December 9, 2020

PRESS CONFERENCE

Video Transcript

Organizer (at 00:43): Thank you all for joining us. We’re going to get started in a couple minutes. As a guideline, for any video that gets taken, we ask that our ASL interpreter stays in the frame. We’re going to be live streaming from our Instagram. If you have any technical problems, you can send me a message, you can send it to everyone in the call. And anyone who is being disruptive, racist, homophobic, transphobic, will be removed from the call.

• • •

Organizer (at 12:37): September 9, armed Multnomah County sheriffs raided a home during a pandemic with the air toxic due to wildfires. Those police and energy could have been better spent helping the families across our state that were actively losing their homes at that time. But instead they were here, displacing the Kinney family from their home. For elected officials, for those who are here with us today, now is your chance to stand against pandemic profiteering and the predatory lending system. Against the root causes of displacement. I’m one of two organizers you will meet today. Because of some press not reaching out to us directly, we were forced to have this conference, during a high risk eviction blockade, both due to police brutalizing BIPOC members of this community, and COVID. This is not a story about an autonomous zone. This is a story of systemic oppression. You are looking at active gentrification before your own eyes. Across the nation, this is happening to families, and we refuse to stand by while our elected officials pretend to ignore and allow the police, who are paid to protect and serve us, to continue to carry out evictions. In case anyone forgot, there is a current federal and state eviction moratorium with a spike in COVID cases across the nation. That said, I would like to introduce the matriarch of the Kinney family, Julie Metcalf Kinney.

[Applause]

Julie: Out of nowhere, on September 9th, without notice, all I hear is banging on my door. Then I see there’s nine sheriffs standing outside. And next thing I know they’re kicking in the door, with guns drawn. I had no idea what was going one—my family was there, my husband was asleep, we all were asleep, actually. And it was truly unfair for that to happen to my family. And why this is taking place, is because people organically see the devastation that was taking place that day. And that’s what happened—people rallied and [?] organically, out of that situation. And those [?] tactics that were taken that day. And the story of this house is, that it’s a story. It’s built in 1896, and my father-in-law purchased it in 1955. My husband had grown up here since he was four years old. My family then moved in in 1983, when my daughter was four years old, and then I had my son here, in this house. This neighborhood, my kids played ball here, they played hide and seek on the hill that the camp is in. Many of the community members that were here then, all of their families have lost their homes over in this neighborhood. I sat on the interstate urban renewal committee for 20 years, basically from 1995, early 90s, 98, when they started to get ready to draw the new red line around this neighborhood. And the whole purpose of them doing that was to bring in the Max line, and get the federal funding to bring in the Max line. And so, on that committee, I expressed to the city councils, Multnomah County, all of the entities that were actually involved, with creating this new red lining system, which is a reverse red line, from what it was from when my husband’s father had bought his home here. So, I warned the city that they were doing that, that they were displacing family after family after family. I was in affordable housing development at the time. So I let them know what they were doing to this community. And then all of sudden all the tactics were turned on my family. And I ended up getting into a predatory loan, in the early 2000s. And then, of course, the story is out there of how the banks came in, moved in, on the home. So, this is a devastating action that’s taken. The sheriffs came in, and devastated everything again. And the tactics that are used to do this is is beyond… despicable. I’d like to introduce my son Michael. I thank you and appreciate your time.

Off camera: 20 minutes left on the zoom call

Michael: 5 am yesterday morning they started banging at the door. In a rush to get all my stuff, I was approach by a [?] I dropped all my shit, instantly was thrown in handcuffs, dragged to the jailhouse. In there, one of the neighbor campers [?]. I gave him my socks, I gave him my sweater, so he wouldn’t be cold. When I left, the place was surrounded by cops. And when I got back, the community surrounded the land. And the land was taken back. [Applause.] They had shit in the toilet, and then broke it. They had broken all the sinks. They broke the water heater. The cops did. And left my family in turmoil. But the people are here, and we’re going to stop this gentrification, and we’re going to reclaim the land. [Applause.]

