Opponents of Bay to Breakers bans: Boycott race registration
By TIM JUE
Beat Staff Writer
Opponents of the new rules enacted by organizers of the ING Bay to Breakers footrace this year are calling for race participants to boycott the registration process after negotiations between leaders of a movement to push for the rescinding of bans on alcohol and floats and race officials came to a stalemate.
In an e-mail statement, Edward Sharpless, who heads an online 11,000+ member strong Facebook group Citizens for the Preservation of Bay2Breakers, said that meetings between his group and race organizers that were scheduled for last Friday and Monday never took place, and that no such compromise had been met.
Sharpless urged would-be race participants to protest by not signing up and paying the race fees.
“Our collective groups announced a temporary boycott on all race registrations,” he wrote. “We’ve also asked those who would normally register for the race as runners or walkers to join us in solidarity of our cause.”
Sharpless said a meeting took place last Thursday between his group, race organizers and San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi — who on Tuesday introduced a City Hall resolution to urge organizers to work with Sharpless and his group to reach a compromise on the controversial bans.
Last year’s messy race aftermath — with floats being abandoned at the end of the route, blatant public drunkenness and urination of doorsteps along the race route — spawned the implementation of bans on booze, those floats and nudity. Race organizers eased the nudity restriction — phrasing their stance as something that they did not sanction.
But the question of enforcement of those bans still hangs in the air. The San Francisco Police Dept. will be charged with enforcing the new rules that race officials — with the blessing of the city — implemented earlier this month.
“[The San Francisco Police] made it clear it would be nearly impossible to enforce the bans as written, and the police would likely not enforce any of the restrictions unless there was a threat to public safety,” Sharpless wrote.
The Chronicle reports that the Police Dept. could not give details on what their enforcement plans might be come race day.