From: Amber Whitson <phlamber.the.bull AT gmail DOT com>
The settlement is public information now and will be announced at the Council meeting tonight:
“On Friday, April 11th, Albany Police raided a camp on the Albany Bulb, arresting two Bulb residents at one of their longtime homes. One of those arrested is currently dealing with serious medical issues and missed an extremely important surgery while locked down.
Not content to merely criminalize the homeless, the city used their arrests as a pretext to exclude the two targeted Bulb residents (who happen to be two of the most tenured) from the monetary settlement that was offered to some of those living on the Albany Bulb as part of their recent lawsuit against the City of Albany.
A conviction on the charges alleged would also result in a lifelong ban on receiving housing or financial assistance from the City of Albany.
These arrests have occurred in the context of increasing harassment and repression against all the current and former residents of the Bulb. For the last several weeks, Albany police, as well as East Bay Regional Parks rangers, have been posted at the entrance to the Bulb every night, issuing tickets to any Bulb residents who try to enter or leave after 10:00pm for curfew violation.
Once a resident has received 3 curfew citations, upon receiving the 4th citation, the infraction of curfew violation becomes a misdemeanour and a stay-away order can be issued to the individual, effectively barring them entrance (even during daylight hours) to the place that many have called home for years.
All of this serves to further fragment and attack the community on the Bulb in the hopes of wearing down residents to force them from their home.
The Bulb residents who did choose to accept the monetary offer from the City ($3,000 per person), are deemed ineligible for assistance from Albany’s Housing Subsidy Program; must have their homes cleared out by this coming Friday April 25th; and are each required to sign an agreement that forbids them from returning to the Albany Bulb and bars them from visiting any and all of Albany’s open space areas for a period of 12 months (even during the daytime), in order to receive their part of the settlement. Thereby rendering them helpless to support their former neighbors in their darkest moments.
The few Bulb residents who have moved off of the Bulb have been told by Albany Police Officers, on numerous occasions, that they had better not go back to the Bulb. Some have even been told not to come back to Albany!
Now is the time for those who are attached to the idea of the Bulb as a free space, and a place for those who have been denied one everywhere else, to lend their support and solidarity during this extremely crucial time.”
Amber talks to the Albany City Council recently