Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dirty Deeds at the Civic Building in Silver Spring

I was contacted by the Kojo Nnamdi Show, asking me and other skaters to attend Kojo in Your Community, a community meeting about public space in the Silver Spring Civic Building. I declined.

I didn't believe we would have the opportunity to express our views, so I decided that I would tell skaters about it, and let them go if they wanted to, but I had no intention of going.

The producer called me back and offered me an in-studio interview. I and Darren Harper did that last week. I was so impressed by Kojo's knowledge about skateboarding in general, and his familiarity with the history of skateboarding in Silver Spring, that I changed my mind about the Kojo in Your Community taping.

I begged, pleaded, and fussed at skaters to come tonight. Many did. And many were refused entry into the Civic Building.

Gwen Haney whined to me about skaters taking cookies. Seriously? The security guard told me repeatedly that the bulding director (who the guard referred to as a 'she'), told her not to allow those skaters in.

We already know and have seen the disregard that many in Silver Spring have for skaters. We already know that in spite of attending numerous meetings and speaking out for their needs, nothing has changed.

Thankfully, one skater, Chris Pacman Santis told Kojo that skaters were told they couldn't get in, and Kojo told Chris to go get all of them. He did. But then, Kojo's staff almost didn't let Chris and the other skaters back in! Chris demanded to get in, saying that Kojo told him to get the skaters, and that Kojo said they could all come in.

Thanks, Chris. You behaved much more maturely than many adults did tonight.

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