Court's ruling 11_11_22
Below you can find the ruling by Judge Orrick for both the injunction against Caltrans by 29 residents (Blain v. California Department of Transportation), and the motion for contempt against Caltrans by Will Schwerma and Shay Neller.
So, what's up with Wood Street now?
For those who have been following the Wood Street story, or been active participants in it, there may be a lingering question about the legal status of the members of the Wood Street community, and what does the future hold for them?
After achieving so many historic and unique milestones in the movement on behalf of encampment dwellers throughout the State of California, we are now in a kind of anti-climactic doldrums, quietly accepting our position of being deprived of our land, as well as much of our fame, power and property, while our two active legal challenges were apparently shut down by Judge William Orrick in his recent rulings on Blain v. Caltrans (the Injunction), as well as the Motion for Contempt that we file pro se (without an attorney) against Caltrans. These legal actions represented the first efforts of 31 out of the 200 evicted persons to basically stop Caltrans from evicting us and taking our treasures, while trying to give proof of Caltrans’ violations of the law and human rights.
And so, the Judge’s rulings leave us...where??
None of the evicted persons have received a single dime to pay for their losses caused by Caltrans. The evicted persons have also been stuck with the label of guilt for 240 fires, and other associated problems of trash and visual blight, as well as being politically untouchable and expendable from the standpoint of virtually every lawmaker in the State – there is effectively not one single person from any City Council or County Board, or from the State Senate or the State Assembly, who was willing to be our friend or advocate in public. No politician in California has made a statement in public of sympathy for our plight, or one peep of criticism against our main antagonists, for the injuries and harm they have caused us.
We are already used to being untouchables, or politically expendable, and inherently guilty human trash. But as far as all those legislators and lawmakers throughout the state of California are concerned, it's really their loss. They missed out on the biggest civil rights issue of our time and age. AND they lost out on being our friends. Which makes me all the more appreciative of those friends, allies, advocates, and members of the press who are still with us, and who still care.
So, I will try to give a brutally frank assessment of our "problems", as well as a road map for our ultimate vindication and emancipation.
Admittedly, our brand is problematic. We are all at once both too complicated, too fabulous, too free, and, well, you don't know what to call us.
We are NOT homeless, houseless, unsheltered, or what have you. You could call us "landless", or "we the people", or "stewards of the land", but, actually, so is everybody else. I'll say, we are commoners. But that's not a well-known term yet. So, for the time being, I could refer to us as "encampment dwellers". For it is the encampments that Governor Newsom wants to destroy, every last one of them. And if the encampments are destroyed, then all those non rent paying members of the societal "bottoms" will suffer a worse fate that is in store, namely, a combination of care courts and long-term psychiatric confinement, and internment camps and eventual extermination.
So what can we encampment dwellers here in West Oakland, or throughout the state, do, to stop further violence in the form of eviction from our encampments on public land?
There are several things to do first.
We have to clear our name of this group guilt for fire, and specifically cast doubt on the allegations leveled at us by Caltrans and Judge Orrick. (I will go into more detail on how this might be accomplished later on.)
We should make a database of all the evicted community members that are willing to provide us with their current contact info, as well as a statement from each one, of their losses, claims and damages that each one suffered at the hands of Caltrans. In addition, we would collect from every willing individual, any evidence or testimonies they have about any of the fires at Wood Street, as well as any content that they want to contribute to our online digital archive, called the Wood Street Anthology.
We must do fundraising to help pay for replacement cell phones, and/or mobile connectivity kiosks, where people can gain access on a weekly basis to communal cell phones, laptops, device recharging and Wi-Fi, as well as paper printouts of vital information, for all those community members who are in need of such.
We must continue our freedom of information requests against Caltrans, the city of Oakland, and others. In addition, we must make formal complaints to OSHA and other agencies, about the train crash caused by Caltrans, and the various other workplace hazards and safety violations that we have documented, which were caused by Caltrans.
We must build relationships with the Oakland fire department and the Oakland Police department, so that we can enlist their aid in authenticating our list of community members who are free from being the objects of any investigation for arson, or for any of the 240 fires at Wood Street since March 2020. We must also enlist the aid of these departments in accepting and receiving the body of evidence and testimonies that our community can provide to them concerning the fires at Wood Street, so that they can incorporate this information into their existing investigative and reporting functions, and eventually make a public statement on our behalf, that, with regards to those individuals named on our list of community members, they have no active investigations or accusations against them.
