Here come the sidewalk sitters

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(35)
Criminals.
By TheeErin via Wikimedia Commons

As soon as it became clear on election night that Prop. L had passed, I wondered if opponents would organize some sort of mass sit-down or sleep-in as a response. Today, it appears that some San Franciscans are orchestrating just that. I've been alerted via Facebook to two different sidewalk sits in response to the passage of Prop. L.

Sidewalk sitters plan to stage the first one outside the Westfield Shopping Center on Sunday, Nov. 7. Here's an excerpt from the event description, written in such colorful language that it almost comes off as a parody: "We are going assert our right (and the right of the homeless and homeless veterans) to sit anywhere we damn well fucking please by having lunch on the aforementioned fucking sidewalk in front of Westfield shopping center... this Sunday @ 1:00. The purpose is to hang out, have lunch, be visible, embody TRUE San Francisco values, network with folks about the next steps in the anti-prop L fight and to have fun. Of course getting cited for sitting on the sidewalk is a totally glamorous possibility that we will opportunistically use to the most dramatic effect possible. This is lunch, but it's also a protest." It urges participants to bring food to share. The post also encourages people to bring their kids along.

The second event is planned for Monday, Nov. 8, outside San Francicsco City Hall, and its organizers are more succint:

"calling all san franciscans and all humanity to a solidarity sit-in against the passage of proposition L--the so-called Sit/Lie law. bring your ASSets to city hall on monday, nov. 8 at 12 noon. if you can't make it to city hall, sit on the closest sidewalk."

Not sure if "all humanity" will mobilize for the cause, but it should be interesting.

Meanwhile, the drivers behind the official No on L campaign seem to be focusing their efforts on a more, um, lawful plan of attack. "We're taking L to court," declares a message posted today on the No on L campaign page on Facebook. "But we're still ironing out the fundamentals of strategy. Keep an eye out for an announcement in the coming week."

San Francisco voters approved Prop. L, the ordinance that bans sitting and lying down on city sidewalks, with 53 percent of the vote.

Comments

Well, it's not like they'll have any jobs to go to.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

You remember - the ones Palin talked about?

Have you ever thought of how much this kind of rank hyperbole resembles the same shit peddled by the Republican party?

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

It is the same. Arizona is trying to get rid of people they see as a problem. So is San Francisco. No difference. Just a lot of hypocrisy.

Posted by GT on Nov. 09, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

I thought the law has a 9-day grace period before it takes effect -- meaning nobody at these protests can be fined for violating Sit/Lie.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 4:33 pm

I'd like to organize a protest in front of the homes of the people organizing the demonstration so I can eat lunch, leave all my trash, shit and piss on the doorstep, and block the entrance to their garage and front door. (Not to mention, drinking, drugging and being a overall nuisance)

Posted by Guest on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

I called the police on a group of loafers blocking my front door today and the police sent someone out to remove them immediately. Thanks SFPD

Posted by Guest on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 5:02 pm

Too bad you didn't or don't posses the social skills to politely ask the group of people to move who supposedly was blocking your front door today. If you had possessed the necessary social skills it would have saved the City some money, but instead you chose to cost the City money by calling the SFPD. It sounds like a case of paranoia on your part. Get help, and quit calling people you don't even know "loafer."

Posted by Guest on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

My taxes goes towards paying the salary of SFPD. If I can't call them to move the group along then why am I paying my taxes?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 08, 2010 @ 2:12 am

So you want to do all the things that you whine about other people supposedly doing? You want to "eat lunch, leave all my trash, shit and piss on the doorstep, and block the entrance to their garage and front door....drinking, drugging and being a overall nuisance." They are the things you complain about in other people supposedly doing. Correct? Correct. So when you do them, what will that make you? A HYPOCRITE. It's all about hypocrisy these days. The more of it the better it is in some people's mind. Why do people live in an area they don't like? Move if you're unhappy there. And as I have previously written, the right-wing sit pushers are certainly showing themselves to be just that. Hypocrites. As well as liars and deceivers. They create any kind of fiction for their agenda and fail to see their own hypocrisy, such as the post I'm responding to.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

Yeah! because that's all that people do when they sit on a sidewalk!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 08, 2010 @ 12:18 am

How does that have anything to do with this. There are already laws against every one of those things. Sit/lie applies to 65% of the city's residents.

