I-Hotel Activism

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During 1969 and the 1970’s, International Hotel, or commonly referred as I-Hotel, was and is a very crucial part of San Francisco political activism. It’s served as a banner for Asian American activism, for the improvement of poor housing conditions. During this place and time, the fuel for student political activism was high with the Third World Liberation Front social movement happening at San Francisco State College and at UC Berkeley, both fighting for the establishment of an Ethnic Studies Department. Hence, the Bay Area was a well of political activism at the time. In 1969, the tenants of I-Hotel faced eviction from Milton Meyer & Company and have the building replaced as a parking garage. Due to rising displacement of Asian Americans,…show more content…
They made plans to demolish the structure and replace it with a multi-story parking lot. Asian Activists from the Concerned Chinese for Action and Change (CCAC) and the United Filipino Association (UFA) mounted public opposition of the demolition. As it approached the date, the public opposition grew and culminated in a San Francisco Human Rights Commission meeting on I-Hotel. Commission Chairman Robert Lauter requested Milton Meyer & Co. to find a solution for the displacement of the poor who lived in I-Hotel without adequate relocation and sufficient compensation. Instead, Shorenstein insisted that the reason for the eviction was that the building was “deteriorated and unlivable.” If there were ever a fire in a building, I would not want it on my conscience. Afterword, a suspicious fire did occur at the I-Hotel on March 13, 1969 which killed three tenants. Because of this, Shorenstein, reiterated his point of the building being “deteriorated and unlivable.” That the tenants wouldn’t have died if they’d evacuated the building sooner. However, this didn’t deter activists and the tenants. If anything, they made placed more effort into protecting I-Hotel and its tenants. They placed political pressure on Shorenstein’s status as Campaign Finance Chairman of the Democratic Party, as coincidentally, the Democratic Party wanted to project an anti-elitist image. Therefore, there was a

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