These are from Tuesday, May 1st 2008 in San Francisco, CA - May Day. If you got here directly, you might be interested in the main index page for this report.
The evening protest was more about immigration and less about the war, although there were elements of both. More food and music and families, but still lots of communists and revolutionaries. I'm pretty much going to show these in order so you can get the flow of the event.
This was one of these deals where they had a big rally in the Mission District, then they marched to city hall, and then they had another rally there. Many people just showed up for the second rally because it started a little after 5:00pm and is public transportation friendly. I arrived before the marchers arrived, so the initial shots are of those who just showed up directly at city hall.
First off, lots of people waiting to sell things! All kinds of things, too, not just the usual communist propaganda you get at the anti-war protests.
We might be able to make one exception, however.
The Mission District is the local Latin district, basically.
Cindy Sheehan. She's sitting in front of her own "for Congress" booth chatting with one of her booth workers (they're both wearing identical t-shirts under their jackets). I don't know how many folks running for Congress could hang out in front of their own booth and barely be recognized, let alone approached.
Communist revolution stuff.
A lot of these are basically portraits and don't really need commentary.
There were police but not a ton. You can tell from their dress (no riot gear) and lack of flex-cuffs that they weren't expecting major trouble, but it's good to have a bit of a show of force - the largest group was right in front of city hall just in case anybody got any ideas.
This was apparently a little side march - they showed up earlier than the main one and then just waited across the street until the main one showed up. Very odd.
The media practiced their speeches. He's lit by a reflector - you can see what a nice effect it has. He was saying thousands of people were marching, but this turned out to be wrong (I don't know if he corrected it for the actual evening report). The local paper (the Chronicle) described it as "hundreds" and I'd say that's right. With the group already there, I'd say there were only about 10% or 20% more people than the last anti-war protest I went to at city hall, which everybody agreed was about 500-700 people.
One thing that's really weird about seeing the media in action is that they always write a report of what they think will happen and practice it and that's part of why when it doesn't actually happen they're very slow to adjust to the actual reality, and if they're sloppy they never do.
Kilts aren't that unusual in the city.
Lest you think that was the only media guy. Also here you can see the flunky holding a reflector - it's pretty standard.
Whew! Here comes the parade!
ANSWER is mostly an anti-war group but they're happy to pile onto any other issue that will give them attention.
In addition to the obvious, note these are signs from a socialist organization.
And the red star.
That's a Berkeley Oaks t-shirt. I think I know who that is but I'm not positive - it's hard sometimes with a march since they move at a pretty good clip.
Want to see more marchers? Go to page two!
You can contact me at info (at) ProtestShooter.com