We woke up this morning to a pleasant Albany Patch review of our piece on the Albany Bulb fight.
The post shares our article under the alleged intention of ensuring their bourgeois readers keep up with “diverse perspectives.” Smhh. We’d like to point out that our article doesn’t focus on just one perspective among many. Our piece focuses on the impact the bulb’s seizure will have on the neighbors living there and how it will disrupt the networks of support that the Bulb residents have developed to sustain themselves.
The Patch makes a good point that we should be diligent on the small facts. Fact-checking takes a lot of time, but should be taken seriously. Our article says 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.” The Patch was upset about this historical account: “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?).” We’re having trouble finding “official” documentation on the bridge being a part of the landfill, but if these details are of interest to you, the Department of Environmental Sciences at UC Berkeley can shed some light: Their documentation shows that the landfill was made from the debris of highway and construction projects, including the construction of the race track built nearby what is now the Bulb. Read a timeline of the Bulb’s “official” history here [PDF].
But let’s be clear…The Patch missed the point. Well, not completely…
“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.”
While we in no way want to compare the struggle at the Bulb to the epic uprising of slaves against their colonizers in 1804, it is interesting that the Patch connects the BAI masthead with the struggle to defend the commons at the Bulb–a struggle to hold land used for the area’s discarded people to take care of each other, sleep, eat, keep their belongings, express themselves through art, community and a library… and most of all to determine for themselves their own terms of living. The fearful comment reminds me of AMCHA’s quick self-association with colonizers at SFSU’s latest “anti-Semitism” debacle. (We reported on that last week.)
For the record, BAI is not a “group” or an “organization” and doesn’t make calls to action but does seek to amplify voices who do. Nonetheless, we are proud of our masthead and all our ancestors who killed colonizers and we support anyone engaged in struggle to protect the commons and/or is actively trying to become or remain free and to preserve their self-determination.