Posts Tagged ‘abortion’

Photos From the Annual “Walk for Life West Coast” 2011 and Counterprotest in San Francisco

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Maybe someday the liars over at Walk For Life West Coast will explain how a march that was only two-thirds the length of last year’s (48 minutes (or so) long in 2010 and 31 minutes long in 2011*) could have 5000 more people.

It’s a miracle!?

It’s worth noting that nobody had a crowd estimate of less than 22K last year and nobody independent from the movement has a an estimate north of 20k this year. I put it at 16k and KGO 7 ABC TV is saying “about 20,000.” The organizers, under enormous pressure to claim ever growing attendance, claim 40,000+. Oh well.

Anyway, here are a few shots from this afternoon, starting with the counters.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were on hand. I’d say 5000 souls saw this sister and a fellow sister today – they were the focus of the march, particularly on the right side of the river of people going by. Here’s your welcome to San Francisco:

The mise-en-scene:

Tax Church Property and INVESTMENTS! Sure, sounds good to me.

And here’s Frank Chu, in the middle, going on about the Galaxies, as per usual:

And here’s the main body, 16k or so marchers from all over California and beyond:

St. Patrick’s Teens, Sonora, in the hiz-ouse:

Some people from Fowler, CA? Sounds far away:

Yes We Can change:

Yeah BABIES:

“Flower” and “shears”:

A brace from Sacramento:

Save the human babies. Of course! Human babies, that changes everything!

And there you have it.

*We’re talking about at the start here, people. Ferry Plaza was a ghost town by 12:33 PM. If the same number of people showed up as last year, it would have taken until about 12:50 PM for everybody to get going. Obviously, the march will spread out over time and narrow due to the way the course is set up.

Peak Life? Today’s “Walk for Life West Coast” Anti-Abortion Parade Much Smaller Than Last Year’s – Less Than 20,000 Marchers

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

[UPDATE: Here are some photos. Oh, and Protest Shooter has some video showing way more than "maybe 100" counter-protesters, which he undercounts for ideological reasons, and showing way less than "40,000" marchers, which he undercounts for, wait for it, ideological reasons. The fact remains that it took last year's crowd 48 minutes to clear out but this year's only 31 minutes.]

Surprise! Today’s Walk for Life West Coast 2011 had a smaller turnout than the past couple years.

How about 16,000 for an estimate of those marching up Embarcadero from the Ferry Building / Justin Herman Plaza area? So, that would be less than half of the officially estimated and very optimistic 35,000 count from last year, or, comparing apples to apples, about two-thirds of last year’s attendance, which was in the 22k, 23k, 24k neighborhood.

Here’s my estimate from last year, complete with my criticism of a ridiculously low number (that some took seriously) from the San Francisco Chronicle. Seems odd that multiple independent sources came in at around the same low-to-middle 20,000s and the organizers were at a pie-in-the sky 35k. Last year’s crowd took 48 minutes to get going, but this year’s took just 31, so you do the math. (And in case there’s any doubt here, crowd counting-wise, like the suitor and his ring in Oh Brother Where Art Thou, I’m bona fide. I got there a couple minutes before noon and I was like Sherman, where are all the white people? How can the organizers claim to not be aware of the smaller crowd this year if it was so obvious to me from the get-go?)

Of course some are wed to the idea of constantly growing numbers:

American Missionary – Great weather in SF west coast walk for life. 40,000+ in attendance.”

Will organizers tell the truth and say that their numbers are down year-over-year or will they simply lie? [UPDATE - KGO 7 ABC TV is saying about 20,000 and as for what the organizers are saying, see below]

As it looked at the start at around 12:02 PM, Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 CE. The much smaller counterprotesting pro-choice march went up Herb Caen Way in parallel – they were gone in 160 seconds or so.

Please remember, WFLWC spinners:

Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness (Lie)

[UPDATE: That's it, as of 2:31 PM, Saturday, January 22nd, in the Year of Our Lord 2011, they are going for the lie:

"7th Annual Walk for Life
a record breaking success!

