News

Artist blocks street to guard new Black Lives Matter mural

Group plans to stay until the city applies protective coating, negotiates an agreement over image of convicted police killer

Artist Matthew Basirico protects his Black Lives Matter painting in downtown Palo Alto from cars on July 8. Photo by Sue Dremann.

A group of demonstrators has parked cars on top of the new Black Lives Matter mural on Hamilton Avenue in Palo Alto, guarding it against both the elements and cars and concerned that the image of a convicted police killer could be erased, they said Wednesday.

The volunteer artist and allies noticed on Wednesday morning that the city had taken down street barricades that had kept traffic off of the mural, which spells out the words "Black Lives Matter" in block letters filled with colorful designs and memorials to the struggle of Black people in America.

Tire tracks had already begun to streak the mural by Wednesday evening. About 10 demonstrators parked three cars on the mural, one each at either end and one in the middle. Motorists were still able to drive in the right-hand lanes, which are not covered by the artwork.

The group, concerned the latex-paint mural might wear away, had wanted the city to paint a protective layer over the artwork. City Manager Ed Shikada said on June 30 that the city hadn't decided whether it will coat the paintings.

Artist volunteer Matthew Basirico, who helped paint the letter "R," but who was not one of the city's officially commissioned artists for the project, called Mayor Adrian Fine Wednesday about the coating. He said Fine asked him to email him, but Basirico said he doesn't want to engage in an email exchange.

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"I plan to be out here until we negotiate putting the protective barrier down," he said.

Fine said in an email on Thursday morning that the mural was intended to be temporary.

"I think it came out beautifully and is an important symbol for Palo Alto. We also have real, difficult, and long-term work to do in addressing structural racism. I repeatedly asked the city to find a way to preserve the mural for longer, but the staff doesn't believe it is feasible," he said.

Artist Matthew Basirico's car is parked atop a controversial image of a fugitive cop killer in the Palo Alto Black Lives Matter mural in front of City Hall on July 8. He wants to protect the painting from vandalism. Photo by Sue Dremann.

Basirico said he also strategically parked his car on top of the "E" in "Matter," an artwork that has generated controversy because it contains a depiction of Joanne Chesimard. The National Police Association has asked the city to remove Chesimard's image, who escaped prison in 1979 while serving time for the 1973 killing of a New Jersey State Police trooper, according to a petition by the police association.

Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, was a member of the Black Liberation Army in the 1970s, a group that had killed 13 police officers, according to the police association. She and two others opened fire on two troopers during a traffic stop. One of the troopers died and the other survived the gun battle. Chesimard was later captured and convicted of first-degree murder and multiple other felonies. She was granted political asylum in Cuba after escaping from prison. She remains on the FBI's Most Wanted list, the association said.

"If it is not possible to imagine putting a 17' tall mural of nurse Richard Speck (a mass murderer) in front of a hospital or putting a 17' tall mural of Dan White, who assassinated San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, in front of a mayor's house, the atrocity of the celebration of a fugitive convicted cop killer in front of Palo Alto's City Hall is equally reprehensible. For law enforcement required to enter the building is there any description other than a hostile work environment?" the association wrote

Fine said he was disappointed to learn about the inclusion of Joanne Chesimard in the mural.

"In no way does the city condone or support violence. But I'm also not interested in removing her image. Part of this process is allowing new voices to speak up, and that my be uncomfortable, but that's one of the great things about art," he said.

The artist who painted the mural containing Chesimard's image, CeCe Carpio of Oakland, is a disaster worker by day and a painter, said in an email that as a woman of color, an artist, a muralist, and as a cultural worker, she reclaims public spaces and creates larger-than-life images to tell stories of collective experience.

"In our current time, when the Black Lives Matter movement continues to be on the rise, I feel it is imperative that we participate and show solidarity with our Black communities. The fight for Black liberation has paved ways for us to be here. It is our responsibility to continue to defend Black Lives and support Black resistance," she said.

"As a resident of Oakland with its rich history of this movement, birthing the Black Panther Party, it is important to me to share this history with young people like my niece because its legacies give us hope today. The Black Panther Party created over 65 survival programs including the breakfast and lunch program for school children, free health clinics and sickle cell anemia testing. They advocated for health care, affordable housing and participated in political elections. Their demands still ring true for us all. Demands that continue to be made by movements across the world."

Carpio felt it was important to represent the "words and wisdom" of Chesimard, who she said has been a political refugee since 1979. The mural contains a quote from Chesimard that reads, "We must love each other and support each other," Carpio said.

"Assata was a target of policing and COINTELPRO, and is still a target of the policing and the U.S. government. They see her involvement with the Black Liberation movement as a threat to the status quo. Just as they see the movement to defend Black lives as a threat to racial capitalism and white supremacy," she said.

Meghan Horrigan-Taylor, the city's chief communications officer, said in an emailed statement Wednesday night that the mural is "one aspect of a larger city dialogue taking place on race and equity and connects to the city's thoughtful conversations on the role of policing.

"The mural is temporary," Horrigan-Taylor said. "In no way does the mural take away from the value we have in our police officers who serve our community every day. Temporary art is a means of expression on difficult issues and the Black Lives Matter mural is thought-provoking and is inspiring conversation."

On Thursday, Horrigan-Taylor added in an email that a mural volunteer, not a commissioned artist, requested the city look into a sealant. Staff considered application of a sealant and concluded that it could change the color of the artists’ work, cause a safety hazard when the sealant gets wet due to adding a slippery surface, among other considerations. Because of these issues, it was decided to not apply a sealant.

From the beginning, the city's intent that the mural would be a temporary installation was communicated to the artists and the broader community as a temporary installation, she said.

Editor's note: In a previous version of this story, Basirico claimed that artist CeCe Carpio was negotiating with City Manager Ed Shikada to keep her mural intact. Horrigan-Taylor disputed that claim.

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Artist blocks street to guard new Black Lives Matter mural

Group plans to stay until the city applies protective coating, negotiates an agreement over image of convicted police killer

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Jul 8, 2020, 11:07 pm
Updated: Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 3:54 pm

A group of demonstrators has parked cars on top of the new Black Lives Matter mural on Hamilton Avenue in Palo Alto, guarding it against both the elements and cars and concerned that the image of a convicted police killer could be erased, they said Wednesday.

The volunteer artist and allies noticed on Wednesday morning that the city had taken down street barricades that had kept traffic off of the mural, which spells out the words "Black Lives Matter" in block letters filled with colorful designs and memorials to the struggle of Black people in America.

Tire tracks had already begun to streak the mural by Wednesday evening. About 10 demonstrators parked three cars on the mural, one each at either end and one in the middle. Motorists were still able to drive in the right-hand lanes, which are not covered by the artwork.

The group, concerned the latex-paint mural might wear away, had wanted the city to paint a protective layer over the artwork. City Manager Ed Shikada said on June 30 that the city hadn't decided whether it will coat the paintings.

Artist volunteer Matthew Basirico, who helped paint the letter "R," but who was not one of the city's officially commissioned artists for the project, called Mayor Adrian Fine Wednesday about the coating. He said Fine asked him to email him, but Basirico said he doesn't want to engage in an email exchange.

"I plan to be out here until we negotiate putting the protective barrier down," he said.

Fine said in an email on Thursday morning that the mural was intended to be temporary.

"I think it came out beautifully and is an important symbol for Palo Alto. We also have real, difficult, and long-term work to do in addressing structural racism. I repeatedly asked the city to find a way to preserve the mural for longer, but the staff doesn't believe it is feasible," he said.

Basirico said he also strategically parked his car on top of the "E" in "Matter," an artwork that has generated controversy because it contains a depiction of Joanne Chesimard. The National Police Association has asked the city to remove Chesimard's image, who escaped prison in 1979 while serving time for the 1973 killing of a New Jersey State Police trooper, according to a petition by the police association.

Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, was a member of the Black Liberation Army in the 1970s, a group that had killed 13 police officers, according to the police association. She and two others opened fire on two troopers during a traffic stop. One of the troopers died and the other survived the gun battle. Chesimard was later captured and convicted of first-degree murder and multiple other felonies. She was granted political asylum in Cuba after escaping from prison. She remains on the FBI's Most Wanted list, the association said.

