First They Came for the Homeless… Then They Fenced Off Public Space.

First they came for the homeless, and evicted them on April 12th.  Two weeks later, Postal Officials decided that they had had enough of the rabble, erecting an iron fence around the Community Garden and the area where the bike rack used to be (it looks from the photo that the bike rack has been removed)

We are waiting for the moat to be installed around the entire property, and a drawbridge that opens only to the password “Privatize It All!”when uttered by a one-percenter.

po-fence-4-27-16

 

 

The ‘MUST GO ON’ Celebration!

A press conference and celebration to discuss what’s next for the activists who occupied the grounds of the Main Berkeley Post Office for a year-and-a-half

When: Saturday, April 23, 2016 starting at 1:00PM
Where: Downtown Berkeley Post Office, 2000 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA
Why: Though our occupation has been torn down, the fight to preserve public resources, free speech, and the rights of homeless people must continue

BPOD-FIRST-flyer-4-23-2016

Though the Main Berkeley Post Office is not currently up for sale, the USPS continues to pursue a “shrink to survive” strategy by reducing and outsourcing services, chiseling away at union employment, and selling post offices around the country.  Management of this huge enterprise is neglected with only three Governors on the Board that is chartered for eleven.  The Postal Service continues to ignore the strong recommendations of its own Inspector General to correct anti-competitive practices in its real estate division and to pursue financial viability by offering banking services to its customers.

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An Urgent Situation at the Berkeley Post Office

To Berkeley City Officials:

Thanks for your participation in the collaborative community effort to protect the Berkeley Post Office from sale and privatization. The ongoing efforts of people who are homeless, activists, union members, members of community organizations and those holding public offices has created a powerful coalition capable of preserving our commons in the face of powerful opposition and manipulation. At this time we face a serious obstacle to our collective efforts.

The community garden on the west side of the post office is under siege. We community members who tend it have found syringes, human excrement, rotten food, trash and bicycle parts in the garden. Recently we have been yelled at by those apparently using drugs, and/or those storing their belongings in the garden. People in the area have been exposed to second hand smoke from drugs used in the garden and tents and other gear have destroyed many plants.

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Berkeley’s Letter to the USPS Regarding Use of the Berkeley Post Office Finally Sent!

October 20th, 2015

Mr. Tom Samra
Vice President, Facilities
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, DC 20260-1101

Dear Mr. Samra,

At a meeting of the Berkeley City Council on June 30th, 2015 the Council approved a resolution regarding the Main Post Office at 2000 Allston Way in downtown Berkeley (attached), and requested that City offices begin discussions on the following issues with the appropriate staff from the United States Postal Service (USPS):

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The Garden Continues!

As Mike Zint, still Occupying the Post Office exterior as a member of First They Came for the Homeless, put it on their Facebook page:

We have a pumpkin patch here at the Berkeley Post Office community garden. The post office has already removed food crops once, but we will replant. Most people don’t understand the importance of this garden. This is the only community garden on postal property in the country, and it has lasted for 8 months. If this seems minor, try putting a community garden in the commons, and see how long it lasts.

BPOD members Carol and Kathy have been diligently watering the garden, hauling H20 to the site and preventing the drought and the sunny days from shriveling the flora into nothingness.

Some recent pics from the garden:

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Peter Byrne Speaks at Berkeley Post Office’s 100th Anniversary Party

Folks gathered on July 25th, 2015 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the opening of the downtown Berkeley Post Office.  Local activist Moni Law emceed, BPOD members Mike Wilson and Dave Welsh spoke along with SBPO members Harvey Smith and Margot Smith spoke; union members Susan Hammer, Shirley Taylor and Omar Gonzalez said a few words each, and Berkeley City Council members Linda Maio and Max Anderson waxed politic.

Redd Welsh, Carol Denny and Mac & Bobby sang, while Mrs. T Bill Banks entertained with a comedy monologue.

The keynote was a talk by Peter Bryne, an investigative reporter who wrote

Going Postal: U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s husband sells post offices to his friends, cheap.

Here is the video of his remarks.