It’s Bash The Homeless Week In San Diego

by on June 22, 2010 · 56 comments

in Culture, Popular, San Diego

Editor: This is a repost of an article about the homeless sticker controversy from today in the Daily Kos, a nationally known politics blog, by none other than “dougbob” or what we call him, Doug Porter.

by dougbob / Daily Kos / June 22, 2010

Greg Sullivan followed his conscience. He showed up last Saturday to picket a local head shop that was selling anti-homeless stickers. The stickers, which read “Welcome to Ocean Beach, Please Don’t Feed Our Bums” are spoofs of a sticker often seen in national parks that urges people to not feed bears.

The OBRag blog noticed these stickers being posted on street signs around the community and ran several stories, one of which pointed out that the stickers were the brainchild of a co-manager at a local retail store.

On Saturday, the local right-wing daily, The San Diego Union-Tribune, ran a story about the controversy. Moved as we were by the anti-homeless, dehumanizing nature of the message conveyed on the stickers, Greg showed up with a sign and stood in front of the store. We’ve never met Mr. Sullivan, but this simple act of protest has unmasked deep seated hatred towards the homeless in the community like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The invective that followed was unnerving and sad. (See the photos)

Children, encouraged by onlookers, pelted him with water balloons. He was cursed at, harassed, ridiculed and threatened. He managed to stay for a couple of hours. All because he felt that the homeless should be treated as human beings and not dehumanized.

Meanwhile, over at the blog, we were inundated with nasty and often threatening comments, to the point where we actually “turned off” our commenting feature on those stories . The invective continued over at the daily newspaper’s website, along with emails and telephone calls. Hundreds of stickers, we’re told, have been sold, as a means of protesting against the homeless. Now they’ve even come out with tee shirts. Here are few of the comments at the UT:

If you don’t like ambulance chasing scum attorneys like Gormlie (OB Rag Editor) who look for causes that benefit no one but his own ego and pull an entire community down let him know. You can certainly share your thoughts with him and his Fascist, coffee party minions at their blog It would be great to send a wakeup call to these guys that neither the bums nor their type of community service is appreciated and they best consider hopping a freight out of town.

You are a divider, a throw back, and a non-native invasive species.

Wonder if a sticker with Gormlie’s name/address/phone number would be as amusing?

Give them a box of chicle and a one way ticket to Mexico

A little vigilantism could take care of the problem

Now we’ve called upon San Diegans to take a stand. What started out as an observation has turned into a matter of principle. We’ve called for a picket line outside the store (Wednesday 4pm, details protest) and asked people to sign a petition asking the store (which ironically started out as a head shop many years ago) to stop selling the stickers. During a televised encounter between writer Frank Gormlie and the owner of the store, he agreed to consider such a request if we could get enough signatures. (To sign the petition, go petition)

Ocean Beach California exists at the western end of Interstate 8. When you get here, you’ve reached the end of the road. For many years, this community has been a bohemian throw back, characterized by its laid back attitude as successive waves of wandering humans have settled here and started a new life. Many of those “beatniks”, “hippies” and, now, as the local merchants association characterizes them, “bums” have gone on to become productive members of the community. It’s a state of mind, a zip code, and, for local politicians, a reminder of what a community united can do to derail developers intent on establishing high rise condos and shiny marinas.

Part of the mix of humanity in Ocean Beach has always been a transient element. Forty years ago we called ourselves (yes, I was one of them) street people. Until recently the more favored term has been “homeless”. Now the local merchant’s association says they’re “bums”. Some of the merchants claim that a, new, more aggressive breed of “bums” have been assaulting merchants and visitors, going beyond panhandling towards threatening passers-by with trained dogs. The urban legend often continues with a parable about seeing these same individuals with credit cards and cell phones stocking up on intoxicants prior to their next rampage through the community. I’m sure this must have happened at least once, to somebody, somewhere. But now it’s become an everyday “true story”.

