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BS: The streets of San Francisco

harpgirl 21 Mar 03 - 02:56 PM
Amos 21 Mar 03 - 03:57 PM
Beccy 21 Mar 03 - 04:05 PM
NicoleC 21 Mar 03 - 04:19 PM
katlaughing 21 Mar 03 - 05:12 PM
Kim C 21 Mar 03 - 05:16 PM
katlaughing 21 Mar 03 - 05:16 PM
NicoleC 21 Mar 03 - 05:53 PM
DougR 21 Mar 03 - 06:59 PM
katlaughing 21 Mar 03 - 07:43 PM
toadfrog 21 Mar 03 - 10:16 PM
toadfrog 21 Mar 03 - 10:21 PM
katlaughing 21 Mar 03 - 11:16 PM
Bev and Jerry 21 Mar 03 - 11:24 PM
Greg F. 21 Mar 03 - 11:28 PM
katlaughing 21 Mar 03 - 11:36 PM
Peg 22 Mar 03 - 11:04 AM
Blackcatter 22 Mar 03 - 12:31 PM
mack/misophist 22 Mar 03 - 01:33 PM
GUEST 22 Mar 03 - 01:39 PM
Marion 22 Mar 03 - 04:04 PM
Little Hawk 22 Mar 03 - 04:13 PM
toadfrog 22 Mar 03 - 08:17 PM
Melani 23 Mar 03 - 12:03 AM
Rustic Rebel 23 Mar 03 - 12:23 AM
Barry Finn 23 Mar 03 - 07:19 AM
Nigel Parsons 23 Mar 03 - 11:20 AM
NicoleC 23 Mar 03 - 01:54 PM
Greg F. 23 Mar 03 - 02:51 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 23 Mar 03 - 02:53 PM
katlaughing 23 Mar 03 - 04:41 PM
Melani 23 Mar 03 - 04:57 PM
Greg F. 23 Mar 03 - 05:00 PM
toadfrog 24 Mar 03 - 12:25 AM
Coyote Breath 24 Mar 03 - 12:38 AM
DougR 24 Mar 03 - 02:15 AM
GUEST,guest 24 Mar 03 - 02:40 AM
JudyR 24 Mar 03 - 04:39 AM
JudyR 24 Mar 03 - 05:07 AM
toadfrog 24 Mar 03 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,Mars 25 Mar 03 - 04:02 PM
mack/misophist 26 Mar 03 - 10:21 AM
Bagpuss 26 Mar 03 - 10:34 AM

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Subject: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: harpgirl
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 02:56 PM

This was from the Friends of Florida Folk list today:

I have no idea what is being reported on the news around the world
about what went down in San Francisco today but here is my eyewitness
report.

First, i can honestly say, i never experienced anything like what was
going on in San Francisco today. Who knows how many people took to
the streets. Certainly tens of thousands if not more. Well over 1000
people were arrested. I barely managed to escape arrest at one point
on Market Street near 7th but otherwise it was very peaceful and
police for the most part were friendly. But i heard that a couple of
cops grabbed a baby out of a man's hands and it was broadcast all
over TV and perhaps you saw it. Apparently many huge protests took
place all over the US and immense ones in the mideast, Australia,
Japan, South Korea and Europe. The destabilization of the world is
one of the side effects of this immoral, unjust war.

