land of fruits and nuts
About 25 queer settlers descended on a downtown Berkeley Starbucks on Saturday, August 17, 2003 claiming Berkeley as “a city without people for people without a city.” The group, organized by QUIT!, posted a banner proclaiming the reclaimed café “Queerkeley – A Prophecy Fulfilled.” They also erected homes (transformed “Palestinian civilian homes reclaimed from another street theatre action), lawn furniture, and signs reading, “It Works In Palestine, Why Not Here?” and “It’s Ours Because We Say So.” They erected plastic palm trees to “make the concrete bloom,” and gave patrons a tract explaining their religious claim to the land as follows:
And the Lord saw that the queer people were harried in this land. And the Lord spake onto the prophet Harvey, “You will lead your people across the wide waters unto a new land.” Harvey was fearful, and he cried to the Lord, “How will we cross the wide waters? For they are cold, and they are filled with all manner of hazardous substances and raw sewage and other pollutants.” And the Lord responded, “fear not, Harvey, for a great bridge will be built, and the people will cross into this land. And this land will be called Berkeley. I say, Lo, I have promised the land of Berkeley to the lesbians and to the gays, and to the bisexuals, and to the transgenders and to the intersexed, and to all of the gender variant peoples. And this land shall be blessed with fruits and nuts, unto 50 genderations.” Book of Reclamations and Realty, 4.0.