File spoon-archives/marxism-news.archive/marxism-news_1998/marxism-news.9802, message 55

Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 07:31:26 -0800
Subject: Re: M-NEWS: Re:  Mass Detention of alleged San Francisco Anti-War Protesters

Tom Condit wrote:
> I don't know about all the details of David S's report, since I had to leave
> the San Francisco demo at 3 pm or so. There certainly didn't seem to be
> 3,000 people there at that time.

<blush>.  The count of 3,000 was offered by one of the speakers
-- I did not get his name -- and I believe it was exaggerated.
(That many people cannot fit onto the Federal Building plaza!)

 OTOH, we also filled Golden Gate Avenue along the block.

 The San Francisco _Examiner_ newspaper, apparently using less
friendly sources, claimed the crowd to be merely "400 or so
activists," [*] which I believe to be exaggerated the other way.
There were still more people than that at 16th and Mission,
hours after the official rally had ended.  I've seen no report
on the number of detainees, which are NOT EVEN MENTONED by the 
_Examiner_, despite heavy (and largely accurate) coverage of
the detentions by the local television news.

> I can vouch for his accuracy about at least part of the rally. The chair was
> urging speakers to stick to the topic of the bombing, and was visibly uneasy
> when members of the International Socialist Organization, Peace & Freedom
> Party and the Revolutionary Communist Party brought up the dread topic of
> capitalism and its role in these events. I couldn't hear all the speeches
> (and I must confess that after 40 years of going to these events I wasn't
> really listening), so I can't say anything about the rest of them.

 With exceptions I noted earlier, I heard most rally speakers only
by accident.  The Muslim who advocated US assassination of Saddam
Hussein as part of the "peace process" was the low-water mark, in
my opinion.  San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano said "bombing
doesn't work," but he is traditionally confused about the class
nature of the State, as well as other less relevant details.
[He read a proclamation to Clinton, denouncing the bombings on
behalf of "the Emerald City" of Oz].

 The tendencies mentioned by Tom Condit, as well as WWP, all had
a presence at 16th and Mission, too.  The aformentioned Spartacists,
like the supporters of Socialist Action, were nowhere to be seen.
This seemed more like a function of politics than geriatrics, since
the two members of Peace & Freedom Party I engaged in the Mission 
[Dave and Tom] were approximately as non-youthful as I am. 

- David Stevens

[*] "Activists rallying in the rain," p. A-15, (three star edition)
San Francisco _Examiner_, Sunday 22 February, 1998.


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