Warehouses / Underground / DIY Spaces Under Attack in the USA

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all purpose thread for the seemingly coordinated effort to shut down as many warehouse / underground living spaces, art galleries, and venues in the USA in the wake of the tragedy in Oakland. 4chan on the warpath:

REPORT ALL "ARTSPACES" AND ILLEGAL VENUES TO CRUSH THE RADICAL LEFT.

The Ghost Ship fire is proving to be a much bigger even than a simple fire. It's being used as the justification for police and fire departments to shut down many similar spaces and venues across the country.

These places are open hotbeds of liberal radicalism and degeneracy and now YOU can stop them by reporting all such places you may be or may become aware of to the authorities, specifically the local fire marshel.

Watch them and follow them to their hives. Infiltrate social circles, go to parties/events, record evidence, and report it. We've got them on the run but now we must crush their nests before they can regroup!

MAGA my brothers and happy hunting!

Spaces shut down/investigated so far:

The Bell Foundry in Baltimore
Rhinoceropolis in Denver
Werk in Los Angeles
Drkmttr, The Glass Menage, + others in Nashville

What the fuck is going on???

flappy bird, Friday, 9 December 2016 20:13 (two years ago) link

Fuck fascism now and forever

sushi and the banh mis (Drugs A. Money), Friday, 9 December 2016 20:15 (two years ago) link

So I'm kind of halfway between laughing and horror right now. Some of these people are so clueless and craven, but they obviously also could do harm.

Is there necessarily any link between 4chan and the shutdowns, as opposed to just public concern about the Oakland fire? It seems unlikely that a handful of people calling the fire marshal is going to make that much of a difference, I'm sure cities are aware of these spaces.

rhino in denver has been going strong for more than a decade -- and i think passed fire code inspection just this last summer. pretty ridiculous.

tylerw, Friday, 9 December 2016 20:33 (two years ago) link

It seems unlikely that a handful of people calling the fire marshal is going to make that much of a difference, I'm sure cities are aware of these spaces.

First off, this is a serious problem people I love are directly affected by.
Second off, you're wrong.

sarahell, Friday, 9 December 2016 20:34 (two years ago) link

I'm also gonna note this post:

Anonymous Fri 09 Dec 2016 15:36:15 No.101994775,118 ReportDelete
To any involved in DIY spaces and those relatively uninformed about how /pol/ and 4chan works, spreading this thread on facebook is just going to egg them on. If you look at the original thread it only had 214 posts, and died after a couple hours. By reposting the archive repeatedly on facebook, you're giving this thread more exposure than it initially had. S T O P fucking posting about it, stop giving it more and more exposure. YES take your venues addresses off of events. BUT STOP fucking posting this archive
1. This thread did not reach post limit. (MEANING NOT MANY PEOPLE ON /pol/ CARED)
2. There was no continuation of this thread in a future thread.

uh, it's not just 4chan, dude.

sarahell, Friday, 9 December 2016 20:42 (two years ago) link

It's "well-meaning" neighbors and community members, and cities are totally going after spaces they've turned a blind eye to before, or hadn't crosses their radar before, because fuck if they're gonna get sued.

sarahell, Friday, 9 December 2016 20:42 (two years ago) link

Oh, I mean yeah, that's what I meant by my post -- is the problem really alt-right trolls or is it that the news is bringing a lot of attention?

Not saying it doesn't suck, just saying I don't know how much of it is a result of the basement militia.

speculating whether it's the basement militia or not is a speculation most of my friends don't have the luxury of having.

sarahell, Friday, 9 December 2016 20:45 (two years ago) link

11 posts and we are already fighting amongst ourselves and being dismissive and rude to each other. jesus fucking christ

Wimmels, Friday, 9 December 2016 20:53 (two years ago) link

It's "well-meaning" neighbors and community members, and cities are totally going after spaces they've turned a blind eye to before, or hadn't crosses their radar before, because fuck if they're gonna get sued.

― sarahell, Friday, December 9, 2016 3:42 PM (twenty-one minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

absolutely, i didn't mean to suggest it was just one group in my initial post, i apologize. this was just the latest bizarre development that i didn't see coming at all. i don't want to spread misinformation or egg on any group. mods please feel free to remove that archived post i quoted up top if it's just going to make things worse / confuse things.

flappy bird, Friday, 9 December 2016 21:11 (two years ago) link

Is everyone not on the same side here?

