This Thing Ain’t Over Yet

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While not all the votes are counted, 100% of San Francisco precincts are reporting, and it appears that Prop L has won with 53.33% of the vote. This is, indisputably, an unmitigated bummer.

But we’re not throwing in the towel. With a budget of barely $7,000, we took 18% of the vote away from a campaign (they claimed to be starting with 71% approval) that had literally hundreds of thousands of dollars. If that’s not a victory, it’s at least an awesome achievement.

Since our society first developed the notion of rights, we have agreed that they aren’t open for negotiation or veto: Majorities don’t get to determine minorities’ civil rights. We will be availing ourselves of the process that our legal system provides for addressing these transgressions. We’re taking L to court.

We have some amazingly creative ideas about how a mass movement can really push a lawsuit or trial, but we’re still ironing out the fundamentals of strategy. Keep an eye out for an announcement in the coming week. We still need you in this fight.

Lastly, thank you. None of this would have been possible without the work of the literally thousands of volunteers on this campaign–especially the unpaid geniuses who organized our greatest events. And while this was an entirely volunteer effort, we wouldn’t have been able to produce door hangers, tabloids, or big-ass signs without the support of our many broke but generous financial donors. Thanks, too, to the guerrilla in-kind contributions of the Sit/Lie Posse, Heidi Milk, CivilSidewalks.org, and the other unknown artists who helped turn a campaign into something much larger than an election.

Campaigns stop after elections. We feel that what is at stake here is larger than a letter on a ballot or a terrible law. We know that the same people who come up with these ‘creative’ ways to criminalize poverty and public space do so every couple of years, and that between elections they continue to tinker. The incredible response that we have gotten in the past day from everyone who fought against prop L (and many others who sat back and just assumed that it was too ridiculous to pass) is energizing and demonstrative of the fact that people are ready to move past an electoral campaign into something more meaningful and substantive. As we head to the courtroom, we look forward to working toward a city that values people’s civil rights and basic needs through creative expression, protest, and an attempt at active and collective participation in decisions that effect our lives.

We have been amazed by the protests against Prop L’s passage that have already happened. A lot of us are going to join the sit-in in front of City Hall this Monday. We’re working our way toward a mass action that we’ll announce within a week, once we’ve got details clear.

You folks are amazing. We’ll see you on the sidewalks.

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