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.”