The problem here is that, while the beach continues to attract street people/homeless/bums, and San Diego’s overall homeless population has risen by 8% over the past year, trying to verify these horror stories simply isn’t possible. From my own frequent forays into the community I can see no discernible rise in panhandling, either of the aggressive or passive persuasion. Business on main street is up over last year, although not as much as anybody would like, but that’s true with small retailers nation-wide.

An analysis of the crime statistics for that community, courtesy of the San Diego Police Department, shows crime declining. In 2007, the number of crimes Ocean Beach stood at 57.68 per thousand residents; in 2009 the rate was 38.16, and the stats for this year show no indication of an increasing number of crimes.

I know that there’s justifiable anger at seeing our economy, our way of life, our security trashed. And it’s being used by people who have a real stake in maintaining our economic disaster to turn people against one another. By de-humanizing the homeless, people get distracted from real crimes– like the way BP has ruined an eco-system and cost thousands of Gulf residents their livelihood. That’s what I think is really happening here.

If you happen to live in San Diego (or don’t) we can use your support. Thanks for listening.

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Seth June 22, 2010 at 10:20 pm

I’m cool with the Black, the Rag and most of the street people, too. There’s two points I feel are being overlooked here as we all talk past each other in cyberspace. First one is that many of these young travelers — and particularly the small minority of rougher ones who are the flash point for this whole debate — are essentially runaways who fled from abusive family situations at some point, rather than lazy Kerouacian dropouts who selected this glamorous lifestyle by choice. Judge them after you walk a mile in their shoes. Second point is that the behavior of SOME of these people is not some urban myth invented by local merchants and residents to help them sell a few stickers and t-shirts. Not sure why some keep framing it that way. Let’s be perfectly clear that people absolutely have a legitimate beef with the small minority of meth heads who come into OB with their pit bulls and bad attitudes and basically disrespect everyone around them on a daily basis. I don’t see how anyone could spend any length of time in OB and not notice this element, especially over the last winter. Sticker aside, being opposed to that’s not being intolerant of people so much as it is being intolerant of certain kinds of behavior. Which again, is really only coming from a small majority of the seawall/traveler/homeless crowd, most of whom who are pretty decent folks


Frank Gormlie June 23, 2010 at 7:40 am

Seth, I’ll agree with you, except the sticker and the graphics are not the answer, they don’t depict a meth head with a pit bull; the stickers blast all homeless with a shotgun. And it’s immoral for the Black – a capitalist enterprise – to make money off the community’s frustration with the meth heads. Sure, the store have a right to do that and the community and its conscience has a right to boycott the Black until they conform to OB’s standards of tolerance. Let’s work on resolving this together – without the dehumanization that the graphic represents – before the graphic leads to violence. The answer is social responsibility and we must look to City Hall for immediate answers.


Kenneth Legg June 23, 2010 at 10:03 am

coming soon: A new sticker with the same slogan depicting a meth head with a pitbull


Abby June 28, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Welcome to OB, please do not feed our tweekers”?

I might buy that one!


Ali June 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm

I’d plaster them all over my tiny car!


jessica June 23, 2010 at 1:42 pm

if “we must look to City Hall for immediate answers” then why boycott the Black for some stupid stickers..??


Frank Gormlie June 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Jessica, good question. The Black started this current controversy with their demeaning and dehumanizing merchandising and profiteering from the anti-homeless attitude surfacing now. How does one deal with bigotry? You expose it and confront it at its source. Then you figure out who is responsible for the entire situation, and that’s when you turn your attention to city hall.


jessica June 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I live in OB and there is a big difference between the real homeless people who may be Vets or are older and disabled in some way VS. the young, dirty, drug-taking, drinking hoodlums that hang out mainly by the beach in OB. I believe it is the latter that are being targeted.
I grew up in SD and i am 35. I also lived in Santa Cruz for a while and have seen many young people who are perfectly capable of cleaning up and getting jobs rather than hanging out begging for money.
And i really don’t think some stickers are going to make a difference either way. Nor is picketting the Black going get at the real issue..


