Bulb: New Posts at Share the Bulb and Bay Area Intifada

Bay Area Intifada Masthead:  Massacre of Family
Bay Area Intifada Masthead: Massacre of Family
For those who are trying to keep up with diverse perspectives on the Bulb situation, there are a couple of new camper-activist postings online that may be of interest. 

'Share the Bulb' offers its perspective on Monday's events here: http://sharethebulb.org/2013/12/10/city-of-albany-dismantle-bulb-shelter-in-dead-of-winter/ 

Correction to previous text:  Since I originally posted this entry, I have seen a video (on the Share the Bulb website) of the camper who moved into an abandoned camp and apparently prevented its removal.   He discusses his conversation with the previous occupants of the campsite without making any claim that they "invited" him to camp in their abandoned site (as asserted in the Share the Bulb release linked above).  I have deleted a portion of this entry that criticized that "invitation", as I see no reason to believe it actually occurred. 

In another development, there also seems to be a new activist on the Bulb scene: a group with the handle 'Bay Area Intifada' has taken up the lead for the campers on Twitter.  BAI says little about itself on its website, but has chosen for its masthead a gruesome drawing of the killing of a French colonial family in Haiti in 1804.  Not a good sign.   

BAI has posted a piece about the Bulb with the disclaimer that The author is expressing individual viewpoints and analysis not those of any group or organization.  Unfortunately for readers, the author is not identified. 

The article offers as history that "The landfill was made from pieces of the old bay bridge that collapsed in the Loma Prieta Earthquake as well as a seafloor that’s been filled in and then reclaimed by nature."   Well . . . no . . . a few decades of landfill operations seem to be missing here somewhere (and how did the bridge, not to mention the seafloor, get in there?). 

The analysis is as confused as the history, in my opinion, but you can judge for yourself here:  http://bayareaintifada.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/the-albany-bulb-homeless-commons/

