OT / TSOL / TLB Meeting


  • Training on Jan 25th / midnightspecial.net
    • Flyer – Nick will make
    • Derek will publicize @ Sacred Grounds, CC’s neighborhood, Nick’s neighborhood
    • Susie: lets focus on how to avoid getting arrested in the first place, thats how CC got his life fucked up
    • Steve: dealing with post-arrest scenarios reduces pre-arrest anxiety, helps people assert their rights
    • Derek: has scripts, videos
    • Derek: debrief as to the institutional reasons underpinning why we need this training
    • Q&A w/ ALCU on video content
    • current role plays: weed in the park, … nick has the list
      • + cops interrupting an action
        • + what a police liaison should know
      • these will help us practice roll playing in other communities
      • you can do a this is the wrong way / this is the right way format, or you can do a freeze-frame tap-in/out format
    • video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4nQ_mFJV4I
    • diagram of legal process: http://www.midnightspecial.net/files/Legal_Steps_Chart_9.01.pdf
    • dealing with police: http://www.midnightspecial.net/files/dealingwithpolice.pdf
    • Include an intro as to what a solidarity network does / shout out to Tampa Free Skool
      • started about a year ago, based on the Seattle Solidarity Network, focuses on the problems working-class people deal with e.g. stolen wages, slumlords, escalation model
  • AVP – Alternatives to Violence Project
    • Correction:  A mini workshop on MLK day: Jan 20th @ the Friend’s Meeting House on Sligh Ave., was announced in error.  According to Cece Yokum, planning is still in progress for a Tampa event, and there “might” be an introductory AVP event at the St. Pete Quaker Meeting on MLK day this year. 
    • came out of the New York State Penal System as a response to the failure of the “scared straight” approaches
    • creates a space where people feel comfortable coming out of their shells
    • places people in simulated conflict / stressful situations that challenges them to come up with non-violent solutions
    • the advanced workshops typically follow a 3-day format, this workshop will help us determine whether or not to attempt the full blast kind
    • See also:  http://avpusa.org
  • TLB
    • lets get it going again
    • alternate locations: i4, bayshore, 301
    • times: friday nights? thursday nights? 5 PM, most people can’t make it till later
    • legalize it has become timely
    • how to pick messages
      • before: jeff would post polls, but people stopped responding
      • we are lazy with our social media, so the chat room might prove best
      • the lord of the letters tends to have final say since s/he must shepard them
      • past displays:
        • Walmart Walkout 11/22/12, Orlando

          (People graphic) > $ 11/28/12, BoA

          End the Violence 12/1/12, Fowler

          Banks Steal Homes 12/6/12, Bayshore

          $ / Consume, 12/12/12, Gunn Hwy

          No Drones, 12/26/12, Bayshore

          Legalize It!, 12/31/12, I275

          Legalize It!, 1/3/13, Bayshore

          End Corporate Rule, 1/9/13, Fowler

          Idle No More, 1/13/13, Kiley Garden

          No Tar Sands Oil, 1/16/13, Fowler

          Mr Obama Drones Kill Kids, 1/21/13, 275 @ 27th

          Know NDAA, 1/30/13, Bayshore

          Know NDAA, 2/4/13, 301 @ I-4

          Monsanto Kills Farms, 2/9/13, I-4 @ 301

          Peace, 2/17/13, Concepcion Picciotto Anti-Nuclear Vigil, Washington, DC

          Stop Ecocide, 2/17/13, West Lawn U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC

