The Sit Lie Posse can “liberate” a billboard in 10 minutes


A press release went out yesterday announcing that a group called the Sit Lie Posse had “liberated” six billboards and 60 bus shelters with original artwork in opposition to Proposition L, San Francisco’s proposed sit / lie ordinance. The posters bear three different images, including one featuring a "Gascon-topus," illustrated with the face of San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon and the body of a gigantic octopus. Gascon is a strong advocate for the ordinance, which would ban sitting and lying down on San Francisco sidewalks.

While members of the posse did not provide a phone number or reveal their true identities, the Guardian did manage to get in touch via email with a spokesperson of the posse, who goes by the name Jim Rawley.

Rawley says he chose his name in honor of the character from John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, who manages the utopian Weedpatch camp and treats the impoverished Joad family with dignity and respect. Rawley also reveals the technique the Sit Lie Posse uses to liberate bus-shelter ads, and tells us how long it takes for the crew to put up displays of their artwork throughout the city. A few of our questions and answers appear below.

San Francisco Bay Guardian: Does the Sit Lie Posse have a budget? If so, how much?
Jim Rawley: The Sit Lie Posse is a volunteer group unaffiliated with any electoral campaign. We made our guerrilla ads by hand and paid for our materials out of pocket. It cost us $150 to liberate six billboards and 60 bus shelter ads.

SFBG: How long does it take to liberate a billboard? How about a bus shelter ad? Does the posse use wheat-paste?
JR: Our billboards took about 10 minutes and the bus shelters took 2-3 minutes. We accessed the bus shelters using a master key and attached our work with Velcro, the industry standard for bus shelters because of quick, easy insertion. We attached our billboards with wheat-paste. Despite the efforts of Clear Channel and a heavy rainstorm, our bus shelters and billboards are still up.


SFBG: The Sit / Lie Posse has created quite a stir. C.W. Nevius writes in this morning’s column: "Opponents are attempting to make a comparison with the civil rights movement in the South in the '50s and '60s. Apparently their view is that an unkempt panhandler camping on the sidewalk equates to the Freedom Riders opposing racial discrimination. Weird." What would you say to Nevius in response?

 JR: We expected that the Chronicle would try to ridicule, belittle and smear our work, especially since C.W. Nevius and his advocacy columns instigated Prop L. In the 1950s and 60s civil rights workers were maligned by the mainstream press, harassed by the police and subject to physical violence. It takes time for social movements to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the state and the corporate media. In their own words, Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius and Police Chief George Gascon have said that Prop L enforcement would exclude tourists and center on the homeless. Regardless of your opinion on homelessness, it’s clearly discrimination when the law is based upon a person’s appearance and applies only to certain groups – the poor and people of color. Even more so when the stated intent of the enforcement is to drive certain people out of a neighborhood. This is San Francisco’s kindler, gentler version of Jim Crow segregation.


SFBG: What was the inspiration behind the Gascon-topus?

JR: We came up with the Gascon-topus as a reference to sci-fi movie posters. Prop L will give unchecked power to the police to conduct unconstitutional searches and arrests. In the face of such a monstrous attack on civil liberties, we wanted to respond with wit, humor and satire.


SFBG: Why do you think it’s important to fight against expanded policing in public space?

JR: It’s important to fight additional policing in pubic space to preserve our civil liberties and to save the character of San Francisco. Most San Franciscans don’t want to sacrifice the city’s diversity and rebellious creativity in order to recreate San Francisco as one massive, sanitized shopping mall with all action controlled by the police. Most San Franciscans don’t want undocumented immigrants and day laborers to be deported after a bogus bust for sitting. Most people don’t want to see the poor disqualified from government housing because they committed the crime of sitting. Most people don’t want to be subjected to unconstitutional drug searches after being detained for sitting, nor do people want to see parolees sent back to prison for the crime of sitting. Public space and civil liberties are vital to a healthy democracy. Public space is the only area beyond private property and the marketplace where San Franciscans can come together to exercise civil rights and collectively shape the future of the city. We need to defend that space and extend it against threats from wealthy business interests and their allies in government.