Seth June 23, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I hear you, Frank. The stickers and shirts are not the way to go, and I won’t be buying one. I’m also not about to label everyone who hangs out on the seawall as being a certain way, or blame them for everything that is wrong in OB or the world at large. Lot of them are cool folks, or people who could use a hand in life. But there is definitely a fringe element there whose behavior is not something that needs to be tolerated by a community that they really have no interest in being a part of.

My family has only been here a few short years. We used to joke about how harmless the homeless crowd was compared to other places we have lived. But even though it is being a bit overstated in this discussion, it’s definitely getting to be a rougher crowd down there, and IMO, some people are going out of their way to marginalize that aspect of this discussion. The businesses and residents saying that aren’t making it up, I swear. I see it all the time.

I dunno… ultimately, I really have no answers here. I would just quote what Dave Martin and others said about this at the Town Council meeting and ask if we all can’t just try to respect each other a bit and play nice in the sandbox?

Anyhow, good work on getting so much attention focused on this issue. It’s a good discussion for the community to have, and hopefully something positive comes out of it. Seems like some are already taking it in that direction, and hats off to them.


Seth June 23, 2010 at 4:41 pm

One other thought, as long as I am blabbing away… past the issues of behavior and mutual respect, I tend to think that there is an important issue of scale here. How much homelessness is OB equipped to handle? With a couple of hundred of the homeless/traveler/seawall/RV crowd, and it seems to work just fine. There’s still a sense of community there, and it adds to the local quality of life rather than detract from it. Once the numbers get past a few hundred, like it has recently, I just don’t think it works anymore. Behavior starts getting a little out of control, hard drugs start getting a little too prevalent. Just too much for a community of this size IMO, and puts too much strain on local businesses, residents and law enforcement.


psd June 23, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Solid point about the population possibly reaching carrying capacity, or the tipping point at which all tolerance for the homeless becomes unsustainable. But if we’re going to be one of the lone outposts of tolerance in a sea of hate (as has been the case for years), how do you discourage those being shunned from other locales from coming here?


Sarah June 22, 2010 at 10:32 pm

I couldn’t have said it better, Seth.

The problem then becomes how does a community reach past the “meth heads … with their pit bulls…” and make a place for the people who are decent folks? And more importantly how do we as a community ensure that those on our streets who need real help can get it?

It would be nice if after all this nastiness we could find a real way to address the real problems.


Sunshine June 23, 2010 at 4:46 am

thank you, Doug, for the real insite to the issue at hand ~ dehumanization of real people deemed ‘less than’ by corporate interests whose only intention is to make a buck off their demise. Not okay in my eyes, now or ever.


Frank Gormlie June 23, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Okay, Sunshine, what da heck are you and Danny doing up at 4:45 am???


Sunshine June 24, 2010 at 12:30 pm

tee hee….and awake enough to form an opinion, no less. Ah the joys of the early morning hours. The drunks have all passed out by now, and the assholes haven’t started yet. It’s truly a beautiful time to be awake.


Danny Morales June 23, 2010 at 4:47 am

…ah, the sorrows of empire. Too bad we refuse to see past the paradigm of capitalism as a solution to our social/economic situation. See ya on the picket line!


Rich June 23, 2010 at 8:27 am

Oh, the evils of capitalism! I think it’s funny that everyone who touts the evils of capitalism, derive benefits from capitalism every day! It is the possibility of making money (oh, the horror) off of a product or service that directly influences the quality of our daily lives. Capitalism is a major (granted, not the only) driving force behind pharmaceutical companies that produce medicines that save and improve the quality of life for millions of people daily. You think people are working on the cure for cancer strictly for the humanitarian aspect of it? Hell no – the person or company who comes up with that cure will be rich beyond their wildest dreams. Simple amenities that we take for granted every day are there because someone saw a way to “build a better mousetrap” and make some money on it…your faucet, your toilet, your mode of transportation, light bulbs, a particular brand of food. You think people invented all these things thinking, “I just want to help my fellow man – I don’t care if I get paid…”? Capitalism is good for a free society – it provides incentive to produce a better product or service. And we ALL benefit from it. Demonizing capitalism is a straw man argument in this debate that has nothing to do with the issue at hand here.

