“Stand-In” against ¨Sit/Lie”

“Stand-In” for Safety and against of Sex Workers, Homeless, Youth, Immigrants and other low-income people in SF

When:  Thursday, May 20, 12 noon

Where: Corner of Polk and Sutter in San Francisco

Chief of Police Gascón and Mayor Newsom are proposing more laws to criminalize people forced to live and work on the street. “Sit/Lie” makes it illegal to sit and lie on the sidewalk between 7am and 11pm under threat of a fine and jail*. First to be targeted will be people of color and those who are young, homeless, immigrants, sex workers.  Public Defender Jeff Adachi has spoken about how the law is so wide ranging it can be used against anybody.

Sit/Lie is vigorously opposed by a wide coalition of people who have organized sit ins throughout the City.  The SF Democratic Party voted overwhelmingly against the Bill and the SF Labor Council has opposed it.

Recent police crackdowns have also been widely opposed (see media coverage).  They push sex workers more underground into isolated and dangerous areas, and make it harder to report violence for fear of arrest.  And they disproportionately target people of color.  Black women are seven times more likely to be arrested.  With the pretext of saving victims of trafficking, immigrant women, are routinely rounded up and deported.  40% of men arrested are men of color.

 Come hear what is being done to stop “Sit/Lie”.  Come speak out with us for safety and protection, and against criminalization.  Let’s send a message to Mayor Newsom and Chief Gascón that ‘Sit/Lie’ will not pass.

 Co-sponsored by: US PROStitutes Collective and the SF Coalition on Homelessness.

Endorsed by Legal Action for Women; Women of Color/Global Women’s Strike; Poor Magazine/Poor News Network; Wages Due Lesbians.

For more info: uspros@allwomencount.net  415-626-4114 For more info on Sit/Lie: http://www.standagainstsitlie.org/ & http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Francisco-Stands-Against-Sit-Lie/347474333669

 *Sit/Lie law gives the police enormous discretion to arrest anyone on the sidewalk between 7am and 11pm. First-time violators get a warning then a citation with a $50 to $100 fine. Second violation results in 10 days in jail or a fine of $300 to $500, and each  violation after that would be subject to a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.

Quotes from opponents of Sit/Lie:

“The police and Mayor are bent on criminalizing us.  At a time of drastic budget cuts, why are women who struggle to feed our kids and keep a roof over our heads being targeted?  How much will Sit/Lie cost to implement?  Who is profiting from this?  In 2009 the media reported a $1million a month abuse of police overtime.”  Rachel West, US PROStitutes Collective

 “They’re proposing a law that impacts an entire class of people, almost all who engage in no criminal activity. They already have 27 different ordinances on the books to harass the homeless.  Such laws have been tried in San Francisco before, and end up being used to target queer youth, minorities and day laborers, as well as homeless people, who often have suffered trauma and abuse and who really have nowhere else to go.”  Jennifer Friedenbach, San Francisco’s Coalition on Homelessness.

“It sounds like it’s something pretty antithetical to the spirit of San Francisco. I don’t think there is any need for such a law. I think all it will do is encourage the police to stop people they don’t like.”

 “There are already enforceable laws against aggressive behavior. Criminalizing sitting on the sidewalk won’t solve anything – it will just turn more of us into criminals.”

 “This law criminalizes something that is not criminal, Homeless people don’t scare me. This law might be the will of the merchants, but it is not the will of the people.”

 

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