Sunday, August 13, 2006

Photos from the Anti-War Rally and March

     Yesterday I went to a march in San Francisco to protest Israel's invasion of Lebanon and US support of Lebanon, although with any decent protest the root causes-capitalism, imperialism, lack of democracy, etc. all end up being part of the show. Clicking on any of the pictures will give you a much bigger version.



This was taken as I first got there. There was a very large police presence, as you will see in some of the other photos.



Here's Uncle Sam with that great corporate America flag.



We had a rally for about 2 hours before the march actually began where we had speakers and music. Activists went around with petitions and a socialist running for office in San Francisco was telling people about his campaign. There were also a bunch of socialist tables with literature, people selling shirts and bumper stickers, as well as radical bookstores like Haymarket Books and Revolution.



Across the street from us there was a pro-Israeli counter-demonstration. In this picture you can see someone holding up a sign that says "Israel's enemies are God's enemies". Other people had signs saying things like "America is a Judeo-Christian nation" and "liberalism is a mental disorder".

Number wise, we had about 10,000 people, whereas the counter-rally had about 300, and that's being generous. But for those of you who've actually been to a rally and then later watched the mainstream media report on the numbers, you won't be surprised with what was reported. A major news channel reported that it was 2000 anti compared to 500 pro, which is just a very blatant lie. All the pro-Israeli demonstrators were on a sidewalk between a building and a street, whereas we had an entire grass-covered area between all the buildings for our rally. We were even more densely packed than they were, so just by geometry alone their 2000 to 500 estimate looks obscene. Arrr....but that's what you expect.



This is Todd Chretien, who is running for the US Senate in California under the Green party. I'll probably vote for him this November. If not, I'll probably vote Peace and Freedom , whose platform is here. Voting is mostly a symbolic act anyway.



I wasn't paying attention when they introduced this woman. I think she might be part of the ANSWER coalition, who organized the march. But she was a very good public speaker. I was especially impressed by the fact that she seemed to young and was yet a very active leader in the movement. There's another picture of her that I snapped during the march below.





So the rally is over now and the march has begun. The Raging Grannies were there as you see above.





The police didn't want us to go down this street for some reason. The route was planned ahead of course, so I think this was mostly for intimidation. It was the first turn of the march and they didn't do this on the other turns. One of the cops doesn't look too happy about me taking this picture.



This is taken from the front of the march. There was a guy next to me that was passing out some sort of anti-Bush flier and as he passed this one bystander the person said "Unless that's da Bible I don't need it". I wanted to ask him why he thought that, but the crowd was coming and I didn't have time.



I thought this was cool. That guy is on top of a bus stop. There's nothing spectacular in that of course. What was neat was that he got up there by stepping up on the hands of that "average American" looking guy in the blue shirt behind the microphone. Just seeing people that come from different backgrounds and who look different working together is nice. Something you don't really see in the media, who like to stereotype all who disagree as something or another.



We were heading down Market Street, pretty much the biggest and busiest street in San Francisco. Most of those people there are waiting for a ride on the street cars (that's where it picks up). I was glad that we were going to reach a lot of people with the message. Public demonstrations are pretty much the only way to do it, since anti-war views have no time in the media.



Here are three people with masks as seen in V for Vendetta. I asked them about them later and they said they cost them around $40 for all three. I haven't decided yet if I think it would be cool or stupid to have a whole bunch of people wear masks like this in a march.



Kids.



Dog activists.




So now we're back where we started, where we are going to have a post-rally. This is south of us (where the vans were earlier). I guess the cops are having a discussion on how best they can 'serve and protect' us.



West of us, more cops.

So that's pretty much it for my pictures.

I love going to rallies like this. It's very motivating to go out and see so many people who not only are against the war, but also many of them (from all ages and backgrounds) are also anti-capitalist and very leftist. And those who are more mainstream that attend are surely educated and radicalized as a result of going. The event consumed most of my Saturday, but I was glad that I went.

And here's a report from the ANSWER coalition about the event. There were other marches nationwide and apparently they had 30,000 people in Washington.

10 comments:

Mookie said...

