Murder in the neighborhood: Arnieville


by Adrienne Lauby

Arnieville is a continuous protest led by people with disabilities alarmed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed state budget with its juggernaut of draconian cuts to California’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), Medi-Cal and other critical supports for California’s most vulnerable people. This Thursday, Berkeley’s Arnieville will become the longest-running continuous protest by people with disabilities in the U.S.

Arnieville continues on the median strip of Adeline Street at Russell Street, half a block north of the Ashby BART station. Learn more at stop by soon.

Friday, July 16, late in the afternoon at Arnieville, we gathered in the sun for a workshop on deaf culture. Suddenly, we heard four or five shots and a short block away. A 29-year-old man, Marcus Mosley Jr., died in his car, murdered. We were horrified and profoundly sad. As the police cordoned the streets, we stood in a circle, holding hands and shoulders, as Marg Hall and Sheela Gunn Cushman managed a few words.

We are guests in this troubled and astounding neighborhood.

Myself, when I think of the Arnieville neighborhood, I think of the East Bay Center for the Blind, the East Bay Community Law Center and the Berkeley Zen Center, which are all down the street in one direction or another. The Long Haul Infoshop gives us use of their sink and hot water and they are close enough that I once helped haul buckets of dirty dishes there on foot. The Berkeley Bowl, one of Berkeley’s centers of retail produce, is two minutes away and surrounded by other retailers.

When I think of this neighborhood, I think of Mary Lou, Blaine, Marg, Nina and Mark, all of whom live nearby. I think of the homeless people – Fireball, Ron, Preston, Paula and Jon – who’ve become valued members of our traffic island protest group. I think of the grassy island across Russell Street and the Ashby BART station.

Now, I will always think of Marcus Mosley Jr. and the screams and wails I heard as his family and friends joined the police and fire trucks. As the evening drew on, Jane Stillwater, who has written about Arnieville for her blog,, arrived. Marcus had played with her children and she knew his family. The next morning, long time disability activist Jana Overbo, emailed that Marcus was the only son of her long-time attendant Juanita Ruiz.

Yesterday, Saturday was a festival and rally at Arnieville. Country Joe MacDonald came for a benefit concert, Sandi Yi did a bake sale, Michael Parenti and Osha Newman spoke and Alan Senauke led us in a meditation for Marcus. Afterward, we marched and rolled to Berkeley with signs and chants. We told more people about the death and suffering that will come if the state of California cuts deeper into programs that affect seniors, people with disabilities and poor people.

And we remembered Marcus Mosley Jr. We remembered his mother who lovingly cares for one of our beloved community members, his childhood and the children who played with him. We remembered his violent sudden death. We celebrated our work and our host neighborhood and, as we celebrated, we mourned.

Adrienne Lauby is a Bay Area journalist and a producer and host of Pushing Limits, the disability rights show broadcast on KPFA 94.1 on first, third and fifth Fridays at 2:30 p.m. and available and archived through She can be reached at


  1. Chevron gouged $24 billions in excessive profits in 2008, as per Schwarzenegger should put an excessive profits tax on these profits, instead of protecting the oil corporations from fair taxation, then, there would be sufficient public funds for all the vulnerable, people programs. Big business lost the fight to eliminate domestic violence funding, so now they are coming back with a vengeance. There is no funding provision for battered women shelters in the May Revise. Schwarzee picks on the most vulnerable, and not on corporate tax "deadbeats."

  2. Go, Adrienne. Today John Rizzo posted a Sierra Club editorial about the oil and gas severance tax I tried so hard to help CA Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico with, but I think we can talk and write ourselves blue in the face without getting that passed unless Prop 13 is overturned. This is making me ask again what it would take to get it on the ballot without the virtually insurmountably expensive signature drive. However, friend of mine says that those most recently working on it did some polling and found they'd be defeated on election day, so they called off the effort. Green Party gubernatorial candidate Laura Wells at least tries to educate about Prop 13 and, to win my vote, Jerry Brown would have to campaign heavily about overturning it. Nothing else could make me care about the difference between him and Christie Todd Whitman.

  3. I am dishearted by the news of gun violence every day. I too have known Marcus since he was four years old. I am a good friend of Juanita and Jane's, and resident of Savo Island, as well. Marcus was an advid hockey lover and player, a great son, brother and uncle. A Good MAN overall. I have no ill words about him.

  4. I WANT THE VIOLENCE TO END!!! I WANT JUSTICE FOR ALL…. It brings me to tears each time I reflect on how we spend $220,000 a year to house an inmate, who may or may not reform but can't take $7,000 to educate a child. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE IN THIS? WHAT TYPE OF SOCIETY IS THIS WHICH WE LIVE? If we took that same $220k and invested in our children and education…. we could live in a peaceful Berkeley, like we once did. THIS INJUSTICE MUST END…

  5. ARNOLD you need to stop taking from education!! You did so to fund a futile election with a low turn out and a damn bridge, where plans went wrong early on and it costs us $400,000 per day for 3+ months. You give state worker furlough days only for them to save their vacation days, which California will have to cash them out (great cost savings Arnold!!) and your resolutions are absured! Sure hurt the lower class who are trying to work by cutting CALWORKS and daycare!! Sure hurt the disabled and those who NEED in home care!! SURE that will certainly keep this cycle turning…California's problem is YOU and your poor decision making Mr. Arnold!! There's a potential for $213,000 savings person per year!! Pour money into educating THE YOUTH instead of wasting MONEY on building jails, only to release inmates. People go to jail they aren't reformed. They come out and hurt us, the citizens who work hard every day!!

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