At least 40,000 stand up for Life!"

Now, how could it be that a march that took three-quarters of an hour (more or less) to pass by Embarcadero and Broadway in 2010 is smaller than today's, one that took a half-hour (more or less) to pass by Embarcadero and Broadway?

Saying that there were about 40,000 people marching today isn't spin, it's a sin. Appears as if organizer Dolores Meehan is a big fat liar. She might not be aware of the actual numbers precisely, but she's got to know that the size of the crowd is waaaaaay down this year. What would she say next year if the parade only takes 15 minutes to get out of Ferry Plaza? She'd say 45,000, natch.

I mean, is that cool? Exaggerate more and more each year until nobody believes you? Is that how you roll?

And others are doing their best to prove the Rule of Three:

"@bayareacatholic Just heard - an estimated 45-50 thou walkers! #walkforlife"

And here's the official press release. Pure horseshit:

"Record-breaking Turnout for Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Tens of thousands of pro-life activists filled Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco's downtown and then walked 2.5 miles along the waterfront in a record-breaking turnout for the 7th Annual Walk for Life West Coast.

"We are here to break the bondage of the culture of death," Walk for Life co-chair Dolores Meehan told the crowd that stretched as far as the eye could see.

"If we care for the baby, we have to care for the mother and father," said speaker Kathleen Eaton, who funded Birth Choice Clinics in Orange County after her own abortion.

The Walk was held on the 38th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

"Today on January 22nd,  I do not honor choice any more, I mourn choice," said former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson, who walked away from her job at a Texas Planned Parenthood clinic on October 6, 2009, after assisting in an ultrasound-guided abortion of a 13-week-old fetus. "You are the new generation of the pro-life movement and I can tell you Planned Parenthood is shaking in their boots."

"Nothing is too big for God to forgive," said Mary Poirer, who told the story of her three abortions.

Rev. Brian Walker, who, with his wife Denise, chose to abort their child four months before their wedding, said he deserted his wife when she needed him. "Many years ago there was not a man in the house, there was a male in the house, but there was not a man in the house," said Walker. "Everybody suffers in the wake of abortion."

"We've lost close to 40 percent of our population to abortion," said Rev. Denise Walker, founder of Everlasting Light Ministries, referring to the high rate of African American abortions. "We must end this slaughter."

A densely packed crowd of least 40,000 walked 20 across in a line that stretched over a mile. The Walk route started at Justin Herman Plaza in downtown San Francisco and concluded at Marina Green in sight of Golden Gate Bridge.

Founded in 2005 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area residents, the Walk for Life West Coast's mission is to change the perceptions of a society that thinks abortion is the answer.

www.walkforlifewc.com]

Walk For Life West Coast vs. San Francisco Pro-Choice Parade 2011 – Same Day, Same Place – Saturday, Jan 22

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

[UPDATE: March attendance was down by about a third this year, for some reason. Some photos of 2011 here.]

This Saturday is forecast as a 63-degree dreaded sunny so that means that turnout at San Francisco’s annual dueling Roe v. Wade anniversary parades will be maximized for 2011.

Now I’ll tell you, local pro-choice groups made a conscious effort to ignore the Walk for Life West Coast a few years back, but this here poster shows that that policy has changed a bit.

Here’s the other one. (Technically, these events are in different locations, but just head over to Justin Herman Plaza and you should be able to figure this years locations tout de suite.)

Believe the WFL people will start marching up Embarcadero at the stroke of noon after a one-hour rally starting at 11:00 AM

Photos of past years below and the press release after the jump.

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Lovely First Lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom kicks off FORUM for CHOICE – Tickets Still Available

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

San Francisco First Lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom is emcee-ing  NARAL Pro-Choice California’s non-partisan FORUM for CHOICE 2010 today, Saturday, April 10th, 2010 up at the Nob Hill Masonic Center at 1111 California Street near Taylor.