And, we must get from every willing individual on our community list to sign an affidavit which states that they did not cause any of the out-of-control fires at Wood Street, and keep these on hand as admissible exhibits for any future lawsuits, as well as an additional support for our public case to clear our names.
Finally, when the results and findings from all of these items are sufficiently impressive, we will have a press conference and a party/theatrical event where we will present these findings to the public and the media with our characteristic flair. Any significant legal motions in the courts that we decide to make would also be announced at this time.
Hopefully, those legal motions would include the effect of generating a constitutional challenge against each City in the state of California that has any ordinances or injunctions against overnight camping or sleeping on public land in the city limits. And that constitutional challenge would be centered on the Fifth Amendment, and our right to not be deprived of life, liberty, or estate, without due process of law.
In addition, a basic goal of these legal motions would be to fully restore or re-establish our land jurisdiction, or in other terms, the constitutional basis for our right to be stewards of sufficient amounts of public land to create the commons in every city in California, based on our social agreements, and the template of the Oakland Humane Commons charter.
And speaking of land, while all of this is going on, we will secure through various means areas of land in Oakland where our people can have basic safety and relief from harassment, evictions, and other violations of our constitutional rights.
Theo Cedar Jones
We are tired of being kicked around by Caltrans. Your plans to evict everybody under the freeways of the Wood Street Commons in West Oakland is an unacceptable act of abuse and violence against WE THE PEOPLE.
"We hold you accountable for every time Caltrans employees waited for a homeless person to leave their tent so they could steal it, crushing it in a garbage truck, after picking through the spoils. We hold you accountable for all of the lives you and your heavy equipment damaged, degraded and destroyed in the course of pursuing endless dislocations of people who have already been punished by a rigged economic system into forcible poverty. Like Hitler's troops raiding a Jewish neighborhood, you come onto our land to tell us to get out, live somewhere else, we own it, your presence here is a problem. You steal or destroy our life-support materials with impunity because you are such a large landowner in California, with a monopoly on our vital infrastructure, that you can keep getting away with it, like the feudal lords of old."
Ok. Those are fine words. And I'm not saying you're wrong, but try to understand what I'm about to tell you.
Your lawsuits against us, when successful, are paid out by you, the tax payer wage slaves, so we don't really feel that pain - for us, it's just a cost of doing business. You have to realize that we are doing as we're told. We are keeping our country what it was meant to be, a car culture, not a humane culture.
Actually, I know that I am addicted to the sense of control and unchallenged power Caltrans gives to me. There's something about harassing people with less power than me, making them slide further down the economic scale; making them beg for crumbs from the failing social safety net; leaving them to the sharks of non-stop increases in the cost of survival; breaking down whatever momentum they established in their projects or businesses or art, again and again. I just can't stop. I have this pathological urge to expose myself, and the evil that this organization has perpetrated against you humans, because I'm tired.
It's become like a meat grinder. This process of helping to create an endlessly growing supply of disposable humans is like an assembly line leading, where???
The thrill is gone. So many of my friends who are CEO's of major companies are gone, or won't take my calls, because we know too much about each other, and what it takes to occupy the position at the head of a Soviet-like, unelected, unaccountable infrastructure monopoly. At least I can still talk to my buds at the Port of Oakland.
You say we intentionally neglected to remove gross amounts of flammable items that were illegally dumped around vital infrastructure. You say we knew there were arsonists terrorizing your so-called community. You say that this so-called "Wood Street Commons" was intentionally left to rot as the City's informal dump, and that the environment was devastated by burnt out cars and an endlessly growing tide of the shattered remains of human lives. And so you feel defamed, or misunderstood, or threatened, or whatever. There's just something about watching West Oakland burn that reminds me of the good old days when the City of Oakland helped to crush the Black Panther Party. That was a really scary moment, but we got it handled. And as everyone knows, homeless people bring trash, crime, drugs and laziness to our cities, so I think they will be easier to crush than the Black Panthers were. Remember, we still kept that fucker Geronimo Pratt behind bars.
Your quaint descriptions of tiny homes, ecovillages, and cooperative community sounds like the usual hippie stuff, but we crushed that too. I mean, what is it with you people? Haven't you got the message by now that your constant push, push, push for freedom is a mere annoyance for us??
