Fed up tenants fight back against eviction protest in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The fight to keep a 100 year-old woman in her San Francisco apartment escalated Thursday as demonstrators trespassed in order to hang an anti-eviction banner.

One fed-up tenant pulled up the banner, ran off with it and then threw it off the side the building. A video shows just how quickly it turned into a battle between one of the protesters and a fed-up tenant.

A tenant said she started hearing people on the roof. Protesters had broke into an apartment building next door to gain access to the her roof and hung a 21-foot banner over the building, right over her front window.
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Anna Munoz reached out and tore the bottom part of the banner. Her husband warned protesters they were trespassing.

When they didn't comply, he climbed onto the roof and with knife in hand began cutting the cords, holding up the banner. One of the demonstrators tried unsuccessfully to stop him. The tenant then ran and tossed the red banner off the top of the building.

Outside, dozens came to demand that 100-year-old Iris Canada be allowed to stay in her apartment.

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"We need to stand up to this kind of greed and make sure people can live in their homes as seniors and not be kicked out onto the streets," said Tenants Rights advocate Dean Preston.

This all began more than a decade ago when the building was purchased. Because of her age, Canada received a settlement granting her the right to stay there for the rest of her life, as long as she paid $700 a month and actually lived there.

"He sold her a life estate and he's the beneficiary of that life estate," said Tenants Rights advocate Iris Merriouns.

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The landlord who lives back east formed a tenancy in common with other people. He's claimed that Canada has really been living in Oakland with her great niece and asked that the lifetime estate be terminated. The court ruled in his favor.

But on Thursday she was inside her apartment.

The other owners of the six-unit building want to do a condo conversion and have been left in limbo.

"And they have nothing to do with this lawsuit and they have no control over it and we're being harassed and targeted," Munoz said.

Canada's attorney continues to ask the courts for a stay, yet her time may be running out.

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