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Full of S#!*!: *Who* Started All [of] This Again?

By       Message James Armstrong II     Permalink
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Again, more irony.

I love how it is the "merchants" or businesses who are always the ones playing both sides of the fence.  And how the State always tries swooping in, battering the skulls of those they deem "problematic."  So the businesses of Telegraph Avenue did not want their rents to go up, so they sided with the hippies and street kids, and are now scapegoating them?  I do realize that most of these business owners were not around back in '69 when all this stuff went down, but I do love the irony of it.  It makes it that much better when we drive them back from their historically-ignorant fascist-stance. 

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All this began with blaming the poor and homeless for the financial issues of businesses on Shattuck Avenue and Telegraph Avenues respectively, and now the focus will be on more poor and homeless folks because they are already deemed by most as "suspicious," so anything they do will in turn be "'suspicious' behavior."   Oh, and one last bit of irony before I end this "rant": I've been reading Seth Rosenfeld's book, "Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power" and what I found was, it was the merchants who kept the hippies and street kids right where they sit today.

The merchants were afraid their rents would "soar," so they sided with the street kids and hippies.  Otherwise, UC Berkeley would have built high-rise apartments and would have most likely charged exorbitant amounts for rent, which would have increased the property value, which meant, just like now, since those businesses do not own the land they peddle from, they would have to pay their Master -- the Land Owner(s) -- more money per month for rent.  And it wasn't only the businesses, either.  It was also residents who did not wish to lose their homes, for fear they could not afford the increase in mortgage payments.

Think I'm making it up?

"The redevelopment plan, however, was defeated by a 'coalition of merchants' who feared their rents would soar, because students relied on the cheap housing, and longtime residents who wanted to keep their homes.

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"Chancellor Roger Heyns then suggested that the university acquire log 1875-2 (now 'People's Park') to build what he publicly said was an 'urgently needed soccer field.'  But as the regent Fred Dutton later told 'Ramparts' magazine, Heyns privately pitched his proposal to the regents as a way to abate a troublesome population -- as 'an act against the hippie culture.'  The board approved purchasing the log for $1.3 million in 1967, demolishing the rooming houses there, and in the following ten months the parcel fell into desuetude."

-Seth Rosenfeld (Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power; Chapter: 'People's Park')

So there it is.  Irony of all ironies.  With the backdrop of all this scapegoating and blaming I find it very ironic and refreshing the Truth.  It is true!  "The Truth shall set you free!"  I've been arguing with someone on the other side of this debate, and she works at Caffe Mediterrraneum ('The Med' to locals).  Even more irony is that The Med has been here since the beginning, and was one of those businesses back in '69 who sided against development and higher rents and with the street kids and hippies.  And even more ironic is, when you go to The Med's website, this is the quote you get:

"Welcome to the Med

The Med has served Berkeley's academic, business and art communities since 1957; witnessing the Beat Generation, Free Speech Movement and creation of People's Park -- not to mention the countless hatchings of schemes, businesses, careers and romances.  Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Jerry Rubin and Patty Hearst were all regulars, and now we look forward to making your acquaintance... 

... we'll meet you at the Med!"

I like this: "not to mention the countless hatchings (sic) of schemes, businesses, careers and romances."  

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Yeah, just don't be "homeless" and do it in front of their establishment.

And "witnessing the Free Speech Movement"???

So, just like most fascists, they embrace the culture when they can make hay on it, but in secret, behind the scenes, they chastise and try and remove human beings by using legal terms like "blighted" and "detritus"?  It's always been this way.  If those who denigrate cannot remove they envelope and exploit that something they cannot remove, for profit.  All the while attempting removal, mind you.  But if tomorrow, they awoke and someone approached them with a business model on generating revenue off those same street kids, and it was plausible, those same businesses would change their tunes?  I don't see the difference.  Either something is "blight" or it is not.  And making capital on that blighted something should have no bearing whatsoever, correct?

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I'm a homeless student, writer, and activist... currently panhandling my way through school (and life.).

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