Crowd: Land back, land back, land back…

Rage: Make no mistake. Every action these colonizers have taken on this land is rooted in white supremacy. Make no mistake. That gentrification is a brutal act of violence. The money that these developers seek to make off of displacing these Afro-Indigenous people, is stained with blood. Blood of all the ancestors that came before us, that were enslaved by yours. That is how you amassed your generational wealth. We don’t have that.We get a little bit, and they take it. You make up predatory loans to trap Black and brown people in poverty, so that they can never prosper. So they can never have what you have. And you get the help of your police officers, your slave catchers, to enforce the protection of that property. Your capital. Your money. That’s all this is really about, is money. That’s what it comes down to. They are willing to put this family out, in the middle of the pandemic [?]. They’re putting them to death by taking their home away. This won’t be the last family that they try to do this to. And it’s definitely not the first. They’ve been doing this since the beginning of time. Right now is the time that we have to stand and protect our community. Right now is the time to stand and fight fascism. That is fascism, when they come in the night and they take away your home, and they put you out in the street—that’s fucking fascism. [Applause.] It is the people’s responsibility to rise and fight it. You have to come out here and support the Kinney family. Help us occupy this land. Help us do this so we can protect other families that they are going to do this to. They will target other Black and brown families, because of the anti-Blackness that exists within this fucking system. This entire system is based on white supremacy and capitalism can’t exist without it. We have to start anew, and this is how we do it. By protecting our community, by providing resources outside of the system, that we no longer need them, and that they can no longer control us. [Applause.] Stand for the Kinney family. Stand for Black liberation. Stand for indigenous sovereignty. [Applause.] Stand for Red House sovereignty. Thank you. [Applause.]

Moderator [speaking over Rage]: [Discussing zoom link.]

William: Hi everybody, I’m the eldest son, aire apparent of this house, this historic home. My name is William X Nietzsche. What has happened is inhumane, unjust, and should never happen again. This is generational displacement that happened, with bloodlines from my indigenous roots, from colonial displacement to the reservation—and now we have gentrification. And the same scheme, just a different word, a different day. I appreciate all the community support. This is organic, this is true community, this is not a typical foreclosure case at all. This is a David and Goliath fight. My grandfather purchases this house in 1955, because he was red lined out of a loan. We’re just a small family seeking to defend our home against big banks and developers. We have been preyed upon by some of the same practices that led to the 2008 financial crash. We did not receive Due Process, or a jury trial, or even proper notice of eviction. We never got a day in court. We’ve been bullied by the courts who fail to follow their own procedure. At this time I want to open up for five questions related to what’s going on here. Thank you for your time and for coming out.

KGW: What do you have to say to the mayor?

William: [We need?] executive intervention for what has taken place. This has crossed the threshold to a crime against humanity. There is no qualified immunity or Nuremberg defense for the crimes that took place here.

Off camera: What is your endgame?

William: I’m looking for a peaceful diplomatic resolution to what has took place—this is unseeded territory and we are aboriginal indigenous to this territory.

Off camera: [Question about the courts.] Talk about that, talk about what you call predatory loans. [?]

William: So the purported federal judge Michael Simon [?] in this case [?] rampant mortgage securities fraud, committed, leading up to the 2008 financial crash. I motioned to join Michael Simon to our complaint and he [?] and said we could not join him. And we had every reason to join him for his trespass on our case.

Off camera: What can the legal system, what can lawyers, what can organizations do to [?]?

William: Quit making settlements with big banks and developers, trying to cover up the fraud. We dealt with numerous attorneys and lawyers in this particular jurisdiction, and we just recently discovered that there was a hush hush agreement regarding one of the same defendants [?] and electronic registration systems which I’m sure everybody knows about.

Off camera: [inaudible question]

William: We are in between relatives and hotels and I’ve been, me and my brother have been maintaining our adverse possession of our home.

Off camera: Please follow @TheRedHouseonMississippi, donate to our GoFundMe, show up to the house.

William: redhouseonmississippi.com for particulars. You can also [?] with the U.S. Supreme Court. That case number is 20-703. [?] they got away with an unfair value of $260,000 and this particular piece next to us is valued at $10.4 million. So they need to come correct.

[Applause.]