"If it is not possible to imagine putting a 17' tall mural of nurse Richard Speck (a mass murderer) in front of a hospital or putting a 17' tall mural of Dan White, who assassinated San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, in front of a mayor's house, the atrocity of the celebration of a fugitive convicted cop killer in front of Palo Alto's City Hall is equally reprehensible. For law enforcement required to enter the building is there any description other than a hostile work environment?" the association wrote

Fine said he was disappointed to learn about the inclusion of Joanne Chesimard in the mural.

"In no way does the city condone or support violence. But I'm also not interested in removing her image. Part of this process is allowing new voices to speak up, and that my be uncomfortable, but that's one of the great things about art," he said.

The artist who painted the mural containing Chesimard's image, CeCe Carpio of Oakland, is a disaster worker by day and a painter, said in an email that as a woman of color, an artist, a muralist, and as a cultural worker, she reclaims public spaces and creates larger-than-life images to tell stories of collective experience.

"In our current time, when the Black Lives Matter movement continues to be on the rise, I feel it is imperative that we participate and show solidarity with our Black communities. The fight for Black liberation has paved ways for us to be here. It is our responsibility to continue to defend Black Lives and support Black resistance," she said.

"As a resident of Oakland with its rich history of this movement, birthing the Black Panther Party, it is important to me to share this history with young people like my niece because its legacies give us hope today. The Black Panther Party created over 65 survival programs including the breakfast and lunch program for school children, free health clinics and sickle cell anemia testing. They advocated for health care, affordable housing and participated in political elections. Their demands still ring true for us all. Demands that continue to be made by movements across the world."

Carpio felt it was important to represent the "words and wisdom" of Chesimard, who she said has been a political refugee since 1979. The mural contains a quote from Chesimard that reads, "We must love each other and support each other," Carpio said.

"Assata was a target of policing and COINTELPRO, and is still a target of the policing and the U.S. government. They see her involvement with the Black Liberation movement as a threat to the status quo. Just as they see the movement to defend Black lives as a threat to racial capitalism and white supremacy," she said.

Meghan Horrigan-Taylor, the city's chief communications officer, said in an emailed statement Wednesday night that the mural is "one aspect of a larger city dialogue taking place on race and equity and connects to the city's thoughtful conversations on the role of policing.

"The mural is temporary," Horrigan-Taylor said. "In no way does the mural take away from the value we have in our police officers who serve our community every day. Temporary art is a means of expression on difficult issues and the Black Lives Matter mural is thought-provoking and is inspiring conversation."

On Thursday, Horrigan-Taylor added in an email that a mural volunteer, not a commissioned artist, requested the city look into a sealant. Staff considered application of a sealant and concluded that it could change the color of the artists’ work, cause a safety hazard when the sealant gets wet due to adding a slippery surface, among other considerations. Because of these issues, it was decided to not apply a sealant.

From the beginning, the city's intent that the mural would be a temporary installation was communicated to the artists and the broader community as a temporary installation, she said.

Editor's note: In a previous version of this story, Basirico claimed that artist CeCe Carpio was negotiating with City Manager Ed Shikada to keep her mural intact. Horrigan-Taylor disputed that claim.

Comments

Matthew Basirico
Palo Alto Orchards
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:13 am
Matthew Basirico, Palo Alto Orchards
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:13 am
109 people like this

For the record I am for Cops getting funded. I love the police. That is my official position. Thank you.


Support Law Enforcement
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:04 am
Support Law Enforcement, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:04 am
184 people like this

It is offensive - this part of the mural should go. Let's respect our law enforcement officers. Joanne Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur, ended up on the FBI Most Wanted list due to her part in the killing of New Jersey State Police Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973. Shakur was convicted of first-degree murder, assault and battery of a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to kill, illegal possession of a weapon, and armed robbery. She later escaped from prison and was granted political asylum in Cuba by the Castro regime.


Member
Barron Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:14 am
Member, Barron Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:14 am
168 people like this

Mayor Fine and City Manager Shikada, how do we sign up for our political mural of choice? Pride? Women's Rights? Open Our Schools? Blue Lives Matter? Mental Health? Are you rotating messaging every month? Who pays? This is a slippery slope...government picking favorites is tricky, especially when the mural features controversial figures such as Chesimard.


JustSayin
Woodside
on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:58 am
JustSayin, Woodside
on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:58 am
51 people like this

This art work needs to come off the filthy streets and onto building sides. Artists, get off you knees! Start with city hall and other government and local buildings in Palo Alto. All BLM artists... Stand up and be strong!
#BLM #VoteTrumpOut


JR
Palo Verde
on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:22 am
JR, Palo Verde
on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:22 am
21 people like this

Black Lives Matter does not support police murder. I find it extremely doubtful that those supporting this mural are affiliated with BLM. More likely they are part of an extremist group trying to capitalize on BLM’s advocacy for civil rights. I would even go so far to say that if you support this mural, you are advocating AGAINST BLM.


Tiger Mom
Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 8:54 am
Tiger Mom, Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 8:54 am
162 people like this

It’s illegal for the city government to use public resources to support one political movement against another.

And it’s reprehensible to celebrate lawlessness and violence against our law enforcement personnel.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:05 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:05 am
79 people like this

Umm, it is a street. Street art is obviously temporary. Do I have to walk around every bit of sidewalk chalk art I see? Temporary is-- temporary.


BM
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:12 am
BM, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:12 am
124 people like this

Black lives matter. But anyone, Black or otherwise, who murders in cold blood should not be celebrated or memorialized in any way. These artists are stupid if they think reasonable citizens will support their cause while they defend Joanne Chesimard. As if there is a lack of heroes and champions of civil rights and social justice to honor.


pedant
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:21 am
pedant, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:21 am
1 person likes this

Classic example of an asymmetric conflict.


Support Law Enforcement
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:29 am
Support Law Enforcement, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:29 am
150 people like this

Seriously, we are not considered adding a "coating" over this mural or making it permanent? That is insane. It's public property. Mayor Fine and City Manager Shikada need to understand they represent all residents, not just those that support the BLM organization. While most agree with the statement "Black Lives Matter" many do not support a Marxist group that believes in nationally defunding the police. Glorifying Chesimard is not something Palo Alto would support if we voted on it.


Support Law Enforcement
Crescent Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:39 am
Support Law Enforcement, Crescent Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:39 am
73 people like this

[Post removed; please post link to source.]


merry
Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:41 am
merry, Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:41 am
114 people like this

It’s a public street. How can they legally block? Open the street!
These tantrums r fatiguing.


Dan
Professorville
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:46 am
Dan, Professorville
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:46 am
74 people like this

I'd like to understand what our Black Lives Matter mural is in support of.
I watched Don Lemon on CNN argue the other night that Black Lives Matter is exclusively about Blacks that are victims of police violence. So is Palo Alto's Black Lives Matter mural really an anti-police expression? Web Link
Or is our mural in support of the Black Lives Matter organization, which is led by devout Marxists, with links to convicted terrorists? So is our mural really about support for overthrowing our representative democracy, and replacing it with a Marxist state? Web Link
My personal opinion is every Black Life Matters, including all of our unarmed citizens killed by police, and also including the thousands of victims of violence and homicide annually in our major cities. I would love to systemically attack both of these issues - and solving the latter would save more than 100 times more lives than unarmed people killed by police each year. Web Link
I also think the excellent discussion above shows why it's a slippery slow for the city to endorse political speech without being very clear exactly what speech the city is supporting.


common sense
Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:57 am
common sense, Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:57 am
69 people like this

VIrtue signaling by our city staff and city council. "Look at me, I'm so cool, and hip"


Dan
Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 10:11 am
Dan, Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 10:11 am
83 people like this

Have to open the street. Shouldn't allow a mural to be painted on the street if those implementing it think that it is somehow going to be made "permanent". Really shouldn't allow these street murals at all on public roads. The only protective coating applied should be a new layer of pavement to restore the street surface to its original condition after the temporary mural becomes worn by normal traffic.


Matthew Basirico
Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 9, 2020 at 10:38 am
Matthew Basirico, Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 9, 2020 at 10:38 am
10 people like this

I am here for 3 reasons:

1 - protect the art
2 - Black Lives Matter
3 - Support the Police

It’s that simple. Anyone reading into this too deeply is confused. That’s it.

