by Sana Saleem : 48hills – excerpt
Bayview pastor evicted as four are arrested
JANUARY 14, 2016 — Restlessness was in the air this morning outside the residence of a Bayview pastor as a handful of supporters gathered to stop the impending eviction. The sheriffs have come for Pastor Dorn’s house.
“I can’t believe this is the 21st century, if this is not a government lynch then what is it?” Hanson Lee, in his 40s, is a resident of Glenn Park “Pastor Dorn is no criminal, the real criminals are in the Wall Street. Hey! in 30 years your house will be taken too” Lee says as he points to the deputies who have arrived to forcibly remove the family and turn the house over to a real-estate investor.
In the background one can hear, singer and community leader Francisco Herrera singing out his protest: “We must turn this heart of stone, into a heart of gold…”
John Eller, a staff member with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, is busy trying to get in touch with landlord Quan He’s attorney, Andres Sanchez, but it’s pointless because Sanchez’s phone goes directly to voicemail.
Even though there is little hope that Sanchez will return any calls, he is Pastor Dorn’s last bet. A possible deal, discussed yesterday, can only be on the table if He’s attorney speaks to ACCE or Dorn’s family…
here’s anger and resentment. Janice Powell, President of the local Tenant’s Association is furious “Where is Malia Cohen? She is the supervisor for the district and she assured Pastor Dorn that she will support him. She gave him her support, where is she now?
“When she wanted to get elected, she told us she lost her home too. These people they are all the same, the disappear after they are elected.” Lynn Westry, a family friend of the Dorn’s weighs in: “This is by design, black people are being evicted from their homes and entire neighborhoods.”
The crowd thins out but a few still wait for the possibility of Quan He arriving. His phone is on voice mail, the same as his lawyer’s.
As everyone starts to leave, Carolyn Gage brings back some hope. She is in her 50s but is feisty and has no plans to give in.
“I was displaced from my home for nine months and I got it back,” she says. “You remember John? ACCE helped me get my house back. Nine months without my home but god is kind, I am back in my home now.” Despite the fact that her home wiped out her savings and retirement fund, Gage is content she was able to save the home her father built and their family lived in for 50 years.
As everyone leaves for the day, they go back with prepared for a fight for the long haul. “We are not giving up, if no deal is struck we will take the home back, we won’t lose” Eller says as volunteers move in to embrace each other and prepare for another day… (more)