Tuesday, January 24, 2017
A Tale of Two Marches, Part One
Late Saturday morning we heard drums and looked out the window to see streams of protesters walking down McAllister Street on their way to Civic Center.
At first we thought they might be early arrivals for the Women's March scheduled for 3PM in Civic Center, protesting newly elected president Donald Trump's misogynistic evil. Instead, they turned out to be from the annual pro-life, anti-abortion march protesting the Roe v. Wade decision.
Thousands of parishioners from Catholic and evangelical churches are bused in from all points in the Western states to parade down Market Street to show godless liberals in San Francisco the error of their baby-killing ways.
This blog covered the marches in 2015 and 2016. They were annoying in their patriarchal stupidity, but the crowds felt basically harmless, as they enjoyed a jaunt into the Big City with fellow true believers from the provinces.
Mexican-American family groups with their teenage children looking bored out of their minds have always been a feature...
...although what looked like two gay daddies embracing the cause was certainly a new, grotesque twist.
What was new this year was the vehemence and excitement of the speakers. A woman was onstage in front of the recycled Abortion Hurts Women signage telling the crowd that they "should pray for Donald Trump and Mike Pence. This is Our Season, and we will triumph. Planned Parenthood WILL be defunded, which won't make any difference to women's health. I'm a nurse and just got back from West Africa where we were taking care of women and Planned Parenthood was nowhere to be seen! This is our moment." Her speech was insane and perfectly chilling.
Across Polk Street in front of City Hall there were a half dozen early arrivals for the Women's March who looked utterly depressed by the spectacle. "Are you the counter-protest?" I asked and they laughed. One woman, not pictured, said "I need a drink. Let's go."