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Controversial
owner of S.F. bar draws fire from activists

Controversial
owner of S.F. bar draws fire from activists

The controversial owner of a San Francisco bar accused of racism has drawn the ire of community activists once again. The organization And Castro For All is accusing bar owner Les Natali of derailing a mediation session with former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown. The organization has accused Natali of discouraging African-Americans from entering his bar, Badlands. In April, San Francisco's Human Rights Commission sided with the community activists. In June, San Francisco's board of supervisors unanimously condemned the bar. But in July the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control said an undercover investigation found no sign of discrimination. Determined to punish Natali and the bar, And Castro For All went before the city's entertainment commission. During a hearing activists demanded that Natali's license to play music and allow dancing be revoked. No decision was reached at that meeting. Activists are now turning their attention to a mediation hearing that was set to take place this weekend. And Castro For All claims that Natali demanded a handful of agreed-upon community representatives be excluded from the session. Natali's attorney, Stephen Goldstein, points out that the activists never mentioned that his clients did meet with Mayor Brown for over an hour. Goldstein described the meeting as positive, adding that the Badlands team only wanted to meet with those who had formally complained. And in Goldstein's words, "I don't think it's productive to keep whining to the press about every small thing that happens." An attorney for And Castro For All says plans are being drafted for a lawsuit. (Bill Peterson, Sirius OutQ News)

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