The strategy in San Francsico was very simple. If you want to get
arrested, go out in the middle of a street, sit down and wait to get
arrested. I was amazed at how many people i saw do this. As soon as
one would sit in a major intersection or in front of the Pacific
Stock Exchange or on the corner of Bush and Powell Streets (funny,
eh?), they would be followed by dozens sitting in, locking hands.
Eventually the police come and haul them to jail. As i am writing at
10 Pm back at home in oakland, over 1400 people were arrested in
Sanfrancisco and a few hundred more in Berkeley.
I had no interest in being arrested so i took the other strategy,
keep walking. Carry nothing with me, no signs, no buttons, only my id
in my pocket and change to make a phone call if by chance i did get
arrested, And a bottle of water. :) I arrived at the SF bus terminal
around 11 am. I walked to the embarcadero and as soon as i left the
bus station, i realised i was in the midst of a huge almost anarchy
situation. Police in riot gear were everywhere. People carrying signs
were everywhere. Groups of people marching and chanting together were
everywhere. People sitting in the streets, some in body bags were
being hauled off by police and this was occuring on EVERY BLOCK. Cars
are all standing still. Most of the drivers were putting anti war
signs on their windows and horns were blaring in both opposition and
sympathy to the demonstrations. I get to market street and i just
smiled! Tens of thousands of people had this street, the major street
through downtown sanfrancisco completely taken over and there was no
way a car or bus could get through. Most stores on Market street are
already closed. Police are in front of starbucks protecting it which
also made me laugh. I walked towards the pacific stock exchange which
has been a major site of demonstrations for many days now. COuld
barely get down that street as there were so many people sitting in
the streets in dissent. Police would carry one away, 2 more would sit
down. i kept walking, thinking if a cop stops me, i can simply say,
"i am trying to get to work". Back to market street and walk down
towards the civic center where a raly was planned at noon. At 5th and
market, police were in riot gear protecting the gap and mcdonalds and
being mocked by people. Gap was sealed shut yet the cops were still
protecting it. hmmmm Do these corporations pay for this police
protection or does the city simply give it to them??? I walked 2
whole blocks and did not see any arrests. Get to the civic center and
was repulsed by the idiots whining on the microphones, so i keep
walking this time, back towards teh embarcadero on market, thinking i
will check out union square and other areas where i assume massive
amounts of people are expressing their frustration with the pathetic
government we now have. SUddenly a huge commotion is coming from
Market and 7th! People are running towards the civic center and cops
are running towards 7th. This is the first time i feel like i am in
danger. Suddenly, i hear "phil, get out of there" and look to my left
and am immediately grabbed by a friend David who saw me and while
hauling me away to the side to the let the cops through, says, "some
punks are acting stupid on 7th and are throwing glass at cops". Damn,
this is not necessary. THen he tells me about a guy he saw whose baby
was grabbed out of his hands by 2 cops. He says that he is pretty
sure that ABC news caught it all on video and we both laughed,
saying, "Every minute is being caught on various videocameras" as so
many people have their video cameras pointing at the cops in case
they start being stupid.
Head towards Union square and again, cops in riot gear are everywhere
and there are various face-offs between cops and protesters going on.
Starbucks and the disney store and the gap are sealed tight with
absurd amounts of cops in front of them. THese guys do not look
friendly at all.
Walk through parts of chinatown and then back towards the financial
district where the action was really happening as well as on market
street. Police are cracking some heads near the pacific stock
exchange now. Earlier they were arresting people very casually, now
they were adding some cheap shots in. Luckily the 60+ year old woman
i saw them haul off, they did rather delicately without a shot to the
kidneys like some of the young died hair guys were getting. I walk
back towards the civic center and then get on the train to go to
oakland. get back in time for the 5 pm march from downtown oakland to
Jack London Square. A couple of thousand people or so were already
marching as i ascended out of the subway. I joined in and ran into my
old friend Burckaan who was asleep all day. I told him about what i
saw and he said he saw and hear much on ABC TV news. He said he saw
the father and baby incident. I am surprised and very glad to hear
they are showing some of those events. He tells me that the arrests
are now over 1000 and told me about what he heard about happened in
Berkeley.
After that march, i walked home and am now sending this report out to
various friends and family around the world since i have no idea if
you are hearing about what happened in San Francisco. We did not shut
the city down as hoped but there was certainly a major disruption in
the city and hordes of people did not go to work. I cancelled my
lessons today as i could not sleep with myself i simply sat at home
while my government acted this way. Tomorrow i have to teach or i
will not have much money next week but i finish at 2 and will
immediately head back out. There is still a huge demonstration going
on at City Hall and at Market and 5th, according to KPFA (you can
listen anywhere in the world on kpfa.org) which i now have on. People
are going to camp out all night. Apparently 2 helicopters were shot
down and there are already casualties on both sides. What a waste of
human life on both sides!

