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UncategorizedBehind the "protest" at the Examiner

Behind the “protest” at the Examiner

Was the point to complain about the politics of a story — or about a reporter calling out a politician?

A few people with signs marched in front of the Ex yesterday
A few people with signs marched in front of the Ex yesterday

By Tim Redmond

JULY 29, 2015 — You don’t see picket lines outside newspapers much these days. People used to protest at the Chron every now and then, when the paper ran an awful story about something, but I think the world of activists has come to understand that the Chron doesn’t dominate the local news the way it once did. And it’s really easy to blast a bad newspaper story with social media.

But today a group of protesters showed up in front of the office of the SF Examiner to attack reporter Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez because of a column he wrote saying pretty much the same thing I did about the SF Democratic Party.

I missed the demonstration. I guess I wasn’t on the email list. Not surprising. Julia Carrie Wong did a good job outlining what went on, and you can read her piece here.

The issue, apparently, was that the Public Defender’s Office Racial Justice Committee recommended, gently, that

The Police Department shall make every effort to assign patrol duty in minority communities to minority officers. The RJC recognizes the limitations of this goal, including union agreements, seniority, and individual officer preferences.

That’s something that I have heard communities of color ask for repeatedly over the years. The RJC didn’t just make up the idea; it’s been around a long time.

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But the protesters now call it “segregated policing.” Okay, if that’s how they see it.

Rebecca Young from the Public Defender’s Office says says that

[T]he RJC welcomes a dialogue with the APRI, but that the protesters’ criticism of the policy as promoting “segregation” echoes the response of the San Francisco Police Officers Association (POA).

Here’s the other interesting point: The protesters seem to be saying that Fitzgerald Rodriguez wasn’t accurate in his story because he didn’t talk about the issue they had with police “segregation.” But I have been following this story for months – and that issue, and that term, never once came up at the DCCC.

The two people who worked on the resolution in question, Hene Kelly and Kelly Dwyer, spent months on it. They talked to the cops. They talk to the public defender’s Racial Justice Committee. The measure came up before at the DCCC and was delayed to get more input.

There was plenty of time to raise any of these concerns. Nobody did.

No: The really key element here is that Rodriguez called out Joshua Arce, who is a member of the DCCC and who gutted a police-reform resolution that was drafted in response to the Black Lives Matter protests.

Arce works for the Laborer’s Union, and is close to the two groups that were visibly present at the (modest) demonstration.

Here is what one of the demonstrators posted on Facebook:

The Community has spoken! This morning’s article in The San Francisco Examiner prompted an explosive backlash outside of the newspaper’s headquarters. Unlike the Examiner, our community is NOT in support of segregated policing and will not stand for attacks on our allies in the San Francisco Democratic Party, especially after they pass resolutions supporting ‪#‎blacklivesmatter and 21st Century Policing. Thanks to my brothers and sisters at ABU, LiUNA!, Local 261 and especially to you my brother,Joshua Arce for your leadership and partnership!


Okay, except: The Black Lives Matter resolution is the one Arce gutted. The protest, apparently, was made up of Arce’s allies.

I called Arce. I texted him. I emailed him. He won’t respond to my simple question: What role did he have in organizing the protest?

Do you suppose this was all about trying to discredit a journalist who dared to go after the increasingly conservative leadership of the Democratic Party and who called out a politician with whom he disagreed – which is what political columnists do?

Or am I missing something here?

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.


  1. D9 is no longer a Latino districts thanks to the progressives who have block all forms of housing constructions. Over 10,000 new people have moved in while 8,000 Latinos have moved out.

  2. Uh, what on earth does this have to do with the fact that billionaire Republican Ron Conway is the most powerful person in SF?

  3. Progressive are some of the biggest abusers of campaign finance and many progressive politicians has demanded campaign funds developers such as Campos

  4. No conspiracy theories here, just common knowledge that no one disputes.

    Billionaire Republican Ron Conway = biggest funder of Ed Lee and his allies on the Board of Supes = most powerful man in SF.

    This isn’t a conspiracy theory, it’s an objective fact. I’d ask you what part of this you don’t understand, but of course you absolutely understand this and are only pretending to be oblivious.

  5. Conspiracy theories are not evidence of anything. As Albert Einstein once said “extraordinary claims requires extraordinary proof.” These statements are
    :”All hat and no cattle”

  6. Talking to others does not make you a republican or evil we must break that train of thought.

  7. “Joshua Arce purpose is to achieve balance and reason.”

    Ha! Again, no one is as clueless as you are pretending be, Katherine.

  8. Delusions of a Republican takeover? Nope. Not at all.

    Billionaire Republican, Ron Conway, is the most powerful person in SF today. He, and the huge sums of tech money for which he is the principal conduit, essentially dictates the political direction of Mayor Lee, the majority of the Board of Supes, and the DCCC. Anyone paying the slightest attention to current SF politics know this. It couldn’t be more obvious/blatant.

    But of course, I don’t need to explain this to you, Katherine. You’re as aware of this as anyone else. You’re only pretending to be clueless.

