Thursday, June 8, 2017

Becoming an Attorney Without Law School with the National Lawyers Guild


The Association of Legal Apprentices (ALA) has been working to create a Legal Apprentice Committee within the National Lawyers Guild SanFrancisco Bay Area Chapter (NLGSF). This year I was granted the Haywood Burns Memorial Fellowship by the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) in order to focus on this work. Since we first approached the NLGSF about the opportunity for their affiliated attorneys to become mentors we have received enthusiastic support from within the NLG.


The NLG is the nation’s oldest and largest progressive bar association and was the first one in the US to be racially integrated. Their mission is to use law for the people, uniting lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people by valuing human rights over property interests.

Because the NLG is committed to overcome racial and class inequality their mission is aligned with the ALA’s effort to promote the Law Office Study Program (LOSP) as an alternative to law school.

Monday, March 6, 2017

ANTIFA FUCK OFF!



An Open Letter Denouncing Anti-Fascist Action Bay Area
(aka Antifa)

Antifa has no place in Oakland because it is a racist, reactionary, reductive, counter-revolutionary, and nihilistic organization that has attacked workers and community members as well as engaged in intimidation increasing police repression against marginalized communities.

I am writing this open letter to demand that Antifa in Oakland disband and to denounce their recent efforts which caused the Oakland Police Department to force the Oakland Metro Operahouse to cancel a recent concert and face increased repression while resisting displacement and gentrification.

Some Background About the Situation

Recently individuals identifying as Anti-Fascist Action Bay Area (aka Antifa, see: https://www.facebook.com/antifabayarea/) circulated a post on social media demanding that the Oakland Metro Operahouse cancel a concert with the band Marduk from Sweden. This and all related posts have since been removed from social media.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

State Bar Refuses to Allow Squatter to Practice Law Due to Political Views

The California State Bar is refusing to let me become licensed as an attorney because of my efforts squatting houses and helping others find housing. I have completed all other requirements to practice law including passing the Bar Exam. We need to raise awareness of the fact that the State Bar is refusing my application to practice law solely on the basis of my organizing efforts and political views. Please spread this press release around far and wide so we can bring attention to this issue

This is important for many other than myself because there are other students following the same educational path who have histories of political organizing. If the State Bar rejects my application they may continue to reject applications of others who are also committed to environmental and social justice advocacy.

There are enough lawyers for the rich and corporations. We need lawyers who can represent marginalized people and protect the environment. This means we cannot allow the State Bar to reject applicants who have a history of organizing and advocacy on issues relevant to areas in which there exists little representation in the legal profession.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Michigan's War on Squatting

I'm not sure what is going on in Michigan, but a draconian bill passed the Michigan House of Representatives that would make squatting a crime. Seeking shelter in an abandoned property would be a misdemeanor for a first offender, but it is a felony for second offender. Putting the homeless in prison is not only cruel, but also an impractical solution for the issues of poverty and homelessness. Please spread the word to everyone you know in Michigan to fight this bill when it comes up for a vote in the Michigan Senate.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Someone Is Paying the Property Taxes, but the House Appears Abandoned

Recently I had the following email correspondences with someone seeking suggestions regarding strategy for squatting an abandoned house.
Message:
Hi Steve,

First let me thank you for all you've done. I appreciate your struggle so far in your adverse possession and I am grateful you speak out, have created this group/network.

I need your help. I have been searching (all be it limited to the internet) about the legalities of something I'm about to do....squat that abandoned house at the corner of my street.

There is this house by my son's school and for as long as I have been walking my son to school over the last 2 years, this house has been completely abandoned. I imagined that someone died and no one has claimed it....

Today I did my research, and indeed, the owner died in 2009! Its still in her name. There is garbage and old mail and phone books scattered out front. Cob webs and leaves covering walkways and entrances. The carport is falling apart...etc etc.

So I dug more, and discovered someone has been paying the property taxes....my hopes just got shot down. But wait...did it?

So I'm wondering maybe someone else is trying to pay for the property and take it over without actually living there.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Lisa Bloom and I convince Ashleigh Banfield that squatting is a good thing on CNN's Newsroom!



On Friday morning, March 3, 2013, I spoke with Ashleigh Banfield of CNN's Newsroom program about my efforts squatting in Oakland, California. A debate ensues where Ashleigh Banfield criticized the concept of squatting and the legal process of adverse possession where a squatter can become the owner of a property legally. We were joined by California attorney Lisa Bloom who stated that squatting and adverse possession can provide a benefit to society by putting abandoned properties to beneficial use. Everyone realizes that squatting is good because of our solar panels. I also mentioned my old band Lesser of Two (http://lesseroftwo.bandcamp.com) as well as the non-profit I founded, Land Action (http://land-action.org). There is also video footage of Hannah Dobbz film, "Shelter, a Squatumentary" (http://propertyandresistance.wordpress.com/).