Oakland, Berkeley, And East Bay News, Events, Restaurants, Music, & Arts
Soen: the only problem with your narrative is, from the photos I've seen, the victims of the fire are white (save one possible Hispanic), the party promoters are white, the residents who turned the warehouse into a death trap are white, while the fire chief is black and the property owner is Asian. But keep blaming 'white supremacy'.
So sad. My condolences to the friends, family, and acquaintances of the victims.
There is no excuse --none-- for not having a sprinkler system, accessible exits, and an up-to-code stairway. High rents, marginalized status, or persecution do not excuse the failure to foresee a catastrophic fire.
This is a wake-up call not only to those in the underground scene but to all landlords, owners, and promoters that their first priority should be the physical safety of those who use the premises.
All persons in a position of responsibility must ensure the physical safety of potential users of the space. Not to do so is not just against the law but also an abdication of moral responsibility.
Users of unsafe spaces should refuse to enter structures where the basic preventative safeguards are not in place. They should also complain, loudly, when they encounter an unsafe space and report these spaces to the fire department and relevant agencies in order to prevent another calamity like this.
Moreover, the city, county, and fire department must step up their enforcement of structures which do not comport with the building codes. These codes have been enacted, after many similar deaths, in order to prevent the exact loss which occurred here.
Again, my condolences.
"Sadly, some of the dozens of attendees who remain unaccounted for are transgender people and people-of-color."
Sadly, some of the dozens of attendees who remain unaccounted for are not straight and not white.
Yeah, because this needs to be said? Screw this politicized and devicive article.
Well said Mike
Folks, I really am sorry for your loss and I'm angry as hell about it. They didn't even "get" to die for a cause or reason. Just stupidity and greed.
So far as I know, none of my friends were there... Time will tell.
This was irresponsible and has been going on for some time. I've been in Oakland for over 20 years. Somehow the "community" has no responsibility for this stuff. I listen to the gun battles from my home. Every time shit get's real it's always "the man's" fault. Not the half-assed delusional people pulling half thought out stuff... Cuz' most of the time it works... Except when it doesn't.
I know what safe means and it doesn't mean illusions and unicorns. It means doing something real. It means dealing with the world as it is not what we wish it were. If it sucks, work on fixing that. Yes, that IS freaking hard too. Withdrawing and blaming is easy.
Right now, there are people digging through that place, pulling what used to be alive, vibrant people out. Check my privilege? What those people are doing can't be unseen, can't be unlived. And you tell me to check my privilege?! Who in whatever deities name you believe in (or not) privileged anyone to inflict that on anyone, let alone strangers. As grand ma used to say, That's gonna leave a mark... And You can't crowd fund that away. You can't make art and make it all nice. You can't be smug about how uplifted you are for the underdog to make it ok.
I'm pissed for the 40. I'm pissed because folks were so afraid of losing the spot, they couldn't or wouldn't stand up to the guy running it and they allowed it and seem, at least in these articles, to be sainting him for it and blaming everyone else.
Check yours people. I'm tired of it. As the new guerrilla BART signs say, get your shit together.
Right, I'm sure they are greedy, underground music shows in warehouses is where the money is at
Angela, being beaten down by white supremacy is not the same as blaming white people. It's pointing blame at white supremacy, there is a difference, white supremacy as I understand it is the faction/culture/history of specific groups and individuals who are white effecting policies, programs, laws, institutions, and social public opinion to favor only people who are also white while ignoring, brutalizing, or restricting those who are not white. For instance rudolf Julianis stop and frisk policy which targeted and profiled people of color as potential criminals simply because they were not white. That was a white supremacists action. No, white people all over are not to blame for that. However by being white I/we/you dont often see white privilege because i/we/you are not disenfranchised by it. Being disenfranchised because of skin color results in people of color having to seek sanctuary from such forces that in effect ignore, restrict, and brutalize people simply for being who they are.
"Bhatt and Butler wanted to emphasize in their interviews with the Express that the local underground music scene isnt to blame...They also said that these non-permitted residences that host underground shows are often the only safe place for marginalized people, those who find above-the-board and sanctioned venues unsafe or inhospitable. 'We need spaces that are open to folks who are beaten down and oppressed by living daily under patriarchy and white supremacy,' Butler said."
lil mike- Very well said.
I think the reason artists in the Bay Area live in "death traps" such as this is because rents are unreasonably high. And the reason they perform and party in "death traps" such as this is because there aren't many economical venues to perform in (if you play underground music).
For some of us, these scenes, that support unusual music, art, and creativity, represent the epitome of why we want to live in the Bay Area.
This is a tragedy. But shutting down artist space is not going to solve the fundamental problem - high rent - limited support for the Arts. If we want to keep the Bay Area underground Arts scenes viable, we need to publicly support housing and performance space for musicians, artists, and other creative types to do their work.
I'm trying figure where in this story did it particularly say it was white people fault?
Wrong Nick. The location was kept secret until the day of. From the Facebook page: SECRET EAST OAKLAND LOCATION
ANNOUNCED DAY OF SHOW.
Angela you are a disgusting hateful woman. You should be embarrassed of your shameful ignorance.
Interesting how white people are to blame for the actions of *greedy* morons who organize and promote 'underground' events in death traps. Some people are just incapable of accepting responsibility for their own stupidity.
Lynn... This party was not a secret. Its location has been public for weeks. Please consider that maybe you don't know the whole story before you lecture us about our own motivations.
Hold up. It's not just being forced into marginalized space because of the real estate sitch. These alt spaces have allure for underground parties and always have. They allow for alot of off-the-radar stuff to happen. Isn't that (partly) why the locations are not posted until the last minute??? Not like you are trying to rent "legit" space, like maybe the community room at the Y, right... or a bunch of others I could list, right? There are plenty of reasons you are hitting the back streets...
I have been going to and even helped throw dozens of "warehouse" parties in SF & Oakland since the late 1980's. Underground culture has been my lifeblood longer than most of these fire victims have been alive. While I have no direct experience attending events at the Ghost Ship space in Fruitvale, I have observed it for years from the sidewalk and wondered what the hell was happening there. I writhe in pain at thought of the pointless deaths that occured, and the demise of so many young creative souls, yet harbor I harbor no illusions that those involved must escape the legal consequences they set themselves up for in enabling and enticing customers to this Fruitvale Death Trap. This was not just an accident of fate, but a preventable catastrophe. Our society, while ostensibly opposed to fascism, discrimination or unecessaary government intrusions, must recognize public safety as a primary and unavoidable reality when celebrating its freedoms and diversity. To invite your comrades to die enmass in order to pay your rent does not make you a cultural hero. I mourn for the victims and those that dod not consider what they were participating in, as this was not just an accident, but a conspiracy.
This tragedy makes me ache for the artists in the Bay Area and in other cities around this country as this event will have broad repercussions. But in particular I worry about how young creative people are to survive in the Bay Area. How can they possibly pay the exorbitant rents for established and safe studios or gathering spaces? The Bay Area will become a duller and poorer place if the young musicians and artists cannot afford to live here.
Two of my friends have likely died.
I have decades of experience on this matter. It is nuanced, conplicated and deeply effects not only the socisl fabric ofbthe bay area, but even the world.
Your words are as ignorant as they are heartless and dangerous.
You are the vangaurd for the unthinking mob. I wager none of my words will likely sway your position, given the lack of forethought apparent in your comment. May you experience in your life something that may pierce your lack of empathy and your dangerous ignorance on this matter.
Clearly Bruce you have no understanding of what they are referring to as safety. They aren't talking about fire or other building related dangers. They are talking about a place where they are safe from persecution as minorities. Check your privilege.
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