Legal Insurrection readers will remember last week’s report of residents of a San Francisco side street trucking in boulders to discourage homeless camping near their homes.

The The “boulder battle” is over, as city officials have removed the boulders.

Residents who placed boulders on sidewalks to deter homeless camps have asked the city to remove the rocks, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

News of the effort unleashed a deluge of criticism, along with repeated incidents of people shoving the boulders off the sidewalk into the street, KPIX reported.

One woman falsely listed the boulders as free giveaways on Craigslist, then offered them for sale for $5 each, but the listings were taken down, KTVU reported.

“At the request of neighbors, San Francisco Public Works will remove the boulders on Clinton Park today and work on a longer-term solution,” said agency spokeswoman Rachel Gordon on Monday, according to The San Francisco Examiner. “We already are back at the drawing board.”

A work crew spent 30 minutes to haul the boulders away Monday morning. San Francisco officials promise something will take their place.

Many neighborhood residents are skeptical, while others were harassed by “tolerance squad” for having them installed in the first place.

“You know the rocks are a symbol of what’s going on in the city,” said Edward Chmelewski. “The rising frustration of residents, and a problem that seems to be intractable.”

If San Francisco did need a symbol for the seemingly endless, Sisyphean struggle unfolding on city streets, the rocks were that. Installed by residents of Clinton Park, they quickly became a lightning rod for criticism.

“To do this, to put these boulders here, it’s not the San Francisco way,” said Greg Aherne. “We’re more accepting and that’s not right.”

The criticism, it turns out, had even become threatening.

“That is true, they were getting emails,” explained Mohammed Nuru, Director of San Francisco Public Works.”There was some kind of bullying.”

Meanwhile, Los Angeles city officials are pushing to declare a “State of Emergency” because of the homelessness.

The latest proposal from Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and City Councilman Joe Buscaino would have the governor declare a state of emergency on homelessness in California.

Supporters view such a declaration as a novel strategy to free up state and federal funding typically reserved for natural disasters, such as earthquakes or wildfires, and to suspend or streamline the regulatory hurdles that often slow down shelter and housing development. It also could block NIMBY opponents from using environmental reviews to sue and delay or block homeless facilities from opening.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.