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.
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.