Friday, January 05, 2007

Peace Protest 2: Moving to the Center

In front of the Federal Building on Golden Gate Avenue every week...

...there is an hour-long peace vigil at noon witnessing the horror of the violent foreign policy of the United States.

Recently a group decided to up the ante and started a monthly "die-in" where people lay in front of the entrances to the Federal Building and get arrested on the first Thursday of every month.

This has attracted different individuals and groups each month. Last week it was the Episcopalians led from Grace Cathedral by their new Bishop Marc Handley Andrus (click here for a report on that action).

This month it was the Lt. Watada supporters and the Unitarians, along with a contingent from Code Pink.

There was more media present than usual this time, with this Channel 7 reporter wanting to extract sound bites for a story on Nancy Pelosi.

When I told her she might be interested in interviewing the Lt. Watada folks, who have quite a bit of news about his current court-martial trial, the woman looked contemptuous. "We're here for stories about Nancy Pelosi. I don't care about Watada."

Though I may not be the most objective reporter, at least I try to show what is actually happening in front of me rather than completely shaping the story. No wonder nobody trusts these jerks anymore.

Speaking of journalistic jerks, the San Francisco Chronicle has had a series of ridiculous "analysis" articles over the last week written by their Washington Bureau reporters that have plumbed new depths of "centrist" right-wing idiocy.

First, there was Carolyn Blockhead (nee Lochhead) writing about how Nancy Pelosi was going to have to move to "the center" (read right) so she could work with President Bush. The next day, the egregious Marc Sandalow wrote about how Nancy Pelosi would have to move to "the center" so she and the Congress could get something done.

Then poor Edward Epstein was given the task of preparing a blow-job article for the warmongering Congressman Tom Lantos from the Peninsula.

If you're sensing a pattern here, you are probably not mistaken.

I didn't stay for the "die-in" because the shade and the wind tunnel created by the Federal Building was just too cold, and the speeches were in my least favorite genre, preaching to the converted.

Plus the final speaker was slated to be Medea Benjamin, who has a horribly screechy voice.

Markley Morris, the Quaker peace vigil organizer, reported that 28 people were arrested later and the only new wrinkle was that most of the arresting officers were from the San Francisco Police Department rather than the Feds, even though everyone was being charged under federal law. Was this because Homeland Security somehow hasn't provided enough billions for this kind of law enforcement action? Was it because the SFPD is so successful at solving and preventing real crimes that they had all this time on their hands? I'm wondering, actually, if this is even legal.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that the arrests were SFPD. At various times in the past I've been arrested there at least twice, once federal, once city. Seems pretty arbitrary which cops they go with.

Yes, the Chron has been ridiculous on Nancy's ascension. I expect Washington press corps to be obsequious, but they don't seem to realize that the butt to kiss has shifted slightly. I'm no Pelosi fan, but I don't think it hurts that her actual constituents will be consistently way to her left.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I'm sorry. I wasn't clear - the City police were there but they didn't do anything but watch. I suppose they were there in case too many of us died-in for the feds to handle. All the arrests were federal.

Civic Center said...

Dear Markley: Thanks for the clarification. It still seems weird for the SFPD to be there, though, particularly since they're always whining about how understaffed they are whenever the issue of actual crime is brought up.

Anonymous said...

End the War of the U*U World. Non-violent vigil for peace and justice in the U*U World. . .