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Albany Bulb Solidarity Campout, 10/2/13
Dave Id
Over sixty long-time residents of the former landfill known as the Albany Bulb are facing eviction as early as this month. For decades, however, the Bulb has been a safe place for those in the East Bay without traditional housing to make a home, in tents and even more permanent structures of their own making. Not only have hundreds of homeless persons found their own way to the Bulb over the years, but the origins of people making a home at the Bulb trace back historically, in part, to various East Bay police departments clearing city streets and dropping off homeless persons at the entrance to the Albany Bulb. The land also serves as a free-flowing, open-air art museum featuring the works of numerous artists such as Osha Newman. The Bulb as a safe haven for East Bay citizens with no where else to go has long co-existed with recreational users, people of all stripes sharing the bulb. Nevertheless, the Sierra Club and Citizens for an East Shore State Park have pressured the Albany City Council to take action to remove those who live at the Bulb and declare the land "recreation only." This is despite the fact that the City of Albany provides absolutely no homeless services whatsoever and neither of pressure groups have shown any interest in offering assistance with securing alternate housing. After having lived quietly at the Bulb for years, residents are now organizing and taking action to raise awareness of their plight and fight impending eviction. On October 2nd, a solidarity campout was held at the Albany Bulb to support residents and strategize together for future actions in defense of the land as one of, if not the only, free and open spaces remaining in the Bay Area.

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