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The Daily CAL 1/19/70 (7) Tenants Rising: An Open Flame by Bruce Rice 12/2/69: Greg Boehler (part-time

me student at Meritt College) was asphyxiated a small gas heater with multiple housing code violations had begun to malfunction theres about one death by asphyxiation each year in Berkeley, so it may be worthwhile to try to assign some responsibility in this case Landlord (Roy French) blames the city because they do not have enough inspectors to keep an eye on all Berkeleys old gas heaters Says that he is a laymen who doesnt have the technical skills to know when something is wrong; says its tenants responsibility to keep an eye on it the argument shows signs of having been thrown together in a time of crisis If landlord says he doesnt have technical skills then how can a laymen tenant? the law recognizes the consumers right to be provided with a safe piece of equipment. But I the area of housing the situati on is much more barbarous The BTU is trying to attack this problem from 2 direction s. First, we will try to influence the city council to require inspection of gas heaters on a yearly basis and to make provisions for such inspections at the landlords expense The heaters were declared illegal a long time ago, but still used in many ho uses 1/20/70 (8) A Realtor on BTU Jack Setzer, former president of the Berkeley Board of Realtors says that BTU could have a useful function in Berkeley, if t hey were sincere; says they lack sincerity Says landlords arent prepared to meet the demands of BTU and they dont believe BTUs sincerity Says BTU wants the abolishment of private property (BTU spokesperson *Jack Nichol+ denies this) Says it can be done in a nonconfrontational manner and that strikes cause economic hardship on a small landlord and this will slow down future development in Berkeley Predicts that the prices will rise b/c of higher demand Believes that thiere will be some more physical violence and there may be more violence because it will spread all over the community Says that Sacramento wont hesitate to send in the National Guard Doesnt believe that BTU will get 2k signatures because of the transient student population Six Hundred Pledged to Withhold Rent (9) Union was formed last fall in response to high rent, poor living conditions, and restrictive leases BTU wants to be recognized as the sole collective bargaining agent for union members na d that they refrain from any retaliatory evictions Landlord blames inflation, rising taxes and disproportionate supply-demand for apts BTU says landlords are making excessive rent hikes and profiting from tenants hopes to cripple landlords financitally by not paying rent and stalling costly evictionproceedings This will force landlords to negotiate or go bankrupt Usually landlords can resolve everything in courts within 3 days BTU claims to have found loopholes in rent laws and keep court proceedings to last a year Last Octobers test cases were inconclusive Editorial 1/21/70 (11) Against BTUs agenda Doesnt think its effective b/c CA rent laws favor landlords instead of renters If they persuade ppl to withhold rent => mass evictions Believes that this will not benefit lower-rent movement b/c it will cause more confrontations w/the police BTU does not seem to have a real plan It does not have the support of the broad corss -section of the Berkeley community They believe that Btu has set out in the wrong direction an dshould reject the leaderhips recommendation to strike 1/21/70 (12) BTU has decided to strike w/600 members instead of 2k b/c 2k was a arbitrary number that was set in relation to the Ann Harbor strike & there doesnt need to be that many people to affect the landlords Believes that more supporters will come once strike begins Might hold escrow fund in Canada instead of CA b/c one in CA cant be used as a defense for withholding rent money Members may adopt a demand for a yearly inspection of electrical and heating units in response to Bohlers death 1/22/70 (13) Tenants Union Overwhelmingly Votes to Strike By mark Gardner and Fran Pollack 550 votes; 543-29 Members also voted to place an escrow in bay area federal savings and loan associations what they consider to be a fair rent

Non-pledged BTU could become pledged by voting BTU hopes to jam courts w/ hundreds of rent dispute cases and they plan to demand for jury trials Wants to create sympathetic juries in the meantime Early in the meeting, Michael Olayos (owner of one house, apt and four rooms) agreed to union demands BTU member; voted against strike b/c BTU are striking against fair & unfair landlords 2/2/70 (21) BTU Begins Rent Strike by Mark Gardner process landlord gives tenant eviction notice; tenant has 3 days to pay rent landlord can ask the court for an unlawful detainer action which orders a tenatns eviction tenant may have to pay court/lawyer fees usually tenants cant be evicted until a final court order has been issued to the Sheriffs Dept BTU hopes to stall by demanding for jury trials City can send cases to a nearby city Landlords can make use of another legal tactic BTU has created eviction warning system Physically resist evictions =>police confrontations Maintain that only police can initiate violence Landlords charge that