Solidarity can be as simple as eating pizza, or so a lighthearted protest organized for today seems to suggest. The action comes in response to a police officer who gave an elderly homeless man a citation for eating a slice of pizza in a Muni shelter recently, a so-called "quality of life" enforcement action.
"In solidarity with our homeless neighbors, I am encouraging everyone to stand up to the oppressive authorities of the SFPD who dare to dampen our civic enjoyment of municipal infrastructures while consuming the greatest food known to humankind," reads a Facebook event post for the protest, which self-deprecatingly advertises "potentially DOZENS" of participants. They're encouraged to "take pics and video of your pizza fueled civil disobedience and be sure to tag the SFPD's social media with #LegalizePizza."
It bears noting that eating in Muni shelters isn't exactly against the law. “Food prohibition doesn’t necessarily extend to bus shelters” Muni spokesperson Paul Rose told the Chronicle, explaining that while eating on buses could land passengers a citation, he frankly doesn't know if the prohibition extends to shelters, too.
In one sense, that could make the arbitrary nature of the citation even more galling. “This is a real waste of police services,” Kelley Cutler from the Coalition on Homelessness told the Chron. “Whose quality of life are you talking about?”
Shaun Osburn is the #LegalizePizza organizer, the Examiner gleans: The activist is the one half of S&M Letterpress, and in January 2016 was behind a crowdfunding campaign to buy tents for homeless people who had set up camp on Division Street but whose makeshift structures were being removed at the time. The current #legalizepizza protest is set to begin at 11 a.m. today and continue into the evening. For those looking to get involved in an, I don't know, less symbolic, more substantive way, Osburn is encouraging donations to the Coalition Homelessness to pay for the homeless man's citation.
It seems possible the #legalizepizza movement could be overshadowed by a more pressing global protest: The ANSWER coalition is organizing a demonstration against President Trump's attack on Syria yesterday for this evening at Powell and Market Streets from 5 to 7 p.m., according to an Indybay listing.
Already got an email for an anti-war protest pic.twitter.com/DxWCRvHjpP— Jim Dalrymple II (@JimDalrympleII) April 7, 2017