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.
This San Francisco purveyor of graffiti has it right. When times are bleak -- when country and planet sink under the barely restrained sway of greed, raw power, and fear -- it's time to restate what matters.
I write here to preserve and kindle hope for a national and global turn toward multi-racial, economically egalitarian, gender non-constricting, woman affirming, and peace choosing democracy that preserves the habitability of earth for all. There's a big order -- but what else is there to do but struggle for this? Not much.
Topics range from the minuscule to the transcendent to the global, from dire to delightful. I am not an optimist, but I refuse to allow myself to wallow within the easy bias that everything is going to always be awful. Good also happens; love lives too.
I've been yammering here about activism, politics, history, racism and other occasional horrors and pleasures since 2005. I intend to continue as long as the opportunity exists. In this time, that means activism and chronicling resistance. Perhaps it always has, one way and another.
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. Will work for justice.