8-Dec-2010 (Wed)
Wherein SFPD wants clubbing to be more like airport security.

Here's a good article in the Guardian slamming SFPD's latest proposal that all nightclubs be forced to scan the driver's license of every person entering a club and turn that data over to the cops. The idea is to force on us some kind of "do not fly" list for clubs, because that works so well for the TSA.

Going to a club -- or boarding an airplane?

Civil libertarians and many club owners call this a blatantly unconstitutional invasion of privacy. [...] the proposals also come in the wake of overzealous policing of nightclubs and parties -- including improper personal property destruction and seizures, wrongful arrests and violence by police, harassment of disfavored club operators, and even dumping booze down the drain -- mostly led by SFPD Officer Larry Bertrand and his former partner, Michelle Ott, an agent with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Those actions [...] are the subject of multiple ongoing lawsuits by nightclub owners, patrons, and employees, including a racketeering lawsuit alleging that officials are criminally conspiring against lawful activities.

Yet rather than atoning for that enforcement overreach, Newsom and SFPD officials seem to be doubling down on their bets that San Franciscans will tolerate a more heavily policed nightlife scene in the hopes of eliminating the possibility of random violence.

[...]

Jamie Zawinski is the owner of the DNA Lounge, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. He has been a leading voice in pushing back against the War of Fun, including running a blog that chronicles SFPD excesses. He said the proposed regulations go way too far.

"It's gang violence happening on the street. The nightclubs are being scapegoated. You don't solve the problem by increased security in the clubs," Zawinski told us, adding that the lack of proper policing on the streets should be addressed before putting the financial strain on the entertainment industry.

"It's ridiculously insulting. I will not do that to my customers. It's not a way to solve any problems," Zawinski said. "It sets the tone for the evening when you start demanding papers."

"The rise in violence has to be looked at from a societal point of view," said Sean Manchester, president of CMAC and owner of the nightclub Mighty. He noted that most of the violence that has been associated with nightclubs took place in alleys and parking lots away from the bars and involved underage perpetrators. "In many instances [the increased security measures] wouldn't have done anything to stop it," he said.

Also, photos are up of last week's Darkest Hour and Epica shows, and New Wave City.

5 Responses:

  1. Jim Sweeney says:

    There will be a place for you in my new Imperial government.

  2. Andrew SushiSpook says:

    What's next? Scan your driver's license for every drink you order, and profile you from there?

  3. Don Hopkins says:

    So rimming is ok now?

  4. Cow says:

    Mild amusement that they misprinted it as the "War of Fun". That sounds like a way better thing to have to fight.