Monday, November 26, 2012

Castro Xmas Tree Lighting
Zapped by Wiener Foes

(Nudist leader Mitch Hightower designed these fabulous posters. They were glued to wooden sticks and displayed tonight, angering a good number of Wiener supporters.)

Many thanks to the 20 or so nudists and affordable housing advocates and folks who want to reclaim public space for the general public, who came out tonight to zap MUMC and Scott Wiener. It's clear to me that everyone at the event tonight in the Bank of America plaza got the simple message: No more Castro Inc business as usual.

We activists are more than fed up with how Wiener and MUMC make decisions behind closed doors about public plazas and public policies, and have no interest in providing transparency to the general public.
What a pathetic official event tonight. Just what the heck was the DA doing there and how many times must we listen to City Treasurer Jose Cisneros and Mark Leno aide Anna Damiani say basically nothing at these things?

The following report by Roy McKenzie provides a few details on what happened, but I wish to expand upon his claim that it was only murmurs of discontent directed at me and other activists. Those unhappy with us shouted their displeasure and a few said, "You're ruining it for the children."

I told one counter-heckler that our public space is controlled by private merchants and democratic engagement is not a hallmark of Wiener's two-years as supervisors, and the last thing I was concerned with were kids seeing a tree in front of a bank get illuminated and crowd urged to shop at businesses that demonize nudists.

From the Castro Biscuit report (thanks Roy!):

Over a hundred people, both family and friends, gathered around the unlit holiday tree at 18th and Castro Street for the Castro’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. There were so many people that we spilled into the street as SFPD routed the 24 line around the crowd. Castro ambassador and drag queen Donna Sachet “Mistress Claus” MC’d the event . . .

Many local politicians including District Attorney George Gascon, Treasurer José Cisneros, and Disctrict 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener were there to say a few words and encourage the crowd to keep it local and hit the stores after the ceremony . . .

Throughout the ceremony, local activist Michael Petrelis, minced no words with his bull horn calling out Supervisor Wiener’s aggressive political moves over the past few months including the ban on nudity and his support for the removal of the benches at Harvey Milk Plaza

Other activists from Occuprides’s Community Not Commodity contingent held up large, but festive signs that read, “Santa is a nudist” and “Scott Wiener the grinch who stole benches”. 

Most of the crowd was not pleased with Petrelis’s actions booing him in unison as many times as he took to his bullhorn. Many people in the crowd murmured that it was neither the time nor the place to make a political statement . . .

1 comment:

Stephen R. Stapleton said...

How the Castro has changed! Harvey Milk must be rolling in his grave that an event in the Castro is "neither the time nor the place to make a political statement." All of Castro is a political statement. We claimed that turf and fought battles against the police to hold (think of White Night and the Elephant Walk). I can remember when just walking down the street holding another man's hand was a political statement.

Well, the Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name is now shouting from the rooftops and we will not be silences again. The T-shirt says it all, "Silence = Death."