Saturday, May 09, 2015

Mission activists take over City Hall

When the City authorities and the tech barons who buy them won't listen, it is time to drop in on City Hall. Several hundred Mission District residents and friends flooded the rotunda of that ornate building on Friday.

A goodly number of the SFPD waited in the wings, but they were on their most civilized behavior. They need to be.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi chatted with friends in the crowd.

The demands included a moratorium on construction of luxury housing in the Mission, stop evictions, preserve affordable housing, and don't allow construction of the huge planned project at 16th Street and Mission -- dubbed "the Monster."

The balconies around the rotunda provided an obvious setting from which to hang messages ...

... apparently display of banners is forbidden, giving the waiting cops something to do. We were peacefully relieved of most of the signage.

This animated preacher reminded the crowd that San Francisco had cleared the Black community out of the Western Addition neighborhood thrity years ago -- and would do the same now in the Mission and Bayview.

They wanted the Black and Brown people to build this city, but now they don't want us anymore. They are clearing us all out.

Dancer and performance artist Krissy Keefer who runs a studio at 24th and Mission spoke about displacement of our creative workers. Supervisors John Avalos and David Campos listened.

After the speeches, the crowd marched around the second floor mezzanine, passing the Supervisors' offices. Supervisor Jane Kim came out to applaud.

There was no welcome or any response at the Mayor's office. The perky bust of Diane Feinstein in the corridor is not how I remember her from the days when she occupied that space.

Through it all, couples, and their relatives, and their photographers wandered through the crowd seeking to keep their marriage appointments with the Clerk's office. I have to say, they seemed remarkably undisturbed by the unexpected excitement.


Michael Strickland said...

Nice job of capturing the event. And love the "They need to be" link.

janinsanfran said...

Mike: this is your turf, but there we were. I have to say that the security couldn't have been nicer about letting the horde invade. Those deputies who inspect bags could easily be unfriendly about it all, but they seem instead to choose to enjoy the passing circus.

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