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Families Seek Millions In Racial Reparations From Palm Springs Over Section 14 Evictions

A white single-story home sits behind a green lawn and gray concrete driveway with two white cars, one car covered in a light green tarp, and one orange car. Surrounding the house are eight tall palm tress with brown trunks and green leaves. In the background is a light blue sky with a large white cloud in the center.
Palm Springs.
(Photo by Eric Demarcq via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Topline:

The families of hundreds of Black, indigenous, and people of color evicted from the Section 14 neighborhood of Palm Springs more than 50 years ago are suing the city, seeking millions of dollars in restitution.

The backstory: The residents of the city’s downtown square were forcibly removed and their homes bulldozed to make room for commercial real estate.

More than an apology: While the city issued an apology back in 2021, it still isn’t enough to repair the damage, says Areva Martin, the lead attorney representing the families. “Even though the burning out of Section 14 happened in the 1950s and ‘60s, the consequences, the repercussion, of that burning out, that forceful removal, lives on today.” The claim also calls for city leaders to rectify the racially induced trauma caused by the event.

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Community support: Pearl Deavers, one of the survivors of the evictions, formed a support group along with her brother, hosting more than 500 people who are searching for justice. “I think it's really important for people to get a real look at the city of Palm Springs, not only for the lights, the place to get away for the rich and famous, but for the truth.”

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