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Indybay Feature
Sat Nov 29 2008 (Updated 11/30/08)
IVAW - Operation First Casualty
Sat Nov 29 2008 (Updated 11/30/08)
Iraq Veterans Against the War Detain Suspects in SF's Union Square on Black Friday 2008
Hundreds of shoppers and bargain hunters looked on in disbelief as members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) on Black Friday, detained and manhandled a dozen "suspects" in the vicinity of San Francisco's Union Square. As crowds of shoppers and ice skaters passed, a squad of camouflaged Iraq vets detained suspects at two tables at an outdoor cafe. The squad pulled almost a dozen "suspects" from their chairs, put them on the ground, and cuffed, then herded the "suspects" to their knees on the grass across the street from the department store Macy's. The squad put black hoods over the heads of their captives while cursing and yelling at them. The squad posed as if holding weapons and pointed their fingers in a menacing manner. Onlookers reportedly had shocked looks on their faces.

The "suspects" were dragged across several intersections and manhandled to the sidewalk on the way to the fountain at MLK Park for a waterboarding display. A squad of San Francisco police flanked the IVAW squad while another on foot covered the rear, lending a bit more authenticity to the street theater. After departing MLK Park, the IVAW squad cut through Bloomingdale’s to the Market Street side before surrounding and suppressing a group of anti-war demonstrators at the Powell Street cable car turnaround, where several hundred shoppers milled about.

Tourists stared dumbfounded as a supporter read "These are NOT actors, they are veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. What you are seeing here today is not theater in the nations we occupy..." Some distressed shoppers left, while others watched for a while and then continued shopping.

imc_photo.gif Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | imc_video.gif Videos: 1 | 2 | Text report | Iraq Veterans Against the War
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