John Rinaldi, a.k.a. “Chicken John,” a San Francisco activist, performer, and writer, was until recently a regular contributor to the website of the SF Weekly, a sister paper of the LA Weekly. But then he organized a political protest against the city for allowing private vendors in a public park, and found himself out of a job.
“They fired me over the phone,” Chicken John explained to FishbowlLA. “Three hours before my deadline, [Keith Bowers, SF Weekly‘s Arts and Culture Editor] called to say that word came from on high that I was canned. Because of the park issue. He told me his boss said that my position on the park thing was contrary to his boss’s. He wouldn’t tell me which one.”
Not so long ago, newspapers, especially those labeling themselves as “alternative,” were a safe haven for opposing viewpoints. And San Francisco is a city with a proud history of political protests. So what’s going on? SF Weekly, we’d love to know what you were thinking.