As you might have recalled from last fall, the Rec. & Park Department decided to lease parts of Dolores Park over to businesses without proposing the idea to neighbors and park users. Some people supported the department, most people did not. And then there was that small minority, primarily led by Chicken John, that talked about active resistance to the commercialization of the park.
Now I may not be a fan of Chicken, but credit to him for sticking to his guns. This Saturday at 2pm, Chicken's organizing a “puke in” at the park in protest to the opening of a new foodie-centric taco truck:
We are having a puke in. Pukin'. We are going to collectively lose our lunch on a trailer this weekend. I've hired a photographer to document it. To show other potential stores in the park what happens when you sell the park out. When you try to be an agent of Control. When you steamroll people.
So why exactly Chicken and a few hundred other people puking in Dolores this Saturday at 2pm?
I'm gonna go puke on a trailer this weekend because no one knows that this weekend a commercial entity is going to open a store in Dolores Park and is doing it without anyone knowing. Just like last year, they are trying to sneak in like sneaky sneakers. After all the meetings, the 1,500 signatures we collected, the emails, the outrage and the vitriol we showed last year, it's the same slimy tactics all over again. The fact is that Dolores Park is surrounded on 3 sides by pavement which is designed to drive cars, trucks and trailers on. Why these people just don't put their store on the other side of the curb is beyond me. The Department of Parks and Recreation wants the revenue. Why? Because they just hired like 5 more $100,000 + a year staffers they have to pay… although that shouldn't be a problem, as they fired ALL the teachers and closed 80% of the clubhouses.
He goes on to talk about how Rec. and Park isn't listening to neighbors. That they're commercializing the park was always done deal; that they never cared what the users of the park thought. That DP is “a collaborative artwork, not a profit center.” Good points, indeed. So what happens next?
The permits that RPD issued are still valid. So very quietly, very stealthy… they went about forming alliances to put more stores in the park. They were trying to be very quiet about it, but it didn't work. Because EVERYONE they tried to form an alliance with, said they didn't want a store in the park. So we told them that we would protest. Picket. We would sue. We would pour gasoline over our heads to make us martyrs for the cause.
Whoa! People are going to be burning themselves alive? Fucking. There.
Anyway, if you want to learn more about the protest, you can check out their Facebook page, look at the new petition being circulated around, and read all of Chicken's thoughts on the matter.