What has happened to my country? Why is this government acting so
irrationally and so immorally that we have to give up our jobs to
vent our frustration and desparately try to change things?
And the scary question that many of us are asking ourselves. How long
will they allow us to express this? When does the tear gas come out
from the police? The guns? Will the US be facing a potential Tianamen
Square type of situation here or in NYC or elsewhere in the country
in the next few weeks?

in a situation like this, dissent IS patriotic!

pray and work for peace


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Amos
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 03:57 PM

Wowser, SH -- you've had a day. Things haven't been jumping likethis since the Berkeley riots!! Congratulastions on a successful job of dodging the rough stuff.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Beccy
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 04:05 PM

I posted this on the "Protests In Case of..." thread, but I think it might be more appropriate here. I do not know how to delete the other post, so please forgive me if this is a serious no-no, but I really am curious.

***This is a serious question and it is not meant to offend. Are any of you who attend the protests concerned about the disruptions and damage to personal property that small amounts of the protesters are doing? (I.e. blocking/stopping traffic in large cities [San Francisco], demolishing the McDonald's in Paris, etc...)?

Does it bother you that those people infringe on your peaceful movements? I'm just curious.***
(end of re-post)

Beccy


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: NicoleC
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 04:19 PM

Beccy, as with any group, there are always a few that will resort to violence or lose control in a stressful situation. Non-violent measures are emphasized over and over by organizers and the vast majority of protesters adhere to them.

Nor is everyone in a crowd necessarily there because they believe in that cause. A violent person who uses the anonymity of a crowd as an excuse to get away with a crime will be blamed on a the crowd, even if their views are the antithesis of the crowd. At most protests for the past few years, the Black Bloc has chosen to show up and use the cover of a peaceful protest to commit violence in the name of their anarchist movement.

Then there are usually elements who show up intending to attempt to discredit the cause of the protest by deliberately committing violence.

There are a few protestors that advocate violence to get what they want. The vast majority of peaceful protestors are VERY unhappy about this, because we feel such actions cause more harm, not less.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 05:12 PM

Thanks, SH, for posting this. Incredible and heartening.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Kim C
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 05:16 PM

Did the city of San Francisco declare war on Iraq?

I think everyone has a right to protest, but I'm not sure they have a right to step in front of my car when I'm on my way to work. If people want to call attention to peace, why do they need to disrupt the entire city? Some of the people hindered by this were probably on your side, and might have come out to join you, except that they had to go to work, or take their kids to school, or go to the doctor.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 05:16 PM

I forgot to say, there's good coverage of all anti-war activities, worldwide at freespeech.org


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: NicoleC
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 05:53 PM

Many folks would agree with you Kim, and you are legally correct, which is why all those folks were getting arrested for acts of civil disobedience; and why many more were choosing not to.

The Boston Tea Party was an inconvenience too, but that doesn't stop generations of schoolchildren being indoctrinated with what a glorious and patriotic event it was.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: DougR
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 06:59 PM

SH: maybe those folks who deliberately got arrested just needed a good square meal!

I'm with you Kim. I have no objection to people peacefully protesting anything. When they destroy property, or block traffic thereby imposing folks in the protest that might not agree with their POV, I'm very much against it. I think they only bring discredit to their cause.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 07:43 PM

Sometimes it takes more confronttional measures to get the powers that be to wake up and pay attention. People around the world will not be led into this kind of blind allegiance anymore. The protests are unprecedented, spontaneous, and in accord. The sooner the world leaders acknowledge that the better, imo. What is the inconvenience of a traffic jam compared to what the Iraqi people are going through right now, or for that matter, our own troops?


