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Longtime activist Cleve Jones to leave Castro after tense landlord dispute

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Cleve Jones helped build the Castro. Now he's leaving under what he wishes were better circumstances."I don't want to leave," the 67-year-old gay longtime activist — who worked with the late Harvey Milk and founded the AIDS Memorial quilt — told the Bay Area Reporter in a recent phone interview. "I came to the Castro in the mid-1970s, and I've moved away for work many times, but the Castro: that's where my heart has always been."Jones said he isn't leaving under circumstances he wants.

Rather, he said he's being forced out by a new landlord who doesn't want him there."She literally and metaphorically has a sledgehammer over my head," Jones said. "She's already building around me."Jones said he wants to bring awareness to his situation not because he needs financial assistance — "I'm going to be fine," he insisted — but for the benefit of fellow San Franciscans who may end up having no choice to leave when they and their landlords butt heads."I feel guilty," Jones said. "I don't have the stamina to hunker down and have months in a literal construction zone.

She can do whatever she wants. ... She bet she could get me out and she did."But true to form, Jones isn't leaving the neighborhood without a protest, which will meet at Harvey Milk Plaza at 11 a.m.

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