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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Blood spills at tense Alameda council meeting on rent moratorium

The blood of Bob Davis after Alameda Police
removed him at a tense city council meeting.
ALAMEDA CITY COUNCIL | Two members of the Alameda Renters Coalition were arrested Wednesday during a tense Alameda City Council on rising rents. One yet to be identified renter, was pulled by police from the entrance of the packed council chambers, dragged down a hallway and slammed to the ground. His face bloodied in the process.

Members of the renters group became upset after being unable to gain access to the chambers, which were filled nearly 45 minutes before the 6 p.m. special meeting. The group asserted landlords and their surrogates purposefully filled the chambers in a move to push renters to televisions set up near the front door of City Hall. Residents could also view the meeting in a room set up in the city library across the street.

Davis, 68, and another member of the Alameda
Renters Coalition was arrested Tuesday night.
But, after over an hour of public speakers, mostly advocating a pro-landlord position, members of the
renters group filled the narrow hallway outside the chamber's doors and began chanting in favor of a 65-day moratorium on rent increases and evictions in Alameda. Some began stomping, while others pounded their fists on a table and pillars. 

Inside the meeting, according to witnesses, Alameda Public Works Director Bob Haun attempted to keep the throng outside. He was then injured in the process. Haun's left hand was bloodied and a witness heard he complained of an injury to his hip. Meanwhile, outside, as the tussle continued, two police officers shuffled up the stairs, through the throng and forcefully grabbed one of the renters, who did not immediately submit. 

The officer then swung the man, who appeared to be in his 60s, and sweeped him against a row of renters standing against a wall. At the end of the arc, the officer then slammed the man face-first to the ground. Blood could be seen while he was being subdued. Once brought to standing position by police, a large smear of blood was revealed. Witnesses later say the man had a large cut above one of his eyes.

John Klein, the other person arrested in the altercation, is a member of the Alameda Renters Coalition steering committee and member of the Oakland Privacy Group. Klein appeared calm after being handcuffed. The renters groups says he was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. No word on any charges against the other renter. Haun was in good spirits but left the chambers in a sitting stretcher. The incident caused a nearly 15 minute recess, before resuming with another two hours of testimony. 

13 comments :

So ... renters who came to a meeting to protest being squeezed out of Alameda by rising rents were squeezed out of city hall by landlords?

EXACTLY, and then some of them were squeezed into jail. I was there - neither one of the protesters resisted arrest or "assaulted" the cops.

I've seen raw video that shows Mr Bloody Head resisting arrest.

By MW:

I sympathize and then some with low income people who have been hit by large rent increases, and I wish I knew what the solution was. However history teaches us that rent control laws, or in fact government imposed price controls in general, are in the long run a "cure" much worse than the disease, and in fact normally cause prices (and including rents) to eventually go much higher than if the "experts" in government had stayed uninvolved, and rather than deciding to "help."

More specifically, while the free market is far from perfect, however it is far more talented at eventually solving most problems, and especially in regard to high prices, than the clowns in City Hall and their "experts."

"However history teaches us that rent control laws, or in fact government imposed price controls in general, are in the long run a "cure" much worse than the disease, and in fact normally cause prices (and including rents) to eventually go much higher,,,"

Can you provide evidence of this "history?"

A law firm representing landlord's association provided a lengthy letter as input to the meeting, with citations, arguing that rent control causes problems to get worse.

Surely you will dismiss this as 'biased' due to the source, but you asked for 'evidence.'

https://alameda.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=4120439&GUID=31EE0AD1-161C-4249-A13E-63E368E1EA28

"Resisting arrest" in California is a pretty broad, catch-all, statute, encompassing a wide range of behavior, not just literally "resisting" arrest. It can be simple obstruction/interference with a peace officer.

That said, Bob Davis was clearly not co-operative with police once they had him the floor and tried to get his hands behind his back for handcuffs - multiple videos show this clearly.

Battery on an officer can be something as simple as touching his/her uniform, or swatting at their hand.

However, the problem seems to have started with Bob Davis rushed the chamber doors and knocked down a city staffer, who is reported to have suffered some serious injuries.

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_29076656/alameda-man-faces-felony-charge-assault-at-rent

By MW::

In response to the post of 12:15PM:

New York City has had strong rent control since at last the1950's, and some would argue since the1940's, and by the1960's rents for the typical apartment in NYC were at least twice that of other major East coast cities, or in fact also of any other major US city I am aware of. However, and even though it had turned into an uncontrollable monster that was steadily making things many times worse, the public had become addicted to it, and sort of like a drug addict on crack or heroin - and even more, there was no way on earth that spineless demagogue politicians, and who wanted to win re-election, were going to state, "Let's get rid of this idiocy - so therefore NY City was stuck, AND PERMANENTLY, with rent control, and which was originally put in place as a "temporary" measure.

And while NYC was the first major US city to have rent control, SF I believe was the second. So just look at the present price of renting in NYC and SF, and where the demagogue politicians long ago decided to they were going to "save" us, "help" us, and "improve" things by instituting rent control.

I do not have time now to go into other examples, so let me just summarize by stating it is impossible to do a serious study of history and economics without coming to the conclusions that: one, price controls do not work; and two , in the longrun make things much worse.

MW: I see. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. It's called a logical fallacy. For example, I got up in the morning and had a cup of tea instead of coffee. Later in the day my dog pooped on my neighbors lawn which she hasn't done before. By your illogic my cup of tea determined the location of my dog's poop.

I would simply offer that high prices for housing in New York and San Francisco are very likely to be caused by a multitude of factors.

If rent control is one of the factors then that needs to be shown clearly.

MW: I should have added that it would seem to me to be logical that rent control would follow excessively high prices for housing. Thus the cause and effect would more likely be just the opposite of what you suggest.

History shows that democracy does not work. Time to reinstate a monarchy with all land owned by the King. Democracy is giving people crazy ideas about freedom and equality. I preferred it when everyone knew his place and acted accordingly.

"I preferred it when everyone knew his place and acted accordingly."

Are you over 200 years of age?

On whose authority is the head of public works blocking the entrance to the council room and pushing a senior citizen to the ground? Is that part of his official duties? Does every city employee in alameda have the authority to push people around? I wonder if a landlord in a suit and tie would have received the same treatment. Abuse of renters in Alameda has a long and bloody history.
https://vimeo.com/12085156


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