Battle of the Bulb - Page 4

Eviction day nears for the homeless inhabitants of a colorful stretch of shoreline in Albany that nature lovers want cleared

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The Albany Bulb is a shoreline landfill turned art space turned homeless encampment turned park and nature trail.
PHOTO BY ALAN SANCHEZ

But many people want it to stay. An activist group known as Friends of the Bulb organized a concert with Santa Cruz band Blackbird RAUM at the Bulb for Sept. 28, hoping to draw a large crowd to resist the city's efforts to remove the campers, and discuss the future of the Bulb.

"We hope it will bring people that live on the Bulb and those that use it to enjoy it together, because who knows how much longer it's going to be there," said Doug Gilbert, one of the event's organizers.

Gilbert said the group started out of the necessity to answer the question of who will control the space: "There are two fundamentally different world views. Those that use the space are the ones in control of it, and those who are truly privatizing it, by deciding who can go there, if the dogs have to be leashed, if the art will stay."

In the coming month, Laforce said the Sierra Club will continue to support the city's efforts to relocate the people living there.

"The Albany Bulb is not going to be the homeless solution to the East Bay," he said. "It's not just some wasteland."

Neumann, for his own part, remains skeptical about what will actually take place in October, but he's certain that, from now on, things at the Bulb will be different. "They do not want to have a repeat of what happened in '99," he said before he left for the day. "And that will be the end of this incredible experiment."

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