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.

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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