After one Upper Haight resident noticed a swastika carved into the sidewalk while walking her dog, she told another neighbor who literally took matters into her own hands.
"I contacted the city, but realized they wouldn’t hustle over immediately to get it taken care of," said Bee R., an area resident for 11 years.
She visited Roberts Hardware, which provided her with cement at a discount, along with instructions for how to work with the material.
Bee R. said she waited until evening to get the work done and invited friends over for the chiseling and restoration work. "I’m very lucky to have a lot of friends who would come sit out in the cold and literally watch cement dry," she said.
After the effort was complete—and each friend had a turn at smashing up the symbol—she contacted the city's 311 customer service line to let them know she removed the hate symbol. After she forwarded officials a photo of the resurfaced pavement, "311 was cool with it," said Bee R.
Before leaving, neighbors chalked a temporary message:
"Someone carved a swastika here earlier today. We hammered it out and replaced it with something true."
Bee R. said the Upper Haight's history as a place for free expression and liberalism stirred her to action.
"It is completely antithetical to what the neighborhood stands for. This really stood out for me symbolically," she said. "I personally feel like anyone can take care of something like this and not wait for the city. I feel really strongly the city is for all of us."
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