But I just don't care; I'm tired. Go ahead and try to resist our superior power. Maybe you'll get the ear of the governor. Maybe you will find us out, and sway the masses to revulsion at the role that we played in the larger de-population project we faithfully served.
Yeah, land trusts, self-sufficiency and self-governance sound glorious. Knock yourselves out. Maybe you have found the beloved community in a golden land. But I hope you understand, I have deadlines. And I have to work fast before I am out of here.
Life, Liberty and Estate
The original phrase in the declaration of Independence was " life, liberty and property", (or "life, liberty and estate"). Why did Thomas Jefferson alter the original phrase? A new theory posits that it would have been politically inexpedient to acknowledge the universal God-given right to property or estate in the case of the American Indians who had this right summarily denied by the actions of the European settlers.
If this is true, it would represent a very great fault in our country's founding documents. It is a fault that would carry through to the present day, and any of the efforts of the living descendants of those native Americans, who suffered the original loss of their lands, to rematriate those lands in accordance with any standard of basic fairness and legal rights.
However, this fault would also carry through to the efforts on the part of the so-called homeless to assert and enforce their right to land, especially the so-called surplus land within municipalities, which could and should accrue to the commons, thus providing assurance of our basic human rights to exist, and to live free of the fear of eviction by such entities as the city government of Oakland, or the state agency Caltrans.
The California Constitution, however, does not alter the original phrase, and therefore as citizens of the Golden State we can be assured of our right to life, liberty and property, and on that basis mount a fundamental legal and constitutional challenge to all of the injunctions against overnight camping that have been instituted in the cities of California. All of these injunctions should be challenged both at the local level and through statewide action within the courts and legislation, and be struck down.
These malicious injunctions give the state cause to presume that all homeless people are a priori criminals. And this in turn assures the existence of a permanent class of presumed criminals that can be used as a feeder into the sanctioned slave labor system within the prisons in the state of California. And if this is true, it would mean that a true long-term solution to homelessness would require legal and legislative actions in the state of California to both abolish all injunctions against overnight camping in municipalities, and to abolish the sanctioned slave labor system within all the prisons in our state. This would remove the two biggest obstacles to establishing and enforcing our right to live in the Commons on public land within every city.
Notes taken by Theo Cedar Jones
at the District court hearing for
Blain, et al v. Caltrans, August 26, 2022
Ramona (Member of Wood Street Community) - Someone is starting the fires, not us.
Jaz and John Janosko (Members of Wood Street Community) gave impassioned and moving appeals on behalf our community's needs and rights.
Judge Orrick - I recognize that you have a community that works for you. I recognize we could have better solutions for you, but they are not ready yet. I have stretched the point to get to some sort of place that recognizes the humanity, and I don't disagree with you (plaintiffs). The idea that Caltrans should do fire mitigation where they don't want to house human beings...
I'll get an order out that the City and the County ... must increase their efforts so that relocation services are provided, that the vehicles on the property are allowed to be recovered by the owners so that property is not lost, especially shelter vehicles. I otherwise will advance the proposal that the City made. There are huge gaps in treatment of people at Wood Street, but it is a thoughtful proposal given current resources.
Jamilah (Oakland City Attorney) - The City doesn't have a way to store vehicles. (making excuses)
Orrick - if vehicles are cleared there has to be a plan to store vehicles.
Rowell - Why does vehicle storage go to the City? (complaining, passing the buck)
Orrick - These are vehicles of human beings and they are not to be lost - there must be a program for this, I expect the 3 of you (City and Caltrans and County) to take care of this. (Judge delivers a spanking to the defendants)
Guenzi (Caltrans attorney) - These vehicles are difficult to move, and often need to be cleaned...(whining)
Orrick - You Caltrans are the ones who want to evict people, the people who own that property should have it respected. (Caltrans spanked again by the judge)
Caltrans - Sanchez doesn't address storage of vehicles. (crybaby)
Orrick - I've said all I need to say. (Judge loses patience with Caltrans, and won't even dignify their whining with a response)
I am dissolving the TRO in staged phases. Two week phases. Seven week process.
