Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Taking Over the Streets

Something epic happened at the corner of 22nd and Mission last night. The celebration of the Giants' World Series victory flooded the streets with revelers who have never had the chance to celebrate such a win in SF before. It eventually got a little too rowdy as people began throwing bottles at police and cop cars. But before the mattresses were set afire and the bottles began to fly, there was about an hour of genuine happiness that was enjoyed by complete strangers who had a common celebration to enjoy together. It no doubt aggravated anyone who was foolish enough to turn onto the street with any other intention besides joining the party. At one point I saw DJs setting up turntables and contributing tunes to the mix. It was as if SF's Sunday Streets, the event where a street like 24th is blocked off to vehicles and everyone wanders peacefully, was suddenly initiated by de facto order from a small crowd, and almost everyone agreed to join in. I'm curious why 22nd and Mission took off as opposed to other intersections. Many parties erupted all over the City, but this one reached a fever pitch.

If there ever was a reason to think that San Francisco's proposed Sit-Lie Ordinance, Proposition L is a complete joke, this is it. The Street is public domain, and while the activities individuals chose to engage in may not be advantageous to everyone else who is there, any attempt to prevent someone from having a basic presence in the street is absurd and unenforceable (rioting and attempting to injure others is a different story). We should all be allowed to enjoy what little public space we have in the way that we see fit, even if it occasionally disrupts the lives of others. We all make sacrifices when we share.

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