Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Castro Courier & BoS: Clash Over Rainbow Flag & Orlando 

The controversy regarding the rainbow flag on City land at Harvey Milk Plaza just won't go away, no matter how hard the Castro Merchants and Supervisor Scott Wiener think the control issues are settled iron-clad policies.

It's now one-month since 49 LGBT and friends were massacred at the Pulse bar in Orlando and the terrific Castro Courier newspaper's front-page article that hit the streets on Monday should be widely read. The article is not online.

Reporter Sam-Omar Hall informs us that on June 12, crusty Castro businessman and staunch anti-community-control-of-the-flag advocate Patrick Batt texted Castro Merchants president Daniel Bergerac to say this extraordinary day demanded the flag be lowered. Batt also wants a policy when the display is occasionally altered. That's a major shift.

Longtime area resident and antique seller Isak Lindenauer, longtime proponent of open debate about who maintains the flag reminds readers it belongs to the people, not a bunch of merchants. Lindenauer says stewardship needs to be reexamined.

Andrea Aiello, president of the Castro Benefit District, states she got a lot of calls on June 12 to fly the flag at a lowered position out of respect for the dead, even though her group has no say over it.

In keeping with their practice of not engaging with stakeholders, Castro Merchants boss Bergerac refused to speak with the reporter. Ostrich. Head. Sand. Been that way for too long with this private group having domain over vital queer public space.

At the June 28 Board of Supervisors meeting, I used public comment to inform them San Francisco's Castro had common ground with a county in Alabama for refusing to lower flags until June 16 at sunset, as President Obama requested in a proclamation. Watch the short vid:

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