BTU wants a physical confrontation 1/30/70 (22) How to Solve the Housing Problem by Michael Scriven (Chairman, Student Affairs Committee, Academic Senate) More apartments be build & more dorms converted to the apartment-like system (on a non-profit basis) Create 500-800 unit complex on the Hearst-LaLoma site; has been shelved by Regents for 8 yrs BTU may sue over Gun-Incident by Mark Gardner Richard Cohen was on a balcony looking into an empty apartment; Peter Kelly saw him & asked him what he was doing; Cohen identified himself and said he was BTU Kelly goes inside, grabs gun and tells wife to call police Cohen gets invited into a rented apt and starts discussing BTU plans Kelly knocks on renters door, renter identified Cohen as guest, Kelly is satisified Police officers were on-site in minutes and demands Cohen for identification and proof of BTU membership BTU sees this as a way to discourage organizing; Kelly and wife say that theyve never bothered BTU and if police hadnt arrived, everything wouldve been fine 2/2/70 (23) Editorial: seize the time those who hold power have little concern for people their drive for excessive profits is evident in the warrens they create for usour apartments parasites must be stopped before they destroy one of the few towns where it is possible to survive as an authentic person BTU has been accused of being run by wild-eyed radicals, we dont think this is true its role is more that of a catalyst and a service organization to make us not only recognize the corruptness of the tenant-landlord situation, but also to convince us that it is in our personal interest to come together and stand up to the landlords 2/6/70 (33) BTU: no intermediary by Mark Gardner Landlords want mediation of their dispute w/BTU, but BTU doesnt want to bargain through an intermediary Landlords supporting Berkleey City Councils use of AAA This ad hoc committeemade up of 4 landlords, 4 tenants, and 3 persons who are neither landlords nor tenants was set up in September 1969 BTU & TORCH refuse to send reps to weekly Monday meetings Thinks theyre ineffective because they can only recommend, not enforce, reforms Feels that strike more powerful than mediation to improve the Berkeley housing situation unlike arbitration, mediation imposes no binding settlement AAA would help select volunteer workers agreeable to both disputing parties Volunteers are based on experience in handling disputes and their familiarity with the rental housing situation here. A background in law and real estate, disinterested status, and a community reputation for integrity and impartiality Jack Nicholl not convinced of AAs impartiality because it is highly recommended by cities like Cleveland, so you know they have to be working for someone 2/20/70 (38) Dellums Announces Rent Strike Support Congressional candidate says he backs BTU rent strike and mass strike by TORCH TORCH is a black counterpart to BTU; involved in housing struggle for ~7months TORCH is formed to lower and/or control rent prices in south and west Berkeley and to improve the quality of housing

Dellums said that a strike against unfair rents and living conditions would be justified People have the right and the responsibility to strike he would favor the establishment of some type of rent control in Berkeley Dellums said he supported funding AAA because he wanted to set up the option of people mediatingnot to force mediation through such a board 2/13/70 (39) Berkeley landlords react to rent strike by Mark Gardner the backlash landlord organization, Tenants and Property Owners Association (TPOSA) was created recently by a group of moderate landlords in response to the current rent strike against 11 landlords and management companies by BTU TPOA co-ordinator, Broudy, admits that not all landlords have lived up to their contracts, said if we can lower maintenance costs, we could return that money to the tenants Maintenance is the biggest cost because usually students are hard on apartments Broudy TPOA has two paid secretaries and depends heavily on volunteer help at its office TPOA would love to see a responsible tenants organization because it creates a tenats consciousness Broudy Willing to mediate with BTU thru AAA Broudy says hes tried 2x to talk to BTU, but no response given In handling tenant disputes, TPOA asks its members to furnish their own attorneys and handle any court cases themselves French, landlord to decieased Boehler, is currently threatening to sue BTU for libel unless it retracts charges made against him in BTUs newspaper, Tenants Rising said the heater was not an open-flame variety but rather a covered space heater which is legal 2/20/70 (41) Landlords non-union by Kevin David Young (editorial) Berkeley landlords share an interest in defeating economically as well as politically, a ny union of tenants that threatens their hold on traditional prerogatives Since these are obvious shared interests, united and systematic action is merly a matter of general agreement on how to proceedand like all owners, they hire lawyers, public relat ions personnel and other specialists to do their thinking for them According to Young, the major landlords have most of the say, what they say will trickle down to lower landlords. In contra st, students cant come