Video: Peter Menchini, Nat Kramm
Video Editing: Peter Menchini

On Wed., Oct. 24, San Francisco members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation held a direct action in support of Proposition 10 to overturn the pro-landlord Costa Hawkins law and advance the struggle for strong rent control across California. Activists released a banner reading “Defeat the Banks and Landlords! The Rent is TOO DAMN High! Vote Yes On Prop 10!” over the Wells Fargo building at Montgomery and Market Streets.

The SF banner drop over was part of a statewide day of action with events in Sacramento, Petaluma, Humboldt, Los Angeles and San Diego. Wells Fargo is one of the biggest Prop 10 opponents, and a major profiteer of the housing crisis.

The Party for Socialism and Liberation believe in housing for people, not for profits, and has joined the broad Yes on 10 Coalition to fight for this important measure. If passed, Prop 10 will restore the right of communities in California to pass strong rent control, a vital protection for tenants. The sky-high rents have led to evictions and a huge housing crisis.

The San Francisco action also expressed solidarity with Unite Here Local 2 workers picketing the Palace Hotel just across Market St. Presently, 7,700 workers are on strike across the country targeting the Marriott chain, raising the slogan “One Job Should Be Enough” to highlight that many hotel workers are forced to work a second job just to make ends meet.

As part of the action, the following statement was read:

“We are here today from the Party for Socialism and Liberation to support Prop 10, which would pave the way for stronger rent control and vacancy control. Wells-Fargo, which has a long and terrible history of driving millions of families from their homes, is one of the mega-banks opposing Prop 10. They are against Prop 10 because they are investing big-time in the booming rental market.

Wells-Fargo is really a gigantic criminal enterprise. Their ads say “established in 1852, re-established in 2018,” as if they were good back then – they weren’t. They made their original fortune from the Gold Rush, which was built on a foundation of Native genocide. Today, it is a “top investor” in the Dakota Access Pipeline, and in private prisons.

In 2016, Wells Fargo was fined $185 million for creating over 3.5 million checking and credit card accounts that customers never authorized, and $50 million to settle a racketeering lawsuit for overcharging hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homeowners. Despite their endless crimes, not one Wells-Fargo exec has spent one day in jail. Meanwhile, homeless people are criminalized every day for simply existing.

We demand housing for people, not for billionaires’ profits! Don’t be fooled by banker lies, vote YES on Prop 10!”

You can visit CaliforniaForProp10.org to get involved with the Party for Socialism and Liberation’s effort to pass Prop 10 and fight for housing rights.