[UPDATED] Sexual Harassment at Grrl Fair? Organizers Plan Protest

Categories: politics
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Loopy Bautista
UPDATE, April 21, 3:36 p.m.: Gustavo Arellano finds out that the tenants of the Artists' Village not only knew about the incident--they also tried to cover it up! Read about it here.

ORIGINAL POST, April 20, 5:38 p.m.: The tenth anniversary of Santa Ana's Grrl Fair event was supposed to be a joyous occasion. As I wrote for the Weekly, organizers hoped to put last year's cancellation soap opera behind them with a searing headlining performance by Long Beach's Bella Novela. Unfortunately, controversy has found its way in again this year.

The collective that put together last month's Grrl Fair has just issued a statement today on their plans to protest outside of Santa Ana's Artists Village on May 7th. The International Women's Day celebration featuring local bands, art, vendors and workshops, they say, was marred by repeated instances of sexual harassment. The statement reads:
During the Grrl Fair event On March 12, 2011 in the Santora Building of the Downtown Santa Ana Artist Village there were incidents of women and underage girls being inappropriately touched by a gallery tenant. This included Grrl Fair staff.
Titled "Stop Sexual Harassment in the Santa Ana Artists Village" the statement posted on Grrl Fair's Facebook page goes on to note how the event organizers have attempted since the time of Grrl Fair to address the problem through various channels only to find an unsatisfactory response at every stop prompting the need, in their estimation, for a public demonstration:
For the past month and a half we have taken steps to legally process and rectify what had happened at the Grrl Fair event. We contacted the tenants, we contacted the building manager and we went to the police. It's been almost a month and the police have not given us the police reports. This leads us to believe they haven't been processed at all. We need these reports in order to begin the legal process. When we spoke to the building manager of The Santora Building, he did not want anything to do with us and has not been in contact with us at all since we called him, emailed and faxed him all the information.
Assuming all responsibility for the content and allegations made in the statement, the Grrl Fair collective is moving forward with plans for a march and rally. They say that as long as the tenant in question remains unaccounted for, the Artists Village is not a safe space for women and girls. On May 7th, the collective and any of those who choose to join them in solidarity will be meeting at Birch Park on 3rd and Birch in Santa Ana at 7 p.m. All assembled will then march to the Santora Arts Building at 8 p.m.

Being the first Saturday of the month, the demonstration will coincide with the Santa Ana Artists Village Art Walk.
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11 comments
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Jack123
Jack123

grrrrope fair....

OY VEY!!

dude
dude

I don’t know how much of this story I believe. First of all there are perverts everywhere, if people got groped, it should have been reported on site and he would have been arrested (fail one)

Second, if he groped young girls and you have in fact confirmed this at the time of the event, then the promoters are at fault and not the man at this point. It would have been your responsibility to give a shit. (fail two)At this point the promoters are at fault..

The young girls who were groped assumed that this would be a fun time but you have in fact confirmed that grrl staff was also groped and nothing happened ?

Mike
Mike

it seems like the organizers are being condemned for actually doing something about the gropings. you say that there are perverts everywhere. this is true. What i don't understand is why such the harsh criticism for their organization actually doing something about it. are you just telling girls just to accept unwarranted contact and keep your mouth shut and forget about it because it's a normal part of life?

wow

do you know anything about the legal process and what steps would need to be taken for police to take action. have you every filed a police report for sexual harassment?if so please tell me how they handled your case, you seem to know about sexual harassment laws and know how they should have handled the incident

haters gonna hate
haters gonna hate

Police reports were taken at the scene. Other women went in to the police department to file reports. it is not Grrl Fair's fault, although Grrl Fair is doing everything they can to make it right since it did happen at thier event.

And the police could not forcefully enter his gallery to arrest him, because it is private property and they did not have proper documentation to go in.

dude
dude

umm a report of sexual harassment is enough to walk into a building...

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zhenglishu

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Santora Artist
Santora Artist

We did not cover it up! Get it straight! We wanted it to be investigated the proper way! There is a proper way isn't there? Or does everybody's selfish publicity ambitions need to cancel out justice and common respect.

Archimedes
Archimedes

and they did go through the proper process. in the end the police would not return phone calls to give them any information on what was going on . if the cops aren't willing to take things seriously and do their jobs, what other option was there?for them to keep quiet and walk away? hoping that the scary letter you sent to the man in question stopped him from harassing other women?

as a santora artist which could be anyone in that building that is writing this. what did you do to make sure girls would be safe in your building? Did you go to the police? Did you warn people that go to your building about him?

you guys could of outed him and made a statement santora artists do not condone his actions instead of asking gustavo not to print anything because you had it "handled"

this seem like this all could of been avoided by:1. if the santora artists who knew about this man warned grrl fair before hand2.after this mess happened at grrl fair the santora artists could have taken action ANY ACTION writing a public letter could have saved you and made you artists look honorable3.the building manager could have kicked him out. Does he really want the business of a pervert in Mike harrah's building? 4. The police, instead of ignoring the issue and downplaying what happened they should of taken victim accounts seriously. If they start doing something now because there is press good! About time

everything was done to make sure that they went through the proper channels and those failed. the only option i see is to get that man out of the building and let the community know what he is themselves

obviously you have not done anything if he is still in the santora and no one knew about him until this story came out

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