          Free Bradley Manning, 2/23/13, 275 @ 27th

          Smash Austerity, 3/2/13, I-4 @ 301

          Austerity Is Class War, 3/2/13, I-4 @ 301

          Sequester This Ҧ, 3/2/13, I-4 @ 301

          Stop TPP, 3/9/13, Curtis Hixon

          #CIW Rights   Respect Fair Food, 3/13/13, Busch Blvd

          Shop Local, 3/19/13, Roosevelt

          No Keystone XL Pipeline, 3/20/13 (A.M.), I-4 @ 301

          Clean Energy Now, 3/20/13 (P.M.), I-4 @ 301

          Equality Now, 3/26/13, Sam M. Gibbons US Courthouse

          Stop Monsanto GMO Law, 3/30/13, I-4 @ 301

          Stop Monsanto GMO Law, 4/3/13, I-4 @ 301

          BoA TE   #TaxEvaders   BP TE, 4/10/13, 275 @ 27th

          BoA TE   #TaxEvaders   BP TE, 4/15/13, I-4 @ 301


          ABOLISH CLASS SOCIETY, 5/1/13, 275 @ 27th

          FRANKEN FARMS, 5/7/13, Roosevelt

          #MARCHAGAINSTMONSANTO, 5/24/13, I-4 @ 301

          (Daylight) BRADLEY LEAKED THE TRUTH, 6/1/13, MacDill AFB

          SOLIDARITY W/ TURKISH SPRING, 6/3/13, I-4 @ 301

Aaran’s Walk MailersLos publicatorios de buzon de Aaran’s Walk

Dear residents,

We are the Tampa Solidarity Network. You may have spoken to some of us over the past few months, or have witnessed our picket outside the building in January. We’d like to take a moment of your time to explain what we have been doing, and to suggest how we can make ourselves available as a resource to people who have been dealing with the tyrannical management of Jennifer Rendahl.

On December 18, 2012, Carlton Williams, a resident at Aaran’s Walk apartments, informed Jennifer Rendahl, property owner and manager, that bedbugs had infested his apartment. Ms. Rendahl sent a maintenance worker to the unit. The worker took a quick look, told the tenant he’d have to find lodging during the extermination process and left.

Until Hillsborough County Code Enforcement contacted her more than 2 weeks later, Ms. Rendahl had not once contacted Mr. Williams nor had she taken any further action. She had, however, kept busy telling other residents to avoid contact with Mr. Williams, clearly attempting to isolate him and overtly blaming him for the infestation of the unit.

As a response to Rendahl’s injustices Tampa Solidarity Network united with Mr. Williams (“CC” to his friends) and demanded that Rendahl treat for the pest.

On Thursday, January 3, CC and the Tampa Solidarity Network delivered a letter to Ms. Rendahl demanding that she exterminate the bed bugs and provide alternative lodging as necessary. Typically, residents do not need to evacuate the premises for bedbug extermination, but Ms. Rendahl retaliated to our extermination demand by telling CC to vacate the premises for 6 weeks, at his own expense, and that he must make arrangements by January 31st or she will evict him.

On Thursday, January 10, after several days of flyering around the community to share CC’s story, CC found a ‘notice of noncompliance’ on his door. Demanding that he vacate the premises within 7 days, to comply with a section in the lease that provides the landlord the right to terminate the lease at any point if the tenant refuses to vacate an uninhabitable apartment, Ms. Rendahl cited a ‘licensed pest control agency’ as the authority on the necessity to vacate for 4-6 weeks to treat for bedbugs. The pest control agency in question did not identify itself to CC, or leave a business card. Further, Florida law states that if a landlord does order a tenant to vacate the premises because of bedbugs, the duration shall not exceed 4 days.

On January 16th we organized a picket in front of Aaran’s Walk. Our picket received an enthusiastic response from the community, who were eager to express they were no friend of Rendahl. Rendahl responded by calling the Sheriff, who knows her all too well, since she uses the police frequently as part of her intimidation routine. However the police (and ourselves) were aware of our full rights to protest publicly.

On January 18th Rendahl finally caved into our demands, giving CC a letter announcing that his bedbugs would be treated.

