“The first time I played here, there was no park here yet,” Stevie Barsotti, the frontman of a band called Dapper Shindig, said to a crowd who had gathered in People’s Park on April 13. “The third time was when we tore down the fence, and that was really fun!”
As the sun set on Friday, February 22, the residents of South Berkeley’s Here/There encampment had much to celebrate. They were commemorating the two-year anniversary of their encampment. On July 6, 2017, camp was founded by First They Came For The Homeless, a homeless-led political organizing group.
An art cart parked on Adeline Street was the first sign that there was an event happening on Saturday, January 26. That night, passersby would have noticed a crowd gathered inside of Youth Spirit Artworks’ Shanice Kiel Gallery. The crowded, well-lit room stood out against the dark streets surrounding it.
As a child, Oakland homelessness advocate April Anthony dreaded visiting art museums with her parents. “I was bored to death anytime we went to museums or art shows,” she said. “I thought: ‘Man, this stuff should move!’”.
On October 20, someone taped an invitation to a fence on Haste Street. Scrawled on a 6 by 4 foot piece of butcher paper, black writing publicized a ‘Save People’s Park Concert’. The accompanying arrow points east, up Haste Street, a one-way with cars flowing the other direction. Sproul Hall, a symbol of the University, is 500 yards up the street.