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Archive for the ‘SFPD’ Category

Still no plan

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on October 10, 2007

There’s still no plan for how the city hopes to deal with Halloween in the Castro. It’s like watching a train wreck, in slow motion. You know it’s going to be mayhem, yet you can’t help but watch the disaster unfold.

Posted in Bay Area, Castro Street, Citizens for Halloween, Gavin Newsom, Halloween in the Castro, Halloween party, San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco mayor, SFPD, The Castro | 1 Comment »

Recipe for disaster or party organizing opportunity

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on August 9, 2007

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This report in the SF Chronicle details the ongoing trainwreck of city government efforts to deal with the infamous Halloween party in the Castro. After last year’s shootings and stabbing, Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Bevan Dufty promised to convene a task force to look into how to make the Castro party safer this year. But the task force never met because the consensus in city government was to cancel the event altogether. Then, an effort was made to set up a diversionary event on the waterfront to draw people away from the Castro and give them a party to go to on Halloween. The promoter for that event cancelled however, and now the city insists that there will be no Halloween party in the Castro, and no alternative party anywhere else.

The problem with this, of course, is that people are going to show up in the Castro on Halloween anyway. Many of those who attend might even be a little pissed off at Newsom’s and Dufty’s bad faith in all of this. The police won’t block off the streets or provide porta-potties for the Halloween party, but that won’t stop thousands of people from showing up and taking over the streets. The perfect scenario for a riot.

I propose that people consider this the perfect opportunity to organize Halloween in the Castro against the wishes of San Francisco’s city government instead. Here’s how it could be done:

1) Get together all the pro-party/pro-entertainment forces in the city, from folks like SF Party Party to promoters of other SF events shut down or hassled by the city (How Weird Street Fair, Haight-Ashbury Street Fair, etc.) to like-minded individuals and organizations in the LGBT community. Put together a statement openly defying Newsom and Dufty that calls for people to come to the Castro on Halloween to celebrate. Publicize this statement, and the ongoing debate about Halloween in the Castro, in sympathetic local media like the SF Bay Guardian. Maybe get a few of the mayoral candidates (Josh Wolf, Chicken John, Chris Daly) to endorse the statement.

2) Organize outreach to businesses in the Castro asking them to defy Newsom and Dufty, and to stay open late on Halloween. Reward them with increased patronage before, during, and after Halloween.

3) Use sympathetic local media, email, websites, word-of-mouth, etc. to publicize that there will indeed be a party on Halloween in the Castro, and give those who wish to attend suggestions on how to deal with problems, to include gang and police violence.

4) Ask for volunteers to help with security on Halloween, then have a number of training sessions to organize and prepare these volunteers. Give them something distinctive to wear, and make sure they can cope, not just with crowd problems, but with a potentially hostile police force.

5) Organize alternative entertainment for Halloween in the Castro. This might require highly mobile, guerrilla events that stay one step ahead of the police. It also might involve enlisting willing local merchants to provide venues for acts and events. From portable streetcorner stages to roving DJs, all of this entertainment will be strictly DIY.

The only way people are going to be able to save Halloween in the Castro is to take it away from SF city officials and the SFPD and run it themselves.

———

PS — Here‘s SF Party Party’s take on Newsom cancelling Halloween in the Castro. A touch rabid, but a voice worth listening to nevertheless.

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Posted in anti-suburbanization, Bay Area, Bevan Dufty, Carnaval, Castro Street, Chicken John, Chris Daly, City Living, Eureka Valley, Fillmore Jazz Festival, Gavin Newsom, gay, gentrification, Giulianism, Haight Street Fair, Haight-Ashbury, Halloween in the Castro, How Weird Street Fair, Josh Wolf, LGBT, Matt Gonzalez, NIMBY, NIMBYism, police, San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco Bay Guardian, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco mayor, San Francisco Party Party, SFPD, The Castro, Tom Ammiano, yuppie | 1 Comment »

Here we go again!

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 2, 2007

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According to a story on yesterday’s SF Chronicle website, Mayor Gavin Newsom is once again intent on banning the infamous Castro Halloween party. (here) Now, personally, I’m not a big partyer. I wasn’t one when I was young, and I’m even less of one now that I’m over 50. And frankly, my claustrophobia kicks in when I think of the wall-to-wall crowd that takes over the Castro every Halloween.

Yet Newsom’s ongoing efforts to “Giulianize” San Francisco really piss me off. The Mayor’s focus on “quality of life” issues is an attempt to suburbanize the city, as the folks at San Francisco Party Party point out. He needs to be opposed. What follows is a brief list of organizations trying to make the city into a fun and livable place. Each website has further links and resources.

San Francisco Party Party (HELP!!! SF Mayor Gavin Newsom is suburbanizing our great City… he must be stopped!)

Livable City (Livable City works to create a San Francisco of great streets and complete neighborhoods, where walking, bicycling, and transit are the best choices for most trips, where public spaces are beautiful, well-designed, and well-maintained, and where housing is more plentiful and more affordable.)

Boom! (the sound of eviction)

Fun/Cheap San Francisco (cool and affordable things to do in the san francisco bay area)

Friends of the Urban Forest (creating a greener San Francisco tree by tree)

SF Gro (San Francisco garden resource organization)

I’ll have more to say on this subject in the future.

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Posted in anti-suburbanization, Castro Street, Gavin Newsom, gentrification, Halloween in the Castro, Halloween party, life, quality of life, San Francisco, SFPD, The Castro | 2 Comments »

San Francisco Tourist Advisory

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 1, 2007

If you’re planning to visit our fair city anytime soon, please, don’t ask this police officer for directions.

This is a public service announcement.

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Officer Jesse Serna reported using force 57 times and injuring 31 citizens during the 1996-2004 time period. Chronicle photo, 2004, by Paul Chinn.

Posted in Jesse Serna, life, police, police brutality, San Francisco, SFPD, tourist advisory | 4 Comments »