San Francisco Slammed for ‘Band-Aid’ Clean-up Ahead of APEC

San Francisco Slammed for ‘Band-Aid’ Clean-up Ahead of APEC

San Francisco residents and business owners have criticized the city’s clean-up campaign for this week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, saying attempts to push away the homeless and drug addicts from downtown is only a “Band-Aid” solution to a severe and year-around problem, the New York Post reported over the weekend.

The municipality has focused on seven intersections in the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods, locations for some of the more concentrated encampments where drug-addled people high on fentanyl and heroin can be seen passed out on the streets every day in order to spruce up for APEC, which will include a meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“They started clearing the tents earlier this week and there is definitely a lot more police presence,” South of Market resident and community activist Ricci Lee Wynne told the New York Post. “They’ve cleared out the tents that were near the Moscone Center on Howard Street, which tells me the city had the capability to do this all along – instead they just do the bare minimum.”

Wynne added that “once APEC is gone, police presence will start to simmer down again, the tents will return. And it will slowly flare up again. What we need is a permanent solution.”

Adam Mesnick, another South of Market resident and business owner, said he has seen temporary housing appear in hotels for some of the homeless over the past week.

“They are just essentially herding the problem around but offering no long-term solutions,” Mesnick said. “I’m just outside what they consider the ‘containment zone’ for APEC, so the problem is getting pushed into my area, which is already pretty saturated with drug activity. I don’t know if these tents will be in physical view during APEC, but it will be virtually impossible to eliminate all of that.”

Mesnick harshly criticized city officials, saying that “they are very good at creating an illusion and they are very good at performance art. It’s a Band-Aid and indicative of a poor administration. And you know, really at this point, the frustration couldn’t be any louder.

Brian Freeman |

Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.

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