Spoof “Civil Sidewalks” site takes a swipe at Prop L


Voters seeking information about The Civil Sidewalks Coalition, the group backing Proposition L to establish a new San Francisco law against sitting and lying down on city sidewalks, might’ve gotten a shock if they visited CivilSidewalks.org instead of CivilSidewalks.com. The imposter web page was designed to look just like the official Civil Sidewalks campaign website, but includes a scathing description of the coalition as “NIMBYs, commuters, wealthy moguls, business associations and politicians” who “think it is our duty to rid San Francisco of poor people, the homeless and fun.”

Here's the description from the real Civil Sidewalks page:
Welcome to Civil Sidewalks.  We are a grassroots group of families, residents and small merchants who believe that sidewalks should be a safe place for our children, elderly and disabled.
Unfortunately the people who encamp on city sidewalks are becoming increasing intolerant of people who are merely trying to walk by. This had led to threats, violence, and physical retaliation.

Here’s how the spoof site interpreted it:
Welcome to Civil Sidewalks. We are an astroturf group led by suburbanites, political consultants and wealthy business interests who believe that sidewalks should be a safe place for enjoyment of the few.
Fortunately some well-off people who walk on city sidewalks have had enough and are becoming increasing intolerant of poor people who are merely trying to take a break. We have taken to threats, fear-mongering, and distorting facts to promote our cause.

The guerrilla campaign tactic brings to mind pranks pulled by The Yes Men, who’ve ruined many a corporate executive’s day by issuing fake press releases and occasionally impersonating company representatives at highly publicized events. If there’s a moral to this story, it’s this: Buy up domain names that are similar to your organization’s web address, especially if it’s election season and you’re up against a cadre of crafty progressives with web-design skills.


Thank you, thank you, CivilSidewalks.org. I was on the website for the pro sit-lie group earlier (civilsidewalks.com). I think it's important to know what they are up to. They feed dogmatic deception to anyone who will consume it. Such as this paragraph >>>Our supporters are members of the ACLU, we are families, merchants and small business owners. We are fourth and fifth generation San Franciscans, and as San Franciscans it is our duty to make our city safe and to keep it thriving.<<< What did this omit in that paragraph? They omitted that the ACLU opposes sit-lie. There is also no way to confirm that anyone supporting sit-lie is a member of the ACLU. They also omitted who the main financial backers are (real estate and banking industry). The proponents' approach is very sleazy. They are so wrapped up in their right-wing dogma which they label as "moderate." Hopefully those who do vote will see the transparency of these deceitful, sleazy, dogmatic people supporting Prop L. The fact is that if one has a problem on the sidewalk, one will still have to call the police. It really is about enforcing existing laws. The voters have still not been told where the people swept up with be put. The jails are already completely full. That doesn't leave too many other answers. This law will basically criminalize being homeless. That brings me back to another lie from the dogmatic supporters. On the pro sit-lie website they say >>>Make no mistake, this is not about homelessness. Our supporters are the very people who help the homeless everyday.<<< What kind of double-speak, oxymoron is this? They offer no proof that any of the dogmatic supporters help the homeless every day and this IS about homeless people (and all that includes) and sweeping them out of sight and criminalizing being homeless.

To the Guardian writer of this article.....You should not have said this: >>>Buy up domain names that are similar to your organization’s web address, especially if it’s election season and you’re up against a cadre of crafty progressives with web-design skills.<<< Why did you tell them to do that? Who's side are you on? Is this site starting to get right-wing? Why would you give the right-wing any suggestions? Why do you refer to >>>crafty progressives?<<< You don't think the other side does the exact same thing...and more? Look at all the deceptions and lies from the sit-lie proponents. They are corporate right-wing (wealthy bankers and real estate people) hiding behind the word >>>moderate<<< and their supporters are using the word moderate as many times as they can squeeze it into a paragraph. The people running and funding the pro sit-lie campaign are not very likely to read the Guardian so why are you trying to help them and people like them with their future campaigns?

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Sep. 20, 2010 @ 7:27 pm

Are you really accusing me of being right-wing?! C'mon now.

Posted by rebecca on Sep. 21, 2010 @ 9:33 am

No, calm down...I was not suggesting that you are right-wing. Please read again what I asked. I asked >>>Is this SITE starting to get right-wing? <<< You are not the same as the SITE because there are many Guardian writers on here and also the operate words are >>>starting.to get<<<. I found it strange that someone from the Guardian would give helpful suggestions to the other side...that was my point. The buying up of domain names has been known about for years. During the 2000 presidential campaign, Bush Co. bought some domain names which were close to the liberal or progressive name sites. It's a common practice for business and politics to buy up domain names related to one's site. One does not have to be >>>crafty<<< to do it. It's actually a very good idea. It's common practice to buy up dot org, dot com and dot net.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Sep. 21, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

Bárbara Chelsai = NUT

Posted by Guest on Sep. 21, 2010 @ 11:25 am

Ha. You spend $5,000 on a political consultant to put up your web site, yet they make a $6 oversight by not registering the dot org variation of your domain. Their loss I suppose.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 22, 2010 @ 10:11 am