Arts & Events

Press Release: Free Poetry and Song Night on May 20 to Oppose Anti-Sitting Law Proposal

From Elisa Della Piana and Carol Denney
Tuesday May 03, 2011 - 05:16:00 PM

Art House Gallery and Cultural Center presents a free night of poetry and song in opposition to Berkeley’s proposed anti-sitting law on Friday, May 20th, 2011, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm (doors open 6:30 pm), sponsored by the Stand Up for the Right to Sit Down Coalition and The Revolutionary Poets Brigade. 

Enjoy an evening of engaged poets and songwriters featuring Dee Allen, Lincoln Bergman, Ava Bird, Carol Denney, Gary Hicks, Eliot Kenin, Arnie Passman, Dottie Payne, Andrea Pritchett, Miguel Robles, Lynn Sugayan, Julia Vinograd, Eleanor Walden, and other special guests. 

Members of Stand Up for the Right to Sit Down include the Homeless Action Center, YEAH!, Youth Spirit Artworks, Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS), Berkeley Food and Housing Project, Street Spirit, the Pepper Spray Times, and the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC). The Revolutionary Poets Brigade is an international group of poets[1] who came together in 2009 to put their words in the service of struggles in motion. 

“A sitting law would make it criminal for Girl Scouts to sit on a chair to sell cookies; for elderly people to sit and rest on a walk; for kids to sit on the sidewalk to tie their shoes.” said Elisa Della-Piana, director of the East Bay Community Law Center's Neighborhood Justice Clinic.  

“Why on earth would we be so foolish as to spend tax payer dollars trying to pass and enforce an ineffective anti-sitting ordinance in these desperate economic times? We know what works in solving the challenges of homelessness--housing, services and jobs!” commented Sally Hindman, director of Youth Spirit Artworks.  

“The sad thing is that we are all in favor of finding ways to revitalize our public streets, but these measures end up dividing us into people who care about the civil rights and human rights of homeless people and the people who care about the survival of our valued local businesses,” said Terrie Light, Executive Director of Berkeley Emergency Food and Housing Project. 

ALSO: Stand Up for the Right to Sit Down Coalition will be hosting the world’s first Chair-a-pillar on Sunday, May 22nd, 12:00 noon, at the Downtown Berkeley Bart Station. Bring your own chair and sit down with the Stand Up for the Right to Sit Down Coalition. 


Elisa Della-Piana, Director East Bay Community Law Center Neighborhood Justice Clinic, 510-548-4064 x 365, , and/or Carol Denney, Pepper Spray Times, 510-548-1512, 

Art House Gallery and Cultural Center, 2905 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705, 510-472-3170. The event is free; donations welcome. 

[1] The Brigade: Melba L. Abela, Dee Allen, Roy Arad, Jorge Argueta, Amiri Baraka, Tahar Bekri, Lincoln Bergman, Judith Ayn Bernhard, Boadiba, Joshua Glen Boylan, Kristine Brown, Ferruccio Brugnaro, Georges Castera, Yolanda Catzalco, Sasha Pimentel Chacon, Rosa Chavez, Neeli Cherkovski, Marco Cinque, Bobby Coleman, Francis Combes, Carla Badillo Coronado, Igor Costanzo, Najwan Darwish, Carol Denney, Diane di Prima, Sharon Doubiago, Nguyen Qui Duc, Aja Couchois Duncan, Tarek Eltayeb, Agneta Falk, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Edward Frank, Pedro Oscar Godinez, Stephen Gray, Richard Gross, Gary Hicks, Jack Hirschman, Sabah Mohsen Jasim, Ziba Karbassi, Linda King, Mark Kockinos, John Landry, Denize Lauture, Mark Lipman, Anna Lombardo, Jessica Loos, Ignatius T. Mabasa, devorah major, Rosermary Manno, Alberto Masala, Maram al-Masri, Sarah Menefee, Janice Mirikitani, Chrissy Moore, Alejandro Murguia, Majid Naficy, Taslima Nasrin, Cletus Nelson Nwadike, Francisco Orrego, Sarah Page, Dottie Payne, Fernando Rendon, Miguel Robles, Luis J. Rodrigues, Ernest Rosenthal, Sandro Sardella, Matt Sedillo, Aharon Shabtai, Arthus Sheridan, Maketa Smith-Gorves, Doreen Stock, Ambre Tamblyn, Jon Michael Turner, Lauro Vazquez, Antonieta Villamil, Michael Warr, Cathleen Williams.