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10/20 Beautiful SF Peace March
by Justice
Saturday Oct 20th, 2001 9:31 PM
On a beautiful fall day, October 20, 2001, thousands of people turned out for an energetic peace march from the foot of Market to the Civic Center, San Francisco's primary parade route. We were of all colors, sexual orientations and generations, from infant to over 80, with a wide variety of peace and anti-racist signs, including signs in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
On a beautiful fall day, October 20, 2001, thousands of people turned out for an energetic peace march from the foot of Market to the Civic Center, San Francisco's primary parade route. We were of all colors, sexual orientations and generations, from infant to over 80, with a wide variety of peace and anti-racist signs, including signs in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

With huge colorful puppets and a wide variety of costumes, the artistic community demonstrated amazing creativity, complemented by the many outstanding musicians with their European and African drums and percussion instruments. We chanted every generation's and political movement's style: "No blood for oil," "No war but the class war," "1-2-3-4, we won't fight your racist war; 5-6-7-8, stop the lies, stop the hate," "Oppose the Democrat-Republicans, Support Workingclass Socialist Revolution!"

This was the latest in 40 days of peace demonstrations, marches, vigils and teach-ins in the San Francisco Bay Area for peace and civil liberties for all. The peace and civil liberties movements are alive and growing in and around our beautiful city by the Bay, San Francisco.
by Wendy Gross (slouch [at] speakeasy.net)
Sunday Oct 21st, 2001 12:01 AM
This was a beautiful demonstration...passionate people united can create enormous power. A protest of this magnitude is not only effective in demonstrating to onlookers that this war is not endorsed by the entire populace; it reinforces to peace-seekers that this fight is not hopeless. I set out today thinking that carrying signs and marching down a city street won't change anything. I changed my mind when I saw thousands of people carrying homemade signs displaying so many poignant messages, shouting not just words but heartfelt cries for justice and tolerance. I was surrounded by a crowd I felt instant trust for and unity with. I raised my voice like I never thought I would. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of strength, of brotherhood, and I thought "this is how the world should be."
Demonstration is for demonstrators as much as it is for those demonstrated to. Let's keep this up; weekly demonstrations, unrelenting peaceful masses shouting our dissent.
P.S. Maybe we'll get more than 5 seconds on network newscasts.
by wondering anarchist
Sunday Oct 21st, 2001 4:58 AM
justice, the last demo you said was lame because it was just marching around. was this one different? was the bridge an option? let me know when we start shutting stuff down, i'll be there then.
by yours truly
Sunday Oct 21st, 2001 5:05 AM
>Maybe we'll get more than 5 seconds on network newscasts.


Dream on.


>was the bridge an option?

Not even.


>let me know when we start shutting stuff down, i'll be there then.


In the mean time, get out there and organize your family, your friends, your workmates, and your neighbors. Bring THEM to an action. Then, and only then, can we think about shutting stuff down. We're too few in number just yet.

I did notice, though, that once again we outnumbered counter demonstrators about a thousand to one.
by one-armed vegitarian Belgian Multi-sexual
Monday Oct 22nd, 2001 12:58 AM
WE outnumbered counterdemonstrators 10-1 wow, that must mean WE are onto something! And they didn't even have a single multicultural puppet! Those silly fools.
by .
Monday Oct 22nd, 2001 12:23 PM
Right, 5 seconds of network news coverage and very few counter-demonstrators.

Hmmm.... Wonder why that could be? Well, most Americans do not share your extreme views on the subject. Also, your numbers are so few that your protests will not make a difference. Therefore, why bother to go out and counter-demonstrate against a few extremists. That would be a waste of time.

For the fellow with the comment about marching the bridge and shutting stuff down: Fuck off.
by Michael Wehle (mwehle [at] wehle.org)
Tuesday Oct 23rd, 2001 9:57 AM
> We were[...]with a wide variety of peace and anti-racist signs, including signs in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

With the result that onlookers saw the usual hodge-podge of slogans and were mystified as to what a black Philadelphian has to do with Afghanistan.

> We chanted every generation's and political movement's style:[...]"Oppose the Democrat-Republicans, Support Workingclass Socialist Revolution!"

And by allowing an ostensibly anti-bombing march to be co-opted by the opportunism of the usual small sectarian cliques, marchers ensured that anachronistic, quixotic rhetoric would alienate people who might vote Democrat and still be interested in an end to the bombing.

> This was a beautiful demonstration...passionate people united can create enormous power. Demonstration is for demonstrators as much as it is for those demonstrated to.

