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City Settles With Residents Evicted From Albany…

Here We Go Again: Occupiers Returning to Solano Avenue & the Bulb

Flyer for Upcoming 'Day of Action'
Flyer for Upcoming 'Day of Action'
Don't these kids have any studying to do? 

The activists of Occupy the Farm (including familiar faces Lesley Haddock, Eric Husted, and Kelly Jewett) are planning a return to Solano Avenue, in their incarnation as 'homeless activists' supporting the use of the Bulb for 'autonomous' rent-free communal living. 

Here is the text accompanying the flyer (posted above): 

"January 17

Residents and allies of the Albany Bulb will rally at Albany City Hall at 4PM, before marching up Solano Avenue. We will stage an overnight campout on Solano Avenue, illustrating the plight of the more than 50 residents of the Albany Bulb, who, if evicted, would be forced onto Albany’s streets.

January 18th

Artists will flock to the Bulb for a day of participatory art, live demonstrations, workshops, and art tours. Join us for an Art Festival at the Bulb from 12-5PM!

The campout is part a West Coast Day of Action to fight the criminalization of homelessness, sponsored by the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP). Cities in the Bay Area and around the country have passed laws making it impossible for homeless people to live within the law. It has become a crime to sit or lie down, to sleep in public, panhandle or otherwise conduct their lives in public view.

The eviction would force Bulb residents back into the same social narrative of police harassment and criminalization of homelessness which originally drove many of them to the Bulb.

We have successfully prevented the eviction from going forward since October, and we're ready to take the fight into the new year! Come join us, and find out how you can help preserve this unique Bay Area treasure."

But wait, there's more!  Here is Kelly Jewett's comment fleshing out the Art Festival plan:

"Call out to ALL ARTISTS!! You are welcomed to this event en force!!

The idea is to have art happening all around people as they explore the Bulb. The art on the Bulb is something that very many people cherish, and there are so many opportunities to create much more art in an wholly unregulated fashion.

Even the City of Albany officials have stated that they find the art at the Bulb to be something worth saving... Such good hearted folks they tend to be. Point being, let's throw that in their faces and put so much art out there that they would have to eat their own words if they let any kind of sanctioned destruction occur on the Bulb.

Bring paints, boards, use what is already at hand... However you make and define art, bring it to the Bulb!!!"
If the hideous aesthetics of their flyer are any guide, this Art Festival is going to be a serious pain in the eyes. 

But there is something very interesting happening about this flyer:  note that the iconography here is not so much in the tradition of the far left (a malign America menacing the international working class), but more in the tradition of the far right (a malign international web of bankers and such menacing poor Americans huddled behind their ragged flag). 

Is it possible that it is starting to rise to the consciousness of these youngsters that their romantic approach to primitive communalism, and their attacks on public control of public resources through public institutions (University of California, City of Albany). are in the tradition of the right more than that of the left?  If so, it will be interesting to see whether this causes them turn away from their ideology towards Liberalism, as they mature politically, or whether they will start to consciously embrace a new identity allied with right-wing forces like Islamism and other authoritarian communalisms. 

In any case, let's hope they do no harm to Solano Avenue or to the beauty of the Bulb.  Above all, let's hope they do not harm  to any low-functioning Bulb campers who may need treatment for mental illness.  Let's not forget these people, who should be sheltered and offered care, not kept in isolation on the Bulb to serve the political agendas of the Occupiers, the strategies of the litigators, or the selfish interests of those high functioning-campers who are simply unwilling to devote a portion of their incomes to rent.  Ultimately, they should benefit from Albany staying the course, and so should the entire public that will be again be able to enjoy the Albany Waterfront Park.     

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.

