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Related Categories: San Francisco | Labor & Workers
Report from Direct Action to Support Workers
by Repost
Sunday Jan 25th, 2004 10:52 AM
Some 30 or so young people from
Direct Action to Stop the War (and a few not-so-young people) marched down the street on the way to join the San Francisco Labor Council's rally.
Chanting "Shut down Safeway!" and "Grocery workers under attack. What
do we do? Stand up, fight back!" Some 30 or so young people from
Direct Action to Stop the War (and a few not-so-young people) marched
down the street on the way to join the San Francisco Labor Council's
rally. The little march came after the cops had come and warned us
that we were not allowed to march in the street, that we'd have to
stay on the sidewalk. We agreed that we'd do this, and then as soon
as we got out of their sight, we headed for the street and shut down
one lane of traffic as we marched.

The rally was in full progress when we got there and we halted for a
few minutes at the front door of Safeway, chanting and carrying on.
Then into the stoor we marched. A few of us chanted, "join us! join
us!"

About thirty of us marched into the store. We started by marching
across the store, in front of the check-out lanes. All the checkers
were watching us, smiling. Some waved a fist. They clearly
appreciated what we were doing.

Then we marched up and down a few aisles. All the while, we were
chanting, shouting at the few customers who were inside the store,
and generally making noise. One guy had a "drum" made from a plastic
bucket which added a great tone to our event.

Somehow we ended up back at the front of the store, surrounded by a
group of cops. I am not clear how this happened. At first they said
they were going to arrest us all for trespassing, but this was met
with a volley of shouts of protest. "We were never told to leave the
store," we said. I'm not sure if it was because of this technicality,
but anyway, after awhile they agreed that they were going to give us
some sort of notice or another but not arrest us.

As we marched along in front of the check out stands once again, on
our way to be cited and then kicked out of the store, we were all
singing "Solidarity Forever." For many of the young protesters, this
was their first time with this song. Matter of fact, for most (if not
all) of the checkers who were standing there watching us, this was
probably THEIR first time hearing this song too!

Final comment: Usually I come away from these kinds of rallies
frustrated and depressed. "Why don't the leaders do something that is
effective?" is in my mind. Well, not really "why"; I know that. More
like wishing that they would. This time, I came away on a real high.
WE had done something effective. Of course, it was just a small step,
but it was a real boost for us and for the union members working in
the store.

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