Orrick - Communication, collaboration will be needed in next 7 weeks. (i.e. You defendants need to grow the fuck up and show some responsibility, instead of whining and complaining and passing the buck)
Orrick - These issues raise difficult questions for everybody, the current solution is not a solution in any normal sense. (That is an opening for us to come to the judge with better solutions than what the other side is offering)
Judges don't make laws or set policy. They are not supposed to be activists. Judges are not supposed to express a clear bias toward one side or the other. That's the standard. But through careful use of language, and through their orders, judges can give you little clues about their sympathies and desired outcomes.
This hearing is the first time I have noticed the judge saying things like: "I recognize you have community", "I recognize your humanity", "these are vehicles of human beings", "the people who own that property should have it respected." He didn't really have to say all that. I also can't recall a judge praising homeless people for creating community. Community wasn't even a topic of this hearing; it was the judge's initiative to raise that topic, and kind of put some points on the scoreboard for the residents. This indicates to me that our legal strategies going forward should continually find ways to highlight our individual human voices and stories, and also to highlight the success we've had as a group to build community and other things. We sometimes refer to this strategy as "humanization", which is necessary to counter the negative narratives being used against us.
Even as the judge was sending out these signals of approval to residents of Wood Street, he also showed irritation at Caltrans: "You Caltrans are the ones that want to evict people." "Caltrans doesn't want to do fire mitigation where they don't want to house human beings." "I've said all I need to say." This could imply that evicting encampments is not an inevitability that springs from the law, but a rolling catastrophe based on the wishes of Caltrans.
I also thought it was noteworthy how uncompromising the judge was in his demand that our vehicles (especially those that are used for shelter) are stored safely until the owners can retrieve them. It seems like he ordered the city, county and state to create a new program specifically designed to deal with the storage of our community's vehicles and other property. People in the judge's social class usually have a kind of reverence for the sanctity of private property. In the olden days, you had to prove that you were a property owner before you could vote.
In all of our lawsuits up to the present, we've been kind of lax about itemizing and documenting all of our personal property, both before and after any evictions perpetrated by Caltrans. Also, our claims for financial damages or financial relief from Caltrans have been too small, and too narrow in scope. In my own case against Caltrans, I have so far identified about $10,400,000 in damages I am claiming against Caltrans. I think the judge is holding the door open for us to join the propertied class, but also giving us a friendly reminder to fully document our property, in order to give a more complete accounting of every item of property that Caltrans has deprived us of.
I think we need to go after Caltrans' public reputation and their pocketbook. We need to catch a break, or get a gift from God, in terms of finding a smoking gun or a skeleton in their closet that really strikes a blow against them. Caltrans has been acting extremely aggressive toward us, doing illegal things to harm us, and defaming our public reputation over the issue of fire.
The judge has given us yet another packet of time to show the world that we have some backbone, that we are ready to stand up for ourselves and make our voices heard, and show the world that we have done some good things.
Now that I have finally finished by own amended injunction against Caltrans, including a long list of exhibits and claims, I feel ready to help the next wave of plaintiffs file their individual injunctions and lawsuits against Caltrans. But we should as much as possible not do class actions, but demand hearings for each individual injunction, and coach each other on the law, and how to speak on your own behalf before the judge and the court.
Public Land is Our Land
by Theo Cedar Jones
On behalf of the Wood Street Community and encampments and Commons across America
If we take our First Amendment guarantees as safequards against overreach and abuses caused by the state against its own people, is it possible that the framers of our constitution had in mind the long historic interest of human peoples in the issue of land? In the Bible and in History are many examples of martial forces attacking a group's bond with a given area of land, if they wanted the total destruction of another group's sustainability and unique identity.
Would it not be the duty of a constitutional Republic to use its collected military superiority in the interests of safequarding the basic human needs of the many human communities, of various sizes, within its borders? Is not one of the correct employs of the State, so constituted by its own citizens, to insulate against threats to the stability of a community caused by the random appearance of foreign martial forces? Should not the State's higher purposes include its role in reducing whenever possible the hazards presented by hostile forces, or indifferent Nature, to any of its citizens, or any of their families, or any of their communities?
Such rights are universally true of all humans, anywhere, and are inalienable for all humans anywhere, and are Divinely originated for all humans, anywhere.
So, how could it have been one of the hopes of the framers of a constitution designed to protect humans who are Divinely endowed by their Creator with rights that nothing and no one can separate them from, that agencies acting as trusts or monopolies should enforce the hoarding of land on such a large scale as to enact the disenfranchisement of great numbers of the citizenry from their God-given right to "estate"?