dorthy manser January 14, 2014 at 07:28 PM
Is it too much to ask that they be arrested this time? I guess that would make me a fascist, or a homeowner, or something equally repellent. At any rate, they clearly believe that they can do anything they want in our town.
dorthy manser January 14, 2014 at 07:54 PM
As far as their politics goes, Rochelle, most of it just seems like half-baked Anarchism and Marxism that they were spoon fed by their aging professors. Tired old unworkable ideas spewed by tired old radicals who (thankfully) don't have any actual power. Anyone who's been to a Liberal university has seen how these professors work to indoctrinate, rather than educate, their students. Indeed, they honestly can't tell the difference between the two. Of course, the problem is that every time the radical Left actually gets power they cause enormous suffering, either out of shear ignorance or, inevitably, venal self-interest. Look at any one of dozens of Occupy encampments and it becomes pretty clear how incompetent these people are at organizing their own lives, much less anyone else's. What is really sad is that the last thing the homeless need is "help" from these political opportunists who are happy to use them, as they used good hearted urban gardening fans, to further there nutty political agenda.
Mr Eous January 14, 2014 at 08:19 PM
Yawn. These events always seem to start with a bang but end with a whimper. Inevitably they camp out in front of a bank to emphasize their message whatever that may be. I really think that none of the Bulb campers want them down there anymore either.
Senior A. Titude January 14, 2014 at 11:17 PM
@ dorthy. Please don't blame liberal universities for these morons; they failed to understand critical thinking and would have ended up just as loony if they had attended right wing universities. Different process, same result.
Rochelle Nason January 15, 2014 at 10:10 AM
Yes, I agree with you guys, their politics are basically juvenile and therefore meaningless, and perhaps will stay that way all their lives. They may keep dressing up like vegetables forever. Or they may end up like Osha and Berkeley's other elderly radicals, participating in the celebratory breaking of the windows of businesses at demonstrations, even in their old age. While also happily accepting inheritances and trust fund money from parents who shielded them from both the practical and political realities of life. But . . . it is still interesting to me that they are rallying to art that is proto-fascist rather than leftist in its iconography. I hope it doesn't signal a rightist future for them - I would much prefer to see them stay in their carrot outfits than put on swastika armbands, or suicide vests to complement the keffiyehs they are already wearing. Let's hope for the best for them, and for us.
dorthy manser January 15, 2014 at 11:56 AM
I agree, Rochelle, and the iconography that they use does have a proto-fascist tinge. Then again, the millenarianism, the hatred of the banks, an obsession with natural and "pure" plants and animals, and their faith in ancestral hidden truths arising from a mythical past does have certain similarities with fascism, doesn't it? Note that they added "Taxes" as one of the evils to be confronted. A nod, I suppose, to their Tea Party brethren, who also share a paranoid hatred for government. Oh, and Senior, I certainly don't want to knock Liberal ideology in general, I'm just critical of any university professors who seek to indoctrinate rather than illuminate. I despise it just as much when right wing professors do it, but right now, there just aren't as many of them in public universities like Berkeley.
christopher papazoglow January 15, 2014 at 12:08 PM
Hmmm......i see a striking resemblance to the paranoid and obsessive delusional fixations of omeone who's been up for days on meth.
Ross Stapleton-Gray January 15, 2014 at 01:18 PM
One of the most interesting things I've learned in the past few years is that American printers bought used type sets from British printers, and would routinely make up posters and broadsheets using a hodge-podge of different fonts, based on having a number of limited sets. The popular fonts in American Western posters would have been new fonts in Britain a decade or two previously.
Rochelle Nason January 15, 2014 at 02:44 PM
Ross, that is darned interesting. Back in my prehistoric childhood, when I was younger than the vegetable-costumed OTFers are today, I was the first female allowed to take 8th grade printshop (instead of sewing, which was previously required of all female students) at Albany High. So I learned to set type from a wonderful teacher named John Thomson. Who knows, maybe after the Transition I will get to set type again, something to look forward to in the collapse of civilization. Still can't sew a button back on I am sorry to report, that would actually have been a more useful skill.
dorthy manser January 15, 2014 at 02:57 PM
Funny how creepy the word "Transition" sounds in this context, isn't it?
Ross Stapleton-Gray January 15, 2014 at 06:38 PM
"Those “almost square-block serifs hanging for dear life onto needle-thin verticals” on Old West Wanted posters are actually so-called Egyptian fonts created in the early 19th century for large broadsheets posted in public squares, reported [FPO] magazine in Summer 2008. The type style was first commercially introduced by Vincent Figgins, under the name Antique, with copies of specimen dated 1815 and 1817. “Following Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign ... an intense cultural fascination with all things Egyptian followed,” [FPO] reported. In London, artifact shows became popular, and these shows were advertised on broadsheets using the new slab serif fonts. In no time they became associated with and known as Egyptian fonts. By the 1850s, these fonts were long out of favor. Printers who made their way to the American West brought with them these bargain fonts that successful printers on the East coast no longer wanted. “So, ironically, fonts associated with an early 19th-century European cultural craze had become secondhand goods that were used extensively in the American West,” [FPO] reported, and, thus, became forever associated with the Wanted poster. Amazing." http://www.truewestmagazine.com/jcontent/history/history/history-features/2832-wanted-posters-fonts-are-actually-egyptian
thorn January 15, 2014 at 10:11 PM
I kinda hate to side with Christopher and wont go as far as him but uh.... yeah i think we may be looking to hard for signs from people who arent putting all that much thought into their poster. I DO find the "tax" mention pretty funny, considering how low taxes are on us poor people, and the fact that these guys not only pay no taxes but half the Bulb collects taxes, and all demand taxes be spent on them... Funny how fast the Bulbies call the police when it suits them...
Kei January 16, 2014 at 09:32 AM
What I find amusing is the type on the left side of the flyer, "Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency." Really? ;-)
Brian Parsley January 17, 2014 at 09:36 PM
It appears they have set up camp at the law offices of Cheasty and Cheasty.
Ross Stapleton-Gray January 17, 2014 at 10:34 PM
Ok, that's kind of funny. Wondering if I ought to drop by and give them some plastic bags from the Chronicle, so they can police their "business" rather than just leave it on the driveway again.
Ross Stapleton-Gray January 17, 2014 at 10:35 PM
p.s. Charles, if the Patch home page won't show me the most recent replies, but keeps pushing that "Who's Blogging?" box, I won't come back... it's too hard to dig up commented articles the way the site's working now. If you could pass that along to Patch corporate, I'd be much obliged.
thorn January 17, 2014 at 10:45 PM
that appears to be on and off for some reason for me Ross.. possible it is a firefox or expired cookie issue/ OR Patch needs to reset something. at any rate i'd like to see it fixed as well- some of the time instead of recent comments, it is showing very old comments too


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