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: toadfrog
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 10:16 PM

I saw the demonstrations. And it is dumb. The time to demonstrate was before all this started. It is not going to stop the war. This kind of thing was (maybe) appropriate in the Vietnam era, when a war was dragging on, and the idea was to press the government to withdraw. The government is not going to withdraw from Iraq, and the reasonable thing is to hope they get it over with fast and with minimal damage anc loss of life. And even during the Vietnam war, I saw no particular point in blocking intersections (or smashing windows, which also happened).

People are "paying attention." People have their eyes glued to televisions. They know there is a war on. You do not have to tell them that. And they will make up their own minds whether they like it. Blocking intersections does not convey a message. It does not persuade. It does not make a coherent point. It only annoys people. Occasionally, as when the vehicle which gets blocked is an ambulance, it hurts people. It costs the City money better spend on schools and medical services. It puts one's cause in a negative light. It makes the anti-war cause look bad. It creates pro-war sentiment. It accomplishes nothing whatsoever. I suppose it is "peaceful," but it is right on the borderline. And finally, it is not particularly heroic; kids do it because it is their idea of a lark.

The time to be heard was before the war started.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: toadfrog
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 10:21 PM

And kat, it was not "spontaneous." It was very organized and rehearsed, well in advance. It was generalled, just like the war itself.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 11:16 PM

From the around the world reports I've been reading, toadfrog, many of them have been spontaneous, maybe not the SF one.

Yes, the citizenry are aware of the war, etc., but the powers that be did not listen before. To not register dissent is to give tacit consent and that is something many do not wish to do. Also, it is NOT just in America. People all over the world are not going along with it, before or during and that is their right. And, they are not just a few hippies and college students as the Vietnam protests are chacterised. These are people from all walks of life, all levels of education, class, etc. It is heartening to me to see such a coherence among the peoples of this planet, making their voices heard. If the leaders choose to turn deaf ears, then it will continue. To not protest, to just "lie back and enjoy it" to borrow the horrible old adage for women about rape, would be to give up and give the world leaders carte blanche and that many of us cannot abide.

I do agree, however, that ambulances should not be blocked, property should not be damaged, people should not be harmed, i.e. the rallies and protests should be peaceful. Although, civil disobedience does involve less than peaceful outcomes. I do respect the ones who are able to follow through on their convictions.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 11:24 PM

We think Bush hears these protests loud and clear. That's why the military is being ever so careful about where the bombs fall and why they're trying so hard to get the Iraqi soldiers and leadership to give up instead of just killing them all which could easily be done. It still sucks but it could be a lot worse.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Greg F.
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 11:28 PM

So, Toad & Dougie, what's your take of the imposition on folks and the harm to people and property and theinconvenience caused and the access blocked and the costs to government & all the other outrage expressed above in the case of anti-abortion protesters 'blockading' and bombing medical clinics? Do they bring discredit upon the anti-abortion cause? How about anti-abotrion snipers who murder doctors?


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 11:36 PM

Bev & Jerry, that may be true. If so, I can only say, again, how glad I am that people did protest and continue to. Can you imagine what may have been had they not, if what you say is true? If the protests have made the leaders more cautious, then they will not have been in vain.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Peg
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 11:04 AM

I see no better time to dispense with "business as usual" than right now. But protestors should obviously make sure they are not blocking ambulances and other service vehicles from getting where they need to go. And anyone leading a protest march or organizatin needs to make sure that participants are educated on the effective methods of civil disobedience.
It is important to continue sending the message that the vast and overwhelming majority of the American people (despite what cleverly-contrived "opinion polls" claim to reveal) are AGAINST this war. If we throw up our hands and decide we're powerless to do anything, or retreat to our usual lives without acknowledging what our country is perpetrating in the rest of the world, we may as well let our government lock us up in cells and cut our tongues out (sorta like what's happening at Guantanamo).
Thanks for your inspiring story! Over 4000 people marched in Boston on Thursday and many of my students were among them.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Blackcatter
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 12:31 PM

Ya know what's sad about the French attacking a McDonalds because of the war? It should have been done because of the substandard food and low wages!

