What a crock.
I'm glad I'm not in your position, or after a few months I'd lose it and show up with a dynamite belt in Bertrand's office, and that just wouldn't do anyone any good.
Pay the bribe already.
If only it worked that way.
I hear those zero rupee notes work wonders. Perhaps you can distribute them to your attendees?
Host one or more well advertised fundraisers Friday/Saturday nights for a month for the SFPD and SFFD. It would be real weird on cameras and blogs to have the police harassing fundraisers for their own department. At the end maybe have a press conference and present them with one of those giant goofy checks. Everybody wins, everybody loses.
I vote for this. Kill them with kindness. They won't know what to think. Also, take them coffee when they are harassing you.
The fundraiser-type stuff could work. Coffee and donuts, while fun, seem likely to earn more tickets/accusations of attempted bribery (however ridiculous that is - if it goes to court the magistrate or whoever sits those things may buy the argument that coffee and donuts shouldn't buy use of the "whole" sidewalk).
A question is, is another branch of the department or government interested in investigating this waste of police resources/taxpayer money? People tend to get interested when money is involved, and it sure looks like a shakedown, even if it's just an attempt to defraud the department itself by earning promotions for writing the most tickets for breathing oxygen.
Then, if it ever does blow over and things are less charged, maybe you could get a good thing going with a 'coffee and donuts' night or something goofy like that, heal the rift and give the cops the chance to see how much work goes into running an orderly house on your end. Something to demonstrate that both clubs and law enforcement are protecting the glory of American capitalism, and Studio 54 you're not.
What about campaign contributions?
The only other thing I can think of is that your block has been chosen for redevelopment.
I sent a letter to Newsom but given how he seems more inclined toward grandstanding and flaking out while getting down with OPP, I'm not sure how much good it will do.
Maybe a few cheap webcams reflecting off a service like Ustream?
It's a relatively cheap way to get eyes on what's going on and the cops can't confiscate any video tape (to be later "lost").
I was going to suggest similar. Building a catalogue of evidence will be really useful if this escalates much further. If it doesn't, you will at least have proof of your good orderliness.
agreed. at least it is helps build your case.
Sounds like it's time to donate some more $$ towards some cameras.
After rooting around in the police car trunk and pulling out what looked like riot gear, Mannix videotaped our line for a few minutes...
Do you have security cams out there? Evidence vs. evidence.
Stupid question: have you called the PD to complain? I'm guessing that Officer Bertrand and Cmdr Dudley have the support of there superiors, but it it probably won't get worse? If they're actually writing invalid citations, they might actually get a little yelled at?
Well, come on, it's not like there's any actual crime related to SOMA nightlife that the SFPD could have been spending their time preventing this weekend.
hah, are you sure that wasn't actually the cops picking up some extra gear there? I hear they like to confiscate laptops and other things...
if common sense won't make it better -- because they think "if people didn't go out, we wouldn't have to crack heads, after all. let's shut down all the nightlife!" -- perhaps it's time to find a lawyer to make your complaints about this harassment louder?
I guess in your vision of the world, I don't talk to lawyers every fucking day of my life.
I wish I lived in your world.
That is some bullshit. Talk about California Über Alles.
Mr. Mayor just got a long letter from me.
Also, earlier today I wrote friends at the Guardian. The Chronicle has outright ignored me, but then again, they're also the ones currently championing the KILL THEM ALL, ALL NIGHTCLUBS ARE THE SAME campaign, following the shootings in North Beach (which, as Jamie points out, is the last neighborhood Dudley "cleaned up," --a.k.a. killed all the legitimate businesses and left a hollowed out shell perfectly suited for harboring endless fly-by-night carpetbagger dirtbag "clubs" designed to entertain the criminal element and promote public gunplay. Yeah, that was really good work.
I mentioned that in my letter to Mr. Newson. That and, "don't let all the good neighbor clubs die on your watch."
Just as a clarification. The incident at the north beach club actually started at the hotel. The shooters were never actually in suede
A couple of months ago I walked by this place in the Marina on a Saturday night, around 8pm. There was a band playing and the music was BLARING out of there. I could hear it on the other side of (busy, two-lane divided) Lombard street. I remember thinking, "What the fuck, the DNA Lounge gets harassed all the time and this place gets to run an open air rock concert?" On my way back, later in the night, I watched as three or four guys riding Harleys with bandanas over their faces rode them up on the sidewalk in front of the club, revving their engines, before parking at their front door. Some random woman on the street was screaming bloody murder as they rode by.
No cops in sight!
If I know my thugs, there will soon be a violent or near-enough violent event that you have to call the cops anyway at DNA arranged by these thugs, outside the law.
i second the idea of building up a harassment case against the SFPD -- document each incident and file a complaint with the police if you can. is there any way to find out in advance if the ticket is a valid citation or not?
as a side note, the gestapo would've shot everyone already. just sayin'.
Good luck - You treatment really has been shit. It strikes me that something like the footpath queuing issue should be easily defined and measurable - if they cared about being reasonable rather than just being painful.
I took the time to write to the Mayor pushing the tourism line since i'm not from the USA - we'll see if i even get a form response.