to a united decision as to whether or not anti-tuition action is in their interests The first step in their programand remember that it is not written down, formulated, or even specifically discussed among themis to eliminate the opposition in the buildings of those sall landlords who are most obviously damaged by the rent strike and then they can later defeat the major portion of the strikers Notice that the first of the Notice to Quit services were on tenants of the smaller landlords The Unformed Nonunion will then strike directly at the organization; cites the threat made by one poor bedraggled landlord to sue the BTU for libel in the matter of the death by gas asphyxiation, which can damage the unity of BTU The next step is a systematic attempt to discredit he leaders of the BTU, set them up as representative of the entire striking group and thus isolate the whole body of strikers from the support of their fellow rentees and lessees The fourth step is to promote tandem notions that strikes are ineffective and less militant actions could be effective and three months ago, there were not less than four rent strikes going on in different sections of the country, all of which are eminently successful in achieving their demands. Students and non-students alike wone rent reductions, repairs and renovations and lease concessions as well as developing lesser-lessee relations based on respect rather than contempt the key to successful tenant action has been the recognition by the people that the strikers interests were their interests as well 4/9/70 (51) DC stopped by Cop by David Dozier Photos of a burning aparmtne and a police office holding/grabbing an African American boy Strikers home burns; police hassle neighbor hampering Daily Californian coverage of the fire at 2425 Grant Street yesterday was the Police Departments refusal to honor Daily Californian credentials Contacted later, Lt. Crooke of the Berkeley Police Departmnet promised to conduct an investigation The Daily CalifornianPeoples World, huh? quipped badge Six, when presented with a Daily Californian press pass when asked why some members of the press were admitted while others were not, Badge Six replicd, those people are police investigators. When further questioned about the TV cameras, Badge Six snapped back, Those are special closed-circuit police TV cameras. Smoke Screens Tenants Ouster (52) by David Dozier the cause remains undetermined As smoke drifted from the apartment, the Alameda Sheriffs Deputies moved in and completed t he legal eviction procedures in the evacuated building Marvin Steele, a TORCH organizer, accused the police of setting the fire Claim denied by police There were police on the roof according to Berkeley Police Lt. Roger Hewitt

When asked if police were inside the building when the fire started, Hewitt responded, not to my knowledge several charges of brutality were leveled at Berkeley Police, stemming from their actions in connection with the eviction one charge involved the alleged treatment of a small boy, who was a resident of the building. According to witnesses, Berkeley Police Badge 83 slammed him against a wall in the building A second incident involved Violet Bass, who allegedly attempted to enter the burning building to get her sister out. According to the Peoples Office, she was clubbed by the police on the head and chest After a TORCH press conference, there was a march to DAs office. Stopped by police A formal complaint against the landlord was filed with Assistant District Atton rey Richard A. Haugner, who said he would investigate, and prosecute if it were warranted 4/10/70 (54) Fire investigation BTU organizer Tim Washburn, speaking athte noon -anti-ROTC rally yesterday, blamed the fire and the massive police presence for the lack of Btu and TORCH response to the eviction. TORCH and BTU are in the process of compiling a complete neighborhood phone alert network in anticipation of the large number of evictions expected to occur during the week of April 20 4/21/70 (56) Landlords Seek Injunction to Stop Tenants Union from Organizing the injunction would mean that an contempt of court suit would be brought against anyone who attempts to organize tenants landlords Franklin Dunn and John Knudsen of Rental Associatesare trying to get the restraining order on the grounds that BTU is causing irreparable damage i.e. landlords are finding they cannot collect back rent from tenants who have no money, ev en though they might have been evicted BTUs defense attorneys, however, argue that the court cannot prevent organizing Roy Alper, one of the five defense lawyers, says it appears that the plaintiffs are attempting to enjoin leafleting, publis hing articles, making speeches and talking to people. If that isnt the first amendment, I dont know what is Response:the protection of freedom of speech does not apply when one is interfering with the contractual agreement between two persons According to Terry Morgan, a tenant organizer, Knudsen wont negotiate or recognize the BTU. Instead, he tried to get a writ of immediate possession, but has been unsuccessful in his attempts Even if this happens, BTU plans to keep organizing and the lawyers will attempt to get a stay of execution of the injunction from a State Courts