My God, destroy all the McDonalds joints in the world! (I know from what I speak, I was raised in San Bernardino CA, the birthplace of McDonalds . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: mack/misophist
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 01:33 PM

As a San Franciscan who is opposed to the war, I have to say that I'm also opposed to the demonstrations here. They chose us for the name recognition. They ignore the fact that the city is in financial trouble and it's costing HALF A MILLION DOLLARS A DAY to manage things. The protesters are hurting the poor, the unemployed, the sick, and the children HERE. What's wrong with protesting in Oakland or Berkeley?


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 01:39 PM

i see nothing wrong with blocking traffic...nor do i see anything wrong with rioting and "destroying property"...9 times out of ten the riots are sparked off by hotshots in uniform trying to impose their fascist bullying attitudes on the unarmed....once the nightsticks start slamming and the gas flying....then the bricks will be tossed.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Marion
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 04:04 PM

A couple of thoughts about blocking traffic:

1. Here in Toronto, the marches are held on streets in the downtown core, where there is plenty of subway service; I expect that this is true of most of the big urban marches. If, as many anti-war protestors believe, this war is being fought for oil, then our society's dependence on cars is part of the problem. So there is a certain appropriateness in causing inconvenience to the people who insist on driving into the downtown core. If they took the subway, they wouldn't be held up.

2. Some protestors want to be arrested; either to demonstrate the depth of their anger over this war, or to spite the system by clogging up the jails and courts, or both. The problem is, most actions that will get you arrested are unethical - so what's a person who wants to get in trouble, but doesn't want to do anything unethical, to do? Since they don't have draft cards to burn, one non-violent and non-destructive way to court arrest is to block traffic without a permit.

Oh, and about ambulances... I've seen an ambulance intersect a protest march once, and of course the marchers quickly parted to let it through. I expect that the dispatchers stay informed about what streets are blocked and tell the drivers to avoid them. What have been your experiences?

Marion


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 04:13 PM

The thing that always intrigues me is just how paranoid and upset our supposedly democratic governments get when people make a public protest. Obviously they're scared. They have reason to be. The power of a government derives from every single citizen and his or her willingness to continue obeying that government...or not.

Remember the Boston Tea Party! Remember Lexington and Concord! Remember Bunker Hill! And do not be cowed into silence or into surrending your hardwon liberties to the stormtroopers of the New World Order.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: toadfrog
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 08:17 PM

Greg F.: To answer your question, I do think anti-abortion protesters who do all that bad stuff bring discredit on their cause, and are generally bad news. Phooey on them, say I.

So?


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Melani
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 12:03 AM

Toadfrog, I DID get out there before the war started. Strangely enough, the war started anyway. So I will continue to go out until it stops. My husband is on a "peace line" right now. Because of our kids, neither of us has the luxury of getting arrested. Yesterday I planned carefully to get to work, and by changing my usual route, got there in record time without even seeing any protesters. My usual route is right down one of the streets that was blocked. However, I had already resolved that if I did run afoul of blocked traffic, I would consider it my part in the war (or anti-war) effort, just like National Guardsmen being called up when they might have been planning to do something else.

The point is, after all, to cause enough disruption to get the administration's attention. However, I have no sympathy at all for the anarchist idiots who are breaking windows and committing violent acts. I will cheer the police all the way to the lock-up with those guys.

As I said before, NOBODY is going to miss Saddam, least of all the Iraqi people, but it's a lousy idea to go after him without UN backing. My regret right now is that as long as Bush has started it, they didn't manage to get Saddam with that first delicately placed "bunkerbuster."


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 12:23 AM

If you're going to San Francisco

All across the nation
Such a strange vibration
People in motion, people in motion
There's a whole generation
With a new explanation


Isen't it strange you can put a few words of a song here and then you start to hum the tune and it sticks in your head while your reading a thread?
Or maybe this doesn't happen to you and you won't be distracted from the words that you've read, or the things that you've said.You think of the tune, then let it go instead.
Oh hell,now I've drifted this thread, without saying much of anything at all!