Looks like a beautiful day. San Francisco is a very liberal place, with lots of pedestrian traffic. The rally probably had a large impact on people standing on the sidelines.

Did any politicians currently in office join you or comment on the rally? It would be interesting to see some representatives break with the TV media stance.

Delta said...

No politicians were there and from what I know they didn't comment on it either. Last year when we had a big anti-Iraq war rally, which had between 50 and 100 thousand people, one of the politicians sent a statement to be read. But even for the Iraq war, which it is "okay" to oppose (in at least its handling), politicians did not want to be seen at the rally.

And so a rally in which one of the chants was "one, two, three, four, we don't want your racist war....five, six, seven, eight, Isarel is a terrorist state", they of course wouldn't touch it. Actually, late in July, Senator Feinstein gave a speech for the purpose of creating support for Israel's actions.

And yes, it's always a beautiful day out here. The weather pretty much stays between 55-75 degress all year long. It's going to be hard to leave this place =)

SH said...

Thank you for the report, Delta. I wish I could have been there. I need to visit San Francisco one of these days. I've never been there before.

bernarda said...

Here is a video report on the Israeli control of U.S. Media, "Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land".

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7828123714384920696

Delta said...

I've actually already seen that documentary, and it is good. Thanks for posting the link =)

ConcernedEngineer said...

"Israel is a terrorist state..."

I'm astounded. Radical Islamo-fascists are committed to the destruction of Israel and Israel is a terrorist state for defending herself?

So you don't want war.... Most of us don't want war. But what do you propose we do about the current situation in the Middle East? Do you not acknowledge that Israel has the right to exist? Are you for exterminating Israel? Do you wish that the US would consider Ahmadenajad an ally?

Clearly, you do not understand the nature of Islamic terrorism. But they don't care about that. They are committed to killing me and killing you.

When I learned about the Holocaust in high school, I figured that by now the world has learned its lesson, and would have turned anti-Semitism. I was naive and wrong.

Israel has the right to exist. Anyone who would try to deny Israel her right to exist should be brought to justice - and that swiftly.

And that's why even the crazy leftist politicians didn't show up at your rally. Maybe some of them feel the way you do, but don't have the guts to admit it. But most of them - even the crazy leftists - acknowledge Israel's right to exist, because that is the right thing to do.

God bless you. I do not wish to be enemies. But I am more concerned about justice than I am about whether or not you like me.

Delta said...

concernedengineer,

Please don't give me that anti-semetic shit. Just because I don't approve of the actions of a state that has constantly looked towards violence and has shot down any attempt at peace does not make me anti-semetic. The people that the state of Israel kills are not radical "Islamo-fascists", they are largely just everyday people. Or do you believe that all Arabs are terrorists?

I do not wish to be enemies. But I am more concerned about justice

You cannot fight for justice with a complete ignorance of history.

ConcernedEngineer said...

No, I don't believe that all Arabs are terrorists. I do believe that Israel is in a fight for survival and that they have the right to exist. Have Israelis ever committed a crime? Yes. And those that do should be punished for it. But to say that "Israel is a terrorist state" and to suggest that all who support the war on terror are racists would be as crazy as saying that all Arabs are terrorists.

It is true that anti-Semetism is alive and well in the world - especially in Arab countries in the Middle East, so while I will give you the benefit of the doubt, you seem not to recognize the problem that Israel is facing. If the radical Muslims (and they are there) have their way, Israel will cease to exist.

You are also right that you can not fight for justice with a complete ignorance of history. But you think that anyone who hasn't drunk the kool-aid and have bought into the radical liberal bias re-writing of history is "ignorant of history." This is blind arrogance, and also typical of the left. Anyone who is not a hardcore liberal must be an uneducated bigot. You are very smug, sir.

But I do not wish to provoke you, but to engage you in a civil discourse. Is it possible that educated people could disagree about the current problems in the Middle East? Or are all Christians and conservatives ignorant bigots?

And furthermore, what would you have us do now? Would you have us leave Iraq? Would you give Iran control of that region of the world? Would you be okay with a massive nuclear attack on Israel? What is your plan?

