On June 13, DSA SF joined the Coalition on Homelessness to rally in support of Daniel, a homeless senior who was fined $234 simply for eating pizza at a bus stop. The COH organized a Pizza Party to Stop Unfair Fines and Fees, and DSA SF donated pizza and showed up to stand in solidarity. Thankfully, the City backed down and a judge threw out the fine after the officer who wrote the ticket did not show.
These fines and fees are part of a larger war happening against the poor and homeless throughout San Francisco. As tech giants and land developers try to extend their control over the city, they push longtime residents out through harassment, criminalization, and intimidation. Last year, the city spent 20.6 million dollars on “quality of life” citations rather than investing resources to combat the root causes of homelessness.
One homeless activist and organizer named Mike who spoke at the rally said that “the days of begging and pleading for help from the city are over.” He called on homeless people and their allies who have homes to organize direct actions. “If they’re going to give one of us a ticket for eating pizza at a bus stop, there better be five people right after that eating pizza at that bus stop. If they clear out a camp, we all have to show up to say ‘if you give them a ticket, you have to give me a ticket too.’” We won on June 13, and we’ll win the city if we continue to stand in solidarity against those who would criminalize and imprison people for being poor and homeless.