Tuesday, March 25, 2008

4000: Lights 4 Life

Crossing what I've come to think of as the Susan Leal Crosswalk in front of City Hall, a man in a wheelchair was making his way on Monday evening to a grim commemoration.

The Veterans For Peace (Chapter 69) and the Bob Basker Post of the American Legion (#315) were sponsoring a "temporary memorial and tribute to the 4000 Fallen Soldiers of the Iraq War."

The "conceptual art piece" consisted of 4,000 plastic cups with tea candles in them.

To keep them from blowing away in the plaza's windy expanse, the small crowd was nailing the plastic cups into the ground.

The group seemed to be evenly divided between military veterans...

...and longtime peace activists.

Mayor Gavin Newsom made a quick pit stop to see what was happening before being whisked away by two drivers/bodyguards in his ecologically irresponsible black town car.

Cindy Sheehan, who is running against the war-enabling Nancy Pelosi for Congress, also appeared but she seemed to be there for the duration and was staying on the sidelines with Quaker friends.

People tried to light the candles but the wind was too strong to keep the flames going for very long. I left before the reading of the names of the last 1,000 young soldiers killed in Iraq while not so silently cursing everyone responsible for the abomination that is the United States invasion and occupation of Iraq.


Nancy Ewart said...

I remember when the Vietnam War ended and some thought that there would be no more wars like that. I wasn't that naive but I never thought that we would have an hijacked election, the gang of crooks that we have in office now and a continuing tragic waste of men, women and lives in the Middle East. I was cleaning out a box of books that I found in the back of the closet the other day and threw out a bunch of books that "predicted" how green and wonderful our world would be in 50 years. Remember Alvin Toffler and the Green Revolution and other such fantasies? Lord, what fools these mortals be.

momo said...

Mike, I so appreciate your photos and continued documentation of these weekly lessons in civics. I am sure that the papers did not do as good a job as you are doing.
I just spent a week in SF with my mom and sister, and we tramped about Civic Center a few times. I thought about you!

janinsanfran said...

I'm so glad you were there to provide pictures. I couldn't get down there as I am crazed due to leaving town this week for political work across the country -- but I assumed you'd chronicle this if in town yourself.

Yes -- I think many of us are raging mad about the human waste. I have to remind myself that feeling too tired to protest yet again is not an option.