This week has brought tremendous sadness and grief to so many members of our community. lt is with the deepest of love, respect, tenderness, and heartache that we honor those that have passed, the families and friends that are mourning, as well as offer our solidarity and support. In the aftermath of the devastating loss at Ghostship last Friday night, we have heard that the state has used this tragedy as an excuse and pretext to target, harass, and repress the communities that thrive and create underground DIY spaces and communal living situations, both in the Bay Area and throughout the nation. The Bay Area Anti Repression Committee condemns these cruel and paternalistic actions of intimidating and harassing tenants with menacing inspections, shutting down shows and events (including a benefit for the fire victims!), or wielding the threat of evictions – all in the name of “safety.” We know that the excuse of “health and safety” is what they give to justify forcibly evicting homeless encampments. The city gave the same reasoning to evict Occupy Oakland. We see through this and know that the state will exploit crisis anywhere to serve its own agenda, in this case by making it harder for underground communities to congregate and by creating more and more opportunities for gentrifying development in the wake of evicting alternative cultural and living spaces. It is inexcusable that mourners should have to deal with this level of assault against them while facing the loss of so many treasured lives!
If your warehouse/DIY community spaces is experiencing repression, such as law enforcement harassment, random landlord or fire inspection etc, there are lawyers within the National Lawyers Guild who have stepped up to offer assistance.
We’ve also heard that some people have been approached by law enforcement or the Bureau of Alcohol Firearms Tobacco and Explosives with questions about the fire at Ghostship. Please keep in mind that you have the right to remain silent! It’s best practice to give no comment, ask the official for a business card, and inform them that your attorney will contact them.
In either event, please do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will facilitate getting you in touch with a NLG attorney who can help with legal support and answer questions.
In solidarity and sympathy,
The Bay Area Anti Repression Committee