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Police Chief Heather Fong Supervises from the Street
San Francisco - San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong supervised the riot-geared police contingent from 4th and Howard at the Reclaim the Commons street blockade. The street blockade was conducted in protest of the BIO2004 conference.
6-8-04, San Francisco - San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong supervised the riot-geared police contingent from 4th and Howard at the Reclaim the Commons street blockade. The street blockade was conducted in protest of the BIO2004 conference being held at Moscone Center June 6th through June 9th.
Organizers of the protest and those participating felt they were exercising their first amendment rights to speak out against what they see as big business's attempt to own the very code of biological life itself.
The organizers also feel that the biodervisity is directly threatened by the research, development, propogation and introduction of genetically modified organisms into the diet of the everyday American. Biodiversity is another name for the intricately complex web that all living organisms, even humans, participate in. This web has evolved over millenia, before and alongside the development of human institutions we take for granted, such as our social values, economic and political systems.
The issue for the organizers of Reclaim the Commons is a larger than alarm at tinkering with the mysterious rationality of nature. The issue spirals out into the areas of health, autonomy, economic independance, political power and conservation of a polluted natural world for the present and future generations. The organizers are working to raise the consciousness of the public and policy makers and corporate decision makers about the role of large scale industry and fossil fuel usage in the escalating degredation of the natural world and the health and environmental crisis we are currently living in.
Heather Fong, accompanied by three federal protective agents, observed the actions of the police, in riot gear, as they marched with restraint into the section of 4th between Mission and Howard to finally disperse the remaining band of protesters at approximately 12:40 pm.
Many of the officers bringing up the rear of the contingent which met the protesters nearly four to one, held themselves in the required batons-poised position, but looked enervated by the performance of what was largely a good opportunity for riot exercises.
BIO2004 attracted attendees from around the world representing governments, businesses and researchers. Florida Governor Jeb Bush was scheduled to be among the attendees.
When conference host Ms. Shapiro was asked why the protesters were so upset she replied, "I don't think they even know."