In March we published Street Spirit’s first ever anti-eviction art issue: a whole paper full of artwork and intended to bolster the fight use to stop evictions and house us all. The issue was built to be a tool. It contained giant, 17×22 inch posters that we encouraged you to decorate your windows, encampment, or vehicle with. We wanted you to bring them to public actions, and to tape or wheatpaste them in the streets. With this artwork, we hoped to inspire a continuous uprising: to house our homeless neighbors and to keep our housed neighbors in their homes.
So far, our project has been a success. In Oakland, housing activists wheatpasted tens of the posters along Martin Luther King Jr. Way, across the road from the Oakland Children’s Hospital on the pillars beneath the BART tracks. The corridor acted as a renegade anti-eviction art gallery for nearly a month before the posters were removed. East Bay residents also wheatpasted posters around the UC Berkeley campus, in Temescal, in the Berkeley Hills, and at the Albany Bulb. Our March issue was spotted on community message boards at an East Oakland warehouse, at People’s Park, and in the windows of several Berkeley and Oakland homes.
The posters also made their way into encampment communities, where residents were encouraged to use them to decorate their space. Groups like the East Oakland Collective and East Oakland Burrito Roll passed out newspapers during their street outreach, along with the food and hygiene products they regularly distribute. East Oakland Burrito Roll distributed 100 newspapers to people in encampments in deep East Oakland, Fruitvale, West Oakland, the Berkeley Marina, and Emeryville.
Our posters were used to protest eviction and displacement as well. In Chico, a group of protestors opposing encampment sweeps—where some survivors of the Paradise fire now live—used our posters in a local demonstration. In Los Angeles, protestors downloaded anti-eviction art from our online art kit and used it to make protest signs. These signs were used defend against the eviction of the encampment community living at Echo Park Lake at the end of March. Our March issue made it all the way up to Portland, Oregon, where students and community activists wheatpasted the posters around city streets.
The anti-eviction art kit is still available online, here. You can download all our posters for free, including some that were only released online—including Dave Loewenstein’s design that is featured on the cover of this issue. We hope you continue to download the images from the dropbox folder that’s available at that link, and use them to fight against unlawful and inhumane evictions of tenants by landlords, of homeowners through foreclosure, and houseless people from encampment communities.
Alastair Boone is the Editor in Chief of Street Spirit.