The litany of daily abuses heaped upon the tenants of Aaron’s Walk to not have to go unanswered. Bosses and landlords are able to get away with this kind of nonsense when the individuals they are lording over are isolated and unorganized. When people work together they have power. The broader goal of the Tampa Solidarity Network is to eventually work across the region to develop a network of ordinary people to act together against this sort of thing and take back control of our lives. Jennifer Rendahl’s intrusion into the privacy of tenants and neglectful facility management will not continue to pass unnoticed in the community. The Tampa Solidarity Network remains committed to further action if necessary, and we invite anyone who is interested to contact us.

Estimados residentes,
Nosotros somos la Red de Solidaridad con Tampa. Quizás han hablado con algunos de nosotros a través de los últimos meses, o vieron nuestro piquete afuera del edificio en Enero. Quisiéramos tomar un momento de su tiempo para explicarles lo que hacemos, y para sugerir que la Red de Solidaridad puedo funcionar como un recurso para las personas que tienen que vivir abajo de la tiranía de Jennifer Rendahl.
El 18 de Diciembre del 2012, Carlton Williams, un residente de los apartamentos de Aarran’s Walk, le informo a Jennifer Rendahl, dueña de la propiedad y la dirección, que chinches habían infestado su apartamento. La Señora Rendahl, mando un obrero de mantenimiento a la unidad. El obrero , después de una corta exanimación del apartamento le dijo al teniente que buscara alojamiento durante el proceso de la exterminación, y se fue.
La Señora Rendahl ni contacto a el Señor Williams ni tomo medidas para resolver su problema hasta que Hillsborough County Code Enforcement (Aplicación de Código del Condado de Hillburough) la contacto después de dos semanas. Pero la Señora Rendahl se mantuvo ocupada, insistiendo le a los residente que evitaran a el Señor Williams, en un atento de aislar lo y echándole la culpa de la infestación de chinches.
Como una respuesta a las injusticias de Rendahl la Red de Solidaridad con Tampa unidos con el Señor Williams (“CC” como le llaman sus amigos) demandamos que Rendahl ofreciera un tratamiento para los chiches.
El Jueves, 3 de enero, CC y Rendahl la Red de Solidaridad con Tampa le entregaron una carta a la Señora Rendahl demandando que extermine los chinches y que ofreciera una alternativa de alojamiento si fuera necesario. Típicamente, residentes no necesitan evacuar sus cases para un exterminación de chinches, pero en represaría a nuestra demanda Rendahl le dijo a CC que tenia que evacuar su apartamento por 6 semanas. Rendahl le dio a CC hasta el 31 de Enero para hacer estos arreglos, y lo amenazo con un desplazo permanente.
El Jueves, 10 de Enero, después de varios días de distribuir papeles por la comunidad para compartir la historia de CC, CC encontró una “notice of noncompliance” o “aviso de incumplimiento” en su puerta. El aviso demandaba que CC despojara el apartamento entra 7 días para cumplir con una sección en el contrato de arrendamiento que proporciona al propietario el derecho a terminar el contrato en cualquier momento si el inquilino se niega a abandonar el apartamento inhabitable, la Señora Rendahl cito a una “agencia liceístas de control de plagas” como la autoridad para la necesidad de evacuar el piso por 4-6 semanas para tratar las chinches. La agencia de control de plagas en cuestión no se identificó a CC, ni dejo tarjeta de contacto. Además, en la Florida ley establece que si un propietario quiere pedir al inquilino a desalojar la propiedad a causa de las chinches, la duración no debe de exceder los 4 días.
El 16 de Enero, organizamos un piquete afuera de Aaran’s Walk. Nuestro piquete recibió una respuesta alegre de la comunidad, quienes estaban ansiosos a expresar que tampoco eran amigos de Rendahl. Rendahl respondió llamando al Alguacil, quien la conoce muy bien por que Rendahl frecuentemente utilice la policía como parte de su rutina de intimidación. Pero la policía tanto como nosotros están consientes de nuestros derechos para protestar en publico.
El 18 de Enero Rendahl finalmente acudió a nuestras demandas, dándole a CC una carta anuciando que sus chinches serian exterminados.
La letanía de abusos diarios acumulados sobre los tenientes de Aaran’s Walk merecen una respuesta. Los jefes y propietarios pueden aprovecharse de esta situaciones cuando sus tenientes y empleados están aislados y desorganizados. Cuando trabajos juntos teniendo poder. El objetivo de la Red se Solidaridad con Tampa es, través del tiempo trabaja a través de la región y desarrollar una red de personas ordinarias para actuar juntos contra este tipo de abuso, y reclamar control sobre nuestras vidas. La medidas instruías de Jennifer Rendahl sobre la propiciada de sus tenientes y su negligencia como propietaria no debe de ser inadvertido en la comunidad. La Red de Solidaridad con Tampa esta cometida ha continuar la acción si es necesario, y invitamos a todos los interesados que nos contacten.

