Market Street is San Francisco’s main drag. There are other major streets in the City, but Market Street the one that starts just below Twin Peaks and travels diagonally northeast all the way to the Ferry Building. It traverses the Castro District, the outer fringes of the Mission District, the Civic Center area and the financial district. It is a street with stature.
Under the Municipal Code, the City will hang banners on major thoroughfares, including Market Street, if the banners promote an “event or series of events of interest to a significant portion of the residents of San Francisco.” The event promoters must therefore make a credible showing that they “reasonably expect an in-person attendance of 500 or more people for a single event or 1,000 or more people for a series of events.” Parades, concerts, etc., have all been bannerized at one time or another.
Most recently, a new series of banners went up on Market Street, paid for by a group called “OurSilverRibbon.org.” The banners have an unabashedly pro-abortion messages:
U.S. Out Of My Uterus
Her Decision, Her Choice
San Francisco is Pro-Choice
Interestingly, none of these pro-abortion banners, all of which appear on City property, happen to mention an actual event. Or maybe not so interestingly. As the Life Legal Defense Foundation discovered when it investigated the banners, the City’s Department of Public Works issued the banners in conjunction with a promised “Walk for Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign” event that was supposed to take the form of a parade on Market Street this coming Friday. At the same time the group applied for a parade permit for this coming Saturday morning.
Except that, as the SF Chronicle itself acknowledges, it “[T]urns out, none of that’s quite right“:
The Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women’s website has long said to come back for more information about an upcoming event. Today, it released the specifics: Its Walk for Choice SF – billed as “an event to commemorate and admire the pro-choice banners on Market Street” will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. in Justin Herman Plaza. So the banners are promoting an event to admire the banners. And they’re not for the day or time listed on the event permits. Oh, and the campaign is expecting “a couple hundred people,” at the event, according to Ellen Shaffer, co-founder of the campaign.
In other words, rather than spending money to buy commercial billboard space, a pro-abortion organization lied in order to have the City of San Francisco fund its pro-abortion advertising. Regardless of how one feels about the abortion issue, this is sleazy, fraudulent behavior.
Some city residents are apparently less than thrilled with this little game: “[O]f the original 72 banners, just 45 remain flying. Apparently vandals have ripped down the rest.”