Peace Demonstration – Fairmont Hotel, May 25, 2010
On Tuesday, May 25, President Obama spoke at a San Francisco fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer at the Fairmont Hotel. Several groups organized protests outside. As it happened, two I belong to participated: the ANSWER Coalition (anti-war) and a libertarian group.
In total there were about 1,000 protestors. We stood across the street from the front of the Fairmont, behind barricades.
Everything was orderly and peaceful, though it got noisy at times. The San Francisco police were friendly. I chatted with one and asked if it was his day off. He said yes, but joked that he preferred to work than stay home taking orders from his wife.
(click image or link for video report)
The police eventually placed a barricade between the left and right wings of the protestors (literally and figuratively), with Tea Party/Libertarian protestors on one side and anti-war, Peace and Freedom Party (Socialist), BP oil spill, and immigration protestors on the other.
I ended up standing with Peace and Freedom contingent because it gave me (and my anti-war sign) better visibility to the cars driving down California Ave. That also supplied a good opportunity to engage in dialogue and listen to others’ opinions.
I eventually made it over to the Tea Party area and spoke with people there also. The Tea Partiers I spoke with seemed reluctant to consider arguments against the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. This phenomenon continues to puzzle me. An official core plank of the Libertarian Party is that the US should not be the ‘world policeman’. Historically, war is the favored method of governments to gain power and control citizens. When, as diplomatically as possible, asked why they supported the war, the responses were painfully illogical. I may dedicate a separate post to this topic.