As of late, it seems as though the cries of anti-displacement activists and small business owners threatened with dramatic address changes have penetrated the city's consciousness: San Francisco has woken up to the fact that the town is changing, and how. But amid the smashing of Google bus piñatas and -- albeit hilarious -- echo chamber of bloggers placing and sloughing off blame from the young tech royalty, there are community-based, heartfelt attempts being made at contextualizing soaring rents and shifting cultural majorities.
There's two happening in the Mission, in fact. Regardless of your programming aptitude or discretionary budget, they'll both provide moments to learn about where San Francisco is coming from, and a moment to reflect on where it's going.
"La Llorona: A Public Lament on Ellis Act Evictions in the Mission"
A march to remember the working-class neighborhood that was, this processional open to all comers starts at a Mission home called the "Secret Garden" (coincidentally, hosting both events in this post) with a prayer by Jorge Molina and winds up at Adobe Books' new location (3130 24th St., SF), where the bookshop is hosting "Layers of History: 40 Years of Resistance" curated by SF historian Chris Carlsson and artist Paz de la Calzada. "La Llorona" will be led by neighborhood chronicler Adriana Camarena. Check out this 2010 Mission Mission interview to read about her passion for the stories of the 'hood.
UPDATE: The event is part of MAPP's Sat/1 takeover of 20 businesses and other spaces in the Mission. More on that here
Here's how author Benjamin Bac Sierra -- who grew up on these streets in a much different time -- summed up the event in his post on our Facebook page:
Every moment is an exact time. This is our time, one of our last opportunities to cry our voices out to the streets we always thought would be ours. Homeboys and Homegirls, this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. we need you to walk the Mission streets with us and cry out our emotions over all la gente that are being evicted and expelled from our San Francisco Mission district, from all of San Francisco itself. Why does this matter? Won’t they have cheaper, perhaps even bigger homes out in Modesto, Concord, San Quentin, or the Colma cemetery?! Gente, as we lose ground in international San Fran, we lose the opportunity of world class resources, education, economic opportunities, and cultural identity. Meditate on this: San Fran is the most powerful capital of class, business, and arts on the entire west coast. Are not brown grassroots people allowed into the doors of opportunity? Don’t just like this posting. Come out in full force with your homeboys, homegirls, and grandmas this Saturday, June 1 at 7:00 p.m. starting at 2710 Harrison and 23rd street. We need you; the gente need you for the future and for hope. Always your homeboy in amor!
Sat/1, 7-10pm, free
Starts at Secret Garden
2710 Harrison, SF
"Born n Raised in Frisco"
Over the past year and a half, POOR Magazine has sat down with 45 adults and 10 younger people, all born right here in the land of the Ohlones, to get their thoughts on displacement and fighting to stay in the city they grew up in in six-week cycles of creative storytelling classes. Today, in the sunny backyard of the Secret Garden, they'll celebrate the publication of those conversations. Come check out the compilation, plus plant seeds, eat food, and help raise money for POOR's Al Robles Living Library -- an assemblage of works by working class people that is housed in the magazine's headquarters.
Sun/2, 3pm, $1-10 donation suggested
2170 Harrison, SF
UPDATE: Muralist Juana Alicia (whose mural "La Llorona" features in the image on this post) clarifies that the piece is a comment on the struggle for human rights. She also added, in the comments below:
I myself was evicted from the Mission, and moved to the East Bay 18 years ago because I could no longer afford to live in my neighborhood, the one I had worked so much to humanize and adorn. But our daughter, Lucia Ippolito, has just created a fantastic new mural on Balmy Alley: a witty and animated lampoon at gentrification and police brutality. Entitled "Mission Makeover", it is an eloquent stitching together of many issues, like original sin, from the Garden of Eden to Wall Street. Please check out the "Mission Makeover" while accompanying Jorge Molina on his sacred pilgrimage.