Let's hope for better news - for the campers and for Albany - in the days to come. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Gary Matalucci December 11, 2013 at 03:33 AM
Why are the citizens of Albany continuing to be held hostage in their own city? Everyday the illegal trespassers grow stronger as the City Of Albany appears to surrender to the unlawful occupiers. Unless this malignancy is immediately addressed, the situation will become immeasurably worse as Albany gets known as the place to go amongst the hobo crowd. And make no mistake that is already happening.
Alan Eckert December 11, 2013 at 10:04 AM
Thanks for keeping us up to date with the other happenings and chatter, Rochelle.
dorthy manser December 11, 2013 at 11:26 AM
So incredibly ironic that the very people advocating privatization of the Bulb in place of a public park would talk about "the commons". It is a shame that so many advocates for the poor (and the poor could certainly use advocates) are so profoundly intellectually and morally deficient.
christopher papazoglow December 11, 2013 at 02:42 PM
"...this looks like bad-faith maneuvering on the part of the departed campers...". More likely, they didn't make the connection between their moving out being on record, and so slated for immediate cleanup as being an abandoned camp. I see no indication on the post you have linked that the couple CHOSE NOT TO YIELD THEIR CAMPSITE BACK TO PUBLIC PARKLAND USE, so where is this coming from? Yeah, there seems to be political gamesmanship coming from some of the campers ( and their lawyers ). Why do want to extend that to the couple who MOVED INTO HOUSING ( as you've so profoundly wished for ). Imagine this: "We won't be staying there anymore, so you can have it after we're gone". Makes more sense than "We want you to stay there, to keep Albany from getting it back", doesn't it?
thorn December 11, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Christopher, good at accusations, not so good at following links. >>K. had been invited to stay in the residence by its builders and previous occupants, who have found alternative housing.<< from the Share the Bulb page.
thorn December 11, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Christopher, your analysis is an insult to our and the campers intelligence. The campers know the camps are to be cleared as they move out, yet the protesters are trying to use this as some sort of proof the police are not doing their job correctly.
doris December 11, 2013 at 03:39 PM
I say throw out the entire city council and replace it with public servants who have the good of the city in mind and who are not afraid to go after that. Or, alternately, let a bunch of outside agitators run our city and use its rather meager funds to further their goals. Oh, the latter is already happening....
christopher papazoglow December 11, 2013 at 03:50 PM
Yes, the protesters ARE trying to use this as some sort of proof that the police are not doing their job correctly. Are you able to allow the readers of Patch to think beyond that, while taking it into account, and/or ask for a bit more information supporting a particular point of view, or is that just a ''distraction" or "insult"?
Rochelle Nason December 11, 2013 at 06:18 PM
christopher, I don't want to accuse anyone unjustly. I am assuming that (1) Share the Bulb, as well as the Patch, are reporting accurately on what is happening, and (2) that the couple who "invited" Kris to move into their campsite (per Share the Bulb) understood that the City was seeking to restore "their" land to public use (I was actually thinking those campers were the couple name Luis and Sharon that Francesco Papaglia has been e-mailing about - since Francesco says he met Luis at a Homeless Task Force meeting, it would surprise me if Luis did not understand that Albany expected to return the land to park use). Please advise if you have information to the contrary - that either Patch or Share the Bulb are reporting inaccurately, that Luis is not the male camper involved, and/or that the departing campers were unaware of the City's interest in returning abandoned campsites to public use. If I have this wrong, I will be glad to retract my statement about the apparent bad faith of the campers and their advisers. In the meantime, I stand by what I said.
christopher papazoglow December 11, 2013 at 07:52 PM
Per Share the Bulb, in replying to my question via Facebook, "nobody told them that their camp would be demolished". Okay, that's from one source. I don't have any contact information for Luis or Sharon.
Rochelle Nason December 11, 2013 at 09:03 PM
I watched the video of Kris talking to the police officer. The officer tells him that the former occupants told the City it could clear the camp, while Kris says the former occupants told him he could stay there. I see no indication at all that Luis and Sharon "invited" Kris to stay there, as claimed by Share the Bulb. It seems perfectly possible that Kris was just trying to take over a better campsite than the one he was in at the time, and the occupants who were abandoning it expressed no objection since they had no interest in the matter one way or the other. I should not have accepted Share the Bulb's version of events, and I am sorry if I wrongly inferred bad faith based on that report.
Rochelle Nason December 11, 2013 at 11:17 PM
christopher, I have corrected my blog post per my previous comment.
Brian Parker December 12, 2013 at 02:21 AM
Rochelle- I want to thank you for the great work you are doing to help keep us informed on what is happening on the bulb. It's a real public service.
Robin Onaka December 12, 2013 at 02:53 AM
I second Brian's sentiments. Thank you, Rochelle.
Kirsten Schwartz December 12, 2013 at 09:49 AM
Yes! Keep it up and thank you, Rochelle.
montymarket December 12, 2013 at 11:10 AM
Here, here! Rochelle has demonstrated unbelievable patience and dedication to informing the public, and she also gives her time to serving on the Albany Waterfront Committee. A real public servant!
Rochelle Nason December 12, 2013 at 12:12 PM
Thanks you guys. I got so involved with this issue because I care about both 'sides' ‐ public parks, and people in need of social support. The path to a solution seemed pretty obvious: stop new people from moving in, offer appropriate shelter to the people already there, then begin enforcing the anti‐camping ordinance. It is appalling that the situation has become so complex, expensive, politicized, and acrimonious. I don't mean to contribute to the acrimony by criticizing campers personally. What I really object to is the legal and political strategy of delay, rather than getting social services to the campers and getting them moved, that has been adopted the activists and lawyers (and I have a career‐long history as an activist and lawyer myself). The campers themselves ‐ I still feel for them (or most of them, at least) and hope we can still find a way to assist those who do want to get help and get housed.
Dave December 12, 2013 at 11:04 PM
Rochelle- Add one more to those thanking you for continuing to share information from a variety of sources on this topic and your patience with those who do not agree with you.
Dave December 12, 2013 at 11:09 PM
That said, I went down to the bulb today to see for myself what progress is being made and it was not encouraging for those who are hoping the problem will soon be resolved. Campsites surrounded by fences of freshly cut tree limbs everywhere. Several generators running, solar panels on at least two structures, piles of paint, solvents and other HAZMAT in several locations, AND the BFHP folks sitting in their van being ignored. No shortage of people and debris everywhere you look. This was all plainly visible from the gravel covered "main" roads and showed no sign of being packed up.
Alan Eckert December 13, 2013 at 01:54 PM
Bay Area Intifada posted a "correction" to your piece Rochelle. I guess us readers are too "bourgeois." http://bayareaintifada.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/clarification-and-correction-on-the-albany-bulb-piece/
Rochelle Nason December 13, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Thanks, Alan. Yes, we Albanians are a bourgeois bunch. And, my negative reaction to BAI's celebratory use of the family-massacre illustration shows I am 'fearful' - despite the fact that I use my real name and BAI doesn't. Oh, and there is also a new post at Indybay, by another brave citizen named 'Anonymous Anarchist', describing at great length the interaction between the police and the protestors. It is the usual sort of long and turgid complaint we are seeing on these sites, but it contains one factual nugget of interest: if appears that although Doris was given more time, the camp that was abandoned by the couple who were housed (Luis and Sharon) was indeed removed, despite Kris's protester-supported efforts to claim it for himself. A tiny sliver of progress there . . . but Dave's observations are very concerning.
dorthy manser December 13, 2013 at 02:23 PM
"Nonetheless, we are proud of our masthead and all our ancestors who killed colonizers..." speaks volumes, doesn't it, particularly given the long list of people that this group calls colonizers now.
doris December 13, 2013 at 02:32 PM
Maybe the Albanian bourgeoisie, i.e. us tax payers, ought to start our own bourgeoise revolution, modeled on the French one?
Alan Eckert December 13, 2013 at 03:00 PM
Rochelle, I couldn't find the piece on IndyBay, but I think the same piece is here: http://anarchistnews.org/comment/33535. Many *facepalm* quotes, such as, "Standing in a circle in front of the truck, the workers at last showed a shred of humanity in their decision not to simply run us over (an act that I would not have put past them considering their disregard for the basic right to shelter)."


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