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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Drug War | Police State and Prisons
Taking Down Telegraph Ave's Last Hippie
A hemp cookie turns into a malicious prosecution for long time counter-culture tourist attraction Bob Meister.
A meeting was held last week to examine the woes of Telegraph Avenue. One of about 20 I've
attended through the years so you will have to excuse many of us on all sides of the issue, for not
proclaiming a new dawn. I voiced the same concern I have voiced over and over again for many years.
That heavy handed persecution by the City and Police at the behest of Real Estate Moguls have ruined
a vibrant political, intellectual and music scene that once was fabled on Telegraph. That a scene that
once attracted visitors from around the world is a dim, faded shadow that is threatened in a way not
seen and understood since the rescuing of the California Condor in the 70's.
One of these last "Telegraph Condors" is Bob Meister. I have known Telegraph Ave Street Vendor Bob
for nearly 25 years. I have watched him raise a family. Help homeless people regain a sense of their
self-worth and restart their lives. And took lessons from Bob that helped me end my own homelessness,
raise two children and start a new day in my own life. I also watched a couple of months back while
8 UC Berkeley police arrested Bob. by the way they were acting I thought he might of gotten caught in
some desperate act and was shocked to find out it was for his hemp cookies that we often liken to eating
a bowl of Berkeley Bowl Hemp Granola.
But UC sees this as a way to crush the last vestiges of that Telegraph Spirit and is not letting this opportunity
slip by with a boatload of felonies, refusal to recognize a medical cannabis card (for a later home visit they
made.) and no plea deals whatsoever. After witnessing this travesty I went home and turned on the T.V.
to the german news channel DW. In this crazy upside down America now we have to go to Europe to find
out about America. It was the one year anniversary of the death Steve jobs and there was a special called
Apple-" It's got to be cool. " that speculated that it might have been the Berkeley Counter Culture that Jobs
experienced while attending Berkeley ( Including a cookie or two ) that enhanced his education and influenced
his unconventional thinking that led to a world shaking revolution in Technology. When they showed a scene
to make their point. Bob Meister and his famous Telegraph vending table was what came on the screen.
I was floored. Precisely what I've been saying for 20 years was writ large in a German Documentary on the
very day of Bob's arrest. Tomorrow March 13, 2013 at 9 am. Bob faces 4 felonies for a cookie at Oaklands
Fallon St Courthouse in Department 11 on the 7th floor. I will be there and I ask anyone else that cares about
their freedom and the freedom of others to join me. DDT is everywhere and out Condors are dying. But there
is still hope while good people stop and look and let them know we are watching.
Bob sets up his stand on Telegraph. Something he has done nearly everyday for over 20 years.