It would make no sense for the framers to plot against any portion of the citizenry, and so to draft founding documents that would, by design, deprive the citizens of their access to sufficient land to support their natural need for "life and liberty".
So, my claiming of my inherent right to stay for the rest of my life on State of California land, or City of Oakland land, has all needed constitutional support in the First Amendment's immortal language concerning my right to "life, liberty and estate".
"Estate" in my situation is a reasonable and sufficient quantity of public land or "surplus land" for me to enjoy my "life" and my "liberty".
The framers would want the Republic they constituted to be as successful as possible in enhancing and protecting "life" in the case of all its citizens, which would include those qualities of life associated with an unbroken bond with land, such as stability, security, peace and sustainability, for me individually, for my family, and for my community, now, and through all of our future generations.
So, I am claiming in my lawsuit against Caltrans and Governor Newsom a perpetual right to live in freedom from their illegal activities to forcibly displace me.
My personal claim is also for no less than one-twentieth of an acre.
This claim is modest and reasonable, given that if all 10,000 people in Oakland in my situation made a similar claim, only 500 acres would have to be ceded by the City of Oakland from its current holdings of 10,000 acres of "surplus land", leaving ninety-fire percent of their holdings in tact.
I am also claiming enough water from the City and the State to fulfill and support my "life". This is enough water to grow my food, to fight fires, to wash myself and my belongings, and for basic sanitation.
I wanted to deliver a pep talk for the volunteers who have served Cob on Wood, and Wood Street Commons, and say to them how much I appreciate the fruits of our joint efforts over the last two years. I wanted to reassure you that I and other members of the Wood Street Community are committed to staying and standing our ground.
I want to acknowledge any potential sorrow or heartache or fear anyone is feeling right now about the very real possibility that at some point the standoff with the hardcore folks could somehow result in some kind of removal of us, and then their heavy machines would come in and bulldoze everything down to dirt. Maybe they would spare Cob, but would they let us live there? So now is a moment of both great opportunity, and great potential loss.
Together we have built and achieved more than has ever been done in the homeless world. But that means there is more to lose, if we cannot stop Caltrans.
I want to tell you some of the reasons I feel optimism about the situation.
1. First they gave us a three-week extension on our restraining order against Caltrans. Then it was a 5 week extension in addition to that. And now it's a seven week extension. Why all this love from the Judges?
2. The judge in the Sanchez versus Caltrans case said during the course of that case, and I paraphrase, "there is nothing in federal law that compels me to kick these people off of public land."
Is that why when judge Orrick gave his orders that we will have to move out, he did not cite any existing law or part of the Constitution to justify evicting people. This could mean that Caltrans actually has no legal basis to kick us off of public land. So, instead they use the issue of...
3. Fire. The judge, and Caltrans and the governor are all pushing the narrative that the guilt for the fires is a matter that has already been settled, even before the guilty parties ever had the chance to answer their accusers in court, or see any evidence presented against them, or be named as defendants in any lawsuit.
But their argument could easily come apart the moment any evidence surfaced that, for example, arson may have been involved in some of the fires. In that case, it would be clear that at least in the instances of the fires where there was a known arsonist perpetrator, then the members of our community would be innocent of causing those particular fires.
As more people declare their innocence, it will place more burden of proof on Caltrans to produce evidence to substantiate their allegations of who is guilty for the fires at Wood Street..
That is why we are hiring the services of a retired Fire Marshal who can come and do an independent assessment and investigation of the fires here at Wood Street. .
And that is why we are helping all willing community members to sign a sworn affidavit that simply states, "i, Theo Cedar Jones, never caused any of the out of control fires at Wood Street.".
People can also have a short video tape made of them saying the same thing and that can be posted in our social media, and also presented as exhibits to the judges in our cases.
People can also wear our t-shirt that says, "Your honor, I didn't start any of the fires at Wood Street."
We also have some fun ideas for making sound trucks to project our message internally and externally, writing satirical video skits about Caltrans employees and the director, and using theatrical protest in a number of forms.
We will soon also be able to present the charter for the Oakland Humane Commons Land trust to the judge, as well as a plan with East Bay mud to install fire hydrants throughout the interior of our community.