>>>In their own words, Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius and Police Chief George Gascon have said that Prop L enforcement would exclude tourists and center on the homeless.<<<..............Ah. Center on the homeless, eh? But the lying, sleazy and deceptive right-wing supporters of Prop L say that sit-lie is NOT about the homeless. On their own website they have this text, "Make no mistake, this is not about homelessness." These right-wing Prop L supporters need to get their story straight, although I guess it's a little late for that since the election is on Tuesday and some people have already voted. Isn't it convenient that they didn't get their story straight. Thank you very much Sit / Lie Posse. This police chief is bad news for this City and I don't know why anyone pays any attention to the manure that that right-wing Nevius guy excretes.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 28, 2010 @ 5:02 pm

The sit-lie posse's antics delight people who already oppose Prop L, the civil-sidewalks law. However, the effect on reflective middle voters who have not made up their minds is another matter.

The posse's antics trivialize and mock middle voters' legitimate concerns about sidewalk safety and civility. Not a smart way to win friends at the ballot box.

A similar thing happened when Gavin Newsom pushed his Care Not Cash proposal. Mark Salomon ran around in a chicken suit, mocking Newsom when he appeared at local neighborhood groups to speak about homelessness.

Salomon had a great time of it. And his antics delighted those who already opposed Newsom and Care Not Cash. However, the antics turned off thoughtful middle voters who had not yet made up their minds.

Care Not Cash became law, over the opposition of the board of supes, and Newsom became mayor. The chicken-suit brigade helped bring about these results.

In a city-wide election, acting out and preaching to the choir is not enough. At some point, you have to make intelligent outreach to those outside the choir.

Otherwise, after getting a few good laughs, you end up with a Darwin Award.

Just ask Marc Salomon.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Oct. 28, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

I really hope you enjoy reaping what you have sown in Prop L.

It will provide me with months of entertainment and legal fascination.

Posted by Chris on Nov. 02, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

in political campaigns. The recent Supreme Court decision has has had The Guardian staff clutching their pearls for months now.

Of course - that doesn't apply when anonymous groups engage in vandalism which supports a cause The Guardian favors. THEN they LOVE IT!

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Oct. 28, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

and you abhor the bay guardian so why do you keep coming here with your skanky self? you're always coming here writing your snarky comments and clutching your pro-establishment, pro-wealthy and pro-corporate pearls. what this group engaged in was not vandalism. if the group were pro prop L you wouldn't be calling it vandalism. you'd be cheering the group on, you useless.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 28, 2010 @ 9:42 pm

Comes here for your attention.
Don't give it.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 28, 2010 @ 11:02 pm

Take your own advice sometime genius.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

lets say some right winger set fire to Bay Guardian boxes, it would still be vandalism, any normal person can understand what vandalism is.

Your bizarre views are kooky as the establishment in SF is the goofy left. Attacking the establishment in SF is attacking the bonged out entitled left.

What is pro-wealthy around prop L? Are you a child?

Posted by guest on Oct. 28, 2010 @ 11:29 pm

what is pro-wealthy around prop L? are you that out of it? it's being funded by the wealthy, the banks, the real estate industry. that's pro-wealthy, ASS. that's as pro-wealthy as it gets.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 12:01 am

Prop L will make it illegal for one to be homeless in the City & County of San Francisco. That is deplorable, unconscionable and inhumane. This is all about the wealthy. The wealthy "elite" do not want to see homeless and street people in this City. The Bay Citizen did an article about who's funding it....

Pacific Heights Moguls Fund Sit/Lie
High-tech financiers, not Haight Street merchants, are bankrolling Prop. L

The wealthy "elite" need to face reality. I don't know where they expect people to go when people lose their homes. Unfortunately, I don't think they give a damn where homeless people go as long as the "elite" don't have to see them....

