Sunday, January 22, 2017

2, 4, 6, 8

Stop The War / Smash The State

(Mongo / Machine)
An exceptionally large number of people participated in the Women's March yesterday. A worldwide event, it was initially organized to focus on women's rights but expanded as a generalized protest against any aspect of the incoming pack of bourgeois lickspittle revanchist trash administration.

(Mongo / Machine)
In San Francisco, a very large number of people attended. I'm not good at estimating crowd sizes; as part of an anti-Vietnam War march in The City in the spring of 1972, when Tricky up-tempoed his bombing campaign of North Vietnam, over 300,000 were supposed to have attended -- but all I could have told you, then or now, was that there were a hell of a lot of people on Market Street.

(Mongo / Machine)
Several luxury buses -- the sort used to ferry Genentech or Google's tech workers to their jobs, a ubiquitous sight in San Francisco -- dropped people off near Civic Center Plaza; no idea who these people were, or why they deserved such treatment. Back in the day, even the organizers and speakers didn't appear at the Demonstration in a chartered vehicle.

There was a hefty police presence all day as well, but (despite the Tac helmets and riot batons you can see in the photo) I guarantee you these officers were thinking primarily about containing the crowd to the area agreed between the city and the march organizers, traffic reroutes, making sure nothing starts that gets out of hand, and keeping people from doing eight bazillion things to hurt themselves.

Of course, if Anarchists (back in the day, it would have been Trots or PL Maoists) executed an action, it would be a different story;  helmets and batons would be more than contingency. San Francisco, alleged bastion of Wingnut Liberals, has had several highly-publicized officer shootings in just the past year.

It was a good crowd, demographically -- Kiddies, Olds; families with younger children, mothers in their fifties with daughters in their teens and twenties; Gay, straight -- and while there were people of color in the crowd, it seemed predominately white.

(Mongo / Machine)
And there were a number of Hipster men and women for whom going to the demonstration appeared to be an art project, a chance to sport fashionable clothing and professionally-printed signs displaying a "Sixties Psychedelic" typeface (The woman above appeared to be posing for two professional photographers: a photo shoot with an actual demonstration as 'background').

The rain began to come down steadily -- more than a shower; less than a deluge -- from about 4:30 on. With the rain, I watched as Hipsters quickly walked away from the Plaza, smart phones up, headed for side streets; the Uber or Lyft drivers pulled up and took them -- away.  No great loss.

Meanwhile, the vast bulk of the crowd, with umbrellas or none, finally moved out of the Plaza and headed east up Market street towards Justin Herman Plaza, across from the Ferry Building at the bay.  I took no pictures of the actual march; a Dog can only do so much.


Weirdly, streetlight poles all along Market had banners advertising an anti-abortion 'walk for life - west coast', scheduled for January 21st ... plainly, the Women's March had, uh, trumped the Phyllis Schafly brigade.

And, please note the slogan: abortion hurts women. Those who support a woman's right to choose, are, according to the individuals behind that particular march, murderers. And worse. All part of the Culture War, brought to you by the same people who now have a seat at Trump's table.

'Death Dance' - Illustration By Mr. Fish - In Santa Fe, New Mexico, January 21st
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"Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election ! Why didn't these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly."
--  Il Duce ! / Twitter; January 21, 2017.

In talk show interviews Sunday, advisers defended Trump's anger at journalists for correctly reporting that his inauguration drew a smaller crowd [than] President Barack Obama did eight years ago... [that] the Trump administration was supplying "alternative facts."

Kellyann, With Cleavage, About To Appear On Sunday's Meet The Press
"There's no way to really quantify crowds. We all know that. You can laugh at me all you want," Kellyanne Conway told NBC's Meet The Press.  "I think it's actually symbolic of the way we're treated by the press."

Aides also made clear that Trump will not release his tax returns now that he's taken office, breaking with a decades-long tradition of transparency. "He's not going to release his tax returns. We litigated this all through the election. People didn't care," Conway said on ABC's This Week.
-- Newsday, January 22, 2017
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