Seriously, thanks for that read on the Frisco protest Springhopper. Admittedly I've been avoiding watching the news the last few days just to try and get a break from the war and the madness and anger that filters in my brain when I watch it. I still stay informed just by coming here and my peace action group, and other people and places but I don't have to watch the bombs drop.
However to stick with the discussion, I agree with Kat on the subject. The bigger and more distracting the protest, the more the news gets out there. The more the news gets out there, more people lose their fears and join in. The more people make a stand, the more we get heard. It is not too late to stop the protesting. Is not and won't be until the war is stopped.
I do not agree on un-peaceful protest. That is a hypocrite who trys to end violence with violence and I really don't believe it is the peace protesters staring the violence. More than likely the pro-war people trying to start shit.
All we are saying, is give peace a chance,Peace. Rustic


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Barry Finn
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 07:19 AM

There is one more element in protest violence which we saw plenty of during the Viet Nam era, agent provocateurs, civilians maybe but back then we found the plenty were in law enforcement. Another tactic to end protests back then was for police to actually start trouble.


As far as San Francisco going broke, who's the one holding the war money that should be earmarked for the current domestic crisis?


The inconvenience of a traffic delay, please, all these protests were well broadcasted, but thank you for being there & helping to make the protest more effective.


To allow the war to persist & not protest because it has already started makes little sense to me. I could see how Bush may have pushed this along a little faster to recoup his popularity by becoming a war time president, how much longer could he have waited? Campaigns are beginning to start up & his political life is on the line?


There's a reason that Civil disobedience, a non violent form of protest was practiced by the likes of Gandhi & many others, it worked, both in saving lives without taking any & giving people a way to express there anger in a constructive way. It's one of the only ways possible in these times for the Citizenry to be heard when they're being completely ignored. The other form of protest is to revolt & I don't believe there's anyone asking for that (yet) but I'd suspect that our founding fathers have not been resting well as of late.


It's the patriotic duty of all US citizens to not follow their government without question. To get behind the government because it must be doing what's best for "We the people" or because it's our duty as a true patriot to back whatever happens just because we're at war. The following is not to incite revolt but to just express how much our founding fathers & our forefathers where so suspicious of governments that do not listen to the will of the people & who'd deprive it's population of it's liberties.



"... God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."


-Thomas Jefferson, Nov. 13, 1787


"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it."
-Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861
"Our safety, our liberty depends on preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the US are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts - Not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution"


-Abraham Lincoln


"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion."
-Edmund Burke, 1784 speech
"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."


-Thomas Jefferson, Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776, Jefferson Papers 344


Declaration of Independence:


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


Declaration of Sentiments:


We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.


Excuse me for this ending up so long.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 11:20 AM

Amos's first response "Wowser, SH -- you've had a day." surprised me. I read the whole thing as a copy 'n' paste. Unless I misread it, none of the above happened to Springhopper. His post starts:
"This was from the Friends of Florida Folk list today:
I have no idea what is being reported on the news around the world
about what went down in San Francisco today but here is my eyewitness
report."

Springhopper does not appear to be claiming it as his eyewitness account, and has not re-posted to confirm or correct any opinions.
These happenings in San Francisco were noted on a site for 'Friends of Florida'.

Am I alone in feeling that this is much like the start of an 'Urban Myth' / "This didn't happen to me, but I got the account from someone known to a friend."
Even the author of the piece doesn't claim to have witnessed the baby taking, it is at yet a further remove. I.e. it was heresay/Urban legend even before the author got to it, yet alone this re-post.

Or am I just overly cynical?

Nigel


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: NicoleC
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 01:54 PM

I don't know Nigel, but the eyewitness reports I'm hearing from friends are very similar. I have no idea about the baby incident, but these thins do happen. Overall, the SF cops are handling this very well, but tempers do flare and cops lose their self-control as do any if us humans.