US foreclosure crisis becomes more widespread
Crisis spreading
RealtyTrac's report said that California, Nevada, Florida and Arizona remained the worst affected areas.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 12:39 am

The people who started the ball rolling on sit/lie were the citizens of the city.


If a wealthy person or organization back something, and it is bad because that group or person is wealthy, then you need to not vote at all on anything ever.

Special interest groups are involved in every aspect of politics, complaining about them when they line up against you on one thing, while cheering for them in another is an interesting way to pick and choose your way through politics to always have your way.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

First of all, Arthur Evans has been recycling his alarmist rhetoric and manufacturing emergencies in the Haight for years.
Here he is opposing the “NARCO LOBBY”! in yet another emergency situation in the Haight in 2006:

Sit-Lie was cooked up by Gascon (he was involved with it in L.A. before he, unfortunately for us, came here), and Gavin Newsom's team with the intent of dragging pissed off conservatives to the polls.
C.W. Nevius and the Chronicle provided a firehose of bullshit.
The conservative assholes from the Haight (Arthur Evans, Kent Uyehara, and Ted Ted Loewenberg with the Haight Ashbury Improvement Association) jumped on board next.
Gavin Newsom forced it onto the ballot.
Then Alex Tourk and his henchmen started running the campaign.
Then the Pacific Heights Investment Bankers and Dede Wilsey started throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars at it.

What the fuck are you? An Andy Griffith fan?
Aunt Bee’s Anus or Barney Fife’s Ball Sack would be more like it.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

And yet wrong, have a friend who lives up there and had been going to meetings for years, every meeting Mirkirimi would be asked about doing something about the traveler bums. He would hem and haw and make excuses and then nothing.

It has been gaining momentum in the area for years, Gascon and Newsom didn't attach themselves until later. You're just making an after the fact argument.

It was actually quite a grassroots operation attempting to get Mirkirimi to do something, he didn't do anything, he actively didn't do anything. Then came the "enforce laws already on the books, we want a do over", then came Alieto getting involved, then seeing that he could glom on came Newsom.

Mirkirimi just had to pretend he cared and maybe talk to the station chief some, and it would still be on a slow boil.

This gained momentum supposedly the way that progressives believe the system should work.

1. neighborhood activists see a problem.
2. they take their issue to the uninterested supervisor who is part of the establishment system and nothing gets done.
3. they get some media coverage
4. some "caring" politicians start the ball rolling
5. the media keeps it going
6. it gets on the ballot

In this case the problem is that the establishment is the left, and the wrong media got involved. Stop blaming others for progressive failure and the backlash around their ideology over sense world view.

You don't seem well informed in general on anything so I hope this helps.

I wonder, do you plan on stopping voting altogether since you don't like rich peoples money in politics? It would really add to your credibility and coherent world view if you state that you will never vote again since rich people spend money on elections, often on your side.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 3:06 pm

Yeah, what about all the millionaires that will also be prohibited from laying about on the sidewalks !!!?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 3:23 pm


Posted by Guest on Oct. 28, 2010 @ 6:27 pm
Posted by Guest on Oct. 28, 2010 @ 7:14 pm

some Bay Guardians into the trash.

Posted by guest on Oct. 28, 2010 @ 8:09 pm

Great artwork, very creative -I love it! It's a revolt against this pay-to-play culture where free speech and political participation is only for the rich.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 28, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

One set of rules for the progressives and another for everyone else,

except when it comes to paying for all this crap, then another rule entirely.


Posted by Guest on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 7:20 am

*Putting up campaign posters without identifying the sponsors and money sources

*Vandalizing public property

*Vandalizing private property

Sounds like the religious right, right?

Nope, it's our local progressive sect.