Time to write the mayor down there, again, and the board of supervisors.
DNA is one of the reasons why I'm continually interested in coming back to San Francisco. Well, that, and 'alternative nightlife' in general. They kill this, I might as well not even come. So much for the $600-$700 I'd be putting into the regional economy in terms of hotel and car rental alone.
I haven't seen any of the "Come be a tourist in San Francisco" stuff that the city pushes out, but I live in Austin, TX where they push live music and nightlife as an attraction...and then EVERY chance they get they stab the live music/nightlife industry in the back. The city grants permits to build condos next to live music venues, then they are on the side of the Condo-dwellers when they complain about the noise...it's ridiculous.
I hope the situation with DNA gets worked out in your favor, but it sounds like it's going to be a long fight and the one with the most stamina will be the victor...which is bullshit.
If only Officer Bertrand was a website you could incite the LazyWeb to DDOS. This real world crap is way more frustrating and difficult to navigate.
There must be some way to fight dirty. Doing things the right, legal way only seems to cause you endless pain.
I happen to live on the same block as the Rickshaw Stop. Attendance there varies from event to event of course, but I've often had to wade through big crowds just to get to my front door. Sometimes the sidewalk is jammed all the way to the corner, and there's usually a choke point right at the entrance, especially when they have the rickshaw outside on display.
My apartment happens to be on the other side of the building from where they are, which means I'm spared the brunt of the noise on busy nights, though it also means I can't say for sure how often the cops show up there. In my opinion, it's not often enough. Much of the clientele will park in the lot outside my window, and they always find a way to make a nuisance of themselves when the club lets out. They'll stand around and gossip (loudly -- which sort of defeats the purpose). They'll take drunken cell phone pictures of each other. They'll crank up their car stereos. They'll smoke pot. They'll snort coke. They'll throw bottles around. They'll get into arguments with each other. They'll vandalize randomly selected vehicles. In fact they'll do pretty much everything except the one thing you're supposed to do in a parking lot, which is to just get in their cars and drive away.
Oh, and they pee. They pee in between cars in the lot. They pee behind the dumpster at the service entrance to the SF Music Conservatory. They pee alone and they pee in groups. Especially the girls. Once I looked out my window and found three girls all peeing together right up against my building. I don't know when public urination became trendy, but I wish to hell it would stop. At least on my block.
Like I said, I don't really know what kind of attention this place gets from the police now, but they deserve way more of it than the DNA.
A law enforcement friend writes:
"Grisly. It is so very hard to rein in problem officers who engage in this kind of behavior.
A strategy involving attorneys, video cameras (both fixed and videographers), extremely well-trained staff, public relations and last but not least, respectful letters of complaint to all applicable government agencies is vital. Covert cameras are particularly helpful when they capture outrageous behavior in the field. See policeabuse.com for examples."
It just occurred to me. The officers in question are no doubt reading all of this.
Will those officers kindly help to restore (or for some us create) our faith in local law enforcement by joining the conversation here? I do not ask them to comment on any particular citation or incident as I am sure there would be a cloud of legal issues around their doing so. Rather, I ask them to speak up simply as the community police and to state, in very general terms, what they perceive to be the main challenges or issues around the area of DNA Lounge. That is, to state to the public clearly and frankly what has drawn their recent stepped up attention to this area. One presumes that such information would help DNA Lounge to be "part of the solution" to any legitimate problem.
If the officers themselves can not or will not do this, will a suitably authoritative spokesperson for the department please fill in for them?
If neither the officers or department are willing to comment on this blog will they please instead swiftly organize and hold a community meeting for that area, in order to address the tensions that are now arising, giving due and ample notice of such a meeting to all residents and proprietors in the area in advance?
My $0.02, hand the media a better total-story that will cause the politicians at the top of this pyramid to direct their henchmen elsewhere. Ideally the Big Boss gets to play the hero, but saving The Citizens from a Great Embarrassment will also work.
You've plenty of drama, but right now it's too easily presented as "Moe the Bartender and his carny patrons vs The Great City of San Francisco". You need to change the plot, and you need to redefine the characters. All the raw material is good. You've got narrative, video, etc. Find a decent film student to help rewrite the script. We truly are living in Max Headroom's world.
Get more CSI than Cloverfield with the video. Stick a PTZ telephoto video camera and a directional microphone on the roof, and have someone inside ready to document the next siege. Then, bring your story and supporting video & audio to the Oakland or San Jose network news, so they can titter at San Francisico's difficult nightlife law enforcement problems.
Of course, having to do all of this sucks. But I guess the SFPD is committed to making it worth your time.
That's so right. For extra credit, can you suggest a method for monetizing the effort and expense you propose? I can think of some but I'm not sure they'd work and they seem sketchy in other ways as well.
Your idea is improved solely by the additional suggestion of offering a carrot as an alternative to that stick. What's your view of a good carrot, here?
Or eer gioood talk ..................................................Ð°ÑƒÐ´Ð¸Ð¾ÐºÐ½Ð¸Ð³Ð¸ ÑÐºÐ°Ñ‡Ð°Ñ‚ÑŒ Ð±ÐµÑÐ¿Ð»Ð°Ñ‚Ð½Ð¾