QUEER-IN against SIT/LIE
Saturday, December 18 12-4pm
on the sidewalk in front of 575 Castro Street
As part of the “Sidewalks are for Everyone” day of actions against the newly implemented Sit/ Lie ordinance, we’ll be joining a bunch of Queers around the city who are gathering on the sidewalk outside Harvey Milk’s old camera store to reclaim our right to the sidewalks and public spaces of the Castro and the city at large. We have chosen the old camera store as our meet-up spot in protest of plans by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to rent Harvey’s old headquarters. HRC is an organization that has left transgender folks out of ENDA (federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act) and generally not been about including all of us at the table.
We won’t let HRC co-opt Harvey’s legacy, just as we won’t let the police decide who can sit on the sidewalks!**
Join us in our celebration of a Be-In style QUEER IN: bring musical instruments, games, food to share, things to sell or give-away or barter, face painting kits, fun activity to engage in, good conversation, jumping ropes, etc.
There will also be a ceremony to honor AJ Trasvina, and other queer youth who passed away this year.
Some Quick Sit/Lie talking points from the Coalition on Homelessness:
1. This law is the descendant of other social exclusion laws like vagrancy and loitering laws. The periods that produced these laws are portions of our history that we do not look back on with pride.
In the 1950s and ’60s, loitering laws were used to target black people involved in that era’s civil rights struggle. From 1968–1979, San Francisco had a sit/lie law that was designed to be used against hippies in the Haight. By the mid-’70s, SFPD was using the sit/lie law against gay men in the Castro. Eventually, San Francisco’s sit/lie law was struck down due to constitutional challenges. We need laws that are not overly broad to deal with real criminal issues, and social services to deal with social problems.
2. What we are doing right now will become illegal under a sit/lie law. Do we want sidewalks where vibrant city life becomes criminal?
All of can think of times in our lives when we’ve sat or lied down on sidewalks—like when we’re waiting for a ride and there’s no bench, but we’re tired and want to sit down. This law will criminalize totally innocent behavior. Why would we put a law on the books with the intention that it be selectively enforced? We need better solutions, honestly rooted in our communities, rather than unconstitutional solutions that reflect the values of our new Chief of Police. This is not how San Francisco deals with our problems.
3. Our neighborhoods are safer when we have our communities on the streets than they are when streets are empty.
This law is designed to clear our sidewalks. We are safest when there are people in our vicinity who can see what’s happening to us. We don’t in any way discount the fears and frustrations that people experience while sharing public space with others, but we believe there are positive solutions that, unlike this law, will actually work.
* Articles about the Camera Shop Controversy: