We Have Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The Inauguration of Ed Lie

Tiny - Posted on 02 February 2016

“You can’t come in,” the oddly butler-esque dressed sheriff stopped me, my 12 year old sun Tiburcio and literally hundreds of members of the “public” at the door to King Lee’s (Not at all) “public” inauguration.

“We were told it was open to the public,” I countered, 

“It is,” a weird silence ensued and he looked above us. 

“So if its public, we are the public and we would like to go in,” I continued.

“You can’t,” again, a long weird silence ensued. 

We stood there one-sidedly arguing with him for another few minutes and then me and Tibu decided to “find an alternate route” to get in. We proceeded on a hectic journey to penetrate the insane level of FBI, SWAT, Sheriff Dept and private security crawling around the so-called public event. We went up the elevator and down the stairs. we tried unsuccessfully to claim media access, but our “plastic” official PoorNewsNetwork badge was a little to toe-up to garner us legitimacy. We trailed along with the Boys choir, and got stopped as soon as they actually looked at us, our slightly soiled revolutionary black attire giving us away. We hid in the bathroom, thinking we were pulling a James Bond move and would eventually fling the door open and do a body roll out. Dopey us came out and the same police were still there, this time they had increased to double-fold and were staring right at us. 

Finally we ended up in the press box upstairs, standing nonchalantly next to sis-STAR comrade Pearl Ubungen (who eventually got dragged out). We managed to stay quiet until London Breed began to introduce the mini-king and his fiefdom. “Fire Chief Suhr, Fire Ed Lie'" came rolling out of my mouth uncontrollably and with the words came the sign that oddly appeared under my sweat-shirt, If we don’t Fire Chief Suhr and Recall Ed Lee He will Shoot & Evict us All- #Mario Woods, Alex Nieto, Amilcar Lopez, Idriss Stelley, Ron Likkers and Elaine Turner…It was at this moment that a female sheriff appeared from behind the curtain and pulled me away from the area while grabbing my sign and tearing it up violently like i was insulting her personally. Me and Tibu had a plan, if i did get pushed out, he would step away and follow slightly behind. She led us to the place that the Swat team and Po’Lice had designated for all us trouble-makers aka the very angry, evicted, lied to, displaced, houseless, po’Lice terrorized San Franciscans that Ed Lie was supposedly elected by.

From that moment on it was scene out of some old Russian spy novel. Anybody who dared to raise their voice, drop a banner, or boo loudly was at risk of being seized and dragged out. One by one a team of three sheriffs would march in, burrow through the crowd and “find” the perpetrator and drag him or her out, plastic arrest ties dangling off their gun belts. 

At the same time at least 75 suited and booted swat team members with batons raised and helmut glasses down gathered at either exit to escort us out of the little segregated space we had been corralled into. It was actually terrifying for a poverty skola, formerly incarcerated mama like me that can’t get arrested. And yet it was so infuriating that any hardcore truth-teller like me and the other hundreds of community next to me, couldn’t leave. As a matter of fact, there was a mini- conflict between some of us who wanted to lock arms and begin chanting together at the top of our lungs knowing that these paid gangsters might be able to arrest one or two of us but they couldn’t arrest all of us together. But people seemed visibly and understandably intimidated and so outbursts remained singular until the end.

Meanwhile, the weird feudal fiefdom was unfolding downstairs. From the boys choir to the catholic priest, from the poltricksters Breed and Governor Gerrification Fracking Brown to the weird love by Lee’s well-dressed minions in rapt attendance. In the midst of constant boos, shouts to Fire Chief Surh, Ed Lee and Get justice for Mario Woods, Alex Nieto and so many more coming from both 2nd floor sides of the rotundas filled with angry community, there was clapping and honoring and well-wishing. It was nothing less than surreal and so reminiscent of the (S)Election of this mayor who has ruled with greed as his first goal, selling off every part of this town to the gentryTECH nation and in the process displacing and killing families, elders and young people of color. 

The Violent Paper Pusher

People claim he is only a paper pusher (bureaucrat) but don’t get it twisted, paper and pens in the wrong hands can kill people and has led to the death of thousands of poor peoples, disabled peoples, Black and Brown and indigenous peoples from the lie of discovery to Chattel slavery to our present day anti-poor people laws of the 21st century. Other than the very rich, this mayor isn’t working for anyone. It is why we Black, Brown, Disabled and Poor peoples at POOR Magazine visited his house the day before for an action we called Suhr & Lee: Stop Killing SF & Its Black, Brown, Disabled & Poor People -Mayor Lie Must Resign & Greg Suhr Must be fired. He may follow the careful script of Willie Brown who he managed to mention at the inauguration (even thought it really didn’t make sense) but he is responsible for a special kind of disengaged selling off of this town that i don’t think i have really seen before. A 21st century poltrickster sell-out of frightening proportions. 

Crisis after crisis, emergency after emergency, protest after protest every time folks have arrived at Ed Lie’s “public” office in City Hall, it is locked, his doors are guarded by at least four or more Sheriffs and maybe if we are lucky a 20 something clueless aid comes out to speak to us. My favorite moment of tragic comedy was when at least 50 families who were facing police profiling of their suns and eviction due to the privatization of public housing from the mayor’s RAD demonstration ( read privatizing all the San Francisco public housing and turning it into “mixed-income” housing) we showed up singing a gospel song and one of the Sheriffs guarding the door told myself and QueenandiX Sheba, fellow staff writer at POOR Magazine that if we sang one more “note” he would arrest us. For singing. This is the 21st century kingDumb of Ed Lie. 

Staying silent about his overseer

Since the brutal execution of Mario Woods by Po’Lice firing squad for nothing more than being black and still alive in San Francisco hundreds of people have filled the streets demanding Chief Suhr be fired. Demanding justice and accountability. Demanding respect for the mama of this young African Sun and nothing from the mayors office. Not even a call of apology, respect or condolences. 

“Justice for Mario Woods,” Fire Chief Suhr…Fire Ed Lee!!” 

Eventually the tragic comedy was over, but not before at least 15 people were dragged out, several arrested and hundreds more unsuccessfully intimidated for the sole act of not being ok with this theft of a public office, a City and thousands of our lives. We agreed to march out together. Eventually marching single file down the stairs, demanding justice for Mario Woods the firing of Chief Suhr and Ed Lee and all of us. 

Before we left a young sister, Melissa Crosby, called us to arms with the famous Assata Shakur chant…

“It is our duty to fight for our Freedom….

It is our Duty To Win…

We Must love and protect each other

WE Have nothing to lose but our Chains

WE Have Nothing to lose but our chains


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