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View other events for the week of 10/ 6/2013
Chess-In on SF Market Street
Date Sunday October 06
Time 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Location Details
Market STreet Between 5th and 6th street
Event Type Protest
Organizer/AuthorThe People of San Francisco
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Time12:00pm until 3:00pm

Market between 5th & 6th, San Francisco (you know--where the chess goes)

Come play chess on a public sidewalk. Invite friends and passers-by. Bring a chessboard, chess pieces, a table, and chairs if you have them. Bring a sign telling everyone why you're here. Bring your weird. Human chess pieces with a board drawn in chalk & non-chess board games are totally allowed.


Because of this:

Because it is not a crime to play chess in public or private space; because the commons and the spirit of the city we love are both diminishing; because we can't let people with money and power stop us from having a good time on the sidewalks and streets we own.

What do we do if chess is already happening?

We are stoked and join in!

This is being (dis)organized in an impromptu and fluid manner - feel free to make suggestions or do whatever you like to contribute. All supporters should consider themselves equal co-organizers of this event and act accordingly, as there will be no formal organization or directions given on 10/6. Just come with friends, play some games, and do whatever else you want!
Added to the calendar on Sunday Sep 22nd, 2013 7:31 PM
by The People of San Francisco Sunday Sep 22nd, 2013 7:31 PM
§Chess in endorsements
by mesha Irizarry (meshairizarry [at] Sunday Sep 22nd, 2013 7:42 PM
Idriss Stelley Foundation,
Occupy Da Hood SF
and the SF CHapter of Education Not Incarceration

wholeheartedly endorse the Market St Chess in

This is the last stroke in criminalizing the Poor, the Homeless, and the many African Anericans who engage in peaceful chess games on Market, as well as the many filipino veterans (who fought the american wars, but were never given US citizenship, and barely survive ob General Assistance in the Tenderloin....) who play chess on Market....

Let's do this for them, under their leadership

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by CN
Friday Sep 27th, 2013 8:21 AM
I have always admired street chess from afar. Don't know how to play and intimidated by the scene but Oct. 6th I will be there and ask a chess veteran to show me how it all works, "under their direction" as Idriss suggests. I am disgusted that sf is trying to ban street chess-- a tradition, an intellectual pursuit, a city life open to all classes and not for sale. In my childhood in cities in the 60s and 70s, streets were for touch football, chess, old ladies sitting in folding chairs watching the street life and grooming each other, tag games covering many blocks, flirting, unsupervised playing, and so on. If all of those things are banned, and abandoned to media-promoted fear of the sidewalk, what's left but anti social activities and shopping? We really do have to keep hold of the right to be human, outdoors, maintaining and evolving cultural practices that began even before we were human.
by David Elliott Lewis
Saturday Oct 5th, 2013 2:28 AM
In response to this SFPD crack down of a three decade tradition of playing chess on Market Street between 5th and 6th, there is going to be a "Chess-In" protest this Sunday, October 6th, 2013, noon to 3pm.

In speaking with Ivy Lee, Legislative Aid to District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim, I learned yesterday that when Jane's office asked the chess players what they actually wanted, many wanted a better and safer location. Some players complained about being intimidated by drug dealers. Many said they didn't feel safe and sought someplace else to play. It was an important question to ask - a question that was overlooked by many - what do the actual chess players themselves want?

Personally, I was appalled by the police crack down and seizure of their chess boards, tables and chairs. I also view it as another unfortunate example of a gentrifying neighborhood clean up action driven by adjacent property developers - especially the new high end vertical mall being built across the street.

In some ways, this is a class conflict - a conflict between rich and poor. Chess on Market Street is one of the few constructive and affordable recreational activities that low income residents can participate in. Chess also enriches the mind. It is healthy and positive in so many ways. It also enjoys a 30 year plus history.

Still, I want to see the expressed needs of the chess players themselves being met. They want and need a safe but accessible place to play, a challenge in a neighborhood with precious little open space.

Ideally, I would love to see a permanent installation of concrete chess tables and benches, all shaded by an overhead canopy.

I have a proposal. Maybe some of the open space surrounding the nearby 5th and Market Street BART station Hallidie Plaza could be repurposed. In specific, there is a tier near the Forever 21 store, positioned below street level but above the station level that is currently occupied by pigeons. I propose displacing the birds and putting a row of tables right there. This could work. There are several other open spaces in and around Hallidie Plaza that could also be used. I propose that this is investigated. Meanwhile, I hope you will attend this Sunday's Chess-In protest.

#JaneKim #Chess #SanFrancisco #MarketStreet #District6 #SocialJustice #Displacement #RichVersusPoor #SFPD #SF
by David Elliott Lewis
Saturday Oct 5th, 2013 2:33 AM
A photo showing a single chess game being played on the ground of Market Street, September 23rd, 2013, 5:18pm. A thriving thirty year plus tradition was destroyed by a SFPD crack down that seized players game boards, tables and chairs. I hope you can attend the Chess-In protest this Sunday, Oct 6th, 2013, noon to 3pm, Market Street between 5th and 6th.

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