Evan, Friday, 9 December 2016 21:21 (two years ago) link

ILX has a tendency to be chin-strokey and analytical, which I love and appreciate a lot of the time, but sometimes when people are directly affected by something, that tendency is very aggravating and feels cold and overly privileged.

sarahell, Friday, 9 December 2016 21:28 (two years ago) link

this is fucked up

ciderpress, Friday, 9 December 2016 21:37 (two years ago) link

My impression is that these spaces usually operate with a philosophy that complying with bylaws surrounding entertainment licenses etc is not important. Or at least, it is only important to not get rumbled. Part of that is staying on good terms with the neighbours landlords and the police. So, ensuring safety and security is essential - for privacy, out of respect for the general community, because these places wouldn't work otherwise and because that's how everyone wants it to be.

I doubt whether anyone who uses these spaces would disagree that fundamentallythese spaces ARE usually safe and secure. Indeed the organisers spend huge amounts of effort to make them so. But there's a long-established media narrative that raves and warehouse parties are deathtraps and that's what is being trotted out here, for the umpteenth time, despite the fact that it doesn't remotely apply.

Going forward, more focus on safety and security - from the artists and also the city governments - can only be a good thing. I am lucky that my city government formally recognised artists as being integral to the community and made efforts to permit such spaces to operate. Otherwise there wouldn't be any decent gigs in this goddam town!

The idea of some 4Chan operatives showing up looking to record the evidence (uh, check youtube tomorrow bro) and crush the nest of degeneracy makes me smile and is about the only thing that isn't totally horrific about this tragedy.

everything, Friday, 9 December 2016 21:38 (two years ago) link

more info here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/08/us/oakland-fire-illegal-warehouses.html?_r=0

flappy bird, Friday, 9 December 2016 21:43 (two years ago) link

the constant use of the phrase "warehouse dwellers" in that article is really gross

flappy bird, Friday, 9 December 2016 21:45 (two years ago) link

this sucks but on the other hand if it shuts down some seriously dangerous places and prevents lives being lost then that's cool

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 9 December 2016 21:47 (two years ago) link

my impression is that if it was cheap to comply with everything cities want venues to pay for, all venues would do it

I'm definitely with Sarah on this. I think cities will crack down on DIY venues because of what happened in Oakland, purely out of self-interest and because it's top of mind, not because they have any concern at all for the artist community or actually helping find a way to make events safe. The only reason it wasn't always happening is that it probably cost more for a city to investigate and snuff out stuff like that than they'd stand to make back from the very few DIY spots who could afford to bring their places up to code.

Dominique, Friday, 9 December 2016 21:49 (two years ago) link

*typing on MacBook from office job* "Warehouse spaces are

Whiney G. Weingarten, Friday, 9 December 2016 21:53 (two years ago) link

xp - meanwhile there are a lot of people who would like their spaces to be safer but where do they live and work in the meantime? Who is going to pay for the upgrades? Do you know how long these things take? We're talking a few years in some cases. What do these people do in the meantime? If/when safety improvements are made, will they be able to afford to move back? Will building owners just tear down these structures and/or sell?

sarahell, Friday, 9 December 2016 21:54 (two years ago) link

I don't know a lot about these spaces, and generally I am (a) in favor of underground indie artsy shit and (b) opposed to paternalistic bogosity and (c) fucking horrified by self-policing , but as an outsider can I ask, like, what can/should be done re: dangerous warehouse spaces? I'll own my ignorance here, but I can't imagine that these places are actually an ideal situation for anybody — at least as far as sustainable habitation is concerned,

rb (soda), Friday, 9 December 2016 21:54 (two years ago) link

i thought DIY spaces were mostly temporary anyways, due to sound/neighbor complaints. if u get shut down, u open a new one. if they last more than a year then it's time to look into 501c

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 9 December 2016 21:55 (two years ago) link

LX has a tendency to be chin-strokey and analytical, which I love and appreciate a lot of the time, but sometimes when people are directly affected by something, that tendency is very aggravating and feels cold and overly privileged.

― sarahell, Friday, December 9, 2016 4:28 PM (thirty-two minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

guilty. sorry sarah

there is a big gap between "can" and "should" -- especially in Oakland. Most of it comes down to money. There isn't money, unless the city gets funds from the state, the federal gov't (lol), or imposes some special tax. Maybe it gets crowdfunded, idk.

Some of these safety issues would cost tens of thousands of $ to fix, definitely more when you take everything into account. The conversation right now is about fire, but in Oakland, the other big safety risk is a major earthquake. A lot of these buildings are nowhere near up to current codes for earthquake safety.The space I ran and lost as a result of code compliance issues was a small warehouse (approx. 4000 sq/ft) and it was just a show space, no one lived there. The estimate we got of how much it would cost to bring it up to code was $200,000, with an increase of about $5000 or so per year for maintenance. This was 8 years ago. Factor in inflation. Don't even get me started on how long it took for us to actually get that estimate. That took at least 6 months to accomplish with our limited resources of money and time.

So, how does this get paid for? There's the City (which doesn't have much money), there are the building owners (who can't be required to do this, as in most cases, the leases their tenants have are gross industrial/commercial leases, which have minimal requirements for landlords), and there are the tenants, who, if they had $200,000 sitting around, would not be where they are.

sarahell, Friday, 9 December 2016 22:06 (two years ago) link

don't worry, Trump's gonna fix all that

Dominique, Friday, 9 December 2016 22:10 (two years ago) link

i thought DIY spaces were mostly temporary anyways, due to sound/neighbor complaints. if u get shut down, u open a new one. if they last more than a year then it's time to look into 501c

― AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, December 9, 2016 1:55 PM (sixteen minutes ago)

sometimes yes, sometimes no.

sarahell, Friday, 9 December 2016 22:12 (two years ago) link

i thought DIY spaces were mostly temporary anyways, due to sound/neighbor complaints. if u get shut down, u open a new one. if they last more than a year then it's time to look into 501c

this isn't always the case - Rhinoceropolis was open for over a decade, and there are several spaces around here that have been around for 30+ years. they're all up to code, but the line and standards used by inspectors is often arbitrary and dependent on their mood, the moment, and even the people/art that fill the space.

I don't know a lot about these spaces, and generally I am (a) in favor of underground indie artsy shit and (b) opposed to paternalistic bogosity and (c) fucking horrified by self-policing , but as an outsider can I ask, like, what can/should be done re: dangerous warehouse spaces? I'll own my ignorance here, but I can't imagine that these places are actually an ideal situation for anybody — at least as far as sustainable habitation is concerned,

many of the people that live in these spaces don't have any choice or preferable alternatives - they're cheap, but more importantly, they're safe spaces for people of color and LGBTQ+ folk.

flappy bird, Friday, 9 December 2016 22:15 (two years ago) link

wonder if there's a way to help people make their underground spaces safer without getting the city involved. like (dreaming here) a corps of diy-friendly volunteer building inspectors that can recommend how to make a space safe. or tell people when hosting 100 people is just not an option

0 / 0 (lukas), Friday, 9 December 2016 22:20 (two years ago) link

The Bell Foundry is a perfect example. Unsafe and structurally compromised as it was, it was a sanctuary. The city evicting them with one hour's notice is inexcusable, but i can attest to the fact that that place was a deathtrap. there was a wham city show there in 2008 where the floor was bouncing, a lot of people left because they thought the building was going to collapse. Nevertheless, it was a safe haven in an increasingly gentrified/sterilized arts district. There has to be a middle ground between throwing vulnerable people out on the street and keeping them safe. that building absolutely should have been condemned, but no one wants to put up the money to bring it up to code, so they just kicked everyone out. it's a fucking awful stalemate

flappy bird, Friday, 9 December 2016 22:20 (two years ago) link

xp - that's currently happening/in the works here in the Bay Area.

sarahell, Friday, 9 December 2016 22:22 (two years ago) link

gofundme for rhinoceropolis here: https://www.gofundme.com/rebuild-rhinoceropolis

tylerw, Friday, 9 December 2016 22:35 (two years ago) link

xp nice

0 / 0 (lukas), Friday, 9 December 2016 22:37 (two years ago) link

I'm sure cities are aware of these spaces.

in many cases they did, obviously the ghost ship fire/24 hour news cycle or whatever made it a political priority

there are plenty of new mayors starting their first terms right now. the bell foundry eviction occurred on catherine pugh's first day, and it has me worried about the spaces that are safer but still probably violating some codes. the bell foundry eviction just sucks so much more though. i have friends who sought refuge there in tough times. dumb but i wish city 'supporting the arts' initiatives involved these kinds of groups that don't contribute to capital. i'm not dewy-eyed about them, i'm just worried.

qualx, Saturday, 10 December 2016 06:04 (two years ago) link

er, *they were instead of they did

i remember sheila dixon i think trying to get non-sanctioned performance spaces shut down, the road to that sort of legislation will be much easier with a tragedy to play off of

the thing i keep thinking about the bell foundry is how it was this old eyesore in the middle of a gentrifying area, and it was inspected after an anonymous tip. there's a good chance that someone who'd hung out there was freaked out by the ghost ship and called it in. but if you're a company interested in developing on that land, wouldn't that land be much easier to acquire after the city evicts its occupants and condemns it? or is this conspiracy theorist of me

qualx, Saturday, 10 December 2016 06:20 (two years ago) link

it was actually SRB's last day in office, Pugh was inaugurated on Tuesday. Not sure what that means, if it was a power move on SRB's part (why though?), or the city trying to get it in before Pugh could be held responsible.

