Walked by the homeless encampment down in the Berkeley flats today. And its nearly twice as big as it was just a couple months ago when I took this photo. Now the encampment is veering down sidestreets and blocking parts of the sidewalk, like some form of mutant growth.
I took out my cellphone and took a couple of quick pictures and was just starting to walk on. When this homeless young guy on a bicycle chased after me, shouting: “HEY WHAT THE FUCK YOU DOING TAKING PICTURES OF MY HOME?? I DON’T LIKE PEOPLE TAKING NO FUCKING PICTURES OF MY HOME!!”
(here we go)
“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said. “Hey, I’ll delete the pictures.”
He hovered over me, menacingly. Watching to make sure I deleted all three pictures (too bad, they were great pictures). At one point I thought he was going to make a grab for my cellphone. But he was just holding his hand over my cellphone to shield it from the sun so we could see what we were doing.
“I’m homeless myself,” I said. “I just wanted to let people know what the situation was like.”
“I’ve been homeless all my life!!” he said, angrily.
“I meant no disrespect,” I said.
Course I know how he feels. I wouldn’t be pleased if somebody started snooping around taking photos of MY campsite. At the same time, contrary to what some people think, its perfectly legal to take photos of anybody or anything that happens to be in a public place.
Course that legal right won’t necessary prevent you from getting punched in the head.