Personally, I don’t necessarily associate “bum” with “homeless”. The phrase, “Hey man – can I BUM a cigarette” means, “Can I take a cigarette from you for nothing in return…” This nicely sums up the bum situation in OB – a bunch of people looking to get something for free from others around them. As I’ve stated before, I don’t have a problem helping out someone genuinely down on their luck who may need some assistance. But I do have a problem with people exploiting the compassion of others – especially if they are perfectly capable of getting a job of their own or quitting the dope or alcohol.

So, yes – I’ll see you at the picket line…to go into The Black and purchase something!


Frank Gormlie June 23, 2010 at 11:49 am

Rich, just for the record, capitalism enslaves us. Thought you would like to know.


Chris Moore June 23, 2010 at 12:02 pm

The Russians living in the old USSR used to have a joke: “under capitalism, man oppresses man. But under socialism, it’s the other way around.” ;)


Frank Gormlie June 23, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Yet, we haven’t given socialism a chance here yet, have we, whereas capitalism has pretty much run its course. We now have a system of “State-Capitalism” where the government, the state is now the largest capitalist.


Chris Moore June 23, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Well, we have a mixed economy, with a market and a social welfare state.
Like pretty much every other successful country on the planet.

Unlike the rest of the developed world though, we tend to halfass the “welfare state” side of the equation.

Which leads to problems like the one we are facing now.


Frank Gormlie June 23, 2010 at 12:33 pm

According to the tea partiers, Chris, we already have socialism under Obama. Pretty much agree wid ya here.


Chris Moore June 23, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Heh, according the the Tea Party guys, Obama is pretty much identical to Stalin.

How this is true is never explained…


Frank Gormlie June 23, 2010 at 12:32 pm

I still got a chuckle however. So true, that those societies that tried some variation of socialism ran into trouble when it came to human rights.


Chris Moore June 23, 2010 at 12:58 pm

The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars (or our systems) but in ourselves.

The genetic programming that worked for roving bands of hunter-gatherers 150,000 years ago doesn’t work so well for latter day hominids living in cities of millions and armed with hydrogen bombs.


doug porter June 23, 2010 at 8:47 am

Two thoughts:
1) Everybody’s ignoring the 800 pound gorilla in the room (or saying that it’s somebody else’s problem): the cultural acceptance of public intoxication. Drug and alcohol abuse are a symptom that people are reacting to; but we haven’t had a discussion about that issue. We know (or should know by now) that jails & “just say no” don’t work. What other options are there?
2) We haven’t ever said here at the OB Rag that harassment of people by panhandlers was a good thing. And we don’t say that it hasn’t happened. Yet despite the hundreds of emails and comments we’ve received over the past few years drawing our attention to everything from graffiti (which we organized a group to go out and paint over, for those of you with no sense of history) to helping save the fire pits, we have never received a first person, document-able account about such harassment.
The point here is not to say that we’d run out and gather up a posse to deal with the desperadoes; the point is that it seems that many of these complaints have achieved the status of urban legends–everybody knows somebody who knows somebody that said that something happened sometime.
Arrests for crime are down. Business is up, a little and not enough, we know. But we have vivid memories of a time not so long ago when we, the hippies of the 60’s and 70’s were accused of lots of things that simply didn’t happen, or were exaggerated and became the urban legends of their day.


