The hotel workers at most of SF’s major hotels are in a union. The women at the Lusty Lady are in “the world’s only unionized worker-owned peep show co-op”. And, now, our city’s drug users have a union.
Between taking hits from their pipes and injecting needles into their veins, a group of SF’s drug users have formed a union in order to fight for their rights. While the union was founded three years ago, it’s been generating a bit of buzz lately.
According to the news station, “One of their slogans is “Nothing about us, without us,” meaning they are demanding a voice in drug policy decisions. One of their main missions is to get a supervised safe injection site for heroin users like one in Vancouver. And they are working with San Francisco General Hospital to develop a how-to manual to handle drug users who come in for medical care.”
Headquartered in The Tenderloin, the union’s goals are “to decriminalize drugs and drug use, to create a safe environment where people can use and enjoy drugs…and to promote a positive image of drug users.”
I don’t think the positive image thing is panning out. Crack addicts just don’t inspire role models. But their first campaign, launched July 26, 2010, was “working with the stigma and discrimination that Drug Users face at SF General’s Emergency Room,” and that seemed like a good goal that could have helped a lot of folks.
I would make a joke about something like this being “only in SF…”, but similar groups already exist in Seattle and New York.
For more, or to watch the segment on KGO-TV, go here.