What does community control look like? How do we organize to build power on a neighborhood level today? In the new Trump Era, cities like Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco have rushed to reassure that their governments intend to oppose new restrictive federal immigration policies and to reinforce these cities’ status as Sanctuary Cities. But as homeless sweeps and evictions continue to endanger communities of working class and people of color, we have to ask what does “sanctuary” mean in the era of rampant displacement? Author Erick Lyle suggests the path to resisting Trump Administration policies lies in doubling down on existing anti-gentrification efforts and organizing on a hyperlocal basis to seize community control of development, housing, planning, and utilities. Join Lyle for a discussion of the possibilities for resistance in neighborhood organizing and for a look at the author’s work on Streetopia, a massive anti-gentrification art fair that took place in San Francisco in 2012, and brought together residents of the city’s Tenderloin with over a hundred artists and activists to actualize mutual aid-based community projects and to consider utopian aspiration for the city.
Erick Lyle is a writer, curator, musician, and underground journalist. His work has appeared in Art in America, Vice, California Sunday Magazine, Huck, LA Weekly, Brooklyn Rail, and on NPR’s This American Life. Since 1991, he has written, edited, and published the influential punk/activist/art/crime magazine, SCAM, and he was a frequent contributor to the arts and literary section of the San Francisco Bay Guardian. He has played on some 30 records by at least a dozen bands. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.