Eviction of In The Works SF: An Account
In The Works is an anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist, anti-art and events collective located in the "17 Reasons Why" building in the heart of The Mission. ITW was started by a small group who seemed to pour their lives and hearts into the project and who had befriended us and many others along their journey through the Bay Area. They said their aim was to create a free space, a new Food Not Bombs serving, a bike lending program, to have various meeting groups, to retain and propagate subversive and dangerous ideas, offer free books and zines and to create another node of revolt in one of the last remaining culturally vibrant, yet rapidly decaying, neighborhoods: the Mission District.
Until sometime last week, the 17 Reasons Why building (http://missionlocal.org/2010/05/17-reasons-remembered/) was owned by Adare Properties, who bought it in 1999. Previously listed online for $15 Million, Adare properties sold the building to Rick Holman of Asher Insights LLC and Mission Street SF LLC for an undisclosed amount. Rick Holman, a previous Bank of America executive, and his wife, Toby Levy, are long time gentry with ties going back to the gentrification of the South of Market District, now rebranded "SOMA". Toby has even participated in the development of Anaheim, CA. Rick is a financier and businessman and Toby owns Levy Design Partners, an architectural firm. Rick finds, finances, buys, then evicts, and Toby comes in to design the new street level commercial and 2nd and above level condominiums, along with other ultra-modern corporate headquarters in Silicon Valley and prison-like panoptical public schools.
Since taking ownership of the building, Rick and Toby have attacked ITW and made it clear that they intend, first and foremost, to destroy ITW's project and evict them from that space. They have changed the locks to the premises, locking out ITW as well as others, including the Homeless Children's Network. With claims of lease violation, they have leveled legal attacks, immediately serving a "3-Days to Quit" notice (which means vacate the premises within 3 days or they will begin the eviction process). We doubt that ITW will be leaving easily. During what was to be the first introduction between them and this scumbag landlord, he roll called their names like a drill sergeant and verbally assaulted them for the "community" nature of the space and their appearances and identities.
This is our account of what has happened. Regardless of Rick and Toby's attacks, they are enemies from the start. We seek no clarification or negotiation with these pieces of shit who throw groups, friends, comrades, kids, the elderly and families out into the streets by force. We desire their destruction whether they attack our comrades specifically or not. But the fact that they do attack them, draws the attention of and focuses our gaze: those of us who are already at war with this society.
As with Hot Mess, RCA, The SF Commune, The Stayaway, The Lodge, The Holdout, Station 40, The Music Box, Noisebridge, and all other spaces, squatted or otherwise, that foster revolt against the current order, when you repress them we will attack you as frequently and beautifully as we can get away with.
We have and will continue to research and gather tools of the trade and attack. Anywhere and everywhere these two go and have presence, we may be there. Their properties and all associated interests are fair game. Anti-gentrification action to date has failed because it failed to make the acts of the gentry personal - it failed to bring horror to the hearts of those who wield it and enforce it. We are unknown and will not be seen. We seek other unknown accomplices, not friends, to act with horror as their aim. We need not agree on everything, or even like each other, but we assert our common enemies and hasten their demise.
For solidarity we sharpen our knives,
With sharpened knives we mind the shadows,
Some Vagabond Accomplices
Levy Design Partners
Asher Investment Group LLC
Mission Street SF, LLC
℅ Rick Holman, &Toby Levy
90 South Park
San Francisco, CA 94107