Thank you.


Anonymous
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:05 am
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:05 am
68 people like this

Message mural on private property with agreement of property owner, provided it meets code, is ok.
Realize people cannot have oversized signs, remember Grocery Outlet on Alma had fight to get their sign approved about a decade ago.
Political signs popping up on blocked public streets are NOT ok.
Or is it only ok if it matches YOUR thought!?
City leaders, be brave and follow and enforce the Law.
Otherwise, you are a virtue-signaling joke.


Paly Girl
Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:09 am
Paly Girl, Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:09 am
61 people like this

Palo Alto has always been staunch supporters of public art. and art is subjective. What one person loves, another might think is ugly. We have had spirited debates about our public art for decades.

The truth is, that if you install unauthorized art on a public street, you have to expect that it is temporary. Isn't there a law that says you can't block a public street without city approval, i.e. parade, street fair, room for outdoor dining? Can I paint a mural on the street in front of my house and then block traffic so it doesn't get worn? I doubt it. What am I missing about the legality of this?


Stepheny
Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:11 am
Stepheny, Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:11 am
100 people like this

PAPD, Matthew Basarico is breaking the law, blocking the street. He should be escorted -- very gently, of course -- off the street and or/have his car towed.
Enough of these BLM tantrums already. Let the art mark a moment in time and be as temporary, as was intended.


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:22 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:22 am
Like this comment

Couple years ago I tried to broker a deal where the famous graffiti artist twist would tag the Palo Alto Caltrain station in such a way that it would be ambiguous whether it was public art or graffiti I even got as far as meeting with my former Gunn basketball teammate who is in charge of real estate for Caltrain. It is intriguing that are very world class, at least 14/16 of it mural Is not on the wall but the street in effect it’s graffiti end by design intention and agreement by the artist temporary is not on a wall but the street in effect it’s graffiti end by design intention and agreement by the artist temporary. Or as another Palo Altan HY Wrote and recorded For Geffen records under the prophetic name black lab “wash it away”.
I’d like to see Stuart Robertson a recent MFA from Stanford On a wall. His work. A frescoes or mural there would be more time for modeling in detail like what can see on his website


Compromise?
College Terrace
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:22 am
Compromise?, College Terrace
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:22 am
8 people like this

Why not agree to coat it over and let it stand for a year if the letter containing the person who murdered a cop is replaced? I don't think we should let that letter stand but I'm all for having a semi permanent BLM mural.


Tiger Mom
Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:29 am
Tiger Mom, Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:29 am
100 people like this

How about we leave it for a week and then replace it with a mural commemorating all the hundreds of police officers murdered in the line of duty by violent suspects in the last twenty years?


Cleo
Gunn High School
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:33 am
Cleo, Gunn High School
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:33 am
13 people like this

We understand that the women on one of the letters is controversial but a lot of people are using that as an excuse to dismiss the art all together. Yes we know it’s a temporary piece of art, putting a coal to seal the paint to have it last a little while longer isn’t hurting anyone. As usual a group of people who this city has not listened to are being silenced once again. We asked for one thing and one thing only. A coat to seal the paint a little longer. Blm isn’t against police. We’re against racist police and police who cover up for racist police. This mural was used to make the black residents in this city feel heard because it has been proven that we are not listened to. Making excuses just because one person on the mural was problematic is beyond stupid. The work artists put in to this mural it deserves to be there regardless of how long it’s there.


ru
Fairmeadow
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:48 am
ru, Fairmeadow
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:48 am
2 people like this

Putin's Revenge


Tiger Mom
Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:48 am
Tiger Mom, Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:48 am
42 people like this

[Post removed.]


Bad Call, Mayor
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:02 pm
Bad Call, Mayor, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:02 pm
65 people like this

Bad call, Mayor Fine, to not immediately condemn the inclusion of a "police killer" when that part was revealed. This builds trust with the PA police? It's not too late. Please order that part removed or covered over (hmm, the car already is covering it over, interestingly enough...). The point is not censorship, but carefully building alliances at a highly charged political time. Every art patron sets the parameters for the work, and it's quite within the City's rights, indeed moral duty at this charged time, to do so.

Also bad call to have a BLM mural. They are a highly controversial group that wants to defund (= abolish) police nationwide, according to their official website Web Link. Yes BLM really is an official group, with actual leaders. The video there from their Managing Directory explicitly claims that "police reform just doesn't work", and thus BLM is for abolishing police.

Thus, avoid BLM-related shows of solidarity, at least anything that uses that phrase. Instead, promote inclusion and good faith by creating environments in which honest conversation can happen, where truly everyone's voice are heard, including those who question misleading police statistics that are being trotted out (stats which ignore that blacks commit crimes, especially homicide and theft, at rates disproportionately higher than their percentage of the population), and not by promoting divisive artwork such as this.


Margie
College Terrace
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:09 pm
Margie, College Terrace
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:09 pm
90 people like this

"This mural was used to make the black residents in this city feel heard because it has been proven that we are not listened to."

If the purpose of the street mural is to help people who are not heard in Palo Alto listened to, then we should commission a big "TRUMP" mural in front of City Hall. I'm unaware of anyone in the Palo Alto Establishment or Government who has one positive thing to say about Trump or Trump supporters, who according to the 2016 election results are more numerous than African Americans in our City. Shouldn't their voices be listened to also? It's time for the City to support the truly marginalized residents of Palo Alto: Trump supporters.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:09 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:09 pm
35 people like this

Am I reading here that students are the perpetrators of the sign? They seem to be the ones who are busy writing on the roads. So what are we teaching these students?

Rush Limbaugh on his show had a lamentation: You send your daughters of to college and they come back telling you that you are a racist and a white supremacists. That is because the university system is geared to convert your children to a huge amount of guilt for coming from a middle class / upper class family. Liberal to Marxist approach to education.

But your children are not in school - they are in your house now. And it is your rules - not the university rules. Bottom line is that this city does not condone street art unless it is approved by the city so stop trying to jerk the city around - it has enough trouble on it's hands.

This further shoots down the rational about lowering the voting age - these students have no background in history and are impressionable.


Bad Call, Mayor
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:13 pm
Bad Call, Mayor, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:13 pm
56 people like this

@Cleo said:
"Blm isn’t against police."

Actually, they consistently clarify that defund means eliminate.

Respectfully, if you or anyone reading this thinks BLM occupies the high moral ground please see how this BLM leader interacted with the mayor of Minn at a protest (warning: disturbing content and foul language): Web Link.
Mayor: "I do not support the full abolition of the police."
BLM Leader: "Get the F*CK out of here!" They all boo him and say they'll vote him out of office as he slinks away.

Also see link in my previous comment on the official BLM take on defunding (hint: they explicitly don't want police reform... not my words, but theirs).


What Will They Do Next
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:34 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:34 pm
59 people like this

@ Matthew Basirico ... you cannot say that you support and love the police knowing that the image of a convicted cop killer is painted on the mural. You want to prove what you say and gain some credibility? Paint over the image today, otherwise you're just blowing smoke.


Michelle Higgins
Palo Alto High School
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:36 pm
Michelle Higgins, Palo Alto High School
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:36 pm
8 people like this

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:37 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:37 pm
44 people like this

This recent trend in painting slogans on city streets all over the country is quite worrying to me. When you think about it, streets are for vehicles and are designed to be safe and not a distraction to drivers. These slogans are going to be the cause of accidents as they are not helping safety issues. As far as human drivers go, they will be distraction, and as far as self driving vehicles go, I have no idea how they will cope with them.

Has anyone seen a Google car drive over one?

I would like to see this trend in slogans stop. As a driver, I like to be able to see where I am about to drive as clearly as possible. If an accident were to occur, can the driver blame brightly colored paint obscuring other vehicles or pedestrians before hitting them? I wouldn't like to guess what might happen in a court of law!


densely
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:43 pm
densely, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:43 pm
9 people like this

For once I agree with Adrian Fine. This is ephemeral art. It wasn't done with the thoughtfulness that we should expect for permanent public art.

I hope Black Lives Matter endures and I'll do what I can to make sure the movement succeeds. Put a big photo of this project into a scrapbook and put your attention back where it belongs, on fixing the way we police ourselves.


