The Real Crisis: The Mission District Police State
The People’s Mission Coalition
The Mission, SF - We are writing in direct response to the press conference and statement released by Roberto Hernandez, subsequent “community” meetings calling for ‘law and order’ in the Mission, and recent actions taken by the city to blockade Capp St. We assert that the organizations listed in that document do not represent the Mission neighborhood. As residents, workers, businesses, and community members of the Mission, we reject the demands pushed by Hernandez and those aligned with him, and generally oppose the reactionary direction of Mission politics. They’re right we need to “take back the streets”,
but wrong about who we need to take it back from.
The crisis that Hillary Ronen, London Breed, and Brooke Jenkins are talking about is not the same crisis we see; the real crisis is the continued expansion of policing, incarceration, and the unchecked increase in the cost of living.
The concessions from the 2020 George Floyd protests, promises of de-funding the SFPD, and the social safety nets in response to the global pandemic are gone. Instead we get concrete barricades, fenced off public space, and militarized cops occupying both BART Plazas while they collect $25M in extra overtime. But we haven’t forgotten those promises or the promise of the uprising.
It’s well known that the city has had a lackluster economic recovery, triggering a panic among government, property, and business owners, frantically trying to figure out how to rebound from their losses. Instead of seeing this as an opportunity to reset the housing market, they’re scapegoating the homeless and spreading anti-poor propaganda. Community needs for housing, affordable goods, and income are being silenced, while the city unleashes anti-Black and racist violence against the most vulnerable in our communities.
We outline our own set of demands below. We assert that they are based not only on personal outrage and a sense of shared humanity with our neighbors, but that these measures are effective at decreasing the type of violent crime Ms. Melara experienced while increasing community health and safety.
WE WILL FIGHT:
1. For an end to the policing and criminalization of sex work, and an end to the misogynistic, racist, transphobic, and queer-phobic violence against sex workers in the Mission. Sex workers are workers and we support them.
2. To end the policing and regulation of street vending. We will fight to defend non-permitted street vending as a useful social activity providing income and important services, and as community building in public space.
3. To end the dehumanization of the homeless. For low-barrier navigation centers with showers and lockers, and outreach programs to get people housed. Stop the Sweeps!
4. The unilateral enclosures of public space. We will fight against the city elite deciding what happens to public space.
5. For the direct distribution of resources to those that need them, and to de-center non-profits as the sole voice of “the community" or acting as an intermediary of struggle. Leadership must be accountable to the community for their actions (Jon Jacobo we’re looking at you).
6. For the unsuppressed flourishing of youth and street cultures. For police out of community spaces and events.
7. For the drastic reduction of rent, and an increase in rental relief and assistance due to the pandemic and inflated cost of living, an end to evictions, for free and affordable housing, and for the use of city funds and vacant infrastructure to create and maintain excellent housing for poor and middle income people.
8. For harm reduction services and safe consumption sites. For love and empathy toward all drug users.
9. For disability justice and to interrupt the cycles of trauma perpetuated by the city's aid programs and non-profit administrative measures.
10. To support and develop mutual aid projects and networks.
HYA Ladies Night,
The Frame Store,
Lucky Media Alley Collective
Time Flies Moto,
It's Going Down (IGD),