Albany, Calif. — Police and Public Works officials arrived without notice the morning of Dec. 9 and announced over megaphones that residents of the Albany Bulb should come out of their homes. They then destroyed an occupied structure, which was part of the homeless community here.
After destroying many of the resident’s belongings with a backhoe, the remains were put into a dumpster. To add insult to injury, human waste was spilled over it to prevent any attempts at reclamation.
Community supporters came out and successfully blocked a second demolition from taking place.
According to the website sharethebulb.org: “The Albany Bulb — … extending into the San Francisco Bay — is a mass of human landfill, created between 1963 and 1983. In 1983, the City government closed the Bulb, and it became a place of refuge for people made homeless during the closures of public housing and real estate speculation that characterized the early ’80s.
“Over the past thirty years, what was once an industrial dump has been reclaimed by both Nature and by poor people, who have together recreated it as one of the city’s real treasures. Homeless people, dog-walkers, day-wanderers and artists have shared the Bulb for their many different purposes since 1999.”
The city of Albany decided to evict all 60 of the Bulb’s residents in October and move them to temporary, six-month internment trailers. Many of the residents, some who have called the Bulb their home for as many as seven years, have resisted, together with supporters from across the Bay Area. They have packed Albany City Council meetings and held a weekend “No Thanks Festival,” complete with film showings, art walks and workshops.
You can support Bulb residents in their struggle by signing the petition at tinyurl.com/l33zh3j.