[Hpn] two regrets, and two questions...

unclescam unclescam@buskers.org
Mon, 21 Aug 2000 21:13:58 -0400

so this is your nominee for poverty pimp of the year ?

"Coalition on Homelessness, SF" wrote:

> Hey Harmonica Tom, welcome back!
> the posting below is as per your request. I didn't write it to fan
> the flames of controversy, I wrote it in response to some postings on
> the LA IMC from allies of ours. You should read all the postings
> regarding Hayes to gain a more complete picture of his disgraceful
> role during the DNC. We have enough real work ahead of us without
> dealing with the loose cannons rolling around the deck.
> LA was quite an eye-opening experience. I heard someone say at the
> rally in Pershing Square before the Human Needs Not Corporate Greed
> march that it was the the second time in their life that they were a
> part of a movement that has joined so many in the struggle. ditto for
> me. and I'm certain it's going to be a bumpy ride before all's said
> and done.
> as for your second request, I believe the folks to direct police
> abuse reports from the DNC would be the Midnight Special Law
> Collective (gotta love that name - sounds like some kind of groovy
> bail bond operation, but it's not). their phone number is 323 /
> 939.3039 and their email is neo@lawcollective.org. If anyone learns
> differently please let me know.
> I gotta deadline (like what else is new?) I'll be posting further
> reports from the front lines of the battle to rescue justice when I
> pull my nose off my monitor sometime later this week.
> peace,
> ch@nce
> ================================================================
> http://la.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=2959
> (or two regrets, and two questions...)
> by ch@nce 8:00pm Sat Aug 19 '00
> coh@sfo.com
> I can see that I'm not going to be able to successfully hold my
> tongue about Ted Hayes...
> Let me preface these remarks by qualifying my perspective. My name is
> chance martin, I work for the Coalition on Homelessness San Francisco
> where I edit the STREET SHEET - the oldest street newspaper on the
> west coast. I've been a homeless advocate/activist for about 10
> years, except unlike Mr. Hayes - who maintains that he voluntarily
> chose to live among "the homeless" - I became homeless when I lost my
> small business behind disability in 1988. Perhaps the reason why
> Hayes can so casually objectify homeless people by labeling them as
> "the homeless" is because he sees them as separate from himself. And
> labeling, after all, is the first step in disempowering any group of
> people. Self-appointed leaders like Hayes invariably predicate their
> "leadership" on their success at disempowering their followers.
> That being said, allow me to state that Ted Hayes is the most
> tireless, most shameless self-promoter that I've ever met in all my
> years of homeless advocacy. Do a search on Dogpile for "Ted Hayes"
> and you'll see what I mean. Hayes has carved out a niche for himself
> by making statements in the corporate media that pander to the
> "quality of life" crowd, and frequently at the direct expense of the
> civil rights of the same homeless people he claims to represent.
> I first met Hayes at at statewide civil rights organizing conference
> in L.A. several years ago. Or, more correctly, I met Hayes and his
> entourage, including an attractive European videographer who shooting
> a documentary NOT about homelessness, but about Ted Hayes. It seems
> he was using the conference as a backdrop for his latest vehicle for
> self-aggrandizement.
> At first I was puzzled, because Hayes' remarks were so far off-topic
> from the workshop's discussions that I was starting to mistake him
> for another drug causality. Then I realized that he wasn't even
> speaking with US, and that all of his comments were solely for the
> benefit of the camera. As this became clear, I dismissed Hayes as an
> aberration, paid scant attention to his theatrical posturings, and
> said silent thanks that homeless advocacy in San Francisco hadn't yet
> "gone Hollywood."
> Thankfully, Hayes stayed pretty much off my radar until very
> recently, when we received an invitation to send a "delegation" to
> his "National Homeless Convention" at Dome Village. The stated
> purpose of this gathering was to gather input for a "National
> Homeless Plan." I had my reservations, but since we were sending a
> group to participate in the protests anyway, and especially since we
> spent a great deal of time last year developing an action plan to end
> homelessness in San Francisco
> we thought we'd check it out.
> I spoke to some folks at Dome Village by phone, and asked for a draft
> of the document they were working from so we could be prepared to
> participate. They faxed a program and agenda, and pretty sketchy ones
> at that. Not to be deterred, I checked out Dome Village's url, and
> what I found there was disturbing, to put it mildly.
> The two most clearly articulated components of Hayes' plan were: 1)
> the plan's basic intent was to create an even greater role for
> corporate interests by inviting them to become stakeholders in the
> creation of a domestic "Marshall Plan" (the post WWII U.S. policy
> that opened war-torn Europe to exploitation by corporate interests
> and laid the foundation for the present European economic union), and
> 2) installing none other than Ted Hayes as national "homeless czar,"
> heading a Presidential Commission for "the Homeless." Can you say
> "grandiosity?" Can you say "lack of insight?" Seems like Mr. Hayes is
> one ambitious man.
> Also disturbing was that the url's content changed almost daily. This
> presented a problem for me because I had been asked to critique
> Hayes' Plan for an interview with a Los Angeles micropower radio
> station through LA IMC. Ultimately, I decided not to take Ted Hayes
> to task for solidarity's sake (and since we were going to participate
> in his convention) and spoke instead about the plan we developed, and
> about the National Civil Rights Organizing Project we're working on.
> That is my first regret.
> A couple of us stopped by Dome Village Monday (after we missed the
> start of the U'wa demo) to see if we should find parking and bring
> the other ten folks in our group to Hayes' "Homeless Conference." A
> large white canopy had been erected, under beneath which sat a stage
> and row upon row of empty chairs. Dangling in hopeful anticipation
> from the canopy's support poles were signs designating where
> representatives from the various corporate media outlets could set up
> their cameras, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX... etc.
> Thinking this was only a lull in the activities, we wandered further
> to the registration table, and then entered Dome Village - a cluster
> of neat and wonderfully habitable little "buckyballs" in a well
> shaded, park-like setting nestled beneath the freeway. It certainly
> had the look of a "model" habitat - the kind of "model" you promote
> to funders for more free money. After all, Dome Village was initially
> funded by a quarter-million dollar grant from ARCO - one of many
> "models" of corporate savagery - and receives ongoing support from
> the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Can you say
> "one strike" rule?
> Hayes wasn't there. Few were there, except some residents and a lady
> I've corresponded with via a homeless email list. (hi, Catalina!) And
> no-one there could offer a single confident statement about when, or
> if, anything was ever going to happen. Sadly, it was a non-event. We
> hung around and made polite talk for a few minutes, then hiked back
> to the van to eventually catch up with the end of the march (more on
> that later).
> The only other time during our stay (we returned to SF Tuesday
> evening) that we passed by Dome Village, a band was playing in the
> cool shade of that big white canopy to those same silent rows of
> empty seats. The band was pretty good - the scene looked like a
> surreal wedding reception after the bride got stood up. My guess is
> that being so roundly ignored is precisely why Ted Hayes decided to
> up the ante.
> Later that evening, we had already gravitated to the barriers before
> LAPD gave the dispersal order following RAtM's protest performance.
> Our group couldn't risk arrest because three of us were in jeopardy
> from INS, so we headed down Olympic to Loyola Law School where we had
> scammed free parking (because several others of us were legal
> observers). About the same time we arrived at our destination we
> heard several loud pops in the distance, and saw several LAPD cars
> and ambulances screaming down Olympic while LAPD's helicopters began
> their late evening light show. I only learned later that the LAPD had
> decided to begin their candy-assed pissing match in earnest. So many
> of my friends and comrades were injured in the ensuing police riot
> that I can only say that is my second regret.
> One occasion when Ted Hayes surfaced on my radar screen since the
> civil rights conference was when he stepped forward to exonerate the
> LAPD after a certain officer snuffed Margaret LaVerne Mitchell - a
> 5'1" African-American homeless grandmother allegedly suffering from
> mental illness - because she waved a six-inch screwdriver at him in
> self-defense from a distance of six to eight feet. Hayes ensured that
> he seized his media moment (off Margaret's dead back) by instead
> blaming homeless advocates (with the notable exception of himself)
> for permitting her the misfortune to be pushing a shopping cart down
> La Brea Ave. past some quality-of-life enforcement bicycle cops in
> the first place.
> Ironically, when Hayes was victimized himself by the same gang of
> brutal, racist, violent, redneck thugs he then chose to blame the
> anarchists (does anyone else detect a pattern here?) Blame-laying is
> game-playing, and Hayes knows how to play his self-promotion game for
> media exposure points by blaming anyone handy, especially those
> groups who threaten his corporate and governmental benefactors most.
> A photographer friend of mine (who had her shoulder shattered in the
> panic after the cops opened fire and charged the people who hadn't
> managed to escape the protest pit in time on Monday night) told me
> that Hayes had set up a barricade of homeless people between the
> protesters and the cops. And that's my biggest question - was Hayes
> so desperate for some media attention in the midst of the spectacle
> unfolding around him (which he was vociferously boycotting because he
> couldn't be its focus) that he would place innocent people in harm's
> way?
> My second biggest question is this: was Hayes actually injured, or
> was he dramatizing another silly-assed martyr trip for the cameras?
> As a social anarchist, I have deep concerns whether Hayes is, indeed,
> a provocateur or some another flavor of cop symp. If he's dependent
> on HUD funding, we can safely assume that he is thoroughly
> compromised. Someone of the investigative bent should go to Dome
> Village and demand to see a copy of his project's most current form
> 990. Non-profits must provide them on request to the public by law.
> It would be very instructive in the purposes of learning exactly who
> truly holds the strings to the media puppet we know as Ted Hayes.
> Yesterday, when I was playing the video from the LA IMC site of Hayes
> (after his *miraculous* recovery) to a couple members of our LA crew,
> who also happen to be African-American, they asked, "What in the hell
> is his message?" and "Is that supposed to make sense?"
> My reply: "Some of us carry a message, others carry a mess."
> The views represented here are the views of chance martin, and not
> necessarily shared by all the members of the Coalition on
> Homelessness, San Francisco.
> **In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is
> distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior
> interest in receiving this type of information for non-profit research and
> educational purposes only.**
> ***********************************************************
> 8000+ articles by or via homeless & ex-homeless people
> INFO & to join/leave list - Tom Boland <wgcp@earthlink.net>
> Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy
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> _______________________________________________
> --
> Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
> 468 Turk St.
> San Francisco, CA 94102
> vox: (415) 346.3740
> Fax: (415) 775.5639
> coh@sfo.com
> http://www.sfo.com/~coh
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