Oakland residents and the greater Bay Area artistic community are in mourning following a devastating warehouse fire on 31st Ave and International Blvd that killed 36 people during a party on December 12th. The fire, which ravaged an artist space called Ghost Ship, has been called the worst structure fire in Oakland since the 1906 earthquake.
“A lot of people in my circles are either dead or in lots of pain, and there's a lot more that we're mourning than just the people,” said an Oakland resident who wished to remain anonymous. “Marginalized communities understand that this tragic incident -- what should have been a moment of catharsis after a brutal election -- is heralding the death knell of spaces for our types. It's like losing a limb.”
The victims of the Ghost Ship fire were at the show because they loved art, music, and community. This is a delicate time for Oakland. We must embrace grief individually, while remaining tenacious and hardy as a whole. This is a time for the entire city to coalesce, galvanize, and rally in order to protect that which makes us so special: each other.