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Rock Paper Scissors Collective Harassed by California ABC and OPD on 10th Anniversary
by Dave Id
Saturday Jun 14th, 2014 1:10 PM
On the evening of June 6 during Oakland's First Friday Art Murmur, the Rock Paper Scissors Collective was celebrating their 10-year anniversary at their gallery on Telegraph and 23rd Street. Past and present members of the all-volunteer collective prepared new, or culled from the past, large and small works of art for the event. A fashion show was scheduled as part of the festivities. A table in the back of the space included free refreshments, snacks, and a few bottles of wine for those who came in that night. It's not uncommon for art galleries to offer glasses of wine to patrons at special receptions. At a little past 8pm, however, two undercover or plainclothes agents of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control came into the RPS gallery and started asking questions about the wine. The agents pulled badges out of their shirts and a volunteer who goes by "D" was handcuffed and charged with a misdemeanor for serving wine.
[Photo: D, handcuffed by OPD, while RPS members look on and ABC agents rifle through the area around the refreshments table.]

Shortly after arriving at the Rock Paper Scissors community space, the ABC agents called in two Oakland police officers to assist them in clearing out the crowded gallery so that they could interrogate D, who had volunteered to assist that night and helped out by staffing the refreshments table. D was handcuffed while an ABC agent searched around looking for all of the wine he could confiscate. Not only did the two agents take every bottle of wine they could find, they also took all of the cash from an RPS donation jar that was on the refreshments table.

During his detainment, D tried to ask the agents what specifically he was being charged with, since the Rock Paper Scissors gallery was not selling the wine, but offering it for free to adult guests who might want a glass. The female agent would only say that he had violated the law. When D asked her why she had to be so inhuman with him, she snorted back, "What are you babbling about?"

D was was released from the handcuffs and charged with a misdemeanor. The citation reads Penal Code and Section “23300 BP — sales/service of alcoholic beverage.” D has a court date set for August 11 at 8am at the Wiley Manual courthouse in Oakland. Immediately after the ABC agents and OPD officers left the scene, RPS re-opened their doors and concerned well-wishers and others flooded back in and members began passing the hat to raise funds to support D’s upcoming legal expenses.

Unfortunately, the culminating fashion show was cancelled that night because those who had organized it were unsure of how long the gallery would remain under the control of law enforcement. RPS re-opened about 9pm, but by then models had already removed their apparel and the First Friday event was coming to a close. The fashion show will be held at another date and time.

For those who missed the Art Murmur reception, art and events related to the 10th anniversary celebration continue throughout the month.

Rock Paper Scissors Collective
§ABC agent returns from searching a back storage area
by Dave Id Saturday Jun 14th, 2014 1:10 PM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Observed
Saturday Jun 14th, 2014 2:51 PM
Here's the language of the statute:
23300. No person shall exercise the privilege or perform any act
which a licensee may exercise or perform under the authority of a
license unless the person is authorized to do so by a license issued
pursuant to this division.

In other words, one can not serve or sell alcohol in a commercial setting (such as an gallery where art is sold) unless the venue has either an one-day permit or a liquor license. Another thing that might have attracted ABC et al to the event: were there people under the age of 21 present? Had they partook of any wine?
by ntuit
Saturday Jun 14th, 2014 6:51 PM
The nanny police state looking out for us again. I think it is more like just throwing their legal weight around and trying to show who is in control. What a waste and how un-neccesary but the SBC and Oakland police are known for over zealous enforcement and trying to destroy anything that is fun ala festival at the Lake or Carajama festival.

It is just like the laws that prevent bars or restaurants from serving alcholic beverages outdoors or having to have a special permit for everything. frankly, I don't think the public was served, protected or anything by this type of thing.

Now "D" has to go through all of the legal bull-shit of a system that historically has oppressed people - especially if they poor or don't fit the standards of the "good law abiding people of the community aka police ass kissers".

This sucks but is it anything new for this kind of shit to happen in Amerika?
by Stop backward USA
Saturday Jun 14th, 2014 7:13 PM
Children always aspire to be "grown up." When one connects alcohol with being "grown up," it becomes the forbidden fruit, and in the context of Nazi USA, the pretext for framing people on selling or serving alcohol to minors. When alcohol has no minimum age, it is treated the same as any other beverage, and the police state cannot cause us grief over it. In many countries, alcohol is consumed by everyone with dinner, usually in the form of wine. When the forbidden fruit aspect is removed, abuse of alcohol is less likely.
by Observed
Saturday Jun 14th, 2014 7:53 PM
One way to avoid getting entangled with ABC could be to make receptions BYOB in the future...
by ntuit
Monday Jun 16th, 2014 7:25 PM
after BART cop Johannes mehserle shot oscar grant in the back and murdered him, he walked away from the scene. he was not handcuffed or interrogated...just walked away. in this instance we have a supposed crime where wine might have been served to consenting adults and juveniles were probably not served alcohol but our law enforcement agents of course handcuff and interrogate and set up for a misdemeanor charge someone who likely did nothing wrong or if it was wrong it was hardly worth the trouble. Maybe they could of just taken the booze and given a warning. But hey he wasn't a cop and he hadn't just shot someone in the back.

How often do we see cops and other public servants doing things that we would be ticketed for and have to pay a large fine. Like talking on their cells phones while driving, like parking in red zones when they go to eat or do their banking. Or pulling up on the wrong side of the street like I saw a berkeley cop do recently, didn't pay the meter, in the parking spot going the wrong way to get her coffee and pastry at Whole Foods. But hey, she's a cop so the laws don't apparently apply. Or how about sf meter maids who park their mini vans in parking spaces and go to lunch without putting $ in the meter. Something they gladly ticket us folks for. There is a double standard going on and you get kind of real sick and tired of it.