Joe Commentor
Palo Alto High School
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:59 pm
Joe Commentor, Palo Alto High School
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:59 pm
45 people like this

If a white cop killer can be in the mural, General Grant that fought the war can be on it, too.

How about a mural with the Angolan king who sold the 1619 slaves? Or was he just ‘a man of his times’?


Mama
Crescent Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:27 pm
Mama, Crescent Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:27 pm
61 people like this

Impound the cars. Arrest anyone blocking the public street. We never agreed the mural should last forever. It did its job making a point but now it’s time to give the street back to the public. We need it, particularly with University closed.


Michelle Higgins
Palo Alto High School
on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:31 pm
Michelle Higgins, Palo Alto High School
on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:31 pm
2 people like this

@Resident1-AdobeMeadows: "Am I reading here that students are the perpetrators of the sign? They seem to be the ones who are busy writing on the roads. So what are we teaching these students?"

Why the use of the term "perpetrators"? Have you described other artists commissioned by the City to create public works of art in similarly derogatory terms that imply an element of criminality?
This mural is not vandalism, it is not "writing on the roads", it is a publicly commissioned work of art that is both beautiful, moving and thought provoking. How wonderful that some of the artists involved in the project are students! Why is this problematic? Creativity and civic engagement should be celebrated not derided.


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:36 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:36 pm
4 people like this

I caught all three, MFA Stuart Robertson, Oakland’ CeCe Carpio and Palo Altan Matthew Basirico en camera the day the mural was installed:
Staff person Nadya is also in the shot
Web Link


come on
Barron Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:59 pm
come on , Barron Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:59 pm
76 people like this

Shocking that our city officials are even giving this serious consideration and not demanding they leave immediately or be fined. Unbelievable that a mural that includes a convicted cop killer should be treated as something worth saving. Another sign that our liberal woke politicians look the other way as radicals vandalize our cities, tear down statues, even illegally takeover portions of cities while at the same time demonize our law enforcement most of whom are good people. Sad.


Peers Parent
Southgate
on Jul 9, 2020 at 2:07 pm
Peers Parent, Southgate
on Jul 9, 2020 at 2:07 pm
9 people like this

Wow. I'm a bit concerned by some of what is being put out here in these comments.

@Dan - BLM has been seriously involved in the gun violence prevention movement for at least 5 years (not long after its inception). They partner with gun violence prevention groups all the time. As you state, it is a more common way for Americans to die than at the hands of police. The big difference here is that the police are a state sanctioned organization and when cops murder they almost always have qualified immunity so there is zero accountability.
Web Link

@Tigermom - "Vandalizing the streets and blocking traffic for more attention"? Really? No one is vandalizing streets - this was a commissioned piece of art. More attention? YES. Exactly. As Cleo stated above, this community has been ignored for the entire time the city has existed. Now you are going to tone police them and demand that they fight for their rights "politely"? Please. If you have listened to a single thing over the past month, I hope you have heard Black Palo Altan after Black Palo Altan standing up at city hall and at rallies and gatherings and speaking truthfully about their experiences. Sharing very painful things that have happened right here - in our schools, in our neighborhoods, in our city. Black residents are BEGGING to be heard. Might you stop and listen? And consider what role you might play in improving the systems right here in our town? Please, please listen...
Web Link

@Bad Call, Mayor - defund the police does not mean abolish the police. And I clicked on the link you provided and nowhere does it say abolish. Over the years we have bloated our police budgets and had our police respond to anything and everything in town. They are the catch all for every crime, mental health crisis, physical crisis, personal argument, etc. They are called for everything. So many of these incidents are better responded to by a different body. Ones with training in different areas. If you take some of the funding for the police and use it to fund other types of community support organizations, then police are dispatched when police are needed, and other community organizations are dispatched when they are more appropriate. Just because you saw a video of one guy in Minneapolis saying he wanted to dismantle, doesn't mean it's the position of the movement or the organization. I would imagine we could find someone representing a cause in which we believe in a way that we wouldn't agree with.

@Margie - are you seriously comparing feeling unsupported locally because you support a particular political figure with a group of people systemically brutalized, punished, and failed by our systems? Wow. That is some entitlement. If you still openly support Trump in July of 2020, when we can't open our schools because of the complete and utter lack of a federal response, you should be expected to stand up and defend that position. If anyone murders you for it, or fails you in school for it, or won't sell you a house because of it, let me know. I'd be happy to hear. Those two things are not equal.

@Mama - "It did its job making a point but now it’s time to give the street back to the public." Back to business, huh? Restore the status quo? This is what Palo Alto does so well. Signal support with something as insignificant as a mural and then pat itself on the back for "taking action". The mural didn't make the lives of Black Palo Altans better. Black Palo Altans are still 13x more likely to be arrested than white residents. They still report being followed and stopped by police disproportionately. Our Black students report being downlaned in school, being called racist names, and experiencing constant aggressions. So are we going to do anything about all of those things? We painted a mural, so what? It happens to be a beautiful one. And it happens to be getting a lot of visitors who are then engaging in conversation about what BLM means IN PALO ALTO. But the mural itself is not the work. The work is changing policy in our city and in our school district to make it less challenging to be Black in Palo Alto.


Jennifer
another community
on Jul 9, 2020 at 2:27 pm
Jennifer, another community
on Jul 9, 2020 at 2:27 pm
46 people like this

I agree with Tiger Mom. Being polite and law abiding is a way to impress people. It's very easy to understand, if you're open minded and logical.


Paul
Downtown North
on Jul 9, 2020 at 2:31 pm
Paul, Downtown North
on Jul 9, 2020 at 2:31 pm
36 people like this

How about the social justice-promoting Palo Alto hypocrites who live behind economic fences support black lives THIS way: by giving a noticeable number of high level jobs to black people? Who cares about merit, skills, and all that. Just do it, hypocrites.

Most of the dubious "officials," as well as the virtue-signaling corporations and their delusional staff, have no significant number of black employees at the top. The whole charade is about those people maintaining their own power while directing everyone ELSE to roll-play their social agendas - just so they can get a pat on the head for doing nothing themselves.

Let the mayor step down and be replaced by a black person, AFTER they have laid off 50% of the staff and replaced them with black people, because it's only "fair." Ask the corporate employees who push their social agendas quit their jobs so they can be replaced with a black person. How about Palo Alto's social warriors agree to a big tax increase so black people can live in a similar fashion?

Not gonna happen - because the virtual signalers are complete and total hypocrites.

And then there's the reality that the Black Lives Matters ORGANIZATION is nothing more than a front to channel money into other people's pockets - a little investigation shows very little actually goes to black people.

But none of this is really about helping anyone - it's just a power play and poltics - all commandeered by people who never see a black person more than once every few months, if that.


ALB
College Terrace
on Jul 9, 2020 at 2:54 pm
ALB, College Terrace
on Jul 9, 2020 at 2:54 pm
11 people like this

Why is the mural featuring Chesimard? This is a beautiful and strong mural and the image of Chesimard needs to be painted over. She is no hero. Now her story is the topic and detracts severely from Black LIves Matter. Also I disagree that Black Lives Matters is a Marxist group. Republicans are broadcasting this falsehood.


Oldster
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2020 at 4:07 pm
Oldster, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2020 at 4:07 pm
7 people like this

If the mural artists and their political speech allies could do what Christo and Jean Claude did with their internationally famous temporary art projects "wrapping" islands, bridges, archways, and buildings. Those artists always made their art with local government permits but made their temporary art permanent thanks to their photos, books, posters, and museum exhibits, they used to fund their next art projects. Palo Alto BLM Mural artists could "take a knee" while some of them power wash off the mural. That should make good YouTubery and new photos to get maximum attention for their art and political messages. Palo Alto BLM artists could also project images of their mural onto Palo Alto City Hall and other Palo Alto landmarks at night including the homes of all their political speech supporters, take photos of the "show" and then sell such photos to pay for the fines I hope those who parked cars in the middle of the street should be getting.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 4:17 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 4:17 pm
19 people like this

Well, I do have an issue with this part of the "ideological frame" of Patrice Cullors and Alicia Garza.

"The first thing, I think, is that we actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories." -- Patrisse Cullors, Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter Web Link

I can't help but wonder if they are aware that 18-45 Million people died during the Great Leap Forward. For example. I suspect that the BLM leaders' knowledge of the history of Marxism is pretty shallow, despite their training in ideological theories.

