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.
My musings on current events, current projects, current anxieties and current delights.
I started this under the Bush regime when any grain of sand thrown into the gears of the over-reaching imperial state seemed worthwhile.
I have worked to elect more and better Democrats -- and to hammer the shit out of them once we get them in office so they do the things their constituents want and need. It's a big job.
I have endured the dashed potential for a more transformational regime under Obama. The man has made himself an accomplice in the imperial crimes of his predecessor as well as committing his own. He has also almost certainly been the most progressive president most of us will live to see. I fear we'll look back on his years in office with mild gratitude for a respite from national leadership that was habitually stupid and vicious, as well as wrong.
Visitors here will find a lot of commentary on books I'm reading. I am very intentionally reading intensively offline these days. When it feels hard to find direction, it's time to learn something new.
I'm a progressive political activist who runs trails and climbs mountains whenever any are available. I've had the privilege to work for justice in Central America (Nicaragua and El Salvador), in South Africa, in the fields of California with the United Farmworkers Union, and in the cities and schools of my own country. I'm a Christian of the Episcopalian flavor; we think and argue a lot. For work, I've done a bit of it all: run an old fashioned switch-board; remodeled buildings and poured concrete; edited and published periodicals, reports and books; and organized for electoral campaigns. I am currently an independent consultant to organizations seeking "help when you have to make a fight."