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Protest Against Privatization Of SF Botanical Gardens

Saturday, August 07, 2010
10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Event Type:
Peace and Freedom Party
Location Details:
San Francisco Botanical Gardens
9th Avenue at Lincoln Way
San Francisco, CA 94122

8/7 Protest Against Privatization Of SF Botanical Gardens Called For By SF Peace and Freedom Party
San Francisco Peace and Freedom Party Protests Privatization Of SF Botanical Gardens
Information Picket and Rally Saturday August 7, 2010 10:00 AM
Main Entrance Botanical Gardens Golden Gate Park

Despite significant opposition from the community and many working people, the San
Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to privatize the San Francisco Botanical Gardens
by charging a $7.00 fee for non-residents. The San Francisco Supervisors have agreed
to turn the Gardens over to the Botanical Society who will collect the fees and will be using
non-union workers for this new project. This anti-labor Botanical Society are intent on making
the gardens and the park a pay for use area instead of a public space for all working people
of San Francisco and the bay area. The privatization of gardens with charges for entrance starts
on August 7, 2010.
Unfortunately, some unions have accepted the need for privatization in order to "save"
union jobs but this privatization is an attack on all working people. Additionally, undocumented workers
and their families if they live in San Francisco will be forced to pay these outrageous fees.
The Peace and Freedom Party and opponents of privatization of public services will
speak out and rally against this privatization and demand that the 18 billionaires in San
Francisco who really run the city pay for this crisis.

Saturday 10:00 AM Main Entrance Botanical Gardens-Next To Hall Of Flowers
9th and Lincoln
San Francisco Golden Gate Park
For information call (415)637-3787

Additional Information From an anti-privatization activist.

Golden Gate Park founder and Arboretum designer John McLaren and Helene Strybing must both be rolling in their graves! McLaren, who had envisioned a vehicle- and building-free oasis, would be aghast at the high ticket prices and corporate commercialism of our museums, the ugly gashes marking the entrance to the Warren Hellman parking garages, the Segway "tours," and the very idea of astroturfed playing fields at Ocean Beach. He would be amazed that the once-free museums, Tea Garden, and Conservatory of Flowers, who faced hard times after Prop 13, are now cash cows. Likewise, Helene intended the Arboretum, whose creation she funded in her 1926 will, as a sanctuary which would remain free for all.

Phil Ginsburg, absentee Mayor Gavin Newsom's Director of Recreation and Parks, is trying to force a $7 entry fee on Arboretum visitors, having packaged this together with a $2 Coit-Tower surcharge. Provided they can prove residency, San Franciscans will not have to pay but we can expect this to change. Widespread community protest and outrage last year is the only reason Recreation and Park modified their previous plan to charge residents a $5 fee while soaking tourists for $7.

The gardens are to become more and more Disneyfied: Plans include turning the "Demonstration Gardens" into a "special exhibitions" area, install "high-end" coffee carts, and institute corporate-sponsored "free days."

It is unclear who will foot the considerable costs needed to install kiosks, change signage and promotional materials, print tickets, pay for staff, and conduct audits. A further unknown is how this will pan out financially. Three of five entry gates will be permanently shut. The social loss will be immense and mulitgenerational.

The first San Franciscans got wind of this was at the February 18th Recreation and Park Commission meeting when the Department's Katharine Petrucione claimed that charging $7 will bring RPD an astonishing $250,000 net. We're hoping to someday see the math, especially since only last year RPD was claiming that a "nonresident" levy would bring in $150,000 after expenses. Should the fee be rejected, Katherine laid it on the line: three gardeners from the Arboretum will be fired - a clear (and successful) attempt at blackmail!

Astonishingly, the Botanical Garden Society has engaged BMWL, a lobbying firm with clients such as AT&T and Bechtel, who have lobbied members of the the Board of Supervisors (arriving with Society trustees in tow!) and organized "Save the Garden" astroturf rallies. The Society has a budget of $3 million and considerable clout within San Francisco's ruling elites. What can we do to counter their influence? Contact the Supervisors, Mayor Newsom and Phil Ginsburg (831-2704) and demand a public meeting.

The Arboretum is a special place where tourists and locals may meet in a utopian commons - an area free of ID cards, gates, and unreasonable restrictions. We should enshrine the principle that access to our biological heritage is a common right-one guaranteed to all, regardless of one's skin pigmentation, passport, age, sex, or ability to pay. Future generations will thank us for it.

Join the Facebook group to protest the fees:

Sign the petition:!
San Francisco Botanical Garden - Visit
Plan Your Visit
Whether you have ten minutes or a life-time, there's always something new to see and do at the SF Botanical Garden.

The Garden is open
Weekdays, 8 am to 4:30 pm
Weekends & Holidays, 10 am to 5 pm

Starting August 7th, the Garden will be open
Daily: 9 am - 6 pm (April-Oct.)
Daily: 10 am - 5 pm (Nov-March)
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day

*** Starting August 7th, 2010, the San Francisco Botanical Garden will charge admission to NON-SAN FRANCISCO RESIDENTS. ***

$7.00 for Adults
$5.00 for Youth ages 12-17, Seniors age 65 & over, and College Students with ID
$2.00 for Children ages 5-11
$15.00 for Families (2 adults and one or more children)

FREE for Children ages 4 and under
FREE for all San Francisco City and County residents with proof of residency (Valid CA ID, PG&E bill + photo ID).
FREE for all Members. Members may be able to bring guests depending on their membership level.

Join our Yahoo! "Keep the Arboretum Free" group:
Added to the calendar on Fri, Aug 6, 2010 8:43AM
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