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Mt. Pleasant Group Home Members Sing, Link Arms as Authorities Evict Them

by Alyse Mier — July 5, 2016 at 3:30 pm 7 Comments

Members of The Lamont Street Collective were officially evicted from their longstanding group home and event space in Mount Pleasant earlier today. Just as they vowed to do last month, they didn’t go quietly.

For about an hour this morning, a group of people linked arms and sang songs on the steps of the 41-year-old group home at 1822 Lamont St. NW as D.C. Police officers looked on. Their message? “We won’t yield.”

The collective’s members sang songs such as “All You Need Is Love” and “Solidarity Forever.” Some members also stood on the building’s roof above a large homemade banner that read “Thru-Out DC To $ & Power: We Won’t Yield Our Community.”

“It’s ridiculous to me how it’s not a crime to take someone’s home, but what we’re doing is a crime,” said Bryan Kovalick, one of the protesters. “I have housemates standing on the roof and inside willing to resist and willing to get arrested for this community.”

Despite the slogans and songs, the protest fizzled when police threatened to arrest some of the demonstrators for trespassing. Still, the act of civil disobedience was a victory for many of the group home’s past and present members.

“I think this is an amazing moment of non-violent, peaceful resistance,” said former Collective member Marzena Zukowska. “People are occupying space in a community that is so meaningful.”

Comments (7)

  1. I am generally aligned with these folks politically and artistically, but come on people, it ain’t YOUR home. If you don’t own it, and it’s sold, and the new owner wants to move in that’s it. Find a new place for the collective.

    There are plenty of causes worth your energy. This isn’t one of them. You’re not martyrs.

  2. Losers. They don’t own the place, stop complaining. They have had subsidized rent for 40 years. Time to grow up, kids.

  3. How was the rent subsidized?

  4. The owner isn’t going to move in. It’s a tactic used to get tenants out faster. The owner lies and sends legal notice indicating they intend to move back into the house because of some hardship. The notice gives tenants 3 months to vacate. Then when everyone has moved out the owner sends a new notice that the situation has changed and now they are going to sell the house.

    If the owner was honest about their intentions the law gives the tenants at least six months to vacate.

    Bet you anything the owner is not going to move in. The house gets sold, rented out at a much higher rate, or converted into multiple dwellings bringing in many times the current rent.

  5. Great speech…even if most of it is not relevant to the situation at hand.

  6. coming from a cartoon character, popeye’s oblique response is thoroughly amusing if not paper thin.

  7. Again, while you bring up some real issues your comments are not at all relevant to the matter of this eviction. You’re just using it to speechify.

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