Yeah, I don't know - I was at the Embarcadero from 11 till just after 12. I guess we all see different events. What I witnessed was hundreds of people listening to speaker after speaker telling them why they were there listening. Traffic on the Embarcadero was able to see only one sign, "Kill For Israel?" held by a guy in an Uncle Sam uniform. I walked down and thanked him for being there, as everyone else seemed to be talking to themselves, and he replied "Well, that's what we do isn't it - talk to ourselves?"

I agree that passionate people united can create enormous power, however let's not fool ourselves into thinking the warm fuzzies we feel because we're out on a nice fall day marching with a colorful crowd somehow translate into a message being communicated, or into political power. But then, I went with the hope of increasing the anti-war movement's effectiveness, not to feel beautiful. I tend to judge events like this by the extent to which a clear, focused message is communicated to non-participants. On the basis of over-heard conversations my general impression was that passers-by were dismissive, rather than radicalized.
by pud
Tuesday Oct 23rd, 2001 6:52 PM
nice critique Mike
by Peter (pmaxc [at] yahoo.com)
Wednesday Oct 24th, 2001 11:04 AM
As a self-proclaimed radical leftist, I am highly dismayed by the fact that many of the local leftist groups are using this tragedy as an opportunity to jockey for power (ISO, IAC, this means YOU). I'm also disgusted by the fact that people on the left can't seem to get united about anything. "You think that the Cuban revolution has degenerated into state-capitalism?!?! Fuck off! We have nothing in common, obviously, and you don't deserve to be a part of MY movement!!!"

While I think it is certainly important for leftists to engage in theoretical debate, it would seem to make a lot more sense to have one big socialist newspaper instead of 500 different little rags. Trotskyist, Leninist, Maoist, Castroist...we're all socialists, damn it! Are minor doctrinal differences really that big of a deal?

Is it any wonder that the political left in this country is viewed as nothing more than a benign amusement with no coherent message and no political power?
by Clark Landry (clark_landry [at] yahoo.com)
Wednesday Oct 24th, 2001 1:42 PM
This site totally rulez! I mean, seriously, what sucks more than big corporations, with their "profits" and all that other stuff. They totally suck! I mean, my bosses at Taco Bell are seriously perpetrating oppression and class warfare against me. I only get paid $6.50 an hour while my manager gets like, millions of dollars a year to ride my ass. Dude, I'm grilling as fast as I can, man. RAGE AGAINST THE CORPORATE STRUCTURE!!!

Plus, this war in Afghanistan is totally unfair. I mean, we kill like, thousands of innocent babies a day in Iraq right? So now we go over to Afghanistan and like, bomb hospitals and stuff? Completely unfair if you ask me. I agree with Richard Gere - it's all about turning this negative into a positive - we just need to talk to these dudes and sort things out. I'm totally into Islam now too - I'm thinking about growing out my beard and everything.

Dude, if you guys ever have one of these cool-ass rallies in my area, totally call me up! Whether it's like, pro-Mumia, or anti-war-in-Afghanistan, or like anti-big companies, I'm totally down for that shit. Just hook me up with a summary of the issue and some signs beforehand and I'm totally cool to go!

Fight on man!!
by makhno
Friday Oct 26th, 2001 10:04 AM
The differences between the various left tendencies are not minor or exclusively theoretical. There are organizational differences as well. This isn't only about theory but about history and praxis. How can there ever be "unity" between authoritarian and libertarian socialists after the treachery of Communists in Spain (to name one example)? How can there ever be unity between Trotskyists and Stalinists given the antagonisms between those two groups? The world is a complex place my friend and all the calls for "unity" do not change a thing.

As far as "one big socialist paper" goes, what do you suggest? What would the dominant tendency be? Legislation or direct action? Authoritarian or libertarian? Or, should such a paper be a grab bag that represents every left tendency? If you are suggesting the latter, such a project is doomed to failure due to historical, organizational and yes, theoretical differences.

The power of the left is the power of the people as expressed in our workplaces, in the streets, and in our communities, not through politcal parties whose only goal is political power.
by bwahahaa
Monday Oct 29th, 2001 12:23 AM
Hey Clark Bent, or whatever you really are,
this post was way too stereotyped to be real. Next time, you may want to ask your paymasters at the (3-letter agency of your choice) for a raise. That may provide you with the good ol' capatialist incentive to move your lazy ass and do some decent work.
If you are just some lazy republican right-wing jagoff:
get your lazy ass off that morris chair and get a real job, instead of ripping off poor people working as virtual chattels (in, at or for the sleazebag multinational of your choice). Although I have to admit this was a sly joke.
I laughed.
If this is for real (which I highly doubt, but giving the benefit of) ... haul your ass to the nearest community college and enroll in some basic critical thinking classes. Then off to the library, where you can educate yourself cheaply and get some notion of what the hell you actually hope to acccomplish.

=p
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