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    Summer of Love 2.0: How Love and Coalition Won Against Hate

    By Andrea Shorter–

    Working together as community activists, clergy, and city leaders to plan for public safety, counter-protests, rallies, vigils, marches, and other coalition-driven community-building defenses against the anticipated visitation of hate and hate speech planned to occur at Crissy Field, San Francisco was on the ready to full on ‘represent.’

    And, boy oh boy, how San Francisco came together to rise and resist.

    Every community, every tribe, and every generation of our profound diversity that resides on the 7×7 swath of land and Bay rallied. From Chinatown to the Castro, from Nob Hill to the Bayview, from the Mission to the Sunset, from Yerba Buena Island to the Haight, and beyond; from techies to labor leaders, from world-class performers (thanks, MC Hammer!) to reformed gang leaders, from immigrants to native born, we raised our voices as one big sonic boom reverberating vibes of peace, love and understanding as the City of Saint Francis.

    In hurried yet viable coalition, together we pushed back against violent forces that seek to divide us as a community and nation, eventually and actually chasing agents of hate out of town. Our message was and remains unequivocally loud and clear—white nationalism, white supremacy, and neo-Nazi hate is not welcome in San Francisco, and has no place in our America.

    Much appreciation is due to Mayor Ed Lee, Board of Supervisors President London Breed, Supervisors Mark Farrell and Jeff Sheehy and the Board of Supervisors, SFPD, federal and regional law enforcement agencies, State Senator Scott Wiener, and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi for putting up a good fight to reject the permission of hate, and for the major preparations to safeguard against potential violence at Crissy Field, Alamo Square and throughout the City.

    Thank you to Entertainment Commissioner and Pride Main Stage producer Audrey Joseph and to Kate Kendell—fierce leader of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Hellman and Rosenberg Foundations and others—for so quickly organizing the Peace, Love and Understanding Counter-Protest Rally in the Civic Center. Marchers streamed in from different corners of the City into a massive love-in, which elevated and celebrated our values as expressed by speakers and local entertainers. It culminated in a rousing, spirited come-together rally by Bay Area native son Michael Franti.

    Thank you to the Human Rights Commission for listening to the request of our youth by working with them to organize a series of workshops about the histories, purposes, and applications of non-violent resistance.

    Thank you to Juanita More!, Cleve Jones, leaders of the Women’s March, Alex U. Inn of Mama’s Boyz, Olga Talamante, the SF LGBTQ Community Center and others who rallied thousands at Harvey Milk Plaza before marching from the Castro to Civic Center. Along the way, the marchers blended into an even greater crowd swell with more critical resistance participants from Dolores Park. What an honor it was to march with Cleve and his bull-horn, in the tradition of Harvey Milk, in diverse procession down Market Street behind the beautiful rainbow banner proclaiming “Rise and Resist” created by the late Gilbert Baker.

    Thank you to Rita Semel and our inter-faith council of Christian, Muslim, and Rabbinical leaders who, along with civil rights leaders such as Eva Paterson of the Equal Justice Society, held our community together in reflection, meditation, and solidarity about our values.

    As the dust settles around the events of that epic No Hate August weekend, and we retire from self-congratulatory, yet well-deserved, praises into the normalcies of the day, we remain clear that the work continues, and we must be resolute to lead that work in coalition.

    One way to continue supporting the ongoing work of several organizations that fight daily for our civil and human rights is by checking out NoHateSF.org

    Established by Cleve Jones and the Horizons Foundation, NoHateSF.org provides a platform to raise much-needed funds for nearly 20 organizations, including the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center, Disability Rights and Education Defense Fund, Association of American Indians SF, La Raza Community Resource Center, Muslims Advocates, National Center for Lesbian Rights, the National Immigration Law Center, Planned Parenthood, SF NAACP, the San Francisco Jewish Community Center, SF LGBTQ Community Center, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Transgender Law Center.

    This is one helpful and impactful way to continue to support those vital cross currents of movements that work to build community and coalition to elevate us all to higher ground.

    In the resilient spirit of the Summer of Love 2.0, let’s strive for more peace, more love, and more understanding.

    Andrea Shorter is President of the historic San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women. She is a longtime advocate for criminal and juvenile justice reform, voter rights, and marriage equality. A co-founder of the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition, she was a 2009 David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.