Today's big anti-war protest was a big waste of time. Like all anti-war protests here in the City by the Bay, it was organized by International ANSWER (Dick Becker's group), which tried to rope in as many different groups as possible in order to make an impressive showing, while fronting the usual destructive messages.
A semblance of diversity
They did pull in a broad spectrum of groups.
Four different versions of communist revolutionary, each with their own booth. Code pink. Veterans for Peace. The International Solidarity Movement. Bayan (Philippino something, didn't ask, can't stand those folks). Black Blok and other free-range anarchists. The nine-eleven conspiracy cults, representing seven different belief-systems - did you know the Masons were behind the attack? I didn't.
Free Leonard Peltier. The Queer Insurrection. Revolutionary Labor organizers. Radical Vegans. Angry Arab-American teenagers. The Uhuru Black Nationalists from Oakland. Elderly people from all over Northern California.
They did NOT make an impressive showing.
It was all supposed to start at eleven, but didn't actually get cracking till twelve. By that time nearly eight hundred people had dribbled into Civic Center Plaza. There were several angry speeches, and precisely forty five minutes late, at quarter to one, the mob headed into the Tenderloin chanting revolutionary slogans, leaving a skeleton crew to guard the dozen or so booths.
And no point
Their message was too unstructured and all-inclusive to make any impact.
The only ones on focus were the two dozen Palestinian activists, who carried International ANSWER's trademark banner ("Occupation is a Crime - Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine"), at the front, and chanted about Palestine whenever possible. There was also a banner right next to them, which Dick Becker forced them to carry, reading "fund jobs, schools, healthcare, housing, not war". They didn't look too pleased by that. Grim and sour.
Despite the large number of signs in Spanish, the Latinos were conspicuous by a near complete absence. Did I already mention that there were elderly folks from all over Northern California? That means 'mostly white' and 'middle class'. But not all washed - some white people have eccentric notions of hygiene (patchouli is NOT a disinfectant).
Jobs, healthcare, home-owner concerns, toxics in the water, Jews are to blame for nearly everything, no it's the Masons, you're both wrong it's actually Bush and Cheney and the Bilderburgers. Down with Obama.
After an hour and a half of stumbling around the Tenderloin, herded hither and thither by the very patient men in blue, the march returned. The Palestinian homies got to the podium first, and began shouting 'free free Palestine' through a bullhorn. Ten minutes later Dick Becker's boys finally got them to shut up so that more angry speeches could be made. Much of which were off-tangent and hard to understand (please enunciate next time, folks - oh heck, go ahead and mumble, nobody really cares).
At this point the crowd started thinning out rapidly, leaving no more than a couple of hundred in the Plaza. Lilly Haskell and her Jihadi pets remained in the area, and Forest Schmidt resumed chatting-up a woman at a booth not his own. Gloria LaRiva gibbered and moaned irrelevantly into the microphone, and there was burning sage.
Lilly Haskell is the Wellesley graduate and Arab-wannabe who was arrested last year when a bunch of "Palestinian" teenagers attacked a Jewish grandma in the subway last, Forest Schmidt is Richard Becker's flunky and general handyman - until today, I thought he didn't like women. Gloria LaRiva is not Dick Becker's housekeeper, but his favorite spokeshorse - she shows up at every one of his social events to prove that he is sensitive to the voice of the non-white community.
And as a Chinese-American, I really do appreciate the attempt, no matter how flat it falls. Thanks, Dick!
Kudos to the police
And as usual, the San Francisco Police Department performed stellarly, keeping the Anarchists and hepped up juveniles from destroying private property and overturning garbage cans. If it weren't for them, windows would be broken, little old Chinese ladies would be roughed up, and anybody who looked too Jewish would be attacked - that seems to be the standard modus operandi of the liquor store owner's kids when nobody is watching.
By the way, Forest Schmidt, several of the cops are far better looking than you. Plus they don't have that little rodent moustache either. They're real men.