If it's any consolation, my Mom's local news is reporting that the peace protesters in SF are dragging people out of cars and killing them. No footage, mind you...


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 02:51 PM

So, thanks for the clarification, Toad! Appreciated.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 02:53 PM

When a questionably legitimate election produces a militant governmental quasi takeover, and this new administration, with it's feet firmly planted in the hatred generating policies of the past and present, spends HUNDEREDS OF BILLIONS of tax dollars (money that belongs to the public) on an unexplained war that was appealled for in the UN and rejected by most of our allies... And all objective evidence seems to indicate that by waging this war, this administration is stimulating an immense amount of future hatred, and further terrorism... All under the auspices of a crippled economy...

Wake up, liberty! It's time to get your morning excercise!

Peace, Love, and Prosperity! ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 04:41 PM

Nigel, Springhopper used to be known as harpgirl. I seriously doubt that she posted that as an urban legend.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Melani
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 04:57 PM

My husband has just sent the following letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle:

"I heard on the radio this morning about our plans to rebuild post-war Iraq. One item that struck me was the plan to replace the textbooks for all of Iraq's children. I found this ironic since my child's middle school in Oakland does not have enough textbooks and educational materials--the teachers often use their own money to copy materials for their classes. This is common throughout the Bay Area.

"Thus, I propose that all of the Bay Area counties secede from the U.S. and create a new state ruled by the Berkeley City Council. The U.S. Government would then classify us as a subversive, terrorist state. Since we are the world leader in high tech and biotech and have Lawrence Livermore Lab, UC Berkeley and Stanford, we would possess Weapons of Mass Destruction and could easily produce more. We will have troops on our border in no time. We could then turn over Tom Bates and Jerry Brown and surrender, and we could finally get adequate funding for our schools, infrastructure and cleanup of our environment.

"It just might work (Viva Bayonia!)"


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 05:00 PM

Yup! No Child's Left Behind, all right. What about their right behind? National debt? What national debt????......


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: toadfrog
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 12:25 AM

Melani: I was in the demonstration yesterday. It was completely peaceful. I thought, probably a waste of time, but I'll go just in case. What, exactly, does it gain to get arrested? What is the point of gaining people's attention, if you persuade them at the same time you are not worth caring about.

The anti-abortion people are an entirely different set. They probably don't care if they look bad. They use intimidation tactics, and I am told those tactics work. So they are far more reprehensible, but not nearly so stupid, as people who just go tie up traffic and hurt the City and County - and get nothing but bad publicity for their cause.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 12:38 AM

The war. Hate it or love it oppose it or support it. Do any of you truly believe that it will make a difference to those who plan and execute wars?

The people of the USA simply don't have that clout. Will they ever? Probably not. Every time an issue arises that sends people into the streets, their organization crumbles and their energy dissapates as soon as it is percieved that they have reached their goal.

Americans are hopelessly "issue oriented". There are only two political parties here, if Americans were "program oriented" a third (or fourth) party would be possible.

Am I a cynic?

Starbucks? (do they serve doughnuts?)

CB


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: DougR
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 02:15 AM

Greg F: you asked me, I'll reply. The people who murder workers at abortion clinics should be arrested and tried for murder. Simple. That is premeditated murder and it should be treated as such.

Tell, me, supporters of protests, when was the last time that a "protest" changed the course of history? I'd be interested in your replies.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 02:40 AM

the last time a protest changed the course of events in america was during the vietnam war. mounting protest including over one million strong in a washington dc march, brought about an end to that war. unfortunately, it also taught the government to abolish the draft and field a mercenary army thereby disconnecting a large amount of people from feeling the pain and sacrifice of having their children used for unjust warmaking. you'll also note that just one member of congress and none of the senior executive branch have any of their children in harm's way. it's why the military is now a "professional" tool of the administration rather than an expression of the american people's duty and desire to protect their country resulting in the current military adventurism that we are enduring.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: JudyR
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 04:39 AM

I don't know. This is the first time I suspect I'll be slammed on a post where everyone is as liberal as I am, but as an old protester from way back, I am beginning to think the civil disobedience is bad timing. I've been doing some marching and attending rallies and candlelight vigils, but they were all peaceful. I know this is a new tactic, because they feel the old ones didn't work, or that it will draw special attention to Bush now, if you close down businesses to make a point.

