Every weekday in the Civic Center Plaza at about 10 AM, mostly Asian female office workers gather under the French sycamores and do Tai Chi like exercises to recorded music.
I tried to join them one morning, but the organizers looked horrified at my clumsy attempts trying to follow them, so I never tried again.
Across the Plaza on Thursday morning, in front of the Polk Street side of City Hall...
...there was a rally being held on the stairs objecting to City Attorney Dennis Herrera's latest "gang injunction"...
...where he has just stripped away the rights of 76 people to wear certain colors or be in the possession of a felt pen, as if that's going to stop drug dealing gangs from murdering each other.
Herrera's public spokesman, the charming and mendacious Matt Dorsey (above), decided it was either too noisy or what he was saying was too unpopular...
...so he crossed the street to be interviewed by nice white people away from all the angry colored people.
There's a good article about the rally and the entire issue at Fog City Journal (click here).
My favorite speaker was the young man above from the "Knock Out Posse," one of the now illegal gangs, who was quite eloquent that this wasn't about trying to stop the violence. "It's all about land. They just want Bayview Hunter's Point and they are going to get rid of us any way they can. Just look at the evidence. They don't even bother to talk to people who are in the gangs or who have left the gangs and are trying to lead another life. I'm from the KO and I say it proudly, so come and get me." After Monday's hearing about how the Redevelopment Agency and the Lennar Corporation are "improving" the neighborhood, I'm inclined to believe him.
Meanwhile, on the Van Ness Avenue side of City Hall, there was a rally of some sort by the Environment California group, which is responsible for all those beautiful young people with clipboards who harass people for donations on San Francisco streets every summer.
The handsome young man above was giving a speech without amplification which seemed to be about Marin Solar.
Jackson West at the Chronicle's Culture Blog has a brilliant short essay about the hypocrisy of Al Gore's recent worldwide rock concerts, and how they are like putting a band-aid over cancer. (Click here for the whole thing.)
Jackson's major point is the following:
"Welcome to the new environmentalism, where making a profit doesn't have to take a back seat to saving the Earth. You see, capitalism has this small image problem. Our fetishism of commodities and taste for conspicuous consumption leads us to tear ever more deeply into the earth for raw materials and into families for the cheap labor to mold them into desirable products. But god forbid anybody point out that the pursuit of profit is at the root of this problem, and not just the way some companies go about it."