Posted by GT on Nov. 09, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

Good to hear about these protests. I was in the vicinity of Harvey's Bar and Restaurant at Castro/18th Street earlier this afternoon. You'll never guess who I saw leaning against a parking meter and eating an ice cream cone in front of Harvey's. You'll never guess so I'll tell you. It was Arthur Evans. YEEEEEEES! He was parked up against a parking meter eating his ice cream cone and did so for quite awhile. He was NOT WALKING on the sideWALK. He was LEANING on the parking meter. I thought: How is that any different than sitting on the sidewalk? In both cases, one is immobile or not moving. Where he was standing/leaning I've seen street people sit in the past, in the exact same location. And of course we have been told repeatedly by the right-wing pushers of sit-lie that sideWALKS are for WALKING, not standing/leaning and eating ice cream cones or sitting. I was wondering what would be the next thing on his right-wing agenda he would want banned. Perhaps leaning against parking meters is up next? No, because HE does THAT, or maybe he would push for that, but it would not apply to him. The hypocrisy of the right-wing sit-lie pushers is just astounding to see. I told the friend I was with, "that's Arthur Evans there." She said, "THAT'S Arthur Evans....he looks like someone's grandfather, not at all what I had pictured." Of course Arthur would call that comment "ageist" (he loves to drag out words like that), but the comment my friend made is quite accurate.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

That stalking people and posting that information on the Internet is not only abnormal (and potentially criminal) behavior but also just plain fucking weird?

You REALLY need to get a life there Barbie aka: SAM.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

whats the problem? she saw a pile of shit on the sidewalk and warned people not to step on it. i would think both the pile of shit and the people who don't step on it will be equally grateful.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

I guess you were too chickenshit to actually go up and say something to him, huh?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 11:42 pm

I just got word that these protests are not No on L campaign events, they are being organized independently. No on L is still crafting its official response. Just so it's clear.

Posted by rebecca on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

Could we please amend this law so that it also applies to entitled mindless, primarily white 'housed', folks who block sidewalks in front of the latest hip eateries while chatting and texting the 'specials of the day'; couples who block sidewalks with their double wide strollers and two dogs as they gossip and gush about how cute their charges are; latte sippers who sit happily inhaling carbon monoxide fumes ignoring the senior with a walker who is trying to get to get the corner store to buy toilet paper and wonderbread.
PROPOSITION HELL.
Racist, Elitist, Ugly and Unnecessary, Duplicative, Redundant Legislation that ignorant NIMBY'S voted in, totally ignorant unmindful of how it increases the power of the state to target, harass and criminalize ANY group it considers 'undesirable'. Hope you're not Jewish, but if so I hope you reflect on Pastor Niemoller words. If you're not Jewish I hope you familiarize yourselves with his words and in the future think deeply, and twice, before voting once.

Posted by Guest. Patrick Monk.RN on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

Speaking of the self-entitled and self-absorbed and those 2, 3 and 4 seat baby strollers.....Is no one using condoms anymore? What happened to the condom industry? It must be dead. Have people still not heard that the world is already overpopulated or do they not care? I have to walk out in the street to get around the baby strollers. The people pushing the strollers are completely oblivious that anyone else lives in this City as they proceed to show off their little trophies and what follows is the perfunctory gitchie gitchie goo. I was in a store today and one of the cashiers told me that he doesn't know what is wrong with people. (I urged him not to get me started.) He said they're too busy texting at the register to even say hello to him. He said he hardly gets to talk with anyone anymore. As I was walking up Castro today, I was walking behind this one person, I glanced in a restaurant for about a second and when I looked straight ahead I was about to crash into someone who had stopped dead in the middle of the sidewalk TEXTING. If I hadn't looked ahead quickly we would have collided. I hope this person does not drive a vehicle otherwise he will cause many rear-enders. Some people just instantly stop anywhere without any consideration or thought that there might be someone behind them. This guy was too busy texting. And don't even get me started on the mindless stuff that people are texting!

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

Thank you for this comment!!!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 05, 2010 @ 11:31 am

Now that the election is over and my street actions can do no further damage to RAFI, I'm going to start doing what I had planned on doing a year ago, especially on weekends. You can buy for a few dollars, at places like Valencia Cyclery, a bicycle horn that you can put in your pocket. Carry one with you and if the schmucks dont move, blast 'em.

Posted by Guest. Patrick Monk.RN on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

Patrick> What a great idea! I can't stop laughing. I walk all over downtown and I always encounter people like described above.