The difference is that the religious right has better grammar and spelling.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Oct. 28, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

Which grammar & spelling errors in the Posse's posters struck you as most egregious?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 6:01 pm

No answer…

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

Let's rig the system so that the big money rules the day, and call it democracy.

Let's criminalize protesting that rigged system and call it vandalism.

And then let's unleash the cops to crack the skulls of peaceful citizens sitting on the sidewalk, and call it "civility."

Posted by Greg on Oct. 28, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

and call it liberalism...

Big money = George Soros and all sorts of other political donors. Big money in SF political culture means public employee unions too.

When was vandalism legal?

When have peaceful SF citizens have had their skulls cracked lately? In the last 20 years or so?

Posted by guest on Oct. 28, 2010 @ 11:21 pm

>>>When have peaceful SF citizens have had their skulls cracked lately? In the last 20 years or so? <<<.................Having a thug cop threaten a citizen with, "Resist again, and I'm going to break your arm like a twig..." isn't too far from that of a cracked skull. In the following video, the thug SFPD cop did not have the maturity to ignore the comment from the skateboard guy. If the cop had possessed the maturity to ignore the comment rather than behaving as though he's in elementary school and where being called a name hurts the tender little cop, he would not have acted on emotion (being called the name) but rather on the legal reason(s) he was called to the scene. This cop was on a power-trip. He should not be part of the SFPD...

Skateboarder arrested by SFPD

What will happen when a homeless or street person (who could be mentally ill) calls a cop "a dick" or "you asshole" or something like that? You don't think a baton will come out quickly if the homeless or street person is approached by the "wrong" cop under sit-lie? Unfortunately, judging by the many rabid hateful and anti-homeless posts I've read on the Chronicle's website forum (and a few on here) from the right-wing pushers of sit-lie, they will applaud the cracking of skulls of homeless and street people. I have read a few posts from the right-wing where they have called for napalm to be used on the homeless and extermination. I had to leave that website after reading that.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 1:21 am

Is it true that you think Karl Marx was a right wing conservative?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 7:18 am

Lucretia comes here for your attention.
Just another self absorbed troll.
Same as Matlock. Same as Arthur Evans.
They're like sentient pieces of shit that stick themselves to your shoe, then delight in your discomfort and frustration.
The best way to clean them off is to ignore them. Just keep walking and they'll dry up and wear off.
It is entertaining to watch them swarm onto the comments pages, raging at the people who won't follow their rules. But just imagine how frustrated they feel when no one answers their attention seeking henpecks.
If you argue with them, it's a gift.
If you ignore them, you deny them the distraction from their own miserable existence.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 6:33 am

They both make fair arguments, so what's is your problem?

Can't you argue your point without calling them pieces of shit.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 8:45 am

These people are ruining this city and their "propoganda artwork" should be taken down!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 9:47 am

Vandalism schmandalism, it doesn't hurt anyone. Not to mention wheatpaste is nontoxic. Harvey Milk stood against Sit/Lie many years ago because he knew it was unconstitutional, which is still the case. Since proponents of L have THOUSANDS more dollars from other rich yuppies, i dont see the problem with some harmless visibility. It's the SF way, any local will tell you SF is vibrant with public artists.

Posted by Guest Heidi Milk on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 9:53 am

It's tiresome to have to clean it up, oddly the city holds a dim view of it, it will write a ticket to people who let vandalism remain. You mean vandalism that you agree with?

If a cause you agree with outspends the other side because some of the backers have deep pockets, do you think that it was unfair?

Posted by gust on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

Matlock and I (Lucretia) are miserable, failed human beings. Being a troll is a manifestation of our deep self-loathing.

Posted by Matlock and Lucreta Snapples on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 9:57 am

It's never a good idea to turn the last few days of a campaign into a public debate over your tactics. But that's what the opponents of civility have succeeded in doing with their boastful busting of the city's laws on ethical campaigning.

