this from soiledphotos
  25. melancholycat likes this
  26. affairofthepoisons reblogged this from thepeoplesrecord
  27. puhterodactyl reblogged this from viomatic
  28. victimofrebellion likes this
  29. viomatic reblogged this from thepeoplesrecord
  30. frontbits reblogged this from thecardiganlibrarian
  31. michaelisbored reblogged this from thepeoplesrecord
  32. absofuckingtively reblogged this from kinkylibrarianmind
  33. kinkylibrarianmind reblogged this from sinshine
  34. cobaltlove likes this
  35. remierk reblogged this from thepeoplesrecord
  36. happypaper likes this
  37. pinegolin reblogged this from missrumphiusproject
  38. sinshine reblogged this from winneganfake
  39. thepinakes likes this
  40. missrumphiusproject reblogged this from alieakin
  41. poczineproject likes this
  42. missrumphiusproject likes this
  43. sopes reblogged this from thepeoplesrecord
  44. onlycolorandlight likes this
  45. timekiller-s likes this
  46. hq76o261984 likes this
  47. alieakin reblogged this from thecardiganlibrarian
  48. scrapscribe reblogged this from thepeoplesrecord
  49. jellysanscanicy reblogged this from thepeoplesrecord