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April 14, 2003


Proposed Ballot Initiative to Discourage Public Disruption

By John J. Malloy -- Director, Citizens Action Network (citizensactnet@aol.com)

Lately in San Francisco we have experienced a number of protests against the war in Iraq. Most of the protesters were peaceful, simply making the government aware of their opposition to the war. But there were some, many from out of town, who were bent on disrupting city traffic, shutdown businesses and corporations, and block the roads and bridges leading in and out of the city. They were in the full throes of anarchy. It got so bad that about 40 of them were released from jail solely because they refused to give authorities their name and identify themselves. Who ever heard of such nonsense.

Citizens Action Network has prepared a ballot initiative, which Supervisor Tony Hall has agreed to attempt to place on the November ballot in San Francisco. He will need to get three other supervisors to join him if he is to accomplish this. If he can not get three other supervisors to join him, Citizens Action Network will work to place this initiative on the ballot

This is the initiative:

Ballot Initiative

Be it ordained, by the people of the City and County of San Francisco, that anyone who knowingly and deliberately disrupts, blocks or impedes, in any manner, the normal flow of traffic or pedestrian access, by sitting upon, lying down, or congregating in large groups, on any Sidewalk, Street, or any other Public Roadway, within the City and County of San Francisco, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Conviction for any segment of this misdemeanor, as set forth in this initiative, shall be punishable by a mandatory fine of no less than Three Hundred Dollars ($300) or more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500), plus all relevant court costs. All arrests, without exception, made under this ordinance, shall carry a mandatory cash bail of no less than One Thousand Dollars ($1000). No individual, upon arrest, may be released from custody, until and unless, they have provided authorities with valid identification. Any individual, who refuses to provide any Court, with valid identification, may be found to be in contempt.

I believe that this is news and should be brought to the attention of the public in every way possible. If passed, this ballot initiative will signify a major change in the way San Francisco will deal with violent and/or illegal methods of protesters in our city. We can no longer afford to pay $900,000 a day in police and other agency overtime.

We can no longer afford having our places of businesses and corporations blocked and kept captive to these individuals. We can no longer afford these protesters.

If you would like to know what Citizens Action Network is all about please visit our web site at www.citizensactnet.org