  9. Josh Arce has worked to undermine #BlackLivesMatter — for him to claim to be champion for the cause as he cozies up to the police union is despicable. This is similar to when he campaigned to people at the Mission protest inside City Hall, only to abstain from voting on the moratorium at the DCCC a week later. He’s fully trained in the David Chiu school of politics: pretend to support everything you are working against.

  10. It is quite clear that this article is to say the least quite inaccurate. Joshua Arce purpose is to achieve balance and reason. The examiner would be well to avoid destroying the character of others in the future.

  11. spider:

    Every year, it’s the same story… progressives will aggressively call out progressives for not being progressive enough, H8 & be angry, point the finger, be mostly white, alienate everybody, then lose on Election Day. Within days they’ll have their “State of the Left” meeting and talk about how they have to change. One of them will write an article sheepishly admitting guilt on behalf of the movement, laying the groundwork for that change. But they won’t …rinse & repeat.

    Remember that great progressive candidate for Supervisor in D-5 not that long ago? What was his name??? How about our great progressive Public Defender? You know, the guy that makes Scott Walker look like johnny-come-lately? How about the great progressive Sit/Lie movement soundly rejected by SF Voters? Did you read the paper today about the Parks??? How about when the progressives of the Democratic Party (Peskin,) and the SF Labor Council joined progressive forces in 2010 and got dumped in every SF District by the voters? Remember that? We do.

    With respect to your other points, you should:
    1. See SF Labor Council position on CCA where all of Labor Resolved that CCA was not ready/ and that nobody called them out on it; Also; that during such time Arce delivered time & time again on GoSolar (MEL/David Chiu) and on other green initiatives when the Left could only be pissed & defeated;

    2. See that Campos failed consistently without apology to support good union jobs for local hires (black & brown people in particular,) in the Mission time & time again banking (it all) on a small number of (service) Unions to deliver, while David Chiu found a way. And then Won;

    3. See that “Moratorium” while appropriate (but flawed as to the middle class,) is not yet a consensus movement;

    4. Finally, see that being a City-wide Supervisor who can count to 6 is the best (ONLY) way to deliver to the good people of D-9. Counting to 3 or 4, narrowing the base, calling it in, embarassingly trying to position your aide who doesn’t even live in the District, and just making noise aint gonna do it.

    Time will tell.

  12. Is anyone keep track of all the times Arce has torpedoed progressive legislation and endorsements? Off the top of my head:
    – Helping torpedo CleanPowerSF in 2013 as President of the Commission on the Environment.
    – Blocking David Campos from getting the state Democratic Party endorsement by betraying his vote as representative of the Latino Democratic Club.
    – Helping torpedo the Mission Moratorium at the DCCC.
    – And now this?
    This guy wants to be District 9 Supervisor? D9 has changed a lot, but I don’t think it’s changed that much.

  13. I want to know who printed their signs and t-shirts. Maybe they had a little help from the DCCC? In any event, Rodriguez (and Redmond before him) was right on. On this and on other issues, the DCCC has become a tool for a narrow group of right-wingers who seem to believe that junior high school-style stunts are a good substitute for sound policy.

  14. While not necessarily “living’ where you “police”, thats not carte blanche for outsiders to assume the role (white Novato cops patrolling ghetto areas). I can understand why a cop wouldn’t want to subject his family to ‘hood intimidation. But having cops that *understand* the areas they serve seems crucial. It would also seem to be a good for the ‘hood if citizens saw cops that look like them.

  15. And Joe used to write for the Bay Guardian before it imploded and back when Tim worked there. This all smells funny.

  16. There are some very good reasons why a cop might want to not live in the community he lives in as well. Think about it.

    I think the best approach to take is that it doesn’t matter where cops live and it doesn’t matter what race they are. Anything else smacks of political interferences

  17. The really ridiculous thing that no one is saying is that Hene Kelly’s original proposed resolution said nothing about the race of those officers, just that they should live in the communities and receive a financial incentive to do so. A white officer could live in a community and patrol it. That’s a reasonable proposal, and it’s the exact opposite of segregation. These protestors are plants.

  18. Tim, you totally miss the irony of Progressives dismissing a protest by minorities as well as accusing a politician of being a Union mouthpiece. Also, isn’t the SF Weekly owned by the same people that own the Examiner? You linked to an SF Weekly article, don’t you think that bears mentioning? Oh well, at least now I know I’m not the only one that thinks Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez sucks.

  19. So the Republican controlled police union – much like the Republican controlled union that went after NYC Mayor de Blasio – is pulling the strings at the DCCC. Republican Conway will be busy getting Scott Wiener into office – we are seeing a Republican takeover of local politics.

  20. What would be interesting to know is, who supplied their “accessories” – the t-shirts and the signs? Where are they posting on Facebook? Ms. Young pretty much nails everything wrong in SF these days in this quote from Julia Wong’s article: “‘The DCCC has been hijacked by Republicans disguising themselves as
    Democrats,’ Young said. ‘Joshua Arce is a running dog for the POA. He’s
    their plant.'”

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