Oakland Students Make Guerilla Art for E12th — And It’s Amazing


IMG_2108The battle for the heart and soul of Oakland continues, and a powerful new force has entered the fray.

11th-grade students from the Social Justice pathway at Colisuem College Prep Academy created original art in support of the People’s Proposal for E12th — and against a luxury condo tower that would worsen the gentrification and racist displacement already plaguing Oakland.

The students unveiled their work and spoke about its themes on Friday, November 20th, in a guerilla art exhibit — the murals posted directly on the fence surrounding the E12th parcel — that has garnered media attention.

The newest phase of protest over the land was the “guerilla art” exhibited by students from Coliseum College Prep. The art makes statements about gentrification and displacement in Oakland as the rental market heats up. The art underscores the East 12th parcel’s place in the debate over gentrification, and as an example of the public outcry for the city government to address Oaklanders’ concerns. For example, one panel showed the words “Don’t close Oakland” and was illustrated by an image of a zipper closing over the city, with the names of tech companies’ brands on the notches of the zipper.

From an androgynous boxer knocking out a pile of money featuring Donald Trump’s face; to an African, Asian, and Central/South American take on diasporic Oakland; the students incorporated national and international political themes into their work.

Without using buzzwords like “gentrification” or “displacement,” they spoke directly to these issues as people directly affected — with slogans like “Without the people, what is Oakland?” — “People Can Defeat the Money” — and “Rent for $3200? HELL NO!” (referring to the $3,200/mo price tag for a 1-bedroom unit in UrbanCore’s proposed luxury tower).


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The artwork is still up at E12th and 2nd Ave.; go have a look for yourself, and enjoy Public Art for Public Good!

Deep gratitude to the students and teachers of Coliseum College Prep Academy who made this happen.

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