Posted by GuestIntears on Nov. 04, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

I wonder why it was a higher priority for you to write about this on the internet rather than to actually do it.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 9:43 pm

i dont live in san francisco anymore. i moved a year ago because i didn't enjoy living there anymore. and you know what? that had nothing to do with people sitting on the side walk or spare changing. i moved because the city was/has/is becoming a playground for the rich and all of the character and culture that originally endeared the city to me is receding, year by year.
for instance, the clarion alley block party was one of my favorite events. every year a committee of artists would revamp and touch up the murals there and hold a block party on a sunday in october to unveil the new pieces. local bands would play, and it was free and it really had this aura of community and purpose behind it. well thats gone now, after the police demanded something crazy like 1000 dollars (i dont remember the exact figure, but it was that or more) to have to officers patrol the event. that was completely unnecessary because there had never been any violence or vandalism at any of the events... but i digress...
y'know, other people sit on sidewalks besides the homeless. whats wrong with sitting on a sunny street with a friend and people watching or reading a book? it turns into a situation where you have to legitimize just BEING there, and i dont want to have to buy a latte and sit at a coffee shop just so i can be outside. people infringe on others freedom too much, and i don't believe annoyance is a good enough reason. i'm annoyed by people who let their children scream their heads off in museums and on the bus, but i wouldn't tell them that they didn't have the right to be there.

Posted by jack bradley on Nov. 06, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

Couldn't have said it better myself. I still have hope for this city, and I don't know of anyplace better. But every time someone like you moves out, the character of the city changes for the worse.

BTW... there's a name for it when a group of heavily armed individuals demands protection money from a legitimate enterprise as a condition of being allowed to exist.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 08, 2010 @ 11:49 am

It prohibits people from sitting or laying on public sidewalks from 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., and fine repeat offenders.

That doesn't exactly include pretentious marina jackasses from having their babies sit in front of the mall in the middle of the day.

If you were against Prop L, please post your home address so we can leave our crap in a pile in front of your house, take a piss in your doorway, and then shit on your step. Because, you know, "sidewalks are for people!!!"

Can't you people find some useful thing to do with your lives apart from trying to establish the rights of rich suburban kids to grow out dreads and beg for change on the corner in front of Walgreens? Build a proper shelter so the homeless have a safe place to live, but don't act like you're saving the world by promoting drunk bums laying in their own shit all night in a camp of garbage.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 07, 2010 @ 6:38 pm

But how is eliminating them from the sidewalk helping the homeless cause? Just because you don't see them on the sidewalk doesn't mean they disappear. Every human being has rights-- rich, poor, drunk, or lazy.. any stereotype you feel like casting. .

Posted by Guest on Nov. 08, 2010 @ 12:24 am

" sit in front of the mall in the middle of the day."
If ANYONE does this now, anywhere in San Francisco, they are committing a CRIME.
Your aggressive stupidity does not change this fact.
Congratulations on giving up your civil rights as an American in exchange for a futile attack on a small group of people you dislike.

Pleas post YOUR home address so we can all bring our children to point and laugh at the ignorant crybaby who has no use for his own Constitutional Rights.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 08, 2010 @ 3:27 pm

Has anyone on this thread lived in SF long enough to remember Mayor Jordan's MATRIX program where the police did warn/ticket for sitting on the sidewalk? It did clear up the sidewalks for about a month or two until there was a backlash & that part was left mostly unenforced.

I had been warned to stand by police when I sat on the curb after the first hour & half waiting for MUNI at a no-bench bus stop. I stood-up, problem solved.

I would just encourage the City to also replace more bus stop/public seating to correspond with enforcement.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 09, 2010 @ 6:26 am

"Enforcing laws already on the books" has never been popular with the types of people who were just claiming that we should do that.

Maybe thats why the present board kept repeating that "enforce laws..." mantra at first, none of those people have lived here long enough to remember this stuff, or they are just full of shit as usual.

Posted by matlock on Nov. 09, 2010 @ 11:20 am

Hey Guardian,
I put together some real quick maps from SF Election's statement of the votes and SF's GIS data so folks could see how the sit lie votes came down by precinct.

