My ad on The Stranger

I’ve been advertising in The Stranger for a few months now, plunking down my $25 weekly to appear on whatever pages they put me on for a certain amount of page clicks. When I first started, I was gratified to be placed right next to a feature about incoming Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole being the harbinger of change for the Seattle Police Department. This was an article that people who would be interested in crime would read, I thought. Maybe someone will click my ad, read what is happening to me, and recognize it as a crime that they can help to get investigated. This was and remains my hope.

My “Tenant Clearers in Seattle” ad next to the story about a developer attempting to bribe a city official

 

This week’s advertisement also found a fortuitous placement, on a page about Mayor Murray’s stepping back from a deal with real estate development company Triad after a bribe attempt on a city council person. Murray’s response is said to be disgust.

Oh Mayor Murray,
if you only knew…
the crimes in Seattle
those developers do

I considered making it a Haiku, but this form works too.

Anyway, speaking of disgust. I share that feeling. Because not that many things get more disgusting than finding that the unethical neighborhood watch and their developer friends either invited criminals called “real estate mobbers” into the neighborhood to harass me out of my home in exchange for some sweet real estate deal (which probably involves acquiring the lot I live on), or have invited professional harassers to work out of the houses of a few home owners who appear to have designs on the property on which I reside. What is really disgusting is that people who portray themselves as “good neighbors” and their speculating friends could be so money grubbing or so full of hatred that they would go out of their way to have someone monitored, stalked, and harassed every moment of every day for what is now more than 550 days, not just to get the opportunity to buy the property, but to ensure that the tenant who insisted on her rights ends up with them, and her life, thoroughly thrashed.

What is disgusting is the fact that I can only remain in my home of more than five years by putting up with people who threaten to put pictures of me on the Internet or threaten to report me as a child molester if I don’t “Get out!” And what’s disgusting is being stripped of privacy, an arguable Human Right.

Every morning I wake up to the mobbers’ whispers and threats. They get me out of bed, they follow me to the shower and seem to hit the water lines pretty well with harassment while I’m in it. The harassment follows me, penetrating the windows, as I walk from room to room, and when I sit on the toilet the mobbers make observations about the sound effects.

This is supposed to have caused me to leave my home, abandoning it to speculators who probably would have wanted to lowball my landlords. Because women, especially, are modest.

Ha!

But although I wavered from time to time I did not leave and finally decided that I would not be harassed out of my home. So now the mobbers are mad at me; one of them said that he’s got people coming in from all across the state to mob me. That could have been some mobber doubletalk and lies but, the way I see it, one of the possibilities is that there is some underworld culture of “mobbers” who prey on those in neighborhood bullying and other situations, starting out as those obnoxious “World’s Worst Neighbors” and then, in the case of holdouts like me, escalating to all-out mobbing. They may be profiteers who are willing to get their hands dirty as they hold houses. When they oust their targets or muscle into nearby properties and develop them, they flip and go elsewhere, to the next deal, the next target. The other strong possibility is that of professional harassers or “tenant clearers” being involved. The gaggle of neighborhood bullies includes those from the not-so-great neighborhood association, developers and real estate investors or agents. I’ve seen the same real estate agents from the large northwestern real estate company who called my landlords and blamed me for their soured real estate deals having tête-à-têtes with the owners and residents of the mobbing houses in the street.

They tell me that they cannot be caught, that there’s nothing I can do.

But there is.

I can stay. I can stay and show them that they cannot harass people out of their homes, not even by spreading malicious gossip and defamation, monitoring them in the bathroom, stalking them into their classrooms over wireless networks, putting harassment on their television services and deliberately depriving them of REM sleep by waking them every morning in the wee hours. Finally a private detective told me to try sound board–unfortunately that’s all he did for me–and this dims the volume of the harassment and sometimes nearly quiets it. But if the TV is not on and available for them to use to harass, they use the radio if it is. If that’s not on they use the window panes. And on it goes. Months back, the mobbers claimed it was a “land war” but now it seems that the war is against me, the renter who refuses to yield. And the wild stories and hoaxes of the early months of the mobbing have been replaced with the constant demand that I “Move on!”

I should be embarrassed for my willingness to use the toilet, shower, and walk around in my underwear more or less in front of some criminals who, at a minimum, are using shotgun mics (the “very sensitive microphones” I heard one of the neighborhood captains telling a passerby “we” had) to at least hear my every action?

They’re the ones who should be embarrassed. Embarrassed that they’re such money-grubbing, predatory, sick fucks that they are willing to disregard the most fundamental civil laws and commit felony crimes to harass a legal resident from her home.

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