Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Police Murder Protest at SF City Hall
At 2:30 this afternoon, there were assorted clumps of San Francisco policemen surrounding City Hall.
They were on the front steps on Van Ness Avenue, scattered across Civic Center Plaza...
...and stationed on Polk Street between Grove and McAllister Streets.
There was a small protest on the Polk Street stairway entrance to City Hall with signage in Spanish and English decrying racist police executions both locally and nationally.
One of the doorways into City Hall was locked and a few kids were banging loudly on the door.
The doorway adjoining was open, so I walked in and was greeted by a wild scene.
The security checkpoints with metal detectors had been abandoned, while a contingent of Sheriffs stood unmoving at either side of the small crowd of mostly young people creating all the mayhem.
The most surreal sights were the women standing on top of the sheriff's security checkpoint desks leading chants against police brutality.
I walked outside and around the corner to the basement McAllister Street entrance, and was greeted by a pleasant, dreadlocked Sheriff's deputy who said, "I just saw you with your video camera on my security camera, you must have gotten some great shots," and I confessed to only carrying a still camera. I went upstairs through the North Light Court, where a catering operation was being set up for a luxury, private party in City Hall that evening, just another surrealistic detail.
The young protestors had arrived at City Hall around 1PM for speeches on the Polk Street stairs, and a number of them had found seating at the weekly 2PM Board of Supervisors meeting on the second floor, and when the meeting started, all hell broke loose with shouting and chants, so that the room was emptied and the Supervisors meeting went into temporary recess. (For an account by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez at the SF Examiner, click here.) By 3:00, when I showed up, the meeting had already resumed.
The protest and the mute, unmoving law enforcement presence reached a standoff. The rotunda area needed to be secured so party setup could get underway.
In a heartening postscript, there were a few bright, articulate, young black protestors who made their way into the Board of Supervisors chambers at 3PM and waited until 6PM to testify during two-minute Public Comments, which I just watched on the Channel 26 Government Access station. The speakers nailed the majority of Supervisors, particularly London Breed and Malia Cohen without naming them, to a wall of shame for selling out their constituents so completely.