We fucking won!

CC no longer has bedbugs,

and Rendahl has stopped trying to evict him for bogus reasons,

at least for now!

We won our first fight. Of course, Rendahl, everyones favorite slumlord, remains bent on demonstrating her power over her tenants and will surely continue the same practices as before, so, let us spread word of the victory to the other tenants, and see if any more want to school this parasite on basic respect!

CC no longer has bedbugs,

and Rendahl has stopped trying to evict him for bogus reasons,

at least for now!

We won our first fight. Of course, Rendahl, everyones favorite slumlord, remains bent on demonstrating her power over her tenants and will surely continue the same practices as before, so, let us spread word of the victory to the other tenants, and see if any more want to school this parasite on basic respect!

Slumlord Rendahl Changes the Locks

The long-awaited extermination of CC’s bedbugs begins today! What could possibly go wrong? Well, slumlord Rendahl has decided to use this opportunity to change the lock on CC’s door! She has denied him access to all his goods and property until Wednesday at 9 am. Why? What landlord changes the locks during an extermination? We will make sure that CC regains access to his apartment on Wednesday. If not, we will continue to school this landlord on the proper treatment of her source of income–her tenants.

Bullies: Beware

2013-01-16-144410Our first picket at Aaran’s Walk on January 16th made one thing clear: Jennifer Rhendahl does not consider herself a friend to her tenants or the surrounding community. We held signs and set up a large banner saying “STAND UP AGAINST SLUMLORDS” in full view of passers-by, including incoming residents and prospective buyers. We felt an overwhelming degree of support: constant honking from cars, curious people pulling over to talk to us, pedestrians and residents telling us their stories and thanking us, and Aaran’s Walk tenants offering time and resources, energized and no longer feeling helpless in their struggle against their landlord and bully. The owner of a nearby apartment complex even stopped by to learn about the situation and offer his help.

Quite a few members of the community expressed a sense of relief that people have finally started to take action. The grievances they expressed to us had many common themes, and everyone identified with CC’s struggle. Many enthusiastically joined our picket and expressed rage at the fiefdom-like conditions they live under.

When Jennifer Rendahl learned of the ruckus, she came outside to make everyone go away. She probably doesn’t know how to deal with situations in which people don’t fear her: and now she saw the entire community demonstrating their opposition to her position in their lives. She knows that we pose a powerful threat to her business, because we do.

(In fact, recently, while she toured a potential tenant through some apartments, someone from TSOL approached them and told CC’s story. The prospective tenant signed our petition and told Jennifer that he would not rent from her.)

We will escalate until she agrees to our modest demand, which, really, amounts to nothing more than obeying the law. We demand that she stop trying to evict CC and that she own the responsibility of dealing with the bedbugs.

So, Rendahl responded by calling the Sheriff, who knows her all too well, since she uses the police frequently as part of her intimidation routine.

But the police found nothing illegal about our behaviors, rendering Rendahl powerless to stop us.

… To stop us from (1) spreading information and forcing a dialogue about her abuses, and (2) exposing her as a parasite to the community. She takes, she hurts, and she does not deserve her position. Tenants have a right to control their own lives.

Intoxicated by the power associated with private property ownership, Rendahl assumes total authority over her tenants. She bullies her residents and TSOL in whatever manner suits her fancy.