However, their message, "#BlackLivesMatter" resonates with people who are completely fed up with police misconduct.

Don't understand it? Try reading this: Web Link


What Will They Do Next
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2020 at 4:33 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2020 at 4:33 pm
9 people like this

@ ALB ... look into what BLM is really all about. It has nothing to do with political affiliation. It's all about facts. There is nothing false about their true purpose.

Web Link


Oldster
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2020 at 4:42 pm
Oldster, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2020 at 4:42 pm
Like this comment

Oops, misspelled Jeanne Claude's name. Also, she and her husband don't like being called the "wrapping" artists and they funded their temporary art installations by selling their original art such as sketches made for each project not by selling books, t-shirts, and such.

Web Link


John
Professorville
on Jul 9, 2020 at 5:00 pm
John , Professorville
on Jul 9, 2020 at 5:00 pm
23 people like this

These semantical debates and displays "to prove a point" are a waste of time and energy. They only distract and alienate folks who are sympathetic to BLM's cause and genuinely want to do more to help.

BLM has a moment in time to effectuate real and meaningful improvements in society. Fighting for street murals doesn't strike me as meaningful at all. Especially when they celebrate cop killers. It's unfortunate to see this moment squandered.


Pres. Trump Here...
Palo Alto High School
on Jul 9, 2020 at 5:21 pm
Pres. Trump Here..., Palo Alto High School
on Jul 9, 2020 at 5:21 pm
38 people like this

Good thing I have long since graduated and moved on from Shallow-Alto.
If I still lived there I was would do a Donut on the Mural, then paint a big
MMMMAAAAGGGGAAAA over it.
Hard to believe this was paid for and they are blocking the public street.
Cops should tow the cars away like they did when I lived there. So Sad....


Tom
Barron Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 5:21 pm
Tom, Barron Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 5:21 pm
9 people like this

[Post removed.]


Do Something More
Community Center
on Jul 9, 2020 at 6:43 pm
Do Something More, Community Center
on Jul 9, 2020 at 6:43 pm
39 people like this

Email Ed, the City Manager: Web Link

Email the City Council: Web Link

Someone allowed to block the street and paint an obvious political statement that the entire city does not agree with?

Does our City Council care about the safety of its citizens? Why would they cut our police budget?! They cut the traffic team; now the commuters can run down our children who bike in town. Who do we call if our safety is compromised? Forget the bogus $26 million pedestrian bridge, that few will use, give all the money to the police building and police force, we all want to feel safe.

Moreover, if they really cared about black lives, they would be tutoring and mentoring black children [portion removed.]


Mark
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 6:59 pm
Mark, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 6:59 pm
35 people like this

A slap in the face to law enforcement. Hopefully that part of the mural will removed. If not, I hope that all Palo Alto police officers start looking for other police agencies to work for because the city does NOT care about you.


Mama
Crescent Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:14 pm
Mama, Crescent Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:14 pm
42 people like this

Let’s not let this escalate into Seattle. Is anyone surprised that invasive protests are happening here and there? Know why? Because they know they can get away with it in ultra-liberal areas.


Michelle Higgins
Palo Alto High School
on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:16 pm
Michelle Higgins, Palo Alto High School
on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:16 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]




TimR
Downtown North
on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:18 pm
TimR, Downtown North
on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:18 pm
13 people like this

The "mural" is now blocked off as an impromptu traffic island, with cars being allowed to pass in both directions. The ones heading NE have to use the empty parking spots as their lane. So at least that problem is solved. As for a long-term solution, maybe Harvard will buy it when PA residents tire of it (which won't be long)? [Portion removed.]


John Kevin
Los Altos Hills
on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:45 pm
John Kevin, Los Altos Hills
on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:45 pm
8 people like this

Black Lives Matter does not support police murder!! I can't help but wonder if they are aware that 18-45 Million people died during the Great Leap Forward.
Web Link


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 9, 2020 at 8:12 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 9, 2020 at 8:12 pm
37 people like this

Yes - black lives do matter. At the end of the daily White House briefing they showed the pictures of the children who were killed over the holiday by people just shooting them. Beautiful little children. Your major cities on the east coast are out of control. Our job is to make sure that we do not get swept up in the same madness by the same people. The people who are calling for the elimination of police in our cities need to be called out by name, rank and serial number. Know who they are.
The typical media people who attend the white House Briefing never asked about the children - only stupid questions.


White Guy
Downtown North
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:05 pm
White Guy, Downtown North
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:05 pm
3 people like this

@Jennifer: " Being polite and law abiding is a way to impress people. It's very easy to understand, if you're open minded and logical." I must be irrational, or maybe closed-minded, because I don't understand at all. Are you saying that Ahmaud Arbery's polite, law-abiding JOGGING so impressed some white dudes that they had to murder him in broad daylight? Or that Breonna Taylor's polite, law-abiding SLEEPING was so impressive that the cops who burst into her apartment had to shoot her at least eight times? Or that 12-year-old Tamir Rice was so impressively polite and law-abiding as he PLAYED that police were compelled to shoot him? Oh, wait, those must be the exceptions. Same with all the polite, law-abiding Black residents of Palo Alto whose experiences you belittled with your comments yesterday on "Black in Palo Alto" -- they just need to "rise above any type of discrimination," right? And if discrimination kills them, like it did Arbery and Taylor and Rice and too many others to name, then THEY must have done something wrong, right? Please explain again how this is logical. [Portion removed.]


Nayeli
Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:24 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:24 pm
55 people like this

If the artist will not remove Chesimard's image, can someone just throw some soapy water on it? That murderer's image should never be celebrated.


Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:42 pm
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:42 pm
42 people like this

I oppose erasing the mural. It should be left there as-is.

However the city should erect a billboard on the side, explaining who is depicted there, the violent history, the killing of police, etc. It will help educate and remind people what BLM is really about: Marxism, violence and narcissism.


Andy Smith
Barron Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 10:26 pm
Andy Smith, Barron Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 10:26 pm
51 people like this

Stop blocking the flow of traffic


Support Law Enforcement
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:13 pm
Support Law Enforcement, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:13 pm
47 people like this

The co-founder of Black Lives Matter names a convicted cop killer (prominently featured in our PA mural) as one of her heroes, and the BLM national organization is fiscally sponsored through a leftist group whose board of directors includes a convicted terrorist, Susan Rosenberg.

Alicia Garza, one of three co-founders of the Black Lives Matter national organization, has repeatedly talked about how convicted cop killer and wanted domestic terrorist Joanne Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, is one of her main inspirations. Susan Rosenberg, a member of the board of directors for the left-wing Thousand Currents group, which handles the intake of donations made to Black Lives Matter, is a convicted terrorist who, among other things, was suspected of helping Shakur escape from prison.

Rosenberg, who was listed as the vice chairwoman of the board of directors for Thousand Currents until the webpage was pulled down this week, as first reported by the Capital Research Center, had been a member of the radical leftist revolutionary militant group known as the May 19th Communist Organization, affiliated with the Weather Underground terrorist group and other radicals. She was convicted on weapons and explosives charges and sentenced to 58 years in prison, serving 16 years before being pardoned by President Bill Clinton in January 2001.

Web Link


William
College Terrace
on Jul 10, 2020 at 5:13 am
William, College Terrace
on Jul 10, 2020 at 5:13 am
57 people like this

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


PA Mom
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 10, 2020 at 6:30 am
PA Mom, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 10, 2020 at 6:30 am
39 people like this

Some people don't know how to take a win. How you could turn the murder of an innocent man into something polarizing by including the image of a murderous fugitive is unfathomable. Furthermore, the attempt to turn a glorified act of graffiti into a permanent art installation is a non starter.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2020 at 8:00 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2020 at 8:00 am
6 people like this

Posted by William, a resident of College Terrace

>> Liberals love to encourage radicalism

Liberals are opposed to both Right-Wing Authoritarianism (simplified, "Fascism") and Left-Wing Authoritarianism (simplified, "Communism").

Liberals are in favor of individual, personal freedom, and individual, personal rights. As, for example, embodied in the US Constitution, as modified by the Amendments.

