Please distribute far and wide.
MANNY’S OUT OF THE MISSION
The Mission District does not need another wine bar. It does not need a
business claiming to be “for social justice,” when it is simply using
social justice as a marketing ploy. And the Mission cannot survive any
At the corner of Valencia and 16th Streets, black and brown working
class people fight to stay while businesses that serve the richest of
the rich thrive, like the new wine bar and so-called “social justice”
event space, Manny’s.
Many people have asked us why we chose to protest Manny’s, when there
are so many horrible things happening in the world right now. The reason
is because Manny’s represents and propels some of the worst problems
affecting our low-income communities of color, such as racism,
displacement, and policing, while using fake “progressive” political
messages toward conservative ends.
Manny’s owner, Emanuel “Manny” Yekutiel, is a self-proclaimed Zionist
who has a long history of working with Zionist organizations like A
Wider Bridge. As a rightwing racist ideology, Zionism claims Palestinian
people have no right to their land. The so-called nation of Israel
enforces this ideology by murdering, arresting, torturing, and
displacing Palestinians – creating an apartheid state not unlike South
An international controversy was created when the Bay Area civil rights
icon Angela Davis recently had a civil rights award revoked over her
criticism of zionism. Israel receives more military aid from the US than
any other country – $4 billion per year and growing – and uses this
money to create one of the world’s deadliest armies and bulldoze the
homes of native Palestinians, killing those who get in their way.
Manny’s supporters claim that our opposition to Manny’s is anti-Jewish
or antisemitic. This is a lie. Many of us are Jewish and oppose the
abuse and displacement of working-class people, whether in Palestine or
San Francisco. We recognize that when one person is oppressed due to the
unequal distribution of money and power, the rest of us suffer too.
Manny and his Zionist supporters call us antisemitic not because they
believe we are, but to silence us, like they attempted to do to Angela
Davis. As organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace affirm, anti-Zionism
is not antisemitism, this is a dangerous conflation.
Gentrification is killing our communities of color in the Mission. We
protest Manny’s because we demand not another black or brown person
should be jailed or die from a police shooting because a #BBQBecky
decided they didn’t want a tent on the sidewalk during a time when the
city has a shameful lack of shelter beds and very-low-income housing; no
Palestinian should die because of a war majorly funded by the US; no one
should be evicted from San Francisco because a techie thinks the Mission
is a cool, “gritty” neighborhood where they’d like to build a new condo;
and no business or group should ever engage in what has become known as
“woke-washing”–or using “progressive”-seeming politics to promote a
conservative political cause.
Unfortunately, people like Manny Yekutiel actually benefit from the
unequal distribution of resources. Manny recently switched jobs: He was
formerly a power broker in Washington, DC politics, where he worked for
the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, as a public relations director. Because of
his access to money and power, he was able to move to San Francisco and
quickly open a business in the Mission, at the same time as other local
businesses wither and die. How? Manny’s is on the ground floor of a
low-income building run by Mission Housing and he was given a
below-market rent to run a for-profit business while the building’s
tenants had no say in what filled the space in their building.
What is happening in the Mission is not the same as the violence
Palestinians experience every day, as Israeli military forces come to
evict them from the land where they’ve lived for generations. However,
we see parallels in the hypocrisy of centrist Democrat leaders like
Mission District Supervisor Hilary Ronen who use their positions to
applaud Manny’s, while at the same time vital Latinx cultural spaces
like the Galeria de la Raza are evicted. The black and brown residents
of the burned-down complex at 22nd and Mission Streets have been waiting
for nearly five years while the city overlooks the empty lot owned by
slumlord Hawk Ling Lou. In those same five years, luxury units costing
more than $1 million per condo crop up around the neighborhood, going
from blueprint to building overnight.
Manny Yekutiel’s private prep school background and DC connections
helped him raise money to open his for-profit wine bar with a supposed
“social justice” mission. However, “social justice” is meaningless when
Manny’s hosts events with pro-gentrification politicians like Scott
Wiener, or a director of the $2,200-per-person Burning Man Festival. For
Manny to claim his business as a place for “social justice” is an insult
to the radical history of Mission and San Francisco grassroots community
We are encouraged that despite Manny’s public relations experience, as
well as the corporate press’s emphatic support for him, a large and
exciting group of anti-gentrification and pro-Palestinian community
organizations have come together to boycott Manny’s and cancelled
planned events at the space.
As Angela Davis reminds us, “freedom is a constant struggle.” We ask you
all to continue the work of collective liberation by joining us every
Wednesday on the picket line to fight gentrification, Zionism,
antisemitism, and all forms of oppression.
-Jews Against Zionism (JAZ) of San Francisco State University
-The Lucy Parsons Project
-Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT!)