Paula Reports on the March in San Francisco

marchanswer-ort_small.jpgYesterday, 10-27-07, I marched against the war in San Francisco. It was a beautiful day, about 65 degrees and sunny. The overall march was organized by ANSWER, as many marches are. The Code Pink folks had a “convocation” starting at the Civic Center at 10:00, featuring my friend, Betsy Rose singing and getting the group to sing. At 11:00 there was a rally in the same Civic Center area by the larger group, with many groups and individuals getting a few minutes at the mike, including Code Pink. I was glad to see two other people/groups used music. It attracts people and sets a positive rather than combative mood. It unites people. One young Filipino man did “rapping” that was quite cool. The Episcopal bishop of the entire state of California spoke against the war. An immigrant rights group talked about the hypocrisy of the government trying to get undocumented workers out of the country but actually encouraging them to sign up for the military, which some do hoping they’ll be legalized (I need to educate myself on what our policies are about this). The march then set out down Market Street to a park about 2 miles down. A bit into the march they had a symbolic “die in”: starting from the front of the march, people were asked to lie down in the street for three minutes (this was not blocking anything and was not violating a law because we had a parade permit to use the street). Betsy had a mike, her guitar, and someone carried some speakers for her mike on their back and we had the Code Pink group and people around us singing songs like “We Shall Not Be Moved.” Another code pinker had a boom box in a wagon and had brought CDs and led a group in some cross between a jazzercise class and country western line dancing. The participants and spectators liked that. At one point, Betsy was singing along with the CD. As in DC, the visual effect of all the bright pink shirts, banners, peace signs makes the Code Pink group very apparent. Cindy Sheehan, running for Congress now, came up and introduced herself to me, probably because I was wearing a Code Pink shirt.

The march was very San Francisco, with colorful and diverse contingents. A big banner of “Queers against the War” with men and women, some of the men marching in the nude (just shoes and backpacks!). A big group of Arab Americans marched together. Then there was a huge labor presence from a number of surrounding cities—pipe fitters, service workers, a lot of union folks. Therapists for Peace. Nurses for Peace. Grey Panthers. Several Marxist groups (one called Socialism and Liberation, another with Sparticist in the name). Palestinian right-of-returners. And lots of individuals who just came to speak against the war. The ANSWER website says 30,000 were there; I was hearing estimates more like 6-7,000.

Today, two feminist economists came to visit me at my home, one from out of town. I was pondering with them why the democrats won’t just do the one thing that is impervious to Bush’s veto power—fail to vote up a supplemental funding bill for the war. Is it because they think they will be seen as not supporting the troops, or that it will really hurt the troops (more than staying there as things are will)? Offering a different hypothesis, one was saying that watching a recent television documentary on World War II convinced her that Americans really don’t like to admit defeat or that something was a bad idea, and she thinks that is a factor. Consistent with her hypothesis is the fact that reports revealed after the fact that many making decisions believed Viet Nam couldn’t be won but couldn’t admit defeat on their watch so continued. I don’t know what Congress is thinking.

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2 Responses to “Paula Reports on the March in San Francisco”

  1. nancy Says:

    Thank you, Paula, for this lively account of the march and for standing up for the country in this way. You are a true patriot.

    As you do, I find it puzzling that Congress keeps funding the war. David remarks that they do not even have to do anything, just refuse to fund.

  2. Nancy goes to Crawford » Blog Archive » What People Are Doing Today Says:

    […] http://danceforpeace.org/nancy/?p=274 […]

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