Filed under: Action, Gentrification, Pacific, Police, Queer, Trans, White Supremacy
Report back on recent march in San Francisco protesting the murder of Banko Brown by Walgreens security.
A Black trans man born and raised in Frisco, Banko Brown, was dispossessed by the rapaciousness of the city’s real estate machine and its ruling elite. At the time of his murder, he was 24 years old and unhoused. Even as he struggled to find permanent housing, he committed time and energy to helping to seek resources for prison-impacted youth. His killing is a fucking tragedy, an abomination; and it’s one of the many violent products of the city’s ever-escalating, multi-faceted war on its poor, unhoused, Black, and trans inhabitants who dare try to survive.
On Friday, June 23rd, an autonomous group of fed-up anarchists, antifascists, and abolitionists gathered in the Mission District’s Dolores Park to make noise and waves about the racist, anti-poor April 27th murder of Banko Brown by an armed Walgreens security guard, and to oppose the impotent, ambiguous calls for “justice” that were as far as San Francisco’s increasingly corporatized Trans March was willing to push.
The group that diverged and divested from Trans March was at least 50 strong. Armed with signs like, “MONEY FOR HOUSELESS TRANS FAGS, NOT CORPORATE TRANS FLAGS,” “FROM FRISCO TO ATLANTA, COPS DON’T KEEP US SAFE,” “A QUEER LANDLORD IS STILL A LANDLORD,” and the trenchant “YIMBY POO POO,” we departed the park and took to vehicular lanes along the gentrified corridor of Valencia Ave, stopping traffic and taunting techies and tourists who gawked from their sidewalk seats in front of $20 salads the size of closed fists. Chants of “Fuck your safety!,” “Fuck your security,” and “Fuck London Breed,” ricocheted in surround sound off boutique storefronts and condo walls, and from the screeching mouths of bullhorns rose furious condemnations of cops, capitalism, and fat-cat tycoons committed to the brutal project of our extermination.
Serenaded intermittently by the chaotic harmony of supportive honks, we distributed “AVENGE BANKO” flyers to curious drivers, were saluted with raised fists by local unhoused neighbors, and occasionally booed by cop-bootlickers and respectability-lovers—all equal parts of the plan. When we arrived at the 1300 block of Valencia, we stopped in front of the apartment building of local gay surveillance-loving, anti-homeless fascist and District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, whose commitment to the bit has earned him great favor among local cops, business owners, developers, and YIMBYs. With an audio montage of Mandelman’s good pal (and fellow fascist) London Breed’s greatest hits—”Compassion is killing people,” for one—streaming from a speaker, people beautified the pavement with choice messages for Mandelman, spray-painted by hand(s) with middle fingers to the sky.
After storming Mandelman’s street, the crowd dispersed, leaving a trail of pro-vengeance, anti-state leaflets and disturbed richies in our wake. The signs and chants disappeared into the dusk, but the messages rick-rolling the neighbors and scrawled onto the sidewalk remain: it’s up for Banko, it’s abolish Breed and Jenkins, and it’s still and forever Fuck 12.
photo: Clay Banks via Unsplash