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Politically Motivated and Retaliatory Evictions

by Janet C. Phelan Friday, Mar. 23, 2007 at 11:57 AM (310) 755-4469

Retaliation by the power brokers against activists results in homelessness

On Wednesday, March 21, the friends with whom I have been staying in San Bernardino, while attempting to address the "Melodie Scott problem," were locked out at six a.m. After accepting the rent in February, the landlord went to court the very next day and submitted a spurious statement concerning their rental history here. The rent was current, had always been current, and the only factor that had changed was that this house was amping up as an organizing center for our work re: Melodie Scott.

Jane had filed a response to the unlawful detainer, but she was never served with a notice for hearing. The hearing took place without her knowledge and thus without her attendance, which could very well have have derailed the landlord's attempt to remove these quiet, working and non-partyers from his property, where they had resided for a year and a half without incident.

After the Sheriffs posted the property as to be vacated this week, there were three attempts made by Jane to file ex parte. Three times her paperwork was turned down by a court clerk at the filing window, and she never saw the judge. Tuesday, I went into the court with her roommate ,Russ, who is the Melodie Scott victim and activist, and was told the paperwork was just fine. However, the clerk in the department told us we were--sadly--now untimely.

We were working on the website and press conference. We will not be able to complete this work, as the house has been busted up, and the inhabitants will now scatter. I will return to Idaho, mid-stream.

Melodie took Russ's family home and sold it when Russ's mother was one month into the temporary conservatorship, and he will now become homeless--again.

The perception of all involved here is that this is a politically motivated and retaliatory eviction. And for those who have not been following the Melodie Scott saga, she is simply one of the most powerful women in America, and her relationship with the Bush team has granted her nearly unfathomable immunity for crimes against property and life. For starters, check out these links concerning Scott's crimes and who is protecting her: 190681.php

The Los Angeles Times published a highly-watered down cover story on Melodie Scott, which the Times' editors withheld from publication for two years, according to lead reporter Robin Fields:,0,2846858.story

Russ and Jane's eviction is hardly a unique occurence in the landscape of political retaliation. In fact, there are four individuals whom I know personally who ended up homeless after Melodie Scott began to circle over them, metaphorically speaking, of course. She is, in fact, a human being and not a vulture, in the strict and literal sense of the word. Joe Quattrochi, Jeff Budinger, Russell East (now twice homeless due to Scott) and this writer have all endured periods of homelessness after Scott gained access to the family money. My own period of homelessness was extended much longer than would have been otherwise necessary, due to Scott's refusal to abide by the terms of the trust fund set up by my parents, for which she became trustee, after having the individual named by my parents in their Will removed, by an act of her judge-in-the-pocket.

This is not only happening to Melodie Scott victims. As one example, Gary Nagle is a former federal police officer who was terminated from that employ after testifying against a Fortune 500 company. Through several highly illegal manuevers, his own house, worth in the neighborhood of 0,000, was seized in what Nagle terms "a hate crime for political affiliation."

The experience of homelessness is utterly de-stabilizing. One's sole pre-occupation becomes survival, and the activism that may have impelled the retaliatory maneuver of home-seizing or eviction takes a much lower priority, as the individual needs to attend to where to sleep, where to get food, and how in the world to get housing after this sort of thing marrs one's housing record. In that sense, it is a highly effective tool against activists, whistleblowers and other perceived as non-conforming with the the overriding political agenda.

Janet C. Phelan

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