Members of a longstanding group home and event space in Mount Pleasant have vowed to protest against a landlord who recently evicted them.
The Lamont Street Collective — a 41-year-old group home located at 1822 Lamont St. NW and centered around leftist activism, social justice and art — is well-known for throwing “Salon de Libertad” parties and other community events.
But it looks like those parties and events will come to an end, at least on Lamont Street. Though the group said it agreed two weeks ago to move out of its home by July 31, one of its landlords, Paul Repak, filed a writ of eviction last Monday after a dispute over a rent check.
“Since buying the home, Repak has refused to negotiate a compromise that would allow the collective to remain in its home of the past four decades,” the group explained in a press release about the eviction. “Mount Pleasant, home for decades to D.C.’s Salvadoran community and a vibrant culture of activism and collective living, has become a hotbed of displacement and gentrification as property values have skyrocketed in the last decade.”
Members of the group, who expect the U.S. Marshals Service to enforce the eviction as early as tomorrow, spent the day yesterday moving out of the home.
“It’s kind of a shame that this building is being taken in this way,” said Collective member Cody Valentine. “Especially when we decided to leave on our own. It seems very spiteful almost.”
But the group hopes to have the last word. When U.S. Marshals Service officers show up some time in the next 75 days, the group and its allies plan to engage in “nonviolent civil disobedience.”
Collective member Devyn Powell said she expects more than two dozen people to participate in the protest.
“[The eviction] could be very soon or it could be not very soon,” Powell said. “We’re going to be on alert for a while.”