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I cannot support an indefinite curfew in San Francisco. Such a curfew would include unprecedented restrictions on freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, and peaceful protest. It will allow residents to be searched or arrested for simply being outside at 8:01pm for any reason.
This is one of the most broad, indefinite, expansive curfews of any City. We are one of the few cities that has issued an indefinite curfew. This curfew bans anyone from being outside between 8p-5am, with few exceptions. There's no free speech exception, or "peaceful" exception.
This is largely unprecedented in San Francisco.
It has been decades since anything like this has been imposed in our city, if ever. I have not seen any evidence demonstrating an indefinite threat that justifies such indefinite restrictions on the rights of residents.
Looting is illegal. Violence is illegal. We should of course fully protect our people, including our small businesses, and enforce laws appropriately. But there are more officers in our city right now activated than ever, our streets are flooded with police officers.
The focus on the peaceful protestors actually could distract attention from the focus on those who are breaking actual laws. The option of putting forward a curfew on a particular day would still be available. They can issue it on a day to day basis, if it is truly needed.
Protesting or expressing your views loudly is one of the most San Franciscan and American things that you can do. It has made us who we are. And most of the time, when governments have tried to forcibly restrict this type of behavior, history did not judge them kindly.
During the Women's Rights, Civil Rights, Free Speech, Anti-War, LGBT Rights movements, governments did all they could to limit organized activities of individuals.

We should err towards freedom. We should err towards speech. And we should err towards justice. Especially now.
I believe that history will side with those fighting for justice in this moment, not with the governments, whether federal, state or local, that attempted to use force to shut them down.

And this curfew DOES shut down peaceful protest, not only behavior that is already illegal.
There were videos last night of hundreds of officers circling a handful of peaceful protestors and arresting them for violating the curfew. There is no doubt this response was not only excessive, it was surely expensive, at the very time that our city is facing a massive deficit.
Some of the officers who have been deployed on our streets are not SFPD, from Fresno & other cities. These officers may not know our city, do not have required training, and there are obviously inherent risks with multiple departments with officers roaming the streets of our city
This cannot be our city's response to this moment, to justified rage at police excessive force and racist policing. It is devastating that at the very moment people are rising up calling for change, many within our city feel more at risk from excessive force than ever.
The reason for these protests are police violence and excessive force. Deploying thousands more police, with less oversight, less protections, less restrictions, than ever, is not the way we move forward.
It is not the way to start what must be a long term, deep, structural effort to address the injustices that led to the death of George Floyd and that lead to so many other deaths of mostly young black people.
I understand there are some people who want to use this moment to wreak havoc, destruction, violence. We reject that, entirely, and should prevent it. There are better, more targeted ways to do so, while balancing civil liberties and civil rights. We can be better than this.
Why hasn't anyone else raised the issue of costs? Hundreds of officers arresting a handful of people for protesting at 8:15pm is a MASSIVE cost, at a time when we are facing a $2 billion deficit. Compare this to the concerns about the costs of the hotel rooms for the vulnerable.
Let's use the money to support our small businesses. Let's use the money for health care, mental health care, housing. Of course we want to prevent looting, and we can, but this is a massive cost, to our city coffers, and more importantly to our civil liberties and civil rights.
There was a vote yesterday on the curfew at the Board. 4 Supervisors were against, 7 supervisors were for it. Ultimately the Board needs to act unanimously to either accept or reject the order. If we take no action, which now is most likely, it will expire this Sunday morning.
There was also a motion to discuss it again on Thursday, which passed 6-5. So we may have a special board meeting Thursday. But even there, it would take a unanimous vote one way or another to accept or reject the emegency order, which seems very unlikely.
To be clear, it would be potentially indefinite if the Board voted to concur in it, which requires a unanimous vote. It will expire on Sunday morning if the Board does not take action on it at all.
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