Monday, September 24, 2018

Activism is alive in all forms in SF

by pennylane986 (writer), San Francisco, April 29, 2007


Signs are held high against the morning sun peeking through the financial district high rises and trees, young activists purchase coffee at an equal trade coffee house while two doors down a line of SFPD snake out of Starbucks. A man hands out literature and the Code Pink for Peace ladies are out en force with feather boas, hats and the like. Floral peace signs, caricature masks of Bush and Cheney, even some fashionably clothed dogs wearing signs that read “Panting for Peace” welcomes one to promote the end of war in San Francisco.

Thousands of people embarked on San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza at the Embarcadero March 18 for an Anti-War March that winded to the SF City Hall and UN Plaza.

The San Francisco State University College Republicans counter-protested alongside the group in support of the troops. Signs read "A Nation of Courage" and "Support those who fight and die for your freedom." A sea of red, white and blue stood out amongst the crowd.

Leigh Wolf, 20-year-old broadcasting major and president of the SFSU College Republicans, offered his thoughts on this year’s event.

“This is one of the smallest anti-war events I have been to; each year the numbers have dwindled in size,” Wolf said.

Speeches were made with the bay and ferry building as the backdrop by leaders of different organizations to rally the group, some speeches in Chinese and Spanish. Passion grew, voices rose and the protest march began. Students from Sierra College gathered peacefully to walk with the group.

“Were here to spend the day with beautiful people for a cause we can all support,” said 17-year-old Teel Love, student.

Greg Johnson of “The World Can’t Wait: Drive Out the Bush Regime” walked alongside his organization’s float of sorts. Johnson lit the American flag on fire in Texas in the 1980s, and today, that act is legalized.

Members of Students Against War and the International Socialist Organization were present at the protest. They engaged in debate with the College Republicans from the sidewalk.

The different organizations with dissenting opinions had some lively banter via bullhorn and yelling that continued down to the end of the walk, where people gathered on the grass. As walkers embarked onto UN Plaza they had a word or two with the College Republican students, a shouting match and large debate that ensued attracting major news media for interviews.

Today (April 28) brought activism in a different medium, aerial. This morning, over 2,000 people gathered at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach to spell out the words “Impeach Now!” in bodies to get their message out to America that president George W. Bush needs to be removed from office. Hired helicopters and news copters flew over to film and take photos of the group.

The SFSU College Republicans and representatives from other California Republican groups pieced together a large sign that laid across the sand reading “I’m With Stupid,” an arrow under the words pointing to the “Impeach Now!” group.

A couple sauntering along the sand stopped by to say they agreed with their message, and another man paused to offer a dissenting opinion, SFPD standing by.

A large yellow “Impeach” blimp flew overhead, different organizations tabled, along with a large wood constructed “9/11 Commission Report” book model that sat on the sidewalk, holes cut in it.

Activists are not going anywhere; it seems as time passes they only gain more resolve and become louder, more elaborate and more creative in their approach. The day San Francisco’s soul dies is the day its people stop standing up and having a voice. I don’t think that day is coming anytime soon.

About the Writer

pennylane986 is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on Activism is alive in all forms in SF

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By Anonymous Party on April 30, 2007 at 11:54 am
And the numbers will continue to dwindle, once Dems take full control in '08. It's the way of the (western) world. Protest + power = APATHY. In the 1960's, when protests against the status-quo burned brightest, all that was accomplished in the long-term was the bringing in of Richard Nixon, the blip known a Jimmy Carter, and the Reagan-Bush years. By the time Bill Clinton arrived, the "turned-on, tuned-in" protesters of the '60s had become what they hated most - their own parents. The right to protest is tricky. It fuels change. And then you need a nap.
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