We’re also starting a new fundraising campaign called the Wood Street Defense fund, with which we can finance our legal motions and plaintiff support, fence building around our key compounds, cleaning the last big piles of trash, and paying an independent Fire Marshal to help us do a proper investigation of the true origination of fires at Wood Street.
We're looking for continued volunteer support to help us build perimeter fencing on various compounds, and to build a dog park in the parcel of land immediately south of Cob.
Volunteers can coordinate directly with me.
Theo Cedar Jones
I am repeating my warning to all of the people living in Wood Street that the 29 plaintiffs in Blain, et al v. Caltrans are being railroaded into admission of guilt for all the fires at Wood Street.
To accept any form of settlement at this phase, or agree to move out of Wood Street are BOTH acts that constitute tacit admission of guilt for all of the fires at Wood Street. This is because the sole pretext for forcibly evicting everyone from Wood Street, as Cheryl Chambers threatened to do on April 7, 2022, has been the issue of fire, or the narrative they are weaving that all of us living at Wood Street are guilty until proven innocent for every single fire that has happened here.
Notice that neither Caltrans, nor Judge Orrick, have provided any legal or constitutional basis for us to be evicted. They just say it's because of the fires, case closed. Judge Orrick had to say it three times at the first hearing of Blain v. Caltrans, "You know you all have to move out", almost as though he was trying to convince himself and everybody else of the sheer inevitability of our eviction. If it's so damn inevitable, then why didn't he just make a definitive ruling at the outset - "Because of such-and-such articles of the Constitution, and such-and-such statutes of the Civil Code, we are legally justified in ruling that all the people living at Wood Street have to leave, quickly, and I am issuing orders for it to be done."
But they don't have a strong legal basis for kicking us off public land owned by the State of California. In fact, in the settlement for Sanchez v. Caltrans the court noted that "There does not appear to be any outright federal ban on permitting temporary encampments on State of California property." And they also noted in this case that guidelines are in development for certain areas of Caltrans operated lands to be managed so that they can accommodate residential settlements.
So I am calling on everyone living at Wood Street to state clearly in their individual injunctions against Caltrans, something along these lines, "Your Honor, I, Theo Cedar Jones, am not guilty of any of the fires at Wood Street. And I am placing the burden of proof on Caltrans to provide evidence before the court that I was a cause of any of the fires at Wood Street. I will not leave Wood Street until a full and thorough and transparent investigation has been concluded as to what or who really caused the fires at Wood Street."
It is extremely damaging for we the people to take the rap for every fire at Wood Street, without evidence or due process. For example, there are several levels of fire guilt - 1. Malicious and pre-meditated arson - penalty, 9 years in state prison and $10,000 in fines. 2. Reckless fire causing harm to property or human life - 2-6 years in state prison. 3. Fire caused by gross negligence, or accident, 2-4 years in state prison. Multiply this times 200 people and 200 fires, and you have a giant mountain of liability and guilt that is being placed entirely on us, even though Caltrans themselves, and the City of Oakland, are guilty of creating and allowing hazardous fire conditions to go on for years at Wood Street.
The only way to be sure that you are not blamed for fires you didn't cause, is to represent yourself at your own individual hearing for your injunction against Caltrans. Representing yourself without an attorney is called Pro Se, which means you have sufficient competency in the law to know your rights, not cede any of your rights, and be able to substantiate exactly how Caltrans has injured your rights, or may yet do so if you are evicted by Caltrans at some future point. We have a system of support for all plaintiffs going pro se, where you will get "life coaching" before and during your hearings from our most legally experienced community members.
Don't be part of a group or a class action, which are designed for the efficiency and convenience of the lawyers and the courts, and for expediting their payday of outrageous and exorbitant lawyers fees. (For example, in Sanchez v. Caltrans, the lawyers fees were $2.9 million, while plaintiffs got only $290,000; in the class action against Caltrans for destroying people's property, the lawyer's fees were $3.5 million, while most of the plaintiffs got $500.)
Don't be part of a group or a class action because it diminishes the impact of your individual voice. You are the best person to make your claims for damages against Caltrans, and to show the court the injuries and irreparable harms caused to you by Caltrans.
And there are other legal remedies for us that we have barely begun to exploit, which could open doors to much larger financial settlements, and to permanent land sovereignty on public land, leading to a final end to the threat of eviction for all of us.