Re: cheesecake riots

Theodore Latham (tedrico@hotmail.com)
Fri, 10 Apr 1998 09:01:14 PDT


Andrew & Bree,

   I remember to well how rowdy the Tenderloin crowd gets in the FNB 
line and also just trying to make it up those stairs at Sunday's 
Leavenworth Feeding Line! And also on some of those special Farmer's 
Market are feedings. But I would like to suggest what I had found to 
work remarkably well in San Diego's Sunday Morning 12 St. Feeding Lines! 
Before you distribute the food, try to single out the more respected, in 
the know, homeless persons, whom you've seen in the lines on a regular 
basis. Make them a proposition .. you know, like after the feeding is 
over, you'll give them a special stash bag of food, so to say, if they 
would use their respect & influence amongst the rest of the homeless 
waiting to be fed, and help keep order, steady line movement, and check 
the Bad Asses who cut lines and are disruptive. As a former addict and 
knowing addicts as I do, I suggest you make this proposition to the top 
CRACK HEADS of the lot! They generally possess leadership, 
persuasiveness, and hustling skills! Take from someone who knows! Don't 
just jump in tomorrow and begin propostioning. Instead, observe the 
people in the lines over the next 4 weeks, and then make your 
propositons. It's not difficult! The more "respected by the masses" 
people really stand out! Nuff said!

Regards,

Tedrico Latham


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Andrew <bwellwoo@sfu.ca> wrote:

>
>Bree, we had similar problems at SF FNB with the Wednesday Cheesecake
>deliveries, where I was actually lifted off my feet once by the press 
of
>the crowd.
>
>I definitely felt reluctant to "make rules" but things were out of 
hand.
>When Odwalla was donating juice daily, I also had the same problem.
>
>I started to rely on kindergarten training that almost everyone has, 
which
>is how to "make a line".  I'd pull up, get out of the car, go to the 
crowd
>and say what kind of things I had and that the line starts here.  After
>people queued, I'd get the stuff.   There was some wierd energy about
>respecting eachother and respecting "the line" and behaving in an 
organized
>way that was interesting to notice.
>
>This is a very funky dynamic because there are always line breakers and
>people freaked out and people that say "fuck the line" and go up front 
and
>take stuff, and this causes tension with the folks that are in line.  
But
>it is way better than the alternative, which is the strong take 
everything.
>
>Those moments of tension are actually super instructive and it is much
>better to "handle" a line breaker than to punish or get made at them.  
They
>usually catch a lot of shit for acting out this way from the people and 
it
>should NOT come from FNB people.  After they get there stuff and things 
are
>calmer you can approach them and usually get an earful of what's 
bugging
>them.
>
>Also, I had never "addressed the group" before and that took standing 
on a
>box and yelling and a bunch of things fairly foreign to what FNB is 
about.
>
>Note that things got A LOT better in time.  After a while people would
>queue up when they saw my car.
>
>There is another big problem with multiple lines (one for bread, one 
for
>soup) where now we have ONE LINE and you get bread when you get soup.  
This
>is tough, it means rationing, but everybody gets some, and you can say
>things like "People who haven't had firsts come to the front"  etc.
>
>-a
>
> Before they can even put down boxes, hand are reaching
>>in grabbing bags of goodies, clocking people with bags of apples and
>>nearly pushing them over.  Now, we don't want to get harsh and create
>>rules, but these violent scrums have got to stop.  People get scared,
>>tempers flare, some of the older people who come don't get anything 
etc.
>>Also, we don't want to be telling people how much they should take, we
>>don't know how many mouths they are feeding, but when some people get 
six
>>cabbages, a case of tofu cheese, a stach of fake meats and a 1 lb bag 
of
>>apples and other people get nothing, it is kind of frustrating.  Is 
there
>>something we can add to the food to make people considerate and
>>respectful?  Has any one ever had this problem?  How did you deal, any
>>suggestions?  Later hey,
>>Bree
>>
>
>

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