I see a lot of criticism from the left of the Bush Administration - and much of it is justified. But I don't see any alternative plan from the left - just a continuous assault on the character of George Bush and Christians and conservatives. Surely you have a plan - don't you? Surely your plan is not simply, "Bring home our troops."

ConcernedEngineer said...

I would suggest thinking and listening twice as much as speaking is wise. We need not be reactionary in our political involvement, but pro-active. That goes for everyone. Liberals and conservatives. Christians and atheists.

I confess as a Christian I have at times found myself in reactionary mode. That is wrong (and unChristian by the way). The truth is that the left does have some good ideas (like racism is wrong and torture is wrong). And the right has good ideas (terrorism is evil and should be taken seriously). But there is no need to be ruled by our emotions. It is far wiser to take a step back and think and then act in accordance with wisdom.

Are you not concerned at all that a mob chanting "Israel is a terrorist state" might be in reactionary mode? Or was every person in that mob in total self-control? Is it possible that some people who are pissed off at George Bush and enraged by certain evils done by certain Israelis might have got "caught up in the moment"? Or were all the people at the rally wise and level headed?

It reminds me of the last presidential election. Teresa Heinz Kerry told a conservative reporter to "Shove it!" And Hillary Clinton cheered her. And then when conservatives called her to task on that (because to the best of my knowledge, no liberals confronted her to suggest that she was out of line), Al Sharpton said that Teresa Heinz Kerry was practically a Sunday School teacher compared to Dick Cheney.

To be fair, conservatives often do the same thing (like many of the rants of Coulter and Hannity and O'Reilly). While I believe that they have many good ideas, they are counterproductive, because they are often not kind to those who disagree with them.

I think that our nation might be healed and united if all of us learn how to reject partisanship and reactionary politics, and that we should be very aware of the tendency of a mob to be fickle at political rallies.

And when people say, "All Arabs deserve to die," we ought to confront them. And when people say, "Israel is a terrorist state" and "All Christians are uneducated and ignorant," we ought to confront them.

As it is, there are people on both sides that will hate you, I mean really hate you, if you are not in full agreement with them. This is tragic.

So, let's argue. But let's argue constructively, maintaining an ethic of kindness throughout our debate.

And when you, Delta, suggest that I am completely ignorant of history, you are making a statement without knowing much at all about me. I would suggest, sir, that you are reactionary and partisan.

Peace to you.

Delta said...

And when you, Delta, suggest that I am completely ignorant of history, you are making a statement without knowing much at all about me

I'm suprised that you would make this statement, considering your first post seemed to be calling me an anti-semite, for no reason other than that I oppose terrorist acts by the government of Israel.

Your critique of the "left" for not having a plan really does not apply to me, because my ideas really fall outside the mainstream that you are criticizing. I do not support the views of Clinton and Kerry. The "left" in the US that you speak of doesn't, in fact, have an alternate plan. The US has acted basically the same way regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans were "in control".

What good do you think we are doing in Iraq? You think we are there to "spread freedom and democracy"? Please do not be so gullible. Every war that has ever been fought by any side in all of history was in the name of self-defense, protection of freedom, or some other noble pursuit.

Why would I be okay with a nuclear assault against Israel? It is the government of Israel that I oppose, not the people.

The idea that killing innocents is wrong is accepted by all moral and rational people. The leaders on the right don't understand this, but simply use terrorism as a tool to further the oppression of other people. However, I'm sure there are many people who consider themselves conservative who actually think that there are many evil terrorists out there who want to attack the US because they "hate our freedom" or for some other "evil" reason. This isn't their fault. They simply have had little exposure to accurate accounts of current and historical events. I used to be one of them just a few years ago.

Are some of the people at the anti-Arab rally crazy? Sure, I'm sure a few of them are. Are there are a few actual anti-semites there? Maybe so. But that doesn't absolve Israel of its crimes.

I fully agree that constructive debate is extremely important. I'm sorry if I seemed confrontational in my first reply, but I didn't appreciate the idea that I was an anti-semite. The idea of hating a group of people simply because of their heritage is extremely foreign to me.