Ali June 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm

First person account? I went to Rite Aid one night about six months ago to pick up Benadryl for my kid. There was a group of five rough-looking youngsters outside the store as I walked up. Their ringleader (I assume) rushed up to me and asked me for some change. I said, “Sorry, man, I only carry a debit card.” He replies, “Did you say debit or EBT?” “Debit.” “So go in and buy us all an ice cream,” said in a very arrogant, demanding tone. I guess I should be thankful that someone would assume a single mother can afford ice cream for an entire group of people? Would they be so eager to take my money if they knew I worked for “the man”?

And then there’s the day I took my kiddo to the beach, where we saw a fine, upstanding young man (/end sarcasm) passed out on the beach with his dangly bits hanging out of his unzipped jeans. I hope that sunburn lasted awhile, because there’s some things you just can’t UNSEE.

I’ve taken my kid out to the cliffs and seen people obviously wasted, breaking glass bottles, smoking meth, and screaming obscenities. I’ve seen two assaults in my parking lot in the last three weeks, and one sexual assault at a bus stop last summer that traumatized ME.

The dudes hanging out around OB that I see picking up bottles and cans? I give them change, cigarettes and food. Please don’t assume I’m elist or labelling people… I just don’t like it when my kid has to step around vomit and used condoms on her way to school in the mornings.


Sarah June 23, 2010 at 5:59 pm


I hope you called the police when you saw people breaking the law!

That’s what I did last night when I saw the two, nicely-dressed, clean-cut middle-aged men smack down a 20 year old boy on the corner of Bacon and Newport. They hit him, knocked him unconscious and walked off down Newport.


Ali June 23, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Sarah, believe me, I have! The manager at Rite Aid called the police that night and it took them over a half hour to show up. The night I saw the sexual assault, it took three phone calls and over an hour before we saw SDPD. Maybe next time, I’ll tell them there’s a naked guy swimming in the parking lot!

Oh yeah… forgot to mention the morning I had to cross crime scene tape to take my kindergartner to class because there was a dead guy in front of the library.


Sarah June 23, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Good, ’cause what you’re talking about is a criminal behavior, not “homelessness” or “bumhood”.


Ali June 23, 2010 at 7:48 pm

And that’s exactly the behavior that should be addressed. People are fighting about the semantics and graphic on a sticker, when the bigger issue is crime.


Sarah June 23, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Mental illness, poverty, hunger and unemployment count right up there as “bigger issues” in my mind.


Ali June 23, 2010 at 8:03 pm

I’ve seen more than one mentally challenged person assaulted from my apartment. They all appeared to be poor, hungry and unemployed. All part of the same problem in my mind.


Chris Moore June 23, 2010 at 8:19 pm

The average victim of abuse from the shitty people on the street is actually one of the more helpless people on the street.

The jerks among us, homeless or not, prey on the weak.


Ali June 23, 2010 at 8:45 pm

You’re right, Chris. And often, the crimes are not reported.

Greg Sullivan June 23, 2010 at 9:04 am

“Drug and alcohol abuse are a symptom that people are reacting to; but we haven’t had a discussion about that issue. We know (or should know by now) that jails & “just say no” don’t work. What other options are there?”

I think that point above hits the nail on the head. Whether you’re homeless or live in a mansion–you likely suffer or know someone close to you who suffers from alcoholism or the abuse of some other drug.

Why is that?

As the the above quote implies–the abuse of drugs is on of the symptoms of a larger problem in society.


Greg Sullivan June 23, 2010 at 9:06 am

oops–that last sentence should read: the abuse of drugs is one of the symptoms of a larger problem in society.

Too bad this thing doesn’t have an edit!


