Monday, September 26, 2005
An Antiwar March
My friend Ellen Toomey and I have been going to public anti-Iraq-war marches in San Francisco for at least three years.
Though they don't seem to have done much good in actually changing the situation, let alone preventing the war, what they ARE good for is providing hope and a sense that one is not alone in the disgust we feel for our present corrupt, evil government.
On the walk from Civic Center to Dolores Park, where the march was to begin, we helped some ladies from Monterey and Mill Valley find their way.
I told them that the easiest way to actually enjoy the march was to find a good, live band and hang out with them.
As if on cue, we wandered into the march just as it was beginning and joined a wonderful collection of musicians.
They were actually two different bands but had decided to hook up together for a fuller sound.
Their pitch tended to be variable but it didn't matter. They sounded great.
There was the usual street theater...
...and amusing signage.
The organizers of the marches are a controversial old socialist group called A.N.S.W.E.R. who tend to upset the Jewish community because they are so anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian.
My problem with them is that they have absolutely the worst speakers imaginable screeching at the already converted at the end of every march instead of just playing some music or dispensing actual information.
Partly because the weather was so spectacularly beautiful on this Saturday afternoon, the number of marchers was huge.
It stretched from Dolores Park all the way to City Hall without a break.
From the roof of the Gay, Etc. Center on Octavia and Market, the endless stream of people was very impressive.
We didn't make it to Jefferson Park in the Civic Center neighborhood where the march terminated, partly because of the screeching speakers and also because we had to rest up for The Love Parade, which by a freak bit of scheduling was also marching up Market Street this afternoon from the Embarcadero to Civic Center.
This lady seemed to be dressed for both occasions. More to follow.