Protesters will spend the evening in Dolores Park Monday night, October 28 to protest gay Supervisor Scott Wiener’s proposed legislation to set citywide park closure hours from 12 to 5 a.m.
The Board of Supervisors will vote on the legislation Tuesday, October 29.
“San Francisco prides itself on being a place that is welcoming and open to all,” said a news release from the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, which is organizing the sleep-in. “…With almost 30 percent of San Francisco’s homeless population identifying as LGBT, and many living on our streets and in our parks, we know who the real targets of this legislation are. This is yet another attack on the homeless, on queer people, poor people, and people of color, and on our right to exist in public space in our society.”
In response to the Milk Club’s statement, Wiener said, “I completely disagree with that characterization.” He said he’s been “a strong proponent” for services for homeless people, including securing housing funding for homeless LGBT youth, making more homeless outreach workers available, and supporting a youth meal program.
Wiener added removing homeless people from the parks “is not my motivation.” He said, “It is currently illegal to sleep or camp in the parks. It has been for years.”
The actual purpose of his legislation is to “reduce the epidemic of vandalism and dumping in our parks,” said Wiener. He said it’s true vandalism and dumping trash in the parks is already illegal, too, but it’s “almost impossible to enforce vandalism laws in parks in the middle of the night. You have to catch someone red-handed doing the vandalism or doing the dumping.”
Most vandals “are sophisticated enough not to do what they’re doing when there’s anyone around,” said Wiener.
The sleep-in begins at 9 p.m. Monday. Dolores Park is located at 18th and Dolores streets.
For more information about the protest, see the Facebook invitation.