Lorraine June 23, 2010 at 12:35 pm

This is a just a sad comment on society and our willingness to judge others based on what is essentially a caste system, a socioeconomic inequality. It used to be that most families and individuals were 2 lost paychecks away from homelessness — I wonder if now it’s more with the long-term struggling economy and thus struggling household finances. Either way, wonder what the people snickering about the message of hate in these products would think if suddenly they got a phone call that their own mother, sister, child, grandfather is homeless and living on the street? Suddenly, then, not so funny, I’d guess. Sure, violence is not acceptable from homeless persons — but I have never seen a situation like that, and a product like this incites violence against them — also not acceptable. Even more unacceptable when you think of the power dynamic of a housed person inciting violence against a non-housed person … the same power used by majority groups or majority-power-holding groups against minority groups in other situations: racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. The publication of these products is violent behavior enforcing discrimination against fellow humans and hate crimes. I barely can put into words my response to the poor parenting and community-ruining behavior of encouraging children to behave violently against people nonviolently protesting hate and violence … that is unacceptable and will not result in children who grow up to be kind, open-hearted people. We ask ourselves who would raise a child to use violence against a homeless person, when we see stories like that in the news — now we know. Let us teach children to love, not to hate. While we’re at it, let us teach adults to love, not to hate. Everyone sign the petition to get these products and anything hateful out of stores and out of our communities!


Kenneth Legg June 23, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I don’t think this sticker is going to encite violence against homeless folks.You know who is usually violent against homeless folks?Other homeless folks.As for the kids with water balloons,were their parents standing there telling them to throw them?or are they just 12 year olds that don’t understand the complexity of the situation?


Brian June 23, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Can we please stop the decaninizing of pit bulls?


Chris Moore June 23, 2010 at 8:20 pm

I agree I know plenty of pits that are sweet dogs.

They’re mean only if irresponsible talking chimps (us) raise them to be.


OB Cindi June 24, 2010 at 10:58 am

I HEART Pitbulls! All the pitties in front of The Black yesterday were better behaved then the humans! The Black should sell a bumper sticker that says: Pitbulls are the Solution to World Peace!


Patty K Mooney June 23, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Kudos to Greg for standing up like a Christ figure and following his heart in this matter. The water-balloon flingers, harrassers and other assorted OB community members who all ganged up on one guy – wow, who ARE you? I lived on Saratoga for a few years when I was a young woman and really fell in love with OB. This is just the kind of story that makes me sick to my stomach. Of course not all homeless people are perfect specimens of the human race. Many of them are psychologically ill and self-medicating. Possibly half of them are veterans with PTSD. I think OB is on the cutting edge of a movement that could prove to be a model for other communities, if handled correctly. The homeless are not just going to go away until we all wrestle with the symptoms of the homeless problem. I’m not seeing any leadership out of the owner of The Black or his staff, and I don’t plan to ever frequent that place again, until they get rid of the sticker which is like a middle finger to some very fine and caring organizations like Girls Think Tank, Alpha Project and Veterans Village of San Diego. Those groups have been working for years on educating our community members about homelessness and ways we can all solve the problem together. That sticker just unraveled years of work. Way to go, Black.


BJ June 23, 2010 at 8:59 pm

This blog can go on forever because, let’s face it, opinions…yada, yada, yada. The fact of the matter is, is that it’s a sticker. Believe me I think that we have all seen much worse.

People on the outside come here have a few laughs at the passers by and indulge in the environment then go on back home and on about their day. Most people that live here JUST GO ON ABOUT THEIR DAY.

If you like the sticker buy it and if you don’t like the sticker don’t AND LET US GO ON ABOUT OUR DAY.

Final thought:
The OBRag has always been a cool little thing to read and skim through to see what’s going on in our quaint little town and I can’t knock you for being an advocate for doing what you believe in but this plan of yours seems to have backfired. Instead of getting rid of the sticker your marketing plan sold them out.


OB Cindi June 24, 2010 at 10:25 am

Let me preface what I am about to say with this: Logic is questioning how, when, why and where we get information. Taking what we hear and see, and incorporating it into what we believe is right and wrong. Use your own logic to analyze my opinion of the Boycott the Black demonstration.

