Sat. Jan 28th, 2023

UPDATE: Andy Verostek, an artist at the Santora, has written a post about the allegations by the Grrl Fair collective that an artist at the Santora harassed a number of them at their recent event.  Click here to read his account, which clearly debunks the allegations made by the OC Weekly.

“Organizers of this year’s Grrl Fair collective,the county’s decade-old celebration of all things womyn, are planning a protest May 7 in SanTana’s Artists Village during its next Art Walk,” according to the OC Weekly.  You can also read about it over at the Orange Juice blog.

The OC Weekly article explains that “They claim that during their March 12 Grrl Fair in downtown SanTana, an artist in the Santora Building constantly groped underage girls, and that Santora management (under the rule of mega-developer Mike Harrah), artists, and the city’s police department have not bothered with their pleas for action.”

Protesting the Art Walk and ripping Mike Harrah, who owns the Santora Building, is ridiculous.  Harrah cannot do anything about this.  It is a police matter, but the police cannot do anything either.  The comments left by readers indicate that the reason the SAPD has not opened an investigation is that none of those making allegations have been willing to put their name on a formal police report.  No names – no report.  That is how this works.

Until the women who were groped actually file police reports, nothing is going to happen.  This planned protest is just going to hurt innocent artists who had nothing to do with any of this.

There are allegations that the artists knew beforehand that they had a pervy guy in their midst.  If true, the question is – what could they have done?  I have seen all sorts of pervy guys at the Art Walks – including a bunch of local politicians known for cheating on their wives.

This incident however does open up a can of worms for the Art Walk in that there are also allegations that the alleged groper was very drunk.  The fact is that many of the art galleries serve alcohol during the Art Walk, and even those that don’t serve it often have liquor on hand for the artists themselves.  Should this tradition continue?  Or should we leave the alcohol service to the bars and restaurants in the Artists Village?  I am told that the Santa Ana Planning Commission is going to look into this.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

15 thoughts on “Grrl Fair collective planning a misguided protest at the next Art Walk”
  1. This story has many many facets. Admin, is doing a fairly responsible job of handling it. The artists village is a happening place, and it is going to collect a lot of new parasites that want to sabotage or exploit it’s popularity for their own publicity or political interests. It is ground zero for Santa Ana’s Downtown political wars. There are irresponsible and ridiculously selfish accusations being thrown left and right. People need to use their intellect. P.S. many galleries stopped providing any alcohol almost a year ago.

  2. Gustavo. All the players know my name and where to find me. You know that. What are you trying to accomplish? You know exactly what I am trying to accomplish. I fight for my community. My door is open to you as it is anyone with respect. Do you think that I would not speak face to face with you in the same tone? I am waiting for you. and Yes, it would be embarrassing to be physically assaulted by a bunch of man-hating lesbians. Good lesbians are adorable! In fact, I am expecting the company of one tonight.

  3. the thing that bothers me the most after reading all these blogs is that someone, mostly men. Have been saying that there are perv’s everywhere, stuff like this happens all the time, be a man be a woman suck it up.

    now that thinking is what got everyone here in the first place. Oh it happens all the time, no ones gonna do anything about it if it happens again

  4. What bothers me is that comments like, there’s pervs everywhere, be a man be a woman suck it up. make it seem like women are supposed to think this behavior is normal for them.

    in gustavo’s article it is confirmed that the artists did know about an previous incident and after it happened again with more victims at this event
    they still chose to keep it quiet
    and even asked the organizers to keep quiet

    can you tell me why the artists thought it was ok keep the groper situation under wraps

    i’m not understanding this

    i mean keeping quiet the first time didn’t quite workout for them

    shouldn’t they be punished as well?

  5. Sunday 4/24… Just heard about the incident. I’m in the East Village the excluded adjunct.
    Question: Where were the girl’s parents? Is it normal for a 15-year-old to be out-and-about without her parents nowadays? Has our society degenerated to the extent that parents not only rely on the schools to educate and discipline their children but the rest of the community must be responsible for the parents’ irresponsibility and negligent parenting skills?
    As for the artists and wannabe artists who populate the Village… Are we to become “Big Brother?” A frightening thought and an extension of Homeland Security… Just turn the perpetrator over to the offended parties and let them rip him to shreds. Don’t penalize the Village for the transgressions of the “Village Idiot.”

  6. Many of the girls who were attacked did file police reports and those same girls were unable to recieve copies of them.
    Some of the girls who were attacked fled after it happened to them.

    Another girl (a minor) who was attacked did file a police report on the scene, unfortunately the police were unable to do any thing about it that night because there were too many people in the building and it would have been an unsafe environment for the police and for the person in question. This is what the police said.

    I do not believe that it was Grrl Fair’s intention to have had any of this happen in the first place, and I definitely do not believe that it was Grrl Fair’s intention to have everything turn into a media circus like this. Unfortunately the internet is a public shpere and anyone can say anything they feel and blow things into and out of porportion as they will; as well as twist agendas and place blame. This is from all points of view; but I am specifically speaking about the public and the media.

    I have kept quiet on every blog that this story is on because I know that people online love to pick and chose facts and point fingers regardless of what their agenda or feelings are. People like to pick fights for the sole sake of winning and inflating their own ego.

    The issue here is that what happened that day/night was really messed up, and trying to rectify the problem was equally messed up. The system failed in this instance just as much as the individual did the day of the event, and that is what really is unfortunate.
    Innocent parties are being affected because of the public nature of it now and Grrl Fair seems to be getting their share of unfair treatment as well.

    I will say that I was at the event and witnessed things that happened.
    I also witnessed Grrl Fair doing everything they could as well as some ceartin members of the Santora doing as much as they could.
    I am not affiliated with Grrl Fair so please do not misconstrue my comment as theirs or even connected with theirs.

    The thing that makes me really angry about this whole thing is that Grrl Fair never said they were out to hurt any of the artists and they were very greatful for the Santora letting them have their event there. The reason they want to have a public protest is to let the community know about one individual who happens to reside in the same space, not all of the artists.
    There is no other way to do this, They tried police, management, and every other option they had.

    If any one actually cares enough why don’t they just email Grrl Fair directly (you can find it by just google-ing grrl fair)instead of talking a bunch of trash on the internet.

  7. I agree with the title of this blog…the protest is misguided. The issue is a police matter and if no progress is being made then protest the police department and the district attorney’s office.

  8. It’s not a police issue, it’s a community issue. First, we don’t need to give the police any more reason to boost their budget and patrol poor communities, which some readers and commenters on this site might not really understand. Second, Artists’ Village has been covering this up, similar to the Jesse Cheng case at UC Irvine, in fact similar to way to many cases everywhere. That’s the point, we live in a rape culture, where some find it acceptable to grope, harass, even sexually assault or rape women, and everyone else takes it upon themselves to apologize for or justify this behavior and protect the predator even as they repeatedly do this. The police are never going to be able to stop it from happening preemptively, the best they can do is arrest perpetrators after the damage has been done, but even that is quite unlikely if you’ve ever dealt with the hyper-macho impound-happy SAPD. Instead, it is up to US, residents of this community, to keep our community safe, defend members of our community from violence, and hold this same community accountable when incidents like this occur.

    1. John,

      California has the toughest anti-harassment laws in the nation.

      The artists did not cover up anything, in fact one of them called the cops!

      The Grrls Fair collective has an issue with ONE GUY. It is a legal issue and they need to follow through with the police and the DA. The rest of the artists, and Mike Harrah, have NOTHING to do with this.

      And I think it is obvious that the Artists Village should never again work with this back-stabbing group.

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