Haven’t I promised myself before that I would never go to another fucking ANSWER parade again?
It’s not that it was a complete waste of time. Intelligent, well-meaning people do sometimes bravely come forth to these things, and they’re apt to find with relief people like us (I was there helping to staff Northern California War Tax Resistance’s information booth) who aren’t chanting communist mumbo-jumbo into a megaphone.
But damn. You rarely see so much stupid in one place. The end of these marches is a sort of communist fringe group trade show in the Civic Center plaza in San Francisco. I think capitalist trade shows can be pretty hilarious, but communist ones just make me feel kind of dirty, like being invited to a party and then having your host tell racist jokes all through dinner.
The march and rally were pretty small by San Francisco standards — probably a combination of bad weather, the lower news profile of the wars these days, and the obamastupification of local liberals. Still, it was enough to merit a group of counter-protesters: Zionists waving Israeli flags behind a couple of police barricades. I only saw one of their signs: in an ocean of blue-and-white flags it read “The Iraq War Is Not About Israel.” Nice to have that cleared up.
A fracas broke out between protesters and the police who were lined up between the Zionists and their Palestinian-sympathetic flag-waving counterparts. This led to a good fifteen minutes of heavily amplified, monotonous, and predictably ignored demands for the police to leave the area. Sixteen minutes probably would have done it. Myself, I was ready to leave after considerably less. I’ve never claimed to be cut out for the force.
I swear to god that if those morons from ANSWER ever threaten to have any meaningful political power, I’ll be ready to put on a badge myself and join the counterrevolution. Meanwhile, I’m through. People with stronger stomachs than mine can do outreach at these things; I’m moving on to less-revolting revolutionary activity.