My apologies for errors, I didn't have time to thoroughly clean the data, so there may be a few precincts that didn't survive my merge, and are without data.

http://www.polkapolka.net/sitlie/sitlie.png
http://www.polkapolka.net/sitlie/sitlienumbers.png

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2010 @ 9:42 am

This totally puts to rest the lie that Arthur had been perpetuating that his neighbors support this piece of shit. In reality, conservatives from Pac Heights and West of Twin Peaks shoved it down the throats of Haight residents!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2010 @ 10:42 am

Actually, it looks like it was a pretty close race from your graphs. Which should tell all of you something about your tactics. This whole revolución fantasy world many of you seem to inhabit is not really helping you accomplish your goals, is it? If you want people to repeal sit/lie, the first thing you're going to have to do is stop hating them just because they've been financially successful. This whole sit/lie thing only passed because the "Progressives" have been giving the finger to anyone with a job or a family for years, basically pushing them around because they outnumbered them. But they went too far and now the bourgeoisie are pushing back. This whole thing could have been avoided if only the Progressives Leaders of San Francisco had been willing to listen to the concerns of their fellow citizens. Instead, they've viewed them with nothing but scorn and contempt. Bad move. Your neo-Marxist Dream for a Future San Francisco just isn't ever going to happen. You're going to have to learn to get along with the middle class, kids. They are the ones paying for all your social experiments after all. But you're in luck! In turns out that the latte-sipping honky breeders of SF aren't really that bad a bunch. We're fairly generous, usually very tolerant, and pretty big-hearted. Yes, really. Let's stop hurling insults and lets start talking. There's a compromise in here somewhere.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 11, 2010 @ 3:44 am

Here's a real-life situation that happened to me this week. I was downtown doing some light shopping when I started feeling some pretty sharp pains in my lower abdomen. I remembered it was nearing that time of the month and reached into my purse for a couple advil and some bottled water (the mary poppins bag). I popped a couple advil and swallowed some water, but the pains were getting stronger the more I walked. I looked around for a bench to sit on or even a little coffee house to rest until the pills kicked in. It was at this point I realized there was not one bench or coffee-type shop in sight! In order to sit down anywhere, I would have to probably buy a dinner in a restaurant. There was always the fast food nearby, but I would still have to get at least a sandwich of some sort. I wasnt hungry at all. Then I remembered a bus stop bench around the corner and always just sit there for a minute until i can walk again.
As I rounded the corner I noticed the bench and its coverings were gone! And THEN I remembered when I used to take this route home in the late evenings. Walking by this bus stop I would see a little old lady sitting in the corner sleeping. Always there at the same time every night, quiet, bundled up in her clothes, her cane resting on the bench. This was her home. Her shelter from the rain. Now its gone, and so is she.
I was crumpled over now from the pain so I did the only thing I could do which was SIT ON THE SIDEWALK! I'm sure with my Mary Poppins bag I looked like I was taking up residence here and I wondered how long it would be before someone came and told me to leave.
If anyone knows any other options, aside from a future hysterectomy that I would've had please let me know. I know my gelcaps take about 20 minutes to work with an empty stomach and thats about as long as I would have needed to sit. I didnt want to take a cab or a bus home yet because I had one other place I had to go that couldnt wait until tomorrow.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2010 @ 8:46 am

Here's a real-life situation that happened to me this week. I was downtown doing some light shopping when I started feeling some pretty sharp pains in my lower abdomen. I remembered it was nearing that time of the month and reached into my purse for a couple advil and some bottled water (the mary poppins bag). I popped a couple advil and swallowed some water, but the pains were getting stronger the more I walked. I looked around for a bench to sit on or even a little coffee house to rest until the pills kicked in. It was at this point I realized there was not one bench or coffee-type shop in sight! In order to sit down anywhere, I would have to probably buy a dinner in a restaurant. There was always the fast food nearby, but I would still have to get at least a sandwich of some sort. I wasnt hungry at all. Then I remembered a bus stop bench around the corner and always just sit there for a minute until i can walk again.
As I rounded the corner I noticed the bench and its coverings were gone! And THEN I remembered when I used to take this route home in the late evenings. Walking by this bus stop I would see a little old lady sitting in the corner sleeping. Always there at the same time every night, quiet, bundled up in her clothes, her cane resting on the bench. This was her home. Her shelter from the rain. Now its gone, and so is she.
I was crumpled over now from the pain so I did the only thing I could do which was SIT ON THE SIDEWALK! I'm sure with my Mary Poppins bag I looked like I was taking up residence here and I wondered how long it would be before someone came and told me to leave.
If anyone knows any other options, aside from a future hysterectomy that I would've had please let me know. I know my gelcaps take about 20 minutes to work with an empty stomach and thats about as long as I would have needed to sit. I didnt want to take a cab or a bus home yet because I had one other place I had to go that couldnt wait until tomorrow.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2010 @ 8:47 am

My friends on the SFPD tell me that no one is really going to enforce this law anyway.
Then, after a wasteful expenditure of taxpayer's money on city attorneys fighting against the US Constitution, this piece of crap is going to get shoved back down Gascon's throat.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2010 @ 8:32 pm