I thought the demonstration went very well. Most people who saw the sticker for the first time were offended. A few told me they thought it was a joke, or found it to be funny. Both sides connected in agreement that OB needs more restrooms and a site for the homeless to camp (I still love the idea of Point Freedom on the other side of the bridge in that parking lot). I witnessed the lady in the denim jacket, a teenage boy (who taught this kid to be a bully?) and a few other people be physically confrontational with Frank Gormlie. Disheartening to witness, but expected. There were a few moments of shouting that were immediately ended by the several police standing by. But mostly there was peaceful and sometimes mocking banter back and forth–some unproductive (lady in denim jacket offered me a sandwich–does that mean I looked homeless yesterday? haha!) and some constructive. The protest was to encourage this community to work together to find solutions to the problems in our community which are public restrooms, keeping our yards and streets clean, and the homeless. These are separate issues and one does not entirely have to do with the other. Yesterday, this community got the ball rolling. But now we need to stop talking, and agree to act while the iron is hot. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Town Council members, we need bathrooms spaced out at the end of each street on the beach. We also need them at the churches and in the alley between Santa Monica and Newport and Niagara and Newport up to Sunset Cliffs. We need the streets to be sprayed clean early each morning, not at night. And for those who live in OB, we need to work with the police officers assigned to our city to promote peaceful encounters with those we don’t want coming near our property. Let’s stop pointing fingers at one group of people (Travelers) for all these problems, and instead, promote attainable solutions.

And one last thing….I want to thank the SDPD for their presence yesterday. They were not only nice, but all but one wore a smile on their face and seemed genuinely happy to be working in our community yesterday. One officer and I talked for a few minutes about a particular dog breed we liked, and I watched another officer chat with Rev Tom from Point Loma Methodist on Sunset Cliffs. Their calm and relaxed demeanor helped keep tension at bay. So kudos and hats off to you officers for contributing with peaceful negotiations during the handful of moments when folks got into heated discussions. Keep up the non-violent negotiation policy!!!! Clearly you hear our request for less use of physical violence, more quiet and calm resolutions….


Sunshine June 24, 2010 at 12:18 pm

well said, OB Cindi!!! I was so glad to see those that cared about this issue came out and voice their opinions.

I, too, was there and witnessed quite a peaceful exchange with many including those who did not share my opinion. I gave and received smiles, civil verbal exchanges, and educated passers-by that inquired as to why I was there. I respectfully listened to others opinions and learned from those who have been targets of hate speech in their own generations as to why hate, exclusion, and/or dehumanizing a class of people will never be the answer.

of course, not everyone wanted peace ~ I also experienced heated discussions that crossed the line and went below the belt right into rude personal attacks. Yet, only from those who backed the sticker or simple hate the homeless and want “them” gone. I chose to walk away from a few hateful verbal exchanges when their vibrations got too disharmonious to endure. Ah, yes, at times it’s difficult to be a daffodil amongst lawnmowers. Yet, the cohesive collaboration of those who present offered me support and gave me strength to endure.

The police did an excellent job of keeping the peace and their relaxed presence was appreciated. their ability to quickly deescalate any heated exchanges was swift, peaceful, and appropriate.

According to the homeless I’ve met and have made acquaintance with here in OB, even within the homeless population there are different factions. I’ve heard time and time again, that even the Travelers have issue with the few abrasive, aggressive, and violent homeless that come into/through OB.

So just how does one learn to live sans walls? Is there a book on “homeless etiquette?” A street education is at times more costly (and definitively more dangerous) than one found in a University.

When a person ends up without walls not by choice but by economic necessity, how can we help? There are those who are on the streets not of their own choosing who simply need a hand up ~ not a hand out. How many paychecks are you away from joining them? how will you survive? Especially, if we allow the current message of hate (the very one found on the sticker that lead to the boycott of The Black) to target this repeating-throughout-history population?

Have we as individuals become so heartless and cold that we feel there are those who deserve less reverance and respect? Last I checked, we’re all human.