of Appeal the suit is also asking for $2.4 million in damages from the defendants 5/5/70 (58) War protestors move at night y Rob Moreno and Craig Oren 5/6/70 (59) Sheriffs succeed in Eviction; protesters arrested, beaten by John Emshwiller Several people were arrested and a number of persons were beaten yesterday as as crowd of about 250 failed in its attempt to stop the Alameda County Sheriffs from completing the first eviction connected with the four -monthold BTU strike. The arrests and beatings occurred as about 50 riot-geared members of the Berkleey Police Department (BDP) made repeated attempts to disperse protesters from the neighborhood surrounding the eviction site Barricades, which consisted of objected including old crates and two torn-off garage doors, were erected to block the two driveways which led into Smiths apartment. One girl parked her car in front of the driveway A few hours later, no police were present, so some of the crowd began heading back toward campus to join str ike picket lines. Most remained Eviction horn was sounded approximately 50 officers from the Berkeley Police Department peacefully moved the crowd from the eviction site. The police then surrounded the apartment building Protestors separated into 2 groups. one group milled around the police line at the corner of Roosevelt and Dwight ay. The other group of people gathered one block below Roosevelt, at Dwight Way and McGee. The crowd made no attempt to head back to the eviction site, confining their actions mainly to hurling rocks at passing police cars An hour later, Lieutenant Johnston of the BPD read the crowd an official order to disperse. The order was drowned out by jee rs and shouts from the crowd the policesome swinging clubsthen charged the crowd and began moving the protesters away from the street corners 200 more demonstrators arrived During the next two hours, a pattern of confrontation between the protesters and police began to emerge. A small crowd would begin to form at the street corner. Squad cars full of police would pull up at the corner. Some of the time the polie would merley move the protesters away peacefully. On other occasions, they moved into the crowd using their clubs on those people who did not leave quickly enough Tenant evicted 5/26/70 (60) Berkeley Tenatns Union to Reconsider Role, Plan New Drive by Mark Gardner

Btu organizer jack Nicoll said Friday Btu will reevaluate itself and launch a new campaign this summer Currently Nichol and the primary leadership of the u nion are temporarily enjoined as a $3 million and a permanent injunction is being sought The ROTC fights, Kent State, and Cambodia just blew the court out of BTUs spirit. BTU no longer seemed relevant Nichol Only 9 landlords have signed contracts w/BTU (there are 700-1000) BTU stalled 150 court cases; only 1 case has resulted in eviction Several TORCH cases have resulted in eviction Despite the court victories, Nicoll said that the union must de-emphasize lowering rents and emphasize community concerns over new construction and demolitions of old buildings by fall, he hopes the union will have established full time pickets around buildings owned by big landlords so that staudnet s looking for apartments would be persuaded not to lease from them Landlords refusal to negotiate caused them to strike BTU members 10/9/70 (66) Tenants Strike Back the most successful collective attempt to combat rising rents and dterioriating living conditions was made by the formation of BTU last fal unlike most community organizing groups, the BTU was militant and at times theatrical eventually the BTU became a coalition of affiliated collectives negotiating independently with their landlords 9 agreements: covers 81 units and provides for a grievance procedure leading to binding arbitration; it transfers the responsibilityfor management from Premium Reality to the Collective. 24 of the units will be managed and controlled by the Collective with rent reductions of between five and ten percent. In return, the union promises not to strike for three years and to pay all operating costs of the 24 units they control. Nelson Lichtenstien, an organizer of the Collective, attributed their success to continual organizing among Bachenheimers tenants According to Tom Wolfe, a members of another successful collective, his group separated from the BTU because of the rhetoric and propaganda about landlords abusing everyone. That collective of fifty tenants struck their landlord for one week, demanding to audit the books. They wont he demand and discovered that the landlord wasnt making a huge profit. The contract they negotiated provides for the freezing of rents for 2 years, a grievance procedure and negotiations concerning the rents of new tenants. The BTU no longer exists. Except for the collectives that negotiated agreemtns, there is no improvement int eh rental situation. In fact, the difficulty in renting an apartment has increased. One realtors says that landlords have reacted to the strike by rewriting their leases to block up any loopholes that might be exploited in courtroom. And theyre looking over prospective tenants more warily than before Division w/in BTU Called immature and racist because it did not speak to the needs of the black population