See? She’s looking for people to write down questions for all the state-wide candidates who will soon address the crowd this AM. It’s $50 to get in but they have discounts. Anyway, all the deets are here.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Jerry Brown to Star at NARAL Forum for Choice this Saturday

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

San Francisco First Lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom will emcee NARAL Pro-Choice California‘s non-partisan FORUM for CHOICE 2010 this Saturday, April 10th, 2010 up at the Nob Hill Masonic Center on California Street near Taylor.

Pony up a  little dough and then you’ll be able to hear from Californians running for governor, attorney general and insurance commissioner. Looks like only Democrat candidates are going to show, but you never know.

Here are some deets from SF FYI Net:

April 10, 2010 – Saturday

NARAL – Forum for Choice
When: April 10, 2010 – Saturday
8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Nob Hill Masonic Center, 1111 California Street, San Francisco
What: Your decisions in the 2010 election will impact the future of reproductive health in California. Hear directly from the candidates about their views on women’s access to abortion and unintended pregnancy.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom will be emceeing the Forum
Featuring candidates:
Jerry Brown, Hector De La Torre, Kamala Harris, Dave Jones, Chris Kelly, Ted Lieu, Pedro Nava, Alberto Torrico
$50., $15 for students.
ForumForChoice.com – Tickets are required.

How San Francisco Could, If It Wanted To, Stop Those Anti-Abortion Advertising Trucks

Monday, January 25th, 2010

The anti-abortion mobile billboard trucks seen below, in town for Saturday’s West Coast Walk for Life, could be banned from the Streets of San Francisco, IMO. Here’s how to do it:

Step One: Amend San Francisco Police Code section 680 to make it look more like the City of West Hollywood’s Municipal Code section 11.441. Basically, that would mean, instead of banning “commercial advertising” on vehicles, we’d be banning all advertising, banning all mobile billboards.

Step Two: Start writing tickets.

What’s that you say, what about the First Amendment ‘n stuff? Well, let’s read up on a recent case from the California Court of Appeal called Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, et al. v. City of West Hollywood (B201721). You see, this animal-loving guy from S.H.A.R.K. got busted for driving his animal-rights mobile billboard advertising truck around town. He sued West Hollywood after he got cited but he lost. Why?  

Here Come Da Judges (the bulk of them, anyway):

“The city concedes that SHARK was engaged in noncommercial speech but maintains its ordinance applies to both commercial and noncommercial speech. SHARK, however, argues that the term “advertising” applies only to commercial speech. We agree with the city that the ordinance applies to both commercial and noncommercial speech.

“The term “advertise” is not limited to calling the public’s attention to a product or a business. The definition of “advertise” is more general: “to make something known to[;] . . . to make publicly and generally known[;] . . . to announce publicly esp[ecially] by a printed notice or a broadcast…”

So it looks like West Hollywood has a green light to stop both commercial and non-commercial advertising trucks from roaming its streets. What’s preventing San Francisco from doing the same thing?

Click to expand. On the Embarcadero:

And Market Street:

Just asking.

(Brace yourselves, more these trucks like these are on their way. Get used to it…)

How West Hollywood does it, after the jump

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Anti-Abortion Advertising Trucks Now Roaming the Streets of San Francisco

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

These mobile billboard trucks, in town for today’s West Coast Walk for Life, don’t appear to constitute “commercial advertising” so the people responsible for them don’t appear to be violating San Francisco law.

Click to expand. On the Embarcadero:

And Market Street:

Anyway, this is what’s roaming the streets today…

How Many Were at Today’s West Coast Walk for Life? Several Thousand? 35 Thousand?

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Let’s see here, that was a big march the anti-abortion people put on today, huh?  The Chronicle (or what I’m actually looking at - SFGate, San Francisco’s online newspaper) was on the scene today and reports that “several thousand were at the West Coast March for Life on the Embarcadero. 