Authoritarianism is on the march. Read this: Web Link


Boho
Green Acres
on Jul 10, 2020 at 9:30 am
Boho, Green Acres
on Jul 10, 2020 at 9:30 am
40 people like this

If my friends and I want to paint messages on our street I assume that it is now okay. Will the city paint a protective coating over my message too?


Stan
Downtown North
on Jul 10, 2020 at 10:12 am
Stan, Downtown North
on Jul 10, 2020 at 10:12 am
Like this comment

If the city isn't going to move forward in placing sealant over the mural, then they should at least figure out another alternative where the artist(s) can paint another mural in a place where sealant wouldn't be an issue, or onto the side of building. I am in support of the BLM movement and equality for "ALL" and agree that change needs to happen throughout our city, and throughout the rest of the country. I believe in defunding and restructuring the police department, as we can divert funds to community programs and community engagement. It's easy for people to complain and fuss about what the mural represents, and for those who have an issue...you're apart of the problem in this country.


Resident
Barron Park
on Jul 10, 2020 at 11:26 am
Resident , Barron Park
on Jul 10, 2020 at 11:26 am
46 people like this

This is an easy one. Let the mural stay. Then I will paint my Trump 2020 mural on the street and demand equal protection from Palo Alto. When they say no, I sue. That will put an end to these dura-murals.


Anti-racist
Barron Park
on Jul 10, 2020 at 12:28 pm
Anti-racist, Barron Park
on Jul 10, 2020 at 12:28 pm
39 people like this

The 'artist' who painted the cop killer has a history of creating murals of terrorist murderers. She has previously painted a hugely controversial mural of a convicted anti-Semitic terrorist in a restaurant in Oakland.

Who thought she was a good choice and invited her to be part of this project? Is there any accountability?


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2020 at 12:43 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2020 at 12:43 pm
1 person likes this

Posted by Anti-racist, a resident of Barron Park

>> Who thought she was a good choice and invited her to be part of this project? Is there any accountability?

Let's figure out how to peel it off the pavement and donate it to a (private) museum for -preservation-.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 10, 2020 at 1:05 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 10, 2020 at 1:05 pm
34 people like this

Stan - you have provided a personal opinion. PERIOD. Personal opinions are just that.
We are not creating chaos in city streets, we are not defunding the police and putting the residents of a city at risk. The people on the east coast are in a Marxist windmill. We are not wanting to be in a Marxist windmill. And my opinion is that this city does not need "activist" who are trying to destroy the American Democracy. The mural needs to go. We do not need national coverage of supporting extremist with a known track record of chaos. And we could use the names of the people that painted the mural there so that they cannot run for any office or work on any "commission". Our Commissions right now are going off the deep end with strange agendas.
Yes we believe that black lives matter - but the organization called Black Lives Matter only cares about their Marxist agenda which right now is eliminating the police.


Ryan Andrews
Charleston Gardens
on Jul 10, 2020 at 5:19 pm
Ryan Andrews, Charleston Gardens
on Jul 10, 2020 at 5:19 pm
32 people like this

The current blockage of the middle turn-lane of Hamilton Street is making left turns onto Bryant Street very dangerous. For the safety of drivers, please restore use of the middle lane.


Robert Alexander
Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 10, 2020 at 8:27 pm
Robert Alexander, Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 10, 2020 at 8:27 pm
23 people like this

Shameful, disgraceful, reprehensible, appalling, indecent, obscene,.............immoral.

Do the right thing! What is that you ask, the same thing you would want done if it was the image of a domestic terrorist, escaped fugitive, and person who MURDERED your husband, wife, father or friend.

This a no-brainer.......Regardless of what you feel about the discord in our communities....Do not let this justice go unheard. Do not let it diminish peaceful protests. Do not let it harm a family who has already lost so much. PAINT OVER THE MURDERER's IMAGE. Simple, just replace her with someone who is not a WANTED MURDER.

Call, email, protest to get this removed NOW. More connects us than divides us. Let's find the common ground. #AllLivesMatter #WeAreAllChildrenOfGod




Jennifer
another community
on Jul 10, 2020 at 9:25 pm
Jennifer, another community
on Jul 10, 2020 at 9:25 pm
5 people like this

Rising above discrimination is healthy. It protects your mental well being. People do it all the time, and it's strongly encouraged.


Resident
Midtown
on Jul 10, 2020 at 9:51 pm
Resident, Midtown
on Jul 10, 2020 at 9:51 pm
36 people like this

A full autopsy report on George Floyd, the man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police last month, reveals that he was positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The 20-page report also indicates that Floyd had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death, although the drugs are not listed as the cause.


Barron Paek
Barron Park
on Jul 11, 2020 at 8:20 am
Barron Paek , Barron Park
on Jul 11, 2020 at 8:20 am
45 people like this

Unbelievable. How is the mayor allowed to do this? Can we vote spineless Adrian Fine out? What a joke. Every normal person is disgusted by what BLM has morphed into - a Marxist attack on American values of equality, respect, and freedom. More and more people I talk to are saying they will hold their nose and vote for Trump over this.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 11, 2020 at 10:16 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 11, 2020 at 10:16 am
35 people like this

Thank you to Sue Denham for clarifying the data on the murals. What we know now is that the lady who conceived the mural is an Oakland resident with a very distinct history.
Questions :
1: Did she try and shop this idea around the bay area? Why not Oakland? Did Libby Schaff say NO?
2. Adrian Fine allowed this to happen and knew up front and approved. She was shopping for a location and ended up in Palo Alto because Adrien Fine Approved it?
Note to Adrien - we did not elect you Mayor - you are a mayor by default of a system of rotation within the PACC.
3. What other PACC members were aware of this prior to it happening? We need to know that.
4. The Weekly's front page states that "the mural rankles police group". Weekly - I am seriously rankled. There is a depiction on the mural of Joanne Chesimard - AKA Asata Shakur. She is a famous cop killer and on the FBI's Most Wanted List. Is that what we are selling to our residents and our children? That is a serious error in the concept.
5. When a mayor is unavailable does the Vice-Mayor take over?
6. I have a serious problem with outside people coopting our city and getting away with it.
7. I have a serious problem with "Commissioners" who are unnamed until things go wrong coopting our city. These people did not end up in PA without some help.
8. The Weekly has done some follow-ups on FHP to perpetuate the issue - we need some follow-up here because this is not done. Hopefully it will de done at election time when we can vote in new/old people to run this city without extremists chaos.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 11, 2020 at 12:27 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 11, 2020 at 12:27 pm
1 person likes this

07/11 - KQED is running a series on Black America since MLK. NOW. Check it out - get real data on the last 50 years.


Jack
Downtown North
on Jul 11, 2020 at 5:46 pm
Jack, Downtown North
on Jul 11, 2020 at 5:46 pm
23 people like this

Charge cop-killer loving Basirico and any accomplices with vandalism, graffiti, defacing public property, illegal stopping on a public road, creating a hazardous condition and whatever other charges you can summon. Oh, as part of their sentences, they get to pay the cost of removal of this trash graffiti.


Cartman
Crescent Park

on Jul 11, 2020 at 5:59 pm
Name hidden, Crescent Park

on Jul 11, 2020 at 5:59 pm

Due to violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are only visible to registered users who are logged in. Use the links at the top of the page to Register or Login.


Anon
Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jul 11, 2020 at 11:37 pm
Anon, Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jul 11, 2020 at 11:37 pm
14 people like this

Take some high quality photographs for historical purposes. Then get it off the street.

You can trot the photos around in a travelling exhibition if it's that important.


Independent
Midtown
on Jul 11, 2020 at 11:55 pm
Independent , Midtown
on Jul 11, 2020 at 11:55 pm
27 people like this

Recent events remind me of the revolution 40 years ago in Iran. They toppled the statues, changed the names and brought 40 years of misery to the population. The lesson learned for some of us immigrants living here is that nothing good comes out of extremism and any form of revolution. This country has all the tools to make changes in a rational deliberative manner without resorting to violence and derailment of the system. I am not sure blocking a public street is one the aforementioned tools.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 12, 2020 at 6:49 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 12, 2020 at 6:49 am
14 people like this

Reading the Daily Post this art event is on the agenda for the city council - Los Altos. Give credit that it is up for discussion in a required format. And they have assigned art commissioners to review the plans so that they do not end up with questionable profiles in the art work. Los Altos may end up with their own at work.
I went by and checked it out. It is actually kind of fun. We can use some color there. The problem is the process and the depictions which have questionable content.
Los Altos is in control of the event - should it happen. Palo Alto is not in control - and when questioned by the Daily Post for comment got a defensive answer.
It is not appreciated that this city is getting jerked around by a lot of people. We pay big bucks for a city manager and flotilla of paid city workers who should be in charge of their area of expertise. But instead we are hearing from Commissioners who are challenging everything, including the Police Force. We need to get our act together here.


