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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:
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:
“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.
[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.]
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:
