[Hpn] inyaface chunky style pt. 3

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Fri, 01 Dec 2000 17:40:59 -0700

Police violence report

On September 22, I was held in the SFPD holding cell at the Hall of Justice.
This was an involuntary visit, as well as an illegal detention. I was
arrested, in my capacity as a defense attorney, for trying to pass through
an illegally formed police line at the entrance to the Hall of Justice at
850 Bryant Street. 

I was attempting to visit clients who were arrested in a demonstration that
occurred earlier that day. After unsuccessfully attempting to gain access to
Hall of Justice, I was handcuffed and led inside, ultimately arriving at the
holding cell. 

While I was being subjected to this illegal detention, I had occasion to
witness this disturbing display of police brutality:

A San Francisco police officer led a handcuffed homeless man into the
holding cell where I was being held. The officer roughly spun the man around
and told him to sit down on the bench. The cop said this on his way out of
the cell, in seeming afterthought. The detainee was not acting out or
defiant, he was simply standing near the corner of the cell. He only
responded by saying, ³I¹d prefer to stand, thank you.² He remained standing
and handcuffed, facing the officer.

Five or six feet separated the officer from the handcuffed man, who was much
shorter and much smaller than the cop.

The officer stepped back into the cell and faced the man. He began to shift
his weight back and onto his left foot while he lifted his right leg. The
officer then suddenly lunged forward, placing a solid martial arts kick to
the handcuffed man¹s chest. As a result of the cop¹s blow, the detainee was
violently driven into the concrete wall behind him with force. Because his
hands were still handcuffed behind his back, he could not ward off the SFPD
officer¹s brutal kick to his chest, and there was also no way he could
prevent the resulting impact when his body slammed against the wall of the
holding cell.

The man bounced from the wall and then collapsed onto the bench, obviously
stunned and physically injured.

The cop then walked across the cell to the injured detainee and kneeled down
beside him. The officer placed his hands on the helpless prisoner¹s head,
pulled it up to face him and said, ³now you be a good little boy.²

The SFPD member, who was white, then playfully slapped at the man, who was
African American, on the side of his face. As the police officer cruelly
emphasized the detainee¹s helplessness, he kept repeating ³now you be a good

Adam Arms
Searching for breathing room

About a year ago, a group of us formed with a simple vision ‹ open a space
in San Francisco that would truly BE for San Francisco. It was to be a
community center, store for various publications, hand-crafted goods and
other hard-to-find items, a resource center, with local groups listed,
meeting space, alternative library, performance venue, community kitchen,
the center of a new economy; and a place for the homeless, youth and other
folks without a place to simply BE, hang out, work, and hopefully meet new

Obviously, all of these things are necessary in this city today.

We had a very clear idea, that it would be very hard to get people involved
in the early days of such a huge project, and that most people would not
want to put their energies into it until we had a concrete space to work
from. With that in mind, we have tried to put together a strong structure
and gather funds WHILE looking for some suitable space to house our lofty
ideas. It has been a draining and heartbreaking experience, yet, after all,
not that much of a surprise.

At this point we have achieved non-profit status, had many successful
benefits, gotten our first grants, tabled at numerous events and gatherings,
been a presence at other groups¹ actions and events, and have started to
make a name for ourselves with other groups and in the community at large.
We currently host a monthly, community-building open mike, as well as a
monthly potluck, are in the process of helping with a free school weekend at
New College, and much more. But we still do not have a space.

At first we were not surprised that people were suspicious, we had just
thrown ourselves into a collective and were suddenly asking landlords to
trust that we could pay our rent. WE didn¹t even trust that we could pay our
rent! But we were sure that just keeping up the search would keep our name
out there. We attempted to join together with other groups who were also
desperate for space. We called more nasty realtors and landlords than you
can imagine. At the same time we were also getting the word out, meeting new
people, getting our non-profit status, and becoming ³official.² But we were
still getting the same treatment ‹ if we weren¹t a developer or a dot.com,
they didn¹t want to hear about it.

Recently a man approached us who said he was putting together a space for
activist and non-profit groups. If we helped out with the construction, he
was willing to cut us a deal. It was a smaller space than what we were
hoping for, but we were excited that finally we would at least have space
for a couch so people could come in and rest their bones.

After rushing together our list of things we needed in a space (all accepted
by our ³benefactor²), getting together the workers, and making sure we had
the money, our man disappeared from the face of the earth. We were unsure
what his motives were in getting our hopes up, but he has added to the pile
of frustration and anger building within us.

All around us, groups helping those of us down on our luck are being
evicted, or forced out by rising rents, while the numbers of people in need
grow exponentially. We lose community space as fast as we lose our homes.
Business is welcomed with open arms, while groups like ours are not even
able to scrounge out a space to put up our feet.

Youth spaces are disappearing, the growing numbers of homeless people have
nowhere to go. There is no more neutral space for the different people of
this city to meet on common ground. There is not even an open and dedicated
meeting space for the groups of this city to plan and discuss their agendas
comfortably. And the people in power keep on pushing.

We are not giving up our dreams; we are not giving up the fight. Despite a
year of heartbreak, we will continue, but in a different vein. No longer
will we search for a space to put that couch, now we are beginning to reach
out to those who still have space, and are willing to let us use it for
workshops, shows, spoken word, meals, what-have-you. If we cannot create a
literal safe place for the people of our communities, let us create a safe
community of involved spaces, groups, and individuals. Now more than ever we
must come together to take back our city.

Only then will we all have the breathing room we need.

If you know of a space that would welcome us, want more info, or just want
to chat, contact us:
415-789-8000 x1180
or c/o janice flux
p.o. box 16651
San Francisco, ca 94116-0651

janice flux

¿Caridad o Justicia?

Ahora que se acerca la temporada de fiestas oímos por todos lados que esta
es la temporada del amor y la hermandad. Los medios de comunicación,
nuestras organizaciones religiosas, y la sociedad en general alientan que
realicemos actos de caridad para actuar en el espíritu de amor por el
prójimo. ¿Pero realmente es esto lo que quiere decir el amor por el prójimo?

En San Francisco, el número de desalojos se ha triplicado desde 1996, un 25%
de la gente desamparada son familias, un 40% de la gente desamparada trabaja
pero no gana lo suficiente como para pagar vivienda decente, y la lista de
espera para un refugio (³shelter²) familar es de mas de 100 personas. En
este contexto, el amor por el projimo tiene que llegar mas allá de la
caridad - requiere un compromiso a la terminar con la injusticia que es la
causa raíz de estos problemas.

Donar ropa, jugetes o dinero a la gente que lo necesita nunca terminará con
la pobreza. 

Donar tiempo para servir comida gratis a la gente hambrienta nunca terminará
con el hambre. 

Donar dinero a un refugio no terminará con la crisis de vivienda.

No importa si se dona una vez o mil, la caridad nunca terminará con  la
injusticia social. De hecho, en alguna forma estas soluciones de corto plazo
sirven para esconder la realidad y gravedad del problema. Estas soluciones
son como curitas para tratar una herida de un balazo. Y al fin de cuentas,
la caridad solo logra que la persona que donó se sienta menos culpable por
el problema. Mientras tanto, se ignora el balazo ‹ la causa raíz del
problema ‹ el sistema injusto bajo cual vivimos, que crea y defiende la
riqueza para los pocos y la pobreza para el resto de nosotros.

La injusticia del capitalísmo es que los ricos ganan ganancias a costa de
los pobres de toda raza, origen nacional, sexo, orientación sexual, etc. Y
cuentan con la falta de unidad entre diferentes pueblos oprimidos para
continuar atacandonos.

Por eso es clave que los pueblos oprimidos luchemos juntos por la justicia.
Esto es lo que realmente quiere decir el amor por el prójimo: organizar con
solidaridad entre pueblos oprimidos para conseguir la justicia. ¡Nuestra
solidaridad es un arma esencial para derrocar este sistema injusto que nos
oprime! Pero no es suficiente solo entender este vil sistema o buscar
solidaridad entre pueblos oprimidos - tenemos que  actuar por la justicia.
Esto quiere decir organizar para defendernos de los ataques del sistema y
luchar por lo que necesitamos: vivienda para todos, educación para todos,
comida para todos, servicios de salud mental y física para todos, un salario
digno, etc. En organizar por la justicia, crearemos poder en el pueblo para
un cambio revolucionario. Este es el verdadero amor por el prójimo que
creará el mundo justo que todos merecemos.

Maria Poblet


Desde Hace 17 meses se ha estado planeando el importante centro de recurso
en el distrito de la Misión por la falta de servicios que necesitan nuestros
vecinos y personas desamparadas que no tienen un lugar donde ir.

Durante todo este tiempo de planificación y desarrollo, organizaciones,
agencias de servicios sociales, comerciantes, escuelas y familias que viven
en el mismo barrio han estado participando para que este centro que proverá
servicios necesarios se abra.

El jueves pasado el 16 de noviembre tuvimos la oportunidad de presentar la
propuesta del centro de recursos ante la comisión de servicios humanos para
que aprueben el sitio propuesto que se encuentra sobre el Capp entre el 16 y
17. También tuvimos la oportunidad de escuchar diferentes comentarios de
residentes de la Misión y activistas comunitarios.

La primera persona que presentó sus comentarios acerca del centro de recurso
de la Misión fue una mujer joven y blanca que expresó sus miedos e
inseguridades por las familias que viven en su barrio. Aunque dijo que está
de acuerdo con el centro, ella dijo que está preocupada por las familias que
no están de acuerdo en que se abra este centro. El segundo testimonio
también fue hecho por una persona que recientemente se ha mudado a la
Misión. Un hombre joven asiatico habló en contra de este centro porque
afectaría a muchas familias latinas. No se sabe muy bién como dos individuos
que son nuevos al vecindario y no hablan español podrían no solamente tener
pero expresar la opinion de las familias latinas de la Misión.

Por nuestro buen rumbo, algunas de nuestras líderes mujeres latinas
presentaron sus comenterios. Ellas también están preocupadas por el barrio;
ellas están preocupadas por todas las personas desamparadas que no tienen un
lugar a donde ir y tienen que estar durmiendo en la calle. Silvia Alvizar
del sindicato del 2911 de la calle 16 dijo que ella y sus vecinas del
edificio están totalmente de acuerdo en que este centro se abra para las
personas que tanto lo necesitan. La Señora Silvia reiteró que ella con sus
dos hijos camina todos los días por la Misión y le da rabia que sus hijos
miren el sistema injusto que deja que haya tanta gente pobre y desamparada
tirada en la calle. Claris del hotel residencial de la calle Julian brinda
todo su apoyo para que este centro se abra. La Señora Claris tiene dos hijos
y ella también expresó su preocupación de ver tanta gente sufriendo en la
calle sin un lugar para ir.

El pueblo de la Misión pueden hablar por su mismo. Ellos saben lo que este
barrio necesita. Y no necesitan que personas que recien llegaron através del
aburguesamiento esten pretendiendo que están hablando por los intereses del
pueblo cuando realmente están solo expresando sus intereses.

"We must find out what words are and how they function. They become images
when written down, but images of words repeated in the mind and not of the
image of the thing itself."
- W.S. Burroughs

A Publication of the Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
468 Turk St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
415 / 346.3740 - voice
415 / 775.5639 - fax