BERKELEY (CBS SF) — People living in the RVs at the Berkeley Marina are standing their ground after once again being served eviction notices. Now they have their own demands for the city.
The group Berkeley Marina Friends on Wheels Monday was presenting a list of demands to the City of Berkeley which includes a cease-and-desist on the persistent order to move. The group is also asking for more basic accommodations, such as a safe place for them to park their RVs and for access to running water.
After calling the marina home for a year and a half, the RV owners say they have been told to move again. “We have to relocated to ‘somewhere else,’” said Amber Whitson of Berkeley Marina Friends on Wheels. “Actually, I believe the city manager told us to move ‘anywhere else’ in the Berkeley Marina.”
The group of RV owners used to be about 40, but that number has dwindled down to about half.
“We’re going to make a stand because we’re not going to go away anywhere else,” said RV resident Yesica Prado. “Where are you going to tell people to go? People exist. You can’t just make them disappear like that and chase them out of the city with citations. I think that’s inhumane and people need to start treating people like people.”
Rolling along day-to-day with basic human needs, such as finding clean water, can be difficult for the members of the Berkeley Marina Friends on Wheels. “By human standards, we shouldn’t have to ask for that,” said Whitson. “But we have to, because otherwise we have to find spigots that they haven’t already removed the handles from.”
Last week, Berkeley city officials met to consider putting a 30-day halt on eviction notices for the RVs, but that motion died when city councilmember Kriss Worthington voted no.
“Kriss Worthington switched up and did a 180 on everybody,” said Whitson. “And from what I’ve heard from many of his constituents, he angered a lot of voters.”
“The motion before us is saying, ‘Do the same thing they did 30 years ago and hope for the best,'” Worthington said last week. “But to me, it’s clear that’s not legally allowed.”
According to state law, public property at the Berkeley Marina can only be used for “water-dependent” purposes and must be open to all the public. KPIX 5 reached out to the City of Berkeley for comment, but no response was received as of noon Monday.