Weekend Tent City at 3200 Washington St.

Area E 13 police talking with demonstrators Saturday evening at Iffley Road and Washington St

Affordable Housing Egleston

Area E 13 police talking with demonstrators Saturday evening at Iffley Road and Washington St

Two actions Saturday and Sunday by City Life/Vida Urbana and Affordable Housing Eglston/Beantown  Society showed “what democracy looks like!” as the youth chanted to drivers Sunday afternoon outside 3200Washington Street.

City Life demonstrated at 26 School Street Saturday afternoon – setting up an eviction free zone in the middle of the street.  Tenants facing eviction from that building said they can’t afford to even live in the new affordable units planned for at 3200 Washington Street.

This was the point  of Affordable Housing Egleston and the Beantown  Society at the Sunday rally: how do the youth stay in the community they’ve lived most of  their lives?

AHE knows its history. They set up a  one night tent city on the sidewalk of 3200 Washington Street evoking the legendary Tent City demonstration of April 1968 when Black and Puerto Rican demonstrators pitched tents in a parking lot on Dartmouth St and demanded public housing.

About 30 youth and community members spent the night; some staying until 3 am before going home. They demonstrated that tents  may be the only option for many low income families  on the edge of Jamaica Plain.

A  night projection was flashed on the Iffley Road brickwall showing a greedy landlord being pushed out by the forces of  ” Equality. Justice and Roots .. the three values that should be reflected in the 3200 Washington Street building but are not” as the AHE press release stated.

Area E 13 police kept a low profile throughout the night. According to a few of the demonstrators the police made no effort to evict the tent city but mainly checked in from time to time; a police cruiser was parked  not far away most of the night but not near the demonstrators site.

Late Sunday afternoon the Jamaica Plain News walked over to the 3200 Washington St Tent City and talked with a few of the demonstrators.

17 y/o Marvin Mendoza lives at  3042 Washington Street with his mother , aunt, three cousins and an uncle. Mendez is an entering senior at Charlestown High School and he knows first hand the message of the new Tent City.

“Our landlord – who used to live in the building – sold it a month ago.” said Mendoza.” The new owner wants to renovate the whole building. We’re paying  rent to the new owner”

Although Mendoza said his family has received no eviction notice and apparently are paying the same rent, they fear for the worst and have decide do move out.

” Even my church  [Eglsia Reforma Emmanuel} has to move.” he said.

“I joined the movement,” he said ” because I’m living through this.”

It’s also personal for  20 y/0 Bernardo Cruceta . He has lived at 1903 Columbus Avenue for 11 years.

” I’m new to this.” he told the News. “I  just lost my job. I joined yesterday. This is my family. It’s a good cause. I mean how  come we have to earn $65,000  a year just to live in a house? This is not possible.”

” I’m going to see where this goes”. he added.” I’ll follow the lead. I dont want to see homeless people here.”

Michal Shapiro is from Jamaica Plain. The 32 year old just joined the board of Spontaneous Celebrations. Beantown Youth Society fits in well with her work with youth organizations such as IBA Villa Victoria and Youth Jobs Coalition.

She sees the movement as confronting the uneasy quality of life youth face today.

” Young people live with this,” she told the News. “They see all the change  coming to their community. They know people who were forced to move.”

Throughout  the night and during the Sunday rally E 13 police kept a low profile

Richard Heath

Throughout the night and during the Sunday rally E 13 police kept a low profile

Marvin Mendez. He and his family are forced to move from their home because their  building was sold and they fear eviction.

Richard Heath

Marvin Mendoza. He and his family are forced to move from their home because their building was sold and they fear eviction.

"Show me what Democracy looks lIke? THIS  is what Democracy looks like!" Bernardo Cruteta holds the sign

Richard Heath

\”Show me what Democracy looks lIke? THIS is what Democracy looks like!\” Bernardo Cruteta holds the sign

DSC_0758

3040 and 3042 Washington Street next to the ES YMCA. Recently sold to outside owners. residents fear eviction. Beantown Youth demonstrator Marvin Mendez is one. He lives  with his family in 3042 The church ( left building)  is moving too. The tailor shop in the building at right  is remaining .

Richard Heath

3040 and 3042 Washington Street next to the ES YMCA. Recently sold to outside owners. residents fear eviction. Beantown Youth demonstrator Marvin Mendez is one. He lives with his family in 3042 The church ( left building) is moving too. The tailor shop in the building at right is remaining .

And in the Projection " Equality Justice and Roots" prevails.

Affordable Housing Eglston

And in the Projection \” Equality Justice and Roots\” prevails.

The Tent City at 3200 Washington Street

Richard Heath

The Tent City at 3200 Washington Street

 

Affordable Housing Egleston shows a projection of greedy landlords moving in on the wall of 3200 Washington St Saturday night.

Affordable Housing Egleston

Affordable Housing Egleston shows a projection of greedy landlords moving in on the wall of 3200 Washington St Saturday night.

 

 

 

  • Hugo_JP

    I want to be sympathetic to the protestors but I’m having difficulty. The family moved even though their rent had not changed and they were not being threatened with eviction but now they’re crying foul?
    I’d have more sympathy if the protest organizers came forward with a plan or idea, instead of just saying “no” to any change.

    • FartFace

      They have a plan, albeit an unreasonable one: all new developments must be 100% affordable housing.

  • bminboston

    It’s a bummer if some people have to find cheaper apartments; I’ve been priced-out and forced to move out of five different neighborhoods since moving to Boston twenty years ago, despite working pretty damn hard and earning a decent paycheck.

    It’s kind of a demoralizing experience, but life goes on. Cities change, and people adapt.

    I’m sympathetic to these folks, but over time it happens to just about everyone, except the ultra-rich billionaire class.

    So just a message of moral support for those affected: yes it’s inconvenient, and kind of demoralizing, but if you have to move, you’ll find another place, and life will go on.

  • FartFace

    So they’re protesting an eviction that never occurred at the site of a building that’s never been residentially occupied? Ooookay.

    • kinopio

      Having a few affordable units is better than the zero affordable units that are there now. I don’t understand why they are focusing on this one piece of property where no one is being kicked out(the auto garage is being relocated).

  • Hugo_JP

    Well this battle is over. The BRA approved the development at 3200 Washington St with 18 affordable units.