Sunday, March 13, 2011

San Francisco...No Peace & Love in Haight-Ashbury! Police shuffle homeless along!

Later this month, San Francisco's finest will be enforcing a spanking-new ordinance that bans loitering (camping out) in the bustling city streets.

In particular, the men-in-blue intend to focus on a posse of homeless down-and-out beggars who hang out at the curb panhandling (and what-have-you) in the Haight-Ashbury district.

"They disrupt our businesses," one shopkeeper lamented to one eager reporter bent on nabbing up a scoop.

"I've seen them selling drugs on-the-sly," another hissed to all within earshot in disgust, in so many words.

In response, one irate transient was quite vocal about the upcoming purge about to descend in the trendy city by the Bay.

"They can't do that. This is Haight-Ashbury! Peace and Love, and all that, man!"

City dwellers may recall that the once-colorful bohemian neighborhood was a mecca for a gang of free-spirited hippies who flocked to the West Coast way back in the sixties (in the era of the anti-war "flower" movement).

Like Yorkville in Toronto (my hometown), the quaint pocket of - "a free society" - went by way of the dinosaur decades ago, and was transformed - OMG - into an upscale shopping attraction.

And, Haight-Ashbury is now a dynamic hub for enterprising businessmen, out-to-make a quick buck on the ghosts of the celebrated past.

The police have noted that they have been slow to enforce the ordinance because they are waiting for fliers to be printed up in English and Spanish which will provide information on local shelters and outreach programs where the "displaced" may take refuge when they are pushed out.

Bottom line?

City officials are anxious to sweep the nasty eyesore out-of-sight - as spring awakens - and tourists start flowing into San Francisco once again as the economy builds steam.

Once the ordinance is ripe for enforcement, where will the homeless go?

In the words of immortal Bob Dylan:

"The answer is blowing in the wind!

Or, may be in the hands of Civil Rights Advocates, anxious to take a stand in the local courts.

After all, it's a sad state of affairs, when individuals can't be free in the streets.

Is a police state (or a George Orwellian society) just around the corner?

News at 11!