Friday, April 22, 2011

Save the Eagle Tavern- Truth be told

Ok so, I never said that there was a 5 year lease. I was told and had discussions with many about a five year lease being held by Joe and John the Eagle bar owners. I am not a lawyer or a real estate person so I am just finding ways to help with the Eagles non-closure. This was a conversation that was presented to me as a way to save or bargain to save the Eagle Tavern. So I would like to say that I never said... "They have a five year lease and they are 1 year into it." I was told that and asked if it were true and would that have bearing on this situation? However from the discussions I have had with people throughout the community this may still be true as well but Joe from the Eagle says it is not so there you have all I know. John and Joe Eagle owners and Joe the land owner were incommunicado and they were anti this action because they would rather this all just went away.

The bar owners wanted to sell. People wanted to buy the Eagle and during the sale Joe in Santa Rosa inherited the land in a trust. Negotiations broke down and a new buyer was found. The Skylark due to public pressure backed out. Negotiations broke down and an eviction hearing notice was issued. In the mean while several Supervisors (Kim, Wiener, Compos) former Supervisor Dufty and Senator Leno were interested in helping us save this historic queer space; that has raised over 3 million for charities in its 30 years and was a first responder to the AIDS epidemic of the 80's and 90's.

However yesterday in Scott Wiener's office I was told that the Eagle owners, Joe P the land owner, and the owner of the Dallas Eagle are in talks as of yesterday.

Also in case you hear that our protests with Skylark were violent and heated offering threatening language that is categorically false. They were very peaceful and more out reach than violent protests. Any language used that was threatening on the internet is not my personal responsibility and certainly not the way I would have acted. It's easy to mouth off anonymously on the internet. What we did was called direct action around a situation that gathered almost 300 on a monday night at the Eagle Tavern. We created a coalition or community around the destruction of what many consider sacred Queer ground. We did not react in violent or threatening manners and those who used the internet to bully have only themselves to answer to and those they hurt with their childish behavior. The Skylark surely got some hate mail and that in no way was what Save the Eagle was about. It was about drawing a line in the sand around the loss of Queer space and the easy destruction of Queer culture as irrelevant.

People fight for things all the time. I stand by our actions and am proud of the work we did as a community. Even though sand is not the most permanent place to draw a line it feels good as a city, nation and international community to have come together around something that we as a culture hold dear. Argentina, Amsterdam, Canada, Mexico, France, England and all across the US from Seattle and Portland to NY and Massachusetts we have heard from people hoping this institution would continue.

Maybe to some its just a bar or even a place that they dislike, but for many around the world its a destination and for those of us in SF a home where everyone is invited to the table.

Long live the Eagle and the spirit that it instills.

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