San Francisco homeless advocates sent a message to Mayor Ed Lee that they are not going anywhere anytime soon, as the nation focuses on The City during the lead up to Super Bowl 50.
Advocates demonstrated Wednesday night steps away from Super Bowl City fan village near The Ferry Building to demand Mayor Lee to use $5 million for the homeless, the use of city-owned buildings on Pier 29 or 80 to house the homeless or provide secure access to underneath the freeway of U.S. Highway 101 at Cesar Chavez Street.
The demonstration was put on by the Coalition on Homelessness and Stuart Schuffman, a 2015 mayoral candidate also known as Broke-Ass Stuart.
Stuart said that the homeless were not going anywhere despite Mayor Lee’s announcement in August that the homeless would have to leave Justin Herman Plaza where the fan village is currently being held:
“We’ve been pushed around. We’ve seen our neighbors evicted. We’ve seen our friends pushed out of The City that we love and grew up in and for what? For money.”
San Francisco resident Julianna Cheng who was homeless four years ago while pregnant with her daughter, said that it was disgusting how The City has treated the homeless in the last week:
“The way they have treated homeless people by sweeping them out of the encampment trying to get them out of the way so The City can maintain its reputation while we have tourists and all these visitors for the Super Bowl here.”
Supervisor David Campos said the $5 million the City spent on services like public safety and transit services could got off 500 homeless people off the streets:
“This is an opportunity for us to show the world that the San Francisco that we see every day is not necessarily the San Francisco that Mayor Lee and his administration want you to see.”
Another demonstrator, Joshua Shrader, called Lee’s action unacceptable:
“You can spend $5 million on a big show, but you can’t feed the homeless.”
San Francisco police were on hand by the dozens lined up in front of demonstrators. Police Captain David Lazar of the Central Station issued a warning to demonstrators to not put set up tents on the ground. Demonstrators lifted at least four tents off the ground to avoid the police from confiscating them.
The demonstration began moving down Washington Street and then onto Davis before continuing onto Beale Street.