On the other hand, the organizers themselves have the number at at least 35,000.”*

My count was 22,000+ so 35k sounds, how shall we say, optimistic, unless they’re counting people who didn’t march and were hiding somewhere. PipeLineNews (“the RIGHT news… RIGHT now”) comes in with a guess of “23,000 – 25,000,” which I’m thinking is their good-faith effort to be objective.

But, as always, You Make The Call. If you think this video shows the crowd passing any given point at more than one person per second, then you’ll think an estimate of several thousand is too low. So much for crowd estimates…. 

UPDATE: The Chronicle’s Joe Garafoli discusses yet another estimate of precisely 22,809 marchers. And the SFPD weighs with more than 10,000 all told. Here’s an IndyBay report that indicated the crowds were smaller this year (they weren’t) and here’s another with five glaring errors in the first three sentences. Oh well. Lastly, here comes the Catholic News Agency with an estimate of 25,000, which sounds perfectly cromulent to me.

Today’s vanguard:

Click to expand

Read all about it, after the jump

*And when you tell lies/ An angel dies. Remember that for next year, Dolores.

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Tens of Thousands in the Biggest West Coast Walk for Life Ever – San Francisco Yawns

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Let me tell you about how things were back in the day, back in aught-five when the pro-life / “anti-choice” West Coast Walk for Life had smaller numbers and the competing pro-choice / “anti-life” side had more.

Those were the days, complete with heckling and back-and-forth.

Remember?   

From 2005, click to expand

Well, things have changed. After giving it some thought, a lot of the organizations and political representatives who oppose the March for Life have decided to ignore the entire affair. Sure, there were some folks in the counter-march that went up the Herb Cain Way sidewalk, but only about 130 or so. Throw in a marching band that was going the other way (marching to its own drummer hither and yon) and I’d say about 200 locals showed to oppose today’s WCMFL. Don’t know for sure though. People were on hand to listen to BACORR’s Gemma Mirkinson earlier in the morning at 10:00 AM anyway.

But what about the other side, the actual marchers themselves? They went up the Embarcadero for a full 51 minutes – it was a river of people. 

How many marchers this year? Tens of thousands anyway. I’m thinking 22,000 minimum this year, which is about ten percent more than last year – that jibes with the fact that everybody passed by the intersection of Broadway and Embarcadero in 51 minutes, which is about ten percent more time than last year.

How fast do you think this river of humanity was going on average? If it went 10/second then you mulitply by 3060 seconds to get and crowd estimate of over 30K, which I think is a stretch. It was going anywhere from zero to 20+ people per second:  

And here are the local countermarchers:

And here is the joyful reed and brass marching band going the other way:

Noe we’re back to the March. I thought this was advertising for a new kind of eHarmony thing but now I don’t think so. CFC = Couples for Christ, so this is just their unmarried contingent. 

Hey kid, what’s an abortion?

These bused-in marchers would show up regardless of the weather, so a cloudburst at the start of the parade didn’t seem to affect them a bit. Anyway, the weather soon cleared and most of the march was under blue skies and fluffy white clouds. 

Click to see the cloudburst raindrops – it was like being in the shower with your clothes on for a little bit.

And there’s your March for Life West Coast for 2010.

San Francisco Rallies Against the Stupak Pitts Amendment to the Health Care Reform Bill

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

A crowd of a hundred-something showed up on the steps of City Hall yesterday to protest against the Stupak Pitts proposal (aka the Stupak–Ellsworth–Pitts–Kaptur–Dahlkemper–Lipinski–Smith Amendment, srsly) regarding health plans covering abortions.

Moms and daughters were there…

IMG_0747

…plus San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Supervisor Bevan Dufty

IMG_0754

And here’s a shot from the ACLU of Northern California of  UCSF med students for choice:

4154322236_3342ccb6f8_b

Are we heading for a filibuster?

All the deets here.