Alternative Acts

Alternative Acts, Martin Haro
A makeshift market of stolen goods in the Tenderloin. A 7×7 sight seen all too much. San Francisco, 2.24.20

How about instead of allowing this condition to fester (this situation in which people in need have to steal from others to try and sell the loot out in the open and often in plain view of driving-by SFPD and passersby that include our elected and appointed city leadership), how ’bout we get it together and try to heal San Francisco’s sickness through alternative medicines. By promoting alternative acts.

These people that we all see day in and day out – and that few of us take the time to acknowledge or empathically understand – do not need the cops sent in on ’em to antagonize them. We do not need the streets to get rowdier or to add insult to injury.

End of the day, makeshift outdoor little markets of stolen goods like the one shown here don’t matter. Sure, they’re the direct result of a crime, of the victimization of another person. But, I mean…these people give what they get.

And unless you’re gonna confiscate to return to owner like, who cares.

These people are clearly in need of and wanting for something, anything to do. It’s human nature. Stealing and disabusing CVS or Walgreens of a few items to then, turn around and try to make a buck (or accomplish whatever they’re planning to accomplish), gives them something to do. And that’s the truth. These are their options, these are their acts. 

As a community, we need to stop castigating these people for being at the bottom of a system that we all (should) know is based on systemic oppression and the indifference of the rich (if they care so fucking much, they should pay taxes and invest in communities and equality instead of in, for real, cockamamie escape plans to Mars or controversial, unasked-for runs for president).

So let’s lead them to better acts. Give them – and us – an alternative to the status quo. I know it was all about quid pro quo recently…but that’s the past. And we’re all still headed to the future.

Let’s get our brothers and sisters in need gardening, painting our walls, working on tasks that will keep their hands occupied and away from the proverbial cookie jar (and off the junk). Let’s lift them up. Put them to do something, those who want it…those who can. Teach them something. The City by the Bay is full of people who can teach everyone something new, and so many new neighbors are arriving, coming in from other places seeking better and freedom and tomorrow for their kids, and they need to be integrated to contribute and provide.

What better way of helping those who need than by getting up all of us together, already, and inviting everyone to do it together. Working together on new outside-the-box initiatives that holistically address our issues. It’s the only way.

People, children coming to our city looking for salvation surely are realizing that here in San Francisco, we have our own special set of problems, that y’all have had these puzzling problems for decades in the Tenderloin, that we’re trying to do something about it.

#SpareaLittleChange. The time is right now.

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