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Re: “If Oakland Cracks Down On Underground Warehouses, It Will Snuff Out The City’s DIY Soul

Mr. Good: To be honest, I still consider you a troll, just one that uses the loaded language of a very specific definition of "reason" to push a callous agenda - as evidenced by your comments on this thread and others. A current example: no, I cannot put up dozens of displaced friends in my small living quarters, I wish I could - I would rather they not be displaced immediately from their generally quite-safe current homes because their landlords looked the other way for MANY years with regard to zoning specifics. To suggest nothing else as recourse for them (many of whom are highly marginalized people who will likely end up homeless), and that this is implied as somehow an acceptable outcome, is callous and trollish. Especially when you consider that many of them are currently grieving the loss of loved ones and roomates.

That said, your trollishness is nothing conpared to the likes of Sar Wash above, who simulataneously sent his "prayers" out to the victims of the fire and called them fake artists who don't have "real jobs" (most of the artists I know work other jobs full time and are still poor here). These kinds of comments evidence zero comprehension of the type of collective culture that is under assault here, other than resentment towards it - probably because of its anticapitalist nature as much as anything else. You all should really stop trying to turn Oakland into Walnut Creek.

Posted by JohnNoMoniker on 12/08/2016 at 2:50 PM

Re: “If Oakland Cracks Down On Underground Warehouses, It Will Snuff Out The City’s DIY Soul

Oh, ps. Mr. Good: As you make your declarations about what needs to be done, over a dozen of my friends have been evicted from their already-precarious living situations in the last 24 hours, a result of this witch hunt. More will follow, and all the city is offering is a grant aimed at professional artists who know how to game the system.

Posted by JohnNoMoniker on 12/07/2016 at 9:37 PM

Re: “If Oakland Cracks Down On Underground Warehouses, It Will Snuff Out The City’s DIY Soul

Michael Good: You have a right to your opinions, and I have a right to assert that I (and I suspect many others) find your opinions to be quite conservative, your vote for Clinton (not exactly a progressive though admittedly better than a neo-fascist) notwithstanding. By pointing this out, I am noting that you (and many of the reactionaries commenting on this issue) and your views should be considered as part of a philosophical agenda that is at odds with the city's long progressive and radical tradition, and can't be viewed as some kind of neutral "voice of the people" as comment thread denizens often give an impression of - you are consistently projecting conservative viewpoints, and by doing so in a public forum you are being inherently political and should be judged based on your leanings thereof. Like many conservatives, you seem to imply that your ramblings are "common sense", but that sense is common to your worldview only.

Posted by JohnNoMoniker on 12/07/2016 at 9:06 PM

Re: “If Oakland Cracks Down On Underground Warehouses, It Will Snuff Out The City’s DIY Soul

As usual, "suck it up buttercup" trolls are in control of this comment section. We used to have the luxury of ignoring these heartless jackasses, but since they have as of late leveraged enormous political power (one of their own is the future POTUS), we can no longer afford to ignore their venom.

Let's look at some other comments (accessible via their public profiles) from some of the pro-crackdown people on this thread to find their philosophical leanings. If you are a hardline, trickle-down economics-boosting, unabashedly pro-cop Republican you will relate to them. For everyone else (let's not forget that 4% of Oakland voted Republican in the last election), these quotes may give you pause before you give their voices any credence in this great city:

Garry Ovalbach: "How about increasing rents? Bring in wealthier people to Oakland and have the wealth trickle down? There are many other affordable cities surrounding Oakland that can be a place to live and Oakland a place to work. Affordable housing at this point is a pipe dream. Support rent increases folks."

Michael Good: "...the [police] union needs to be even more vigilant to protect its members - the public moods and emotions along with protesting activists can drive decisions that are not particularly thoughtful, clear and fair - police "discipline" driven by political committees tempted to pander."

Posted by JohnNoMoniker on 12/07/2016 at 1:15 PM

Re: “Artists Who Survived Oakland Warehouse Fire Discuss The Tragedy, Those Missing, Need for Safe Underground Spaces

***Sorry if this isn't Twitter-length worthy, but maybe people need to develop attention spans beyond Donald Trump's temperament***
We grieve, we dread the announcement of our friends' names, and we also dread the coming months - for we are already seeing how this unimaginable tragedy is being deployed in an attempt to crush the very culture and lives that are suffering. Talking heads and politicians on major media outlets are actively calling for the cops and fire marshals to shut down ALL non-sanctioned living and art spaces in town immediately, heedless of their individual circumstances or displacement impacts. To help accomplish this, the likes of Tom Vacar (KTVU anchorman) have called for the use of hypermilitarized public-private "partnerships" (modeled after nightmares like Urban Shield) between cops, fire departments, and military contractors to use SWAT team tactics on suspected illicit living and show/art spaces and their residents. In Libby Schaff's neoliberal vision of Oakland, one in which she wants to see the city become as much like Walnut Creek as possible as quickly as possible, this has a strong chance of becoming reality.

Many of the comments on Sam's article, and in threads I am seeing, are infuriated at the mention of "safe spaces" and marginalized people (particularly when it comes from marginalized people themselves), and there are a lot of accusations from the more troll-y of these commenters of this being a "politicization" of something that should be a "simple public safety issue". While the codes and misconceptions inherent to these commenters' views may seem obvious to many of us, it bears repeating overall that the mention of safe spaces isn't about the physical safety of the building's infrastructure. It is about the lack of aboveground (i.e. well-funded) gathering+living spots for marginalized people that allow them to exist and better-control their existential circumstances, with a lowered fear of assault and/or economic ruin, coupled with a relatively-exclusive promotions policy that is mainly extended to those who are coming from a similar place to them philosophically and socially.

This RELATIVE safety (there is no such thing as a truly "safe space") is something that many creative people, especially POC/queer/trans+/mentally-divergent people, etc., do not get to have in the more-legit bar/business and condo/apartment spaces that are about making $$ first and foremost as a necessity of staying in business, particularly in an insanely high-rent region like the bay area. The vast majority of these "legit" venues and housing (including bars, overpriced "artists' live-work" spaces, big halls, etc) do not take attendees'/residents' poverty into account and do not prioritize the needs and concerns of marginalized people in their business practice because they are all about filling vacancies and/or packing in as many people as they can, heedless of the intrapersonal conflicts and individual alienation potentially implicit in that. Until there are better options that are accessible to marginalized people, they will continue to need to live, gather, and perform in places that are safe(r) and accessible to them.

The particular circumstances of this incident, and the terribleness of the person running the particular space and the way he ran it, don't seem to be a matter of much dispute. However, it is important to recognize that the increasing volume of calls for all independent spaces (living and performance/art) to be shuttered will result in increased homelessness and a lack of community options for marginalized people who rely on such spaces for their sanity, community, and lives. Oakland is not Walnut Creek, nor should it be. If there are better options, many of us would love to hear them, but until the cities and overall culture take a true advocacy stance towards the physical space needs of marginalized people+artists (there are semi-successful examples in some cities in Europe, particularly in Germany), I suspect all that will be offered as a band-aid for destruction of the underground is more capitalist garbage that will do nothing to address the root issues.
BTW, I should note that four friends are still missing from this fire, one is confirmed dead, and I am completely in shock. I doubt any of them would want to see the culture they lived and thrived in to be crushed in response to their tragic (and avoidable) deaths.

Posted by johngeek27bd on 12/04/2016 at 12:04 PM

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