Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Public Safety vs. Public Health 4: "Get in Line"
There are four security entrances to City Hall but the entire firefighters' rally of about 300 people all entered at the Polk Street side, which further confirmed my suspicions that this was the first time in San Francisco City Hall for many of these suburbanites.
They streamed up the grand staircase to enter the Board chambers...
...but there was already a long line to the right on the second floor consisting of public health supporters...
...and they started a loud chant that reverbated throughout the dome, "GET IN LINE! GET IN LINE! GET IN LINE!"
Meanwhile, a couple was trying to get married on the balcony in front of Mayor Newsom's office.
The firefighters never did get in line but instead milled around the area at the top of the stairs in front of the Board chambers, and had to be stopped by deputy sheriffs from muscling their way in.
When the Board chambers ran out of room, they started up a chant, "LET US IN! LET US IN! LET US IN!" which disrupted the proceedings inside for the next thirty minutes.
After this bit of political theatre, the firefighters and their families streamed back home soon after. As a public relations stunt, it was something of a backfire, as they certainly didn't seem to win many friends in San Francisco.