She’s had things go her way consistently … until now. She probably hasn’t bothered to respect anyone other than herself in 10 years, so she has a learning curve ahead of her.

Her life of privilege, it seems, has prevented her from becoming an adult.

Her sadistic nature really makes itself known to those familiar with her pattern of abuse. She enjoys what she does, and so far, she has relied on the fact that her tenants feel helpless to do anything about it. It seems as if she wants nothing less than to destroy the dignity and sense of autonomy in people she feels more important than.

Until now, she has faced no consequences for her ongoing illegal and immoral behavior.

Again, we will continue to escalate. It may or may not take a while to chip away at her delusional sense of power. Regardless, we won’t stop until she does the right thing, and complies with the demand CC, the tenants, and TSOL have given her.

On Wednesday, January 16th, the community made their position clear.

Landlords and bosses, beware! The working class can only take your shit for so long!

WMNF did a fantastic piece on Wednesday’s picket

WMNF News: New Activist Movement In Tampa Is Targeting Slumlords

320964_10151361956277229_2072385073_n 537302_10151361956282229_1909177459_n 385299_10151361956272229_112446458_nA group of activists is targeting slumlords in Tampa. Members of the Tampa Solidarity Network warned passing traffic not to rent from a USF-area apartment complex during a protest yesterday.

Two activists held a giant banner in front of Aaran’s Walk Condominiums calling Jennifer Rendahl a slumlord. Some drivers passing by honked in appreciation. Others slowed their cars to ask why. Protester Jake Vigness told them the complex’s management headed up by Rendahl enforced silly rules and often evicted residents illegally if they broke any of them.

“Well, for instance – just arbitrary rules like, children under 18 can’t be outside. If people have cell phones in the parking lot she’ll go out and talk to them and tell them you can’t be on your phone out here in the parking lot. If you have visitors over there’s a lot of rules about parking and about whether or not you can come outside and greet them. Just a lot of really strange stuff like that that we’ve heard of. We’ve heard story after story after story. It’s completely absurd.

And Carlton Williams is living in a bed bug infested unit in Aaran’s Walk. Williams reported the problem to the landlord. According to Williams, she sent a pest control company to his apartment to check it out, but the exterminator wouldn’t answer any of his questions. The landlord later told Williams that he needed to move out of his apartment for 4-6 weeks while the problem was fixed. Williams said he tried to find a place to stay, but didn’t have anywhere to go.

“I asked my friend who I know, the gentleman she claimed brought the bed bugs. I even asked my family. My family. My family [couldn’t] help because they have kids and I’m not going to move the little kids out of their room because the little kids got to stay so I’m going to let them stay in their home because that’s where they need to stay at. Last time I had termites at my house, my last landlord put is in, like, a motel.”

But the landlord didn’t do that. She wouldn’t comment for this story under advice of her attorney. Williams started asking people whether or not treating bed bugs should take so long. They all told him no. So Williams refused to leave. Instead, Rendahl offered to let him out of his lease and pay him $500 to leave.

“I don’t think I deserve this. Treat them before they mess up my furniture, my bed, my speakers, getting all in my clothes – stuff like that. The only thing she told me was I have to vacate the apartment for six weeks.”

Members of the Tampa Solidarity Network doubt an exterminator would need six weeks to treat bed bugs. Nick, one of the protesters who asked that his last name not be used, said he’s had bed bugs before so he knew the landlord’s claim was bogus.

“All we had to do leave the house or the apartment for four hours while the guy was there treating and he did that once a month – and he did that for – oh no, he did that twice a month, sorry – and it ended up costing us, all together, $175 for him to treat our bed bugs.”

Nick said the group called the company who did the estimate on the apartment’s pest problem and they were told even bad cases of bed bugs shouldn’t take that long.

“We’ve also called two other pest control agencies to see what their estimates were. One of them laughed at the idea of having to move out for 4-6 weeks and the other one said at most you’d have to leave for two days if we tented the whole building.”

