The warehouse that went ablaze, killing 36 people last Friday in Oakland, California has triggered a widespread crackdown by authorities on all illegally occupied warehouses, and several have already received evictions.
Forest Juziuk, who works as a booker for electronic musicians from Detroit reacted to the ongoing situation with “I knew there would be this wave, but it happened a lot faster than I thought.”
Neighbors and residents as whole have been requested in aiding for reporting suspicious buildings near them that may serve as a host for parties, similar to the warehouse that caught on fire in Oakland.
However, there are two possible reactions to these crackdowns. One can result in forcing this form of business out, whilst the second may possibly force these types of events to shift into a larger underground scene.
These shady buildings serve as artist’s safe haven to expose their work, provide cheap housing, along with of course serving as a space to host large parties.
Harvard economist, Edward Glaeser, shared his thoughts on the matter and said “It’s something we love about cities, but it’s a constant battle between urban creativity and the attempt of regulators to impose controls on it.”
Eviction letters have been sent out to several residents of these types of buildings the past few days, along with giving them a 60 day notification.
Fire and Housing Departments have been inspecting buildings and reported on many that their safety and housing standards have turned out to be less than what is required or deemed safe.
Interviews have been conducted with several residents who live in these warehouses, and admitted that their choice of residing in them was a risk they were aware of, but ultimately it was the cheap rent and the capability they had for performing certain tasks, such as playing the drums or fixing motorcycles in them that has kept them living there.
As of the problem at hand though, artists from Oakland are currently laying low, as they are worried for a possible eviction heading their way. They have attempted in levying a safe game for those who speak about the fire at the Oakland Warehouse to either not post anything at all, or at least in adjusting their settings to make their accounts private.