Help Restore Athol Tennis Courts to the Community!
Aug 13, 2021 —
What: “Youth Can’t Play Here” Peaceful Protest
Who: Oakland Tennis Council, @counciltennis
When: Sat. Aug. 14 at 12 noon.
Where: Athol Plaza Tennis Courts at Lake Merritt, 1750 Lakeshore Ave., between Foothill Blvd. and East 18th Street
Why: The Athol Plaza Tennis Courts for decades have provided opportunities for residents of Oakland, and particularly those in the Eastlake District, for playing tennis. A few years ago, however, Athol Plaza was overrun by a large homeless encampment, with as many as 50 people living there at various times. Oaklanders were thus deprived of the use of the facility, which is owned by the Oakland Recreation Department.
Residents long complained about the encampment, as well as loud music at night, but little was done about it, despite City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas (who represents the District) promising to take corrective action more than a year ago. Finally, on Aug. 9, the City formally declared they would shut down the Athol Plaza encampment. Most of the campers voluntarily left, except for two of them, who have vowed to “resist” closure at all costs. Tennis players, including youth, continue to be obstructed from enjoying Athol Courts. The Protest aims at encouraging the City to expel the remaining campers, who have repeatedly been offered long term shelter but refused it. Protesters are asked to show up, or to drive past the site and honk their horns to show approval.
For more information, contact Oakland Tennis Council, @CouncilTennis (Twitter)
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