WMNF also asked three local pest control specialists if treating bed bugs could ever take that long and they all said no. Ivan Lenoir, a renter’s rights attorney said even if it did, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to make sure the tenant has a place to stay.

“If the landlord cannot fix the problem within seven days then the landlord must either, A – give the tenant a rent reduction or B – provide the tenant some kind of monetary compensation so they may find somewhere else to live during this period in time that they are displaced from their home.”

Lenoir added that Williams’ refusal to leave isn’t necessarily a reason for the landlord to evict him.

“It does give her a reason not to fix the problem because what she can say is, ‘I’ve received professional advice that you must vacate the premise in order to fix the bug problem – you’ve refused to vacate…’ I don’t think that’s a reason to necessarily evict, but it’s certainly a reason to not fix the problem.”

Williams spoke to an attorney about his situation, too, and was told basically the same thing. So Williams asked the landlord if he could stay in one of the complex’s vacant units while his was being treated.

“I did and she said told me she’s not going to put me in another vacant apartment because she know I probably would have put bed bugs in the other apartment.”

The Tampa Solidarity Network is a spin off of a similar group in Seattle that started in 2008. Their goal is to put numbers behind causes. Williams’s bed bug problem is their first effort, but Jake Vigness, one of the group’s organizers, said they want to help others in similar situations.

“Well, the thing is, so often in our daily lives we deal with authority figures who are able to basically get away with abusing their power and their position and a lot of times we really internalize that and we always ask what have we done wrong first. And that’s good – it’s good to have personal responsibility, but we really have to answer issues collectively. So, the idea behind the Tampa Solidarity Network is basically to get people to direct action campaigns to get people to basically stand up for their rights and to get some control over their lives.”

The group also wants to target bad bosses.

“I know something seems simple, like it’s not, like a big cause like save the earth or whatever, but I think that for the poor and the disenfranchised, they are a cause. You know, your life is a cause. Even these little things should be stood up for. People having control of their lives is something that’s important – I think it’s fundamental to democracy.”

The group’s website has more information about what’s happening with Carlton Williams and other direct actions.

Slumlord Responds to Collective Action

On Friday, January 11th, Jennifer Rendahl retaliated against CC and TSOL organizers trying to talk to neighbors by kicking the organizers off the property. On Saturday, January 12th, the following day, she posted a letter on everyone’s door in the complex, spreading her usual distortions. We’ve scanned the letter, and it’s posted below for folks to look over, but we’d like to highlight some of her falsifications.

First of all, CC does not have a friend with bedbugs, nor did CC ever tell a maintenance worker or pest control worker that such was the case. CC does have a friend who works maintenance at a hotel. For Rendahl to twist this into a claim that CC’s friend was responsible for bringing bedbugs speaks for itself.

Secondly, the “Terminex” worker never spoke directly to CC, and in fact refused to give him a business card. Furthermore, as anyone who has ever dealt with bedbugs knows, in no scenario would a tenant be forced to leave for 4-6 weeks to treat for the pests. We called Terminex, who said they had never heard of forcing tenants to vacate for 4-6 weeks, even in extreme cases. This is an obvious attempt to scare CC out of his apartment, and then keep him out. In fact, we called 2 other pest services, who corroborated Terminex by saying that in most cases tenants are merely required to leave for the duration of the treatment (4 hours). In fact, the total cost of treating for the pests is likely to be between $175-$250 over a period of several months! That’s at most, about half the rent CC pays every month.

Rendahl also claims that CC and TSOL organizers are going to spread bedbugs by talking to neighbors in their doorways. The absurdity of this accusation doesn’t merit comment.

Besides this, Rendahl get’s the chronology horribly wrong, but we know it must be hard to keep track of the day and time when you’re counting all the deposits you’ve stolen, the $400 pet deposits you’ve extracted, and trying to keep track of your 14 camera feeds that spy on your “residents.”



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Red de Solidaridad de Tampa