Garth Anderson June 23, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Hey Doug Porter,
What’s going on here? I live in San Diego. I clicked on the ‘Photos’ link to see the pictures and was taken to FACEBOOK. COM! The login page came up and told me that I have to login or register.
I will tell you now that I have no intention of registering with FACEBOOK just so that I can verify what you’re talking about with this protest guy, Sullivan.

You need to show your pictures on this site or else pick a site that features open-read access.
FACEBOOK continues to be abused by too many punks,… which renders it useless for valid info. I discontinued my FACEBOOK account a year ago because I discovered viral links that could damage my computer.

A legitimate concern for the homeless needs to be published truthfully and responsibly.

Thank you,
Garth Anderson


Biff June 24, 2010 at 7:25 am

“US out of OB!” That bumper sticker invokes a feeling, so what is wrong with the ‘bum’ sticker soliciting emotion? “US out of OB!” and you want city hall to come up with the answers? Yo soy very confused. Free Speech! (but only if you agree with me.) Not feeding the homeless is depraved, not violent. Its more like sick-and-tired speech than hate.
I am more offended by the Strand Theatre being replaced by a Wings.


jessica June 24, 2010 at 8:48 am

Agree ! the Strand theater being replaced by a Wings is travesty!


Ali June 24, 2010 at 9:06 am



Patty K Mooney June 24, 2010 at 10:35 am

I wonder if it has occurred to anyone that the reason we don’t have any money for social concerns like healthcare, education, and keeping our streets clean of crime is that we are spending our money on a few wars in the Middle East with very little ROI (Return on Investment) for the common taxpayer. Do you realize we are spending $720 million A DAY on war? According to the Washington Post, “The money spent on one day of the Iraq war could buy homes for almost 6,500 families or health care for 423,529 children, or could outfit 1.27 million homes with renewable electricity, according to the American Friends Service Committee… The war is costing $720 million a day or $500,000 a minute, according to the group’s analysis of the work of Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard public finance lecturer Linda J. Bilmes.” Instead of getting all irate about stickers, seals and ganging up on each other, why aren’t we voicing our complaints about the systematic extortion of our tax dollars by our oil-fueled government?

And speaking of oil, has anyone noticed that the entire southeastern end of our country is getting decimated by vomiting oil? Our neighbors there think we do not care about what happens to them and they are in this alone. America the Beautiful, from sea to shining sea… what a joke.


Greg Sullivan June 24, 2010 at 10:57 am

“Instead of getting all irate about stickers, seals and ganging up on each other, why aren’t we voicing our complaints about the systematic extortion of our tax dollars by our oil-fueled government?”

Well said.

And it’s why I’ve been saying all along that this scapegoating of the homeless in OB and focusing on the homeles as the problem–instead of seeing homelessness as just one of the many symtoms of a greater problem–is a way for those in power to distract attention AWAY from where the BIG problems are.

So yeah, instead, look at the money that’s going out the window on these useless wars and Wall Street bailouts. You have to take into account social responsibility–not just personal responsibility.


me again June 24, 2010 at 11:05 am

Give it up …. why havent you put together a protest in front of the Arco station on Newport and Cable ??? Isnt that more important?


Tic-Tac June 24, 2010 at 2:29 pm

I’m not with or against the current dispute between the “homeless” and the locals. I believe that human should be put back into humanity. People shouldn’t argue over a sticker or hat. IMO, there should be love and understanding for anyone’s opinion regardless of the side they are on. Respect for one another and not to let hate rule your heart. Everyone has their own opinion so let them say what they will.


Tic-Tac June 24, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Free speech stops when hate speech begins.


Kathleen R. Kimble July 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Seems there’s a parallel universe here in Missoula, Montana, where transients, mentally ill, homeless and combinations thereof are a hot topic.
see coverage and linked comments at , including Sunday, July 25 story here:
and the discussion continues on localy lefty blog here:


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