flappy bird, Saturday, 10 December 2016 06:22 (two years ago) link

fwiw i think the complaint came from that new office building looming over the BF. it was obviously a money grab, i heard the owner of the building is selling it for $1 million

flappy bird, Saturday, 10 December 2016 06:24 (two years ago) link

*typing on MacBook from office job* "Warehouse spaces are

― Whiney G. Weingarten, Friday, December 9, 2016 4:53 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

at what point did you decide to become the chris ott version of yourself

qualx, Saturday, 10 December 2016 06:24 (two years ago) link

i wasn't implying pugh ordered it to happen, i was assuming the eviction happened without any mayoral involvement. but it's now pugh's first pop-up issue to tackle.

qualx, Saturday, 10 December 2016 06:29 (two years ago) link

but if you're a company interested in developing on that land, wouldn't that land be much easier to acquire after the city evicts its occupants and condemns it? or is this conspiracy theorist of me

not at all, i think that's exactly what happened. they were waiting for the right time. a tragedy is a great opportunity to evict people with one hour's notice "for their own safety." the bell foundry was a huge liability for the city, and it's prime real estate. it was also in the worst condition of any diy/warehouse space here. copycat & annex are up to code and undergo regular inspections. same is true for the H&H, and they had an inspector come by with little notice just a couple days ago.

xp- because it happened right before she came into office, she can offer sympathy and support for the displaced tenants without sounding totally insane: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-pugh-foundry-20161207-story.html

flappy bird, Saturday, 10 December 2016 06:35 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

What are the defendants expected to argue?

The defense teams have largely sought to redirect blame onto the building’s owner and the city, who they say should have better policed the space. They say city officials had been in the building on several occasions prior to the fire, and failed to flag potential dangers.

this is a really stupid argument -- it's like a drunk driver who killed someone saying, "I had no idea I was unfit to drive. I passed a few cops on the road and none of them pulled me over!" It is also a dangerous argument, in that it is also advocating for greater policing of spaces, which, idk, maybe if you like cops and/or have faith in the competence / fairness / humanity of government officials, it's a good idea ...

sarahell, Tuesday, 2 April 2019 18:03 (three months ago) link

oh yeah - re: Ghost Ship criminal trial which starts today ...

sarahell, Tuesday, 2 April 2019 18:07 (three months ago) link

I mean, it’s bullshit as a “defense” and Dereck should go to jail, but I think it’s also true that the building owner and potentially the city should also be facing criminal charges

ebro the letter (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 20:49 (three months ago) link

Why should the city be facing criminal charges for this?

sarahell, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 16:08 (three months ago) link

The owner definitely knew the building wasn't up to code for what it was being used for, and she knew what it was being used for ... I believe the owner is definitely culpable.

sarahell, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 16:10 (three months ago) link

Some lines from Wiki

The City of Oakland's planning director revealed that the building had not been inspected for three decades.[3]

Although police and fire officials warned that the warehouse was a fire hazard, the Ghost Ship's founder, Derick Ion Almena, allegedly did not respond to these concerns.[62]

The vice president of the local firefighters union said that the fire marshal's office had been understaffed for years, and that a fire inspector seeing the conditions of the Ghost Ship "would have shut the place down".[60]

Adding to the discussion, on December 13, the Oakland Fire Chief said "there were no indications this was an active business", that there are no city records showing her department had received complaints about the building and that the department "inspects businesses, not buildings".[64]

ebro the letter (Whiney G. Weingarten), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 16:16 (three months ago) link

the thing is, and you know this, or maybe you don't, but i'd think you would, that spaces like this (and I have run them), do things to avoid being caught, because if they catch you, they are likely to shut the space down on various technicalities and letters of the law.

To me, it's kinda like blaming the government or cops for not catching all the criminals.

Don't get me wrong, I hate cops, and am "not a fan" of the City of Oakland building/planning/fire admin bureaucracy.

sarahell, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 16:41 (three months ago) link

and following up on the "criminal" analogy -- my belief, and what I've been somewhat helping to work towards -- is a process of "decriminalization" where safety improvements that prevent things like G.S. happening and seriously reduce the likelihood of spaces becoming like that one -- where spaces can meet basic life safety standards AND people don't get evicted/spaces don't get shut down ...

sarahell, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 16:44 (three months ago) link

The civil cases are still ongoing, right? It's still insane that at least some of them name surviving performers from the night.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 16:45 (three months ago) link

Also, I think Denver actually did something progressive and cool in re these spaces after the Rhinoceropolis thing.

sarahell, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 16:45 (three months ago) link

the civil cases are so so so ongoing ...

sarahell, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 16:46 (three months ago) link

there is also an (i think) ongoing case involving corruption in the City of Oakland building department that might potentially get tied in with the G.S. civil cases

sarahell, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 16:47 (three months ago) link


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