Here’s a Google Earth screenshot of “Zion Cypress Triangle Park”, the newest in what is becoming a constellation of Occupy Oakland sites. It is presently a bare patch of dirt surrounded by a fence, with uncertain ownership status. The name was given by occupiers, according Jaime Omar Yassin in his always-worthwhile blog Hyphenated-Republic, to represent “the symbolic biblical paradise, the historical name of the neighborhood, and the shape of the lot.” Hopefully, it’ll get nicknamed something simpler, like “Cypress Triangle.”
It seems, at first map-zoom, to be way off in the boonies. I can’t imagine many people trekking out there, other than the die-hards and those who actually live at the camp. It is also a hike between there an Oscar Grant Plaza for people wanting to attend General Assemblies at the latter.
Camping in front of Wall St. or one’s local city hall or in a public park on Main Street in any town is a powerful, visible act of protest that has inspired millions. Occupying foreclosures should have a similar mass appeal, but hasn’t taken off yet. I’m wondering if this site will be able to generate any significant sympathy or support.
On the other hand, Occupy Oakland does need to keep moving beyond reliance on tents-in-the-square. My initial predictions that occupying foreclosures would take off with the same intensity that occupying city hall with tents did hasn’t proven out and I don’t have any clever suggestions on where or how to proceed with diversifying.
It may be that this site is of such little concern to the City that they ignore us and it develops into an interesting center of creative activity to go along with the nearby foreclosure occupations. If it doesn’t get evicted, it could also become something of a permanent, self-managed houseless camp, similar to Dignity Village in Portland, OR. This seems like a real possibility, given what is apparently murky ownership status (see Hyphenated-Republic post above).
I’ll be sure to post photos once I get there.