But I post on a coupla boards where there's people from the other side, both right-wing and moderate and I'm holding up the Left (I get called "traitor" and other nasty names at least three times a day), and I can judge from reactions all around me that this is a HUGE turnoff to all the rally-round-the-troops folks right now -- that's all they can talk about, and it's blowing it, not helping. I have posted all kinds of quotations about dissent myself (including Robert Taft's speech to the Senate on the eve of WWII, about dissent being the highest expression of democracy).

That's to tell you where I am coming from. I read an article today in the L.A. Times by Todd Gitlin, that old 60's activist ("Days of Peace and Rage"): "Can the Peace Movement Reinvent Itself." I tried to make a link here, but it doesn't work. Put put in Todd Gitlin, March 23, and L.A.Times on Google, and it will bring it up.

At any rate, it says, in part, about violent protesting and traffic blocking, etc. "Expressive politics of this sort reflect understandable anger and desperation, but they are unlikely to affect the course of events -- except possibly to help turn a majority of the population against the antiwar movement, as happened during the later phases of the Vietnam war. A rise in militancy at a time when the majority of Americans are rallying around the president (as majorities generally do when war starts), would amount to a politics of futility -- a cathartic performance piece with precious little chance of winning new supporters and a vastly greater chance of annoying, even enraging, the majority."

And that's what I see, every day, folks.

Gitlin goes on to say that the movement has come to a fork in the road and needs to think, not of tactics, but of what it will protest, and -- importantly -- what it will affirm. "Some will think it sufficient to march behind the slogan "U.S. Out of Iraq," but now that war is launched -- however wrongheadedly or infuriatingly -- a simple 'no' is not enough."

This is just a brief rundown, but he goes on to argue the case of asking that protestors might look toward ensuring that something "decent" or at least "less indecent" follows from this war. And ends with saying that perhaps the next step should be to reprise another Vietnam-era institution: teach-ins, genuine exchanges of informed ideas where people learn from each other...and says "But if teach-ins turn into pacifist rallies that however, sincere, shirk the awful dilemmas, they will be next to useless."

Anyway, I am just digesting that myself. Viscerally, I know what I feel...but the intellectual arguments, those are far more complex.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: JudyR
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 05:07 AM

Just wanted to add this:

https://www.latimes.com/tools/archive.jsp?day=1§ion=%2Fnews%2Fprintedition%2Fopinion

It doesn't work as a blue clicky, but it seems to work to the LA Times index page that article is on.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: toadfrog
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 06:29 PM

JudyR: Thanks, that was what I was trying to say, but your post is much better phrased and better informed.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: GUEST,Mars
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 04:02 PM

As I said in another thread, if protesters are really keen on stopping the war - it's not going to get done on US soil. Go where the war is actually being fought and protest there.

If that doesn't appeal to you, then call and/or write your congressperson. Repeatedly. Relentlessly. Give your beliefs and opinions a name to go with them, not just some anonymous crowd sound-bite on the evening news.

Write letters. Make calls. Don't tie up the whole damn city.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: mack/misophist
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 10:21 AM

Yesterday, some of the protest organizers answered the complaint that they are bankrupting the city. I'm sure they have normal IQs. They don't seem to be obviously insane. Nevertheless, they appear to be accusing the city of San Francisco of financing the Iraqi War.


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Subject: RE: BS: The streets of San Francisco
From: Bagpuss
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 10:34 AM

The last time a protest changed the course of history in the UK (that I am aware of) is the poll tax marches that contibuted to the fall of Thatcher. And I believe that protests across the world helped to change the regime in South Africa.

Bagpuss


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 5 December 2:30 AM EST

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