Oldster
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 12, 2020 at 6:50 am
Oldster, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 12, 2020 at 6:50 am
17 people like this

The City solicited for 16 artists, approved their sketches, and paid each $700. Did the City know it was approving a portrait of someone on the Most Wanted FBI list? The City required water soluble paints and said before the painting started cars would be kept off the art only for one weekend. Now cars have been kept off 2 weekends.


Oldster
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 12, 2020 at 6:56 am
Oldster, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 12, 2020 at 6:56 am
8 people like this

A bunch of links on the City website have been taken down such as the original link to submit an artist's sketch but this call for artists on the City's Public Art Program page on Facebook is still up: Web Link

I'm kind of curious which artists and their designs were rejected. Brown Act and freedom of information anyone?


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2020 at 7:43 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2020 at 7:43 am
18 people like this

At last some common sense in the last few comments.

I was shocked at the time in how quickly this was done and was equally shocked to hear that it had not been vetted enough before approval of the images.

In normal times, this type of thing would have to be done by the Palo Alto Process, which of course means take twice as long as normal. It should have been part of that long, slow process. Something extremely fishy happened and I think heads should roll on this one, as the saying goes.

Individual bureaucrats making quick decisions on feel good virtue signaling is not what effective local government should look like.


Attack the messenger
Midtown
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:04 am
Attack the messenger, Midtown
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:04 am
Like this comment

Classic attack-the-messenger syndrome exhibited by many to drown out the message or acknowledge the underlying issue, probably implicit in many of them.
It's the inner insecurity that is source of fear about those who are different
- it's natural but it's also high time to overcome it!


Resident
Mayfield
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:13 am
Resident, Mayfield
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:13 am
27 people like this

@ Attack the messanger

What are you talking about?

The underlying issue?

How about glorifying a cop killer.

The far left have lost their minds.


Resident
Mayfield
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:33 am
Resident, Mayfield
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:33 am
16 people like this

Assata Olugbala Shakur (born JoAnne Deborah Byron; July 16, 1947, sometimes referred to by her married surname Chesimard) is a former member of the Black Liberation Army (BLA), who was convicted of being an accomplice in the first-degree murder of State Trooper Werner Foerster during a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1973. Shakur was also the target of the FBI's COINTELPRO (counterintelligence program) directed against Black Power movement groups and activists.[2]


Born in Flushing, Queens, she grew up in New York City and Wilmington, North Carolina. After she ran away from home several times, her aunt, who would later act as one of her lawyers, took her in. She became involved in political activism at Borough of Manhattan Community College and City College of New York. After graduation, she began using the name Assata Shakur, and briefly joined the Black Panther Party. She then joined the BLA, a loosely knit offshoot of the Black Panthers, which was engaged in an armed struggle against the US government through tactics such as robbing banks and killing police officers and drug dealers.

Between 1971 and 1973, she was charged with several crimes and was the subject of a multi-state manhunt. In May 1973, Shakur was arrested after being wounded in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike. Also involved in the shootout were New Jersey State Troopers Werner Foerster and James Harper and BLA members Sundiata Acoli and Zayd Malik Shakur. Harper was wounded; Zayd was killed; Foerster was killed by Acoli. Between 1973 and 1977, Shakur was charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, bank robbery, and kidnapping in relation to the shootout and six other incidents. She was acquitted on three of the charges and three were dismissed. In 1977, she was convicted of the murder of Foerster and of seven other felonies related to the shootout.

While serving a life sentence for murder, she escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in 1979. She surfaced in Cuba in 1984, where she was granted political asylum. Shakur has lived in Cuba since, despite US government efforts to have her returned. She is on the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list, as Joanne Deborah Chesimard.[3]


StaySane
College Terrace
on Jul 12, 2020 at 9:30 am
StaySane, College Terrace
on Jul 12, 2020 at 9:30 am
21 people like this

To the city government officials:

Do your jobs in serving the public, don’t just pander to a few fringe individuals who may not even be Palo Alto residents. You foolishly allowed our public street to be painted with a pic of a cop murderer. The painting is a safety issue and may result in vehicle accidents.

[Portion removed.]


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2020 at 9:43 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2020 at 9:43 am
Like this comment

Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown

> A full autopsy report on George Floyd, the man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police last month, reveals that he was positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The 20-page report also indicates that Floyd had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death, although the drugs are not listed as the cause.

Sorry, but, I don't understand your what point(s) you are making. Please spell it out for me.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 12, 2020 at 10:40 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 12, 2020 at 10:40 am
2 people like this

[Portion removed.]

We are providing here clear statements - cop-killers of her notoriety and legal status within the country are not a prime candidate for the current chaos. The current chaos says the we need to get rid of cops that have a history of abuse. That does not mean that we victimize the whole police force. The Police Union needs to participate in this as well as the CA-AG Becerra. He is part of this problem - he protects bad cops.


PAResident
Charleston Meadows
on Jul 12, 2020 at 12:03 pm
PAResident, Charleston Meadows
on Jul 12, 2020 at 12:03 pm
2 people like this

This just seems like a poorly executed project by City Hall. It seems like they intended it to be temporary, doesn't seem like the artists quite got that part. Also, its human nature that once one has created art, one would want to preserve it. All the controversy aside, I would love for the City Hall to explore what can be done to make it more permanent. What are other cities that have painted BLM on their streets doing? If there is not a solution that's driving safe, then temporary art it is. Given the times, there isn't a lot of traffic, so closing that block has not been a big problem for drivers. But I'd love for City Hall to resolve this situation quickly.


Jennifer
another community
on Jul 12, 2020 at 7:45 pm
Jennifer, another community
on Jul 12, 2020 at 7:45 pm
3 people like this

This all boils down to where you stand "politically" and this shouldn't be about politics, whether you're moderate, conservative or liberal.


Observer
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:11 pm
Observer, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:11 pm
18 people like this

Jennifer, setting politics aside, this begs the question of whether the city is willing to condone the glorification of the Black Liberation Army and one of its leading activists, the convicted cop killer Assata Shakur, in the process of permitting advocation of the BLM. If Palo Alto takes no action to delete the portion of the mural supporting Shakur, then by such default there is implicit support of all that the BLA and Shakur represent - not the kind of affiliation that BLM should aspire to if they want continued support from the general community.


Oldster
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:41 pm
Oldster, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:41 pm
23 people like this

I watched as a kid Palo Alto City Hall deliberately allow anti-Viet Nam rioters to run wild smashing windows on Unverisity Avenue. Around the same time, I saw photos in the newspapers of at least one car being burned by rioters on Castro Street in Mountain View and photos of the burned ROTC building at Stanford. Read newspaper articles about astronaut Wally Shirra's son being hospitalized after being hit in the kidneys with a 2 by 4 when he tried to stop the burning of that building. Saw many downtown Palo Alto storefronts empty til the 1980's as a result of such "civil disturbance" along with many new Brutalism buildings here designed to withstand such urban rioters. Recall being told by friends in Los Altos about the bullet there through the window of Stanford ROTC unit's commanding officer which missed the head of a kid by inches. I grew up knowing a mob of any political persuation can go dangerously wild when police are ordered to "stand down" when members of the public are allowed to act like children smashing and burning anything when they get angry with no personal accountability.

I recall clearly the arguments between MLK and Malcom X, the Black Panthers, BLA about the effectiveness of violence in political debates.

The Palto Alto BLM mural according to artists' contracts and $700 fees to each one means their art in-situ is protected from cars for only one weekend and with the required soluble paints the street art was never intended to survive street cleaning or autumn rains. However, all the photos, vidoes, and sketches can survive forever for display anywhere.

Either our City Hall stands now for rule of law and or it doesn't. Meanwhile, I noticed last night, Saturday evening, around 8pm at least 3 Palo Alto Police SUVs with officers parked near the mural but just out of sight ready to deal with any civil disturbance. Few downtown restaurants had all outdoor seats full except those farthest away from the mural. Is that the New Normal for us?


Nancy
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 12, 2020 at 11:17 pm
Nancy, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 12, 2020 at 11:17 pm
Like this comment

Two wrongs don’t make it right.

Just like gang wars, gang “A” kills a gang “B” member. Gang “B” kills a gang “A” member.

Never ends…

You are just poking the Tiger!


Steve
Barron Park
on Jul 13, 2020 at 5:31 am
Steve, Barron Park
on Jul 13, 2020 at 5:31 am
33 people like this

This is a symptom of the real problem, and the real problem is leftism - which has completely overtaken the democrat party:

A leftist is someone who will count your money to determine how much you need. And, how much they are going to give others to make themselves feel compassionate.


Gus L.
Barron Park
on Jul 13, 2020 at 4:17 pm
Gus L., Barron Park
on Jul 13, 2020 at 4:17 pm
27 people like this

BLM is a SCAM, dont fall for it, remove this ridiculous Graffitti ..
Why be fooled by a group like this? Palo Altans are smarter than than, Or at least used to be smarter than that..


AZ
Midtown
on Jul 13, 2020 at 5:29 pm
AZ, Midtown
on Jul 13, 2020 at 5:29 pm
19 people like this

Is the city allowed by the Charter to spend our tax money on a political display, regardless of its content? Of course not! Or perhaps portraying a convicted cop killer on our public road invalidates the law?


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on Jul 13, 2020 at 7:46 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on Jul 13, 2020 at 7:46 pm
1 person likes this

I think we should keep the murals up for as long as we keep using the streets to subsidize the restaurants and their landlords; I don’t agree with every sub message of the Mural but I am proud of the expression overall; it is exactly how I want a small percent of our tax dollars spent to stimulate discussion and thinking harder about the important issues.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 13, 2020 at 7:49 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 13, 2020 at 7:49 pm
1 person likes this

I went back to see the art work today. Problem with traffic on the street is that you really can't see anything. I will make the wild suggestion that the city put barriers up at each end so that no cars are on Hamilton in front of the City Hall. That way people can walk around and check it out. I looked for the lady in question but wonder if her picture is slightly modified - or I was not looking in the right place.
Other wise I think it adds some festivity to the street because it was slightly boring before.


Concerned Resident
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 14, 2020 at 1:23 pm
Concerned Resident, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 14, 2020 at 1:23 pm
13 people like this

Where the heck is our leadership and who is actually in charge here?

Enforce change through your vote. Ed Lauing has come out and addressed this. Now more than ever, we need mature and capable leadership.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 14, 2020 at 6:01 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 14, 2020 at 6:01 pm
10 people like this

Yes - BLM is a Marxist group with specific goals - aimed at police and the reduction of their presence in the city. But that does not make sense. So let's up the ante here - the art work is actually pretty good. And it adds color to the street. So let it be there for the rest of the month - or some designated time period, and get our police force going with great thanks to them and celebrate the police in a public venue. So people want to play - let's play. They do not have all of the cards and we are not going to give them any cards. Common PA where is your game face? We go to games at SU all of the time with opposing teams - this is just another game. Game on.
Stop throwing in our hand.


Paly Student
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2020 at 8:01 am
Paly Student, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2020 at 8:01 am
14 people like this

Adding a murderer and fugitive to the BLM mural is surely the noblest deed that one can do, and it is highly suggestive of the aforesaid organization's motives. Assata Shakur's friendly face is now painted into the street in its full glory and regalia.
How convenient it is, to put a cop killer's portrait right in front of the city hall, where police officers can go to work and see it every day, and be reminded that you can commit any crime and still be called a social justice hero.


rob
Evergreen Park
on Jul 21, 2020 at 3:29 pm
rob, Evergreen Park
on Jul 21, 2020 at 3:29 pm
13 people like this

i'm planning to paint a MAGA 2020 mural on my street...


bjw
Crescent Park
on Jul 21, 2020 at 8:05 pm
bjw , Crescent Park
on Jul 21, 2020 at 8:05 pm
10 people like this

Since our City has now opened up our streets as public forums, and set a dangerous precedent, then anyone wishing to paint their “art” on the streets is within their Constitutional rights to do so. The streets are apparently ours. We can post Or paint anything and perhaps even ask tax payers to cover the cost of having our own police stand at the ready in case there are problems with anyone disagreeing with the “art.”

Why are our leaders folding under pressure? Why are they reacting Instead of studying and then acting? Why are they disregarding/disrespecting our police by allowing the art to honor a cop killer. I don’t believe she was innocent as the flyers that have now been plastered along Middlefield Rd state...all criminals claim their innocence...she was convicted in a legal court with no evidence strong enough to help her defense. Oh, and in addition to Hamilton Avenue being crapped up we now have flyers cluttering what used to be a nice, clean town.

Sure the paint will eventually wear or wash away but who will tear down the flyers (which I guess is a right to free speech also) which have become a blight..,not art.

Wake up Palo Alto. Preserve our streets. Put art in its right place. Support our police, and let them do their jobs of serving the community and not babysitting paint on asphalt!


Ha ha ha
Mountain View
on Jul 21, 2020 at 11:04 pm
Ha ha ha, Mountain View
on Jul 21, 2020 at 11:04 pm
2 people like this

Real what you sow!


Ha ha ha
Mountain View
on Jul 21, 2020 at 11:05 pm
Ha ha ha, Mountain View
on Jul 21, 2020 at 11:05 pm
2 people like this

*reap what you sow!


Sir Topham Hatt
Menlo Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 12:01 am
Sir Topham Hatt , Menlo Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 12:01 am
9 people like this

[Post removed.]


Anon
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 22, 2020 at 3:25 am
Anon, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 22, 2020 at 3:25 am
2 people like this

Part of this art should be wear and exposure . Craft or art to experience. What was intended? Why have one group keep the experience from others by diluting or adding to the message? Or is that all part of it? Dies the group blocking the rights of others full use of public property realize how they are in opposition to the original message if freedoms and individual rights? Are they just wanting their pics on social media as per formative activism. Also sf I covering it And forcing their views ruins the chance for people’s authentic reaction to the message I like to have my own reaction and don’t like being told how to react .


Tina Sveinson
another community
on Jul 27, 2020 at 2:37 pm
Tina Sveinson , another community
on Jul 27, 2020 at 2:37 pm
14 people like this

What if I want a Mural in support of pro life? No group should get special treatment


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 27, 2020 at 11:38 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 27, 2020 at 11:38 pm
2 people like this

Today was the celebration of the life of Congressman Lewis. Many spoke of the whole generation of people who initiated work and legislation on race issues. One distinction that was made is that the BLM Organization which focuses on reducing the police should not be confused with the long standing BLM movement. The BLM Movement did not agitate for violence. The BLM Organizations is capitalizing on all of the effort preceding it.
The Art is colorful and interesting. But using it to feature a individual that did not portray the best message for unification is not supporting the end goal of a balanced city structure. And right now cities are being conflicted by not differentiating the messages.


CrescentParkAnon.
Crescent Park
on Jul 28, 2020 at 6:10 am
CrescentParkAnon., Crescent Park
on Jul 28, 2020 at 6:10 am
7 people like this

I just drove by this the other night. I get it ... Black Lives do Matter, or course.

Bad spot for a mural though.

Who decides these things because, I hate to say it but, a lot of the political
arguments on these issues are often expressed in the media in some kind
of "off" or "problematic" way that leaves them open for criticism that
derails the issue.

They always tweak people's reasonableness, or they provoke an us/them
racist or sexual or some other divide, or they can be purposefully misconstrued
leading whatever issue to be reduced to noisy bickering. The one thing
these seem to stay away from is provoking a class divide ... much more than
I think just random chance would indicate?

If I could make a suggestion to think more about messaging. That is the
one important technology that the Right seems to be much more able to
afford, and understands the importance of - and it sadly for the most
part it works even when it is very wrong.


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