As we approach election day, the big issue is no longer the appropriateness of the civil sidewalks law. It's whether and when a group should be given a pass in following the standards of ethical campaigning.

The opponents of civility are coming across as saying they are above campaign civility, at the same time they seek to defeat a law to promote sidewalk civility.

The scene reminds me of when Eileen Hansen ran against Bevan Dufty for supe in district eight. Hansen packaged herself as the principled, ethical alternative to Dufty.

However, shortly before election day, Hansen's progressive supporters plastered rogues signs all over the district purporting to be by Mayor Willie Brown on behalf of Dufty. In fact, they didn't come from Brown at all and bore no indication of their source, which was a violation of campaign ethics, just like the current No on L posters.

The cheesy tactic backfired, becoming an issue in the race just before the polls opened. Dufty won by a small margin.

Here's yet another another example of the opponents of civility shooting themselves in the foot:

The other night there was a group of migratory addicts flopped out on the sidewalk on Castro Street. Their drug paraphernalia was all over the place. Passers-by had to walk around them to get past. Among their wares on the sidewalk was a big No on L sign.

These folks are just plain dumb. That's the only word for it.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

if they took over the Clerk's office in City Hall and refuse to leave until the police came and forced them out?

Here is what Arthur Evans thinks of "civility" and respect for the rule of law:

"We were the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA), a new group dedicated to street activism on behalf of gay issues.
We would explode the smothering silence by using "zaps." These were nonviolent, but militant, face-to-face confrontations ...
An example was a zap in the summer of 1971 involving Herman Katz, the City Clerk of New York...
Once we were inside the office, I made a bee line for the switchboard and started answering the telephone...
I advised the callers that the City Clerk's office was only issuing same-sex licenses that day. I told them that if they weren't gay or lesbian, they couldn't get married.
At that point, a large and not very articulate male bureaucrat entered the room. He started shouting uncontrollably. I felt sorry for him. I figured he was upset because he hadn't received an invitation. So I thrust one into his hand, saying, "Here, you want an invitation to our party?"
Alas, he was a party pooper.He called the police, who eventually arrived with guns and clubs, ready to defend the sanctity of marriage. As the cops entered, I yelled out, "Here they come, the agents of institutionalized violence!" They ordered us to leave, cake and all."

Posted by Guest on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

The opponents of civility seek to equate the migratory addicts and alcoholics who squat on public sidewalks with freedom fighters in the gay liberation movement and other civil-rights struggle.

This equation won't fly. In fact, it's preposterous. You might as well try to argue that 2 = 5.

The migratory addicts and alcoholics sell drugs, urinate and defecate on sidewalks, stab each other, harass passers-by, set fires, destroy parks, sic their pitbulls on residents, and ditch their used hypodermic needles in children's sandboxes.

They don't know what they're doing when they do it, and they don't remember it later, because they're stoned and drunk out of their minds.

Reining in the toxic, out-of-control behavior of migratory addicts and alcoholics is in the interest of both the public, and the addicts and alcoholics themselves.

Defending their toxic behavior enables it.

Let's reclaim the city's public spaces for sanity, civility, and safety.

Vote yes on L, and no on M.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

As stupid as he wants to be!
We (the opponents of your retarded old man fascism) are equating the people who fight for our civil rights, like the right to be present in a public space whether we sit or stand, with every other fight for civil rights.
Only an insane old asshole who has forgotten what it means to be human could argue that some civil rights are worth fighting for, while others should be discarded when you no longer feel that other Americans deserve them.
Your arrogance is exceeded only by your willful ignorance.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

I've got a great idea! I'm surprised they haven't thought of this yet.

Wouldn't it be better if you could get a proposition that makes it illegal to sell drugs, urinate and defecate on sidewalks, stab each other, harass passers-by, set fires, destroy parks, sic their pitbulls on residents, and ditch their used hypodermic needles in children's sandboxes?

