Connecting Tragedy to the Larger Crisis
Jessamyn here, wanting to share my thoughts:
The #Ghostship fire has me in deep despair. I'm mourning the loss of so many people...creatives and friends of friends. The loss continues to grow as we learn more.
As I grieve, I'm remembering our old office that was across the street from where the family and friends' crisis center is now located at the sheriff's office on E12th and Miller Ave/25th, just blocks from the fire.
Oakland Rising was in a warehouse that looked outwardly similar to Ghostship and had previously been a literal sweatshop with its large and very illegal attic. We had 40+ people working out of that attic...because we were scraping by to continue our work and dedicated although broke. Every member of our team was on computers phoning voters, with only TWO outlets in the entire space. This could've been us so easily. We feared it every day. (Shoutout to Lanese MArtin for finding our current, safer space 4 years ago.)
Point being, the reality in which working class people and organizations are trying to survive has pushed us to have no other choice than unsafe spaces or outright displacement. Whether it looks like throwing a party in a cramped warehouse or running campaigns out of one or (insert your story here), we're literally pressed for space on which to survive.
This is part and literal parcel of the corporate forces that are dominating the Bay and creating crises for continued safe and healthy living here, especially for working class people of color who've been here for generations. And this might be "too soon," yet I believe in our comprehensive understanding of the forces at work and our ability to hold complexity. I offer this analysis with love.
As we mourn those lost and missing, let us also be clear on the causes and repercussions.
Shared with deep sadness, love, and compassion. As we mourn, let's hold each other first and foremost. And let's double down on these forces and assholes who put profit over people.
Love y'all. Holding you tight.
For more analysis connecting this tragedy to the great housing crisis: