Mission District residents protest newest armory
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
February 9, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Dozens of Mission district residents
braved the cold and rain Thursday to protest the arrival of the
old San Francisco armory's newest tenant, an online fetish pornography
Kink.com has already begun shooting content after purchasing
the 1914 building in December for $14.5 million.
Neighbors and activists, who have previously blocked projects
at the historical site, complained that the company did not seek
community input before buying the property.
"Because Kink.com could throw down 14.5 million dollars
to purchase it, that has bought silence amongst people who should
be involved," said Valerie Tulier, a teacher in the neighborhood.
She said that the owners would not bring anything to the neighborhood,
which includes churches, elementary schools and community centers
Protesters said they have been working for years to turn the
Armory into a positive asset to the community. Suggestions include
affordable housing, a community center, a nonprofit center or
a green space. The Armory has been used primarily as a target
for vandals and opportunistic skateboarders since it was vacated
Kink.com CEO Peter Acworth, who plans to rent the space out to
major production companies, said he has done everything he can
to reach out to the community.
"You are no more likely to know what is taking place in
the Armory than in your neighbor's bedroom," a statement
reads. "Adult Entertainment conjures up images of a sleazy
clientele and producers linked to organized crime. However, in
our case your kids will never meet our clients, because they download
our movies from the privacy of their homes."
Acworth also said that he plans to add lighting and trees to
the exterior of the building and the only sign he expects to put
up is one reading, "The Armory."
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