Saturday, December 17, 2011

Update on Julie and James

Several months ago, Modesto Solidarity started working with Julie. Julie was subletting a property in Denair. She was illegally locked out by her landlords, who were in turn renting the property from Valley Oak Property Management. For more specifics, click here. We had a great turnout for the demand delivery in late September. To make a long story short, Julie's landlords ended up calling the police as we left, and they detained about half the group for questioning. They then proceeded to let everyone go, only to pull over and eventually impound one of our cars as we left. Thanks to a strong show of solidarity from each other and friends in Seattle Solidarity Network, we quickly had the car out of impound.

The demand delivery was followed up with a short but intensive flyering campaign targeting the neighborhood surrounding Julie's landlords. The next week, a picket was held outside of Valley Oak's office in Modesto. It was supposedly Valley Oak who had initially told Julie's landlords to kick her out. While Julie has not yet received the money she has demanded (for withheld deposits and rent paid for the time she was locked out), she has not been made to pay the more egregious bills which her landlords claim she owes them. Julie is currently pursuing her fight through legal channels, and we wish her all the best. We have since heard that her landlords were made to terminate their lease with Valley Oak, because of the controversy surrounding Julie's Case and the involvement of Modesto Solidarity.

In Riverbank, James is still occupying his home. His landlord, Brian Kelley is currently attempting to get a restraining order, which would require James to stay 20 yards away from his own home. To be clear, this is just one example of the nefarious ways that local slumlords attempt to circumvent the eviction process in muscling out their tenants. James sends his thanks to those that have helped him out so far, and would appreciate donations of food and toiletries especially.

There are a few actions coming up this week for those interested in supporting James and getting involved. Among them, James will be fighting the above-mentioned restraining order in court. The hearing will be at 8:30 AM in Department 22, located at 801 10th St, on the sixth floor of the City Towers Building (otherwise known as the Merrill Lynch building). We will be holding a demonstration outside the building starting at 8 AM. For more information, give us a call or send us an email.

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