Occupy San Diego Unfairly Blamed for Long-Standing Issues at Civic Center

by on November 4, 2011 · 7 comments

in Civil Rights, Politics, San Diego

Protestors want Centre City Coffee and Brooklyn Dogs to reopen and set new business records

Occupy San Diego will not be participating nor protesting Carl DeMaio’s Nov 7th Event

Friday, November 4, 2011 – Occupy San Diego openly expresses its support for Centre City Coffee and Brooklyn Dogs, the family-owned vendor carts operating at the Civic Center, and suggests that they reopen to set new sales records with hundreds of customers ready to purchase their products. Occupy San Diego suggests that instead of closing, these carts should extend their hours of operation to service the many participants at the Civic Center Plaza after regular business hours.

We are led to believe that these businesses are having hard times because of the public events in the square. But the coffee cart complained of rampant homelessness and dangerous conditions in an April 22, 2008 letter to City Beat (attached below), long before Occupy San Diego was on the scene. The fact that there are now dozens and sometimes hundreds or thousands of people in the square – potential customers for these businesses – seems to be missed in the rush to blame Occupy San Diego for any challenges these business may face. A nearby business – Downtown Johnny Browns – reports that their business is up at least 60%. The normally vacant square is filled, around the clock, with people with money jingling in their pockets.

Occupy San Diego will not be protesting or taking any role in the event being sponsored by Mr. DeMaio on Nov 7. If any protestors show up to oppose the event have nothing to do with the official policy of the movement. Anyone who does come to the event at Downtown Johnny Browns is encouraged to also meet with Occupy San Diego participants to learn about the banking industry corruption and outright fraud that has resulted in the ongoing recession affecting not only coffee and hot dog carts, but every other worker and homeowner who is a member of the 99%.

“I’m sure any business would appreciate a fundraiser in this down economy, but the event planned by Carl DeMaio is more about getting publicity for his Mayoral campaign and tarnishing Occupy San Diego than helping business interests,” said Occupy San Diego participant Rick Halsey. “Other nearby businesses are up due to the new customers. These complaints make no sense.”

Occupy San Diego has created a welcoming space where people are provided basic medical assistance, food, and comfort regardless of housing status. Protesters had organized tents providing these services at an even greater depth prior to a series of police raids. Occupy San Diego calls upon our community to actively help address the homelessness issues at the Civic Center and in downtown San Diego.

Occupy San Diego as a group is committed to nonviolence in word and deed and frowns upon actions like those that are claimed to have brought misfortune to these local businesses. Occupy San Diego will present donations to Centre City Coffee and Brooklyn Dogs as a symbol of peaceful cooperation with all parties at the Civic Center.

“Another small coffee and sandwich shop, not much larger than the coffee cart or the hot dog cart, took a different approach,” said Ray Lutz, Occupy San Diego Organizer. “When the manager overheard his customers talking about certain electronic devices and tools that they needed, he decided to offer those devices and tools one one wall of the sandwich shop. Over time, by listening to his customers and meeting their needs, the sandwich shop became Fry’s Electronics — which still has a small coffee and sandwich shop reminiscent of its original roots. Success is simple: listen to your customers, and give them what they want.”

Occupy San Diego would like to see these businesses operating again. The event by DeMaio only encourages them to remain closed, making the central square of the city even more uninviting to the public, sacrificing the conservative philosophy that the free market will self-select business operators, and instead embraces government intrusion and a “helping hand” that frequently does more harm than good.

Instead of fighting against the Occupy movement, Mr. DeMaio should be endorsing it. He says he is a fiscal conservative who is interested in making the City work. What he appears to be missing is that the financial industry meltdown has affected the City of San Diego – and most other cities and local jurisdictions – just like any worker in the 99%. Money is short, and the primary reason is not because city workers, teachers, firefighters, police, and trash collectors are earning too much or have exorbitant retirements. It is because the “too big to fail” banks failed to act responsibly and even participated in outright fraud and massive irregularities. If Mr. DeMaio wants to truly address these issues, he should be helping the Occupy movement and joining with our agenda to return our country from Wall Street and back to Main Street.

Kali Katt or Ray Lutz
619-916-1304 / 619-820-5321
Occupy San Diego Organizing & Media Groups


Be very afraid

Originally published Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008

Re: “Being neighborly” [“The Front Lines,” City Beat March 26]. I am one of the private businesses at the Civic Center and deal with the homeless on a daily basis. While there will always be good homeless and bad, I would say that most of what goes on down here is bad. On a daily basis, security or the police are called to the Center to deal with the violent behavior (stabbings, beatings, robberies), the drug and alcohol abuse and dealing (yes, they smoke pot, shoot up and deal right in the open).

I have had to call 911 and security so many times, it is ridiculous. I have been threatened for the last two months by a homeless man—just released from 20 years in prison for murder and who just stabbed a man in the public bathroom a couple months ago—because I refused him free coffee, and we are talking a 4-inch blade….

Read the rest of this letter at  San Diego City Beat…


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

GA November 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Was this letter approved at the GA?


Terrie Best November 4, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Thank you OB Rag for picking up this story.

Mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio, got a lot of mileage out of Linda Jenson’s claims that her business failed because of Occupy San Diego. He staged a press conference and vowed to help her.

Very admirable except for the fact that Mr. DeMaio virtually ignored this woman’s plea for help for three years and then saw and took an opportunity to discredit Occupy San Diego with it. He immediately staged a publicity stunt by offering money and the promise of a fund raiser to her now that it suits him.

I have seen many of our Council Members down at the Plaza engaging their public but not Mayor hopeful Carl DeMaio. Mr. DeMaio chose to alienate and vilify those citizens who are begging to be heard. This is not the sign of a leader.


Sup November 4, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Wow, I am not surprised. Everything is unfair to you people. You seem to be perpetual victims.

This seems to be an apt description of your type:

“The possessor of a victim complex needs some outside authority to blame for their own failures. They can never compensate for their personal challenges in order to do the basic competition necessary to be even minimally successful at life. Those with the most institutional of complexes have created not only an outside persecutor but feel an innate and deep endowment for entitlement, even priviledge. In many cases those with a victim complex have foisted their delusions of persecution onto others and convinced the supposed persecutor into another complex: liberal guilt. Those who are members of the class of people (supposedly) persecuting the victim who don’t subscribe to liberal guilt are held up as examples of those who really ARE persecuting them which just reinforces the complex.”


L November 6, 2011 at 12:01 am

Victim complex…wait – were you talking about the occupiers or the coffee vendor?


mr.rick November 4, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Does this theory apply to the cry baby tea partiers. Who want the government to keep their dirty hands off our Medicre?


L November 5, 2011 at 11:43 pm

How about raising some funds for a homeless shelter Mr. DeMaio?


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