Berkeley’s Hate Man Abides

by Steed Dropout
July 13, 2013


He’s second only to Berkeley’s Pink Cloud, who claims to have been homeless for sixty years. A forty year veteran of Berkeley’s streets, Harold, died last year of complications from an untreated foot infection.

Yet Hate Man, 77, abides with nothing more than a sleeping bag and incessant smoking. He declines drugs and alcohol.

Although housed in the 70’s, Hate, as he is known to his “followers” has been homeless by choice for more than forty years, surviving by foraging food from Berkeley’s South Side cornucopian trash cans and trafficking in street-economics barter and “pushing.”

Pushing is a Hate Man ritual which pits your shoulder and velocity against his. The loser may forfeit a cigarette or an argument.

Hate founded Camp Hate in the 90’s at the Southeast corner of People’s Park when U.C.’s Sproul plaza, where hate became a campus landmark, became “nowhere…nothing happening.”

Hate Man at 77. Bring it on. Photo by Ted Friedman.

The camp, which does not get its due from Hate Man Wiki, is in session from dawn to camp curfew. Anyone within ear-shot will hear an endless stream of vituperations, interspersed with camp philosophies.

The Hate-Man Cult operates on a simple set of rigid rules. The main rule is no bull. State your requests directly, and most importantly, be sure to address each other with “I hate you,” being sure to throw in a few f-words.

Hate recently survived his latest legal inconvenience by serving three days in county jail. With his attorney unavailable, he reluctantly copped a guilty plea for “illegal lodging” at the Christian Science Church across the street, after the park curfew evicted him for the night.

Having paid his dues, he’s free to incur new ones.

The days of hunting for food are mostly past history. Churches and others make regular food drops and recently Hate has been honored with his own nearby city dumpster.

My following photo-essay documents Hate Man’s enduring South Side trip:

Two years ago at People's Park birthday. Photo by Ted Friedman.
Several years ago. Before the food came to him, he sets out with shopping box to forage Telegraph. Photo by Ted Friedman.
Several years ago just outside People's Park -- knuckling. Photo by Ted Friedman.
Recently. Knuckling preacher-man, founder of a church across from Camp Hate. Photo by Ted Friedman.
Volunteer clean-up after this years park birthday party. Photo by Ted Friedman.
Last Week. Life is sweet; food now arrives directly to him. Bring it on.
Photo by Ted Friedman.

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