That way anyone wanting to sit down otherwise legally could do so, because making sitting down illegal is just stupid.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 3:36 pm


They can do a billboard in 10 minutes? Geeeez, they've made progress from the old days of putting stickers on Chron and Ex street furniture. Imagine if union workers had to do a billboard that fast.

Go Giants!


Posted by Guest h. brown on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 5:46 pm

I got it!

It's gotta be Woody Harrelson. Remember when he hung off one of the bridges with a big banner to protest something or other?


Posted by Guest h. brown on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

Can't find a direct link but Mesha has created a FaceBook site to heap ridicule and scorn on this ignorant, illiterate, pitiful C.W.N-ARSE.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 29, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

Civil Rights are for all Americans.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2010 @ 7:49 am

We don't have to put up with packs of stoned-out and drunken bullies squatting on sidewalks, turning them into their own exclusive turf.

We can make our sidewalks safe and civil for all San Franciscans, not just the bullies.

Vote yes on Prop L and no on Prop M.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Nov. 02, 2010 @ 9:33 am

Don't believe the lies and false alarms.
Don't let bitter liars destroy your freedom.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2010 @ 10:07 am

A friend of mine, who is gay and on HIV disability, was regularly accosted by a street person on his block in SOMA who would always call him a "faggot."

Who's the victim in this scenario?

I proudly voted YES on L and NO on M for his sake, and for the sake of my landlord (who will have to pay several thousand dollars to repair urine damage to the flashing around our building's foundation), and for the sake of the few remaining District 6 residents who help pay the bills.

Enough is enough. No one has the inalienable right to live in San Francisco. I don't care how much of a precious artistic flower you are... if you have several thousand dollars' worth of tattoos, and a dog -- neither of which I can afford -- then you can damn well support yourself and get the fuck off the sidewalks I help pay for.

Posted by Peter on Nov. 02, 2010 @ 10:15 am

Bad news, Sunshine.
Someone can still call your friend a faggot if Prop L passes. They just can't sit while they do it. If there is a cop nearby. If the cop feels like enforcing this law, even though they don't enforce existing laws now.
So you're just screwing the constitutional pooch here.
Nothing more

"A friend of mine, who is gay and on HIV disability, was regularly accosted by a street person on his block in SOMA who would always call him a "faggot.""

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2010 @ 6:14 pm

San Franciscans really need to think about what they're voting for. This is a $500 fine and/or jail time for merely sitting on the frickin' sidewalk! I know nobody likes scruffy kids sitting in front of their businesses, but is something this draconian really the answer? Is this really the kind of "San Francisco values" we want to project?

I'm guessing in the end San Francisco won't do this. I know the conservatives want us all to believe that it's going to pass with flying colors, but this is just too crazy, and I just don't think my fellow San Franciscans are that mean.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 02, 2010 @ 10:21 am

FIrst of all, I'm not "conservative" at all -- despite what the SFBG politburo might say.

Second, I believe Prop L will pass, but I also believe that the Prop M "poison pill" will work as intended, so Chris Fucking Daly's final gift to San Francisco will, as usual, be a big middle finger to the people who pay the bills.

And finally, in case Prop L ever does go into effect, I believe enforcement will be secondary to the chilling effect it would have among those who might otherwise come to SF to colonize our sidewalks. Let them find someplace more congenial for a change.

Posted by Peter on Nov. 02, 2010 @ 10:32 am

If you want to throw people in jail for sitting on the sidewalk in front of their own home, your not just conservative. You're a fascist.

"FIrst of all, I'm not "conservative" at all"
Posted by Peter on Nov. 02, 2010 @ 10:32 am

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

And if consider the rights of the "homeless" more important than the rights of the non-homeless, you're not just a progressive. You're a communist.

"If you want to throw people in jail for sitting on the sidewalk in front of their own home, your not just conservative. You're a fascist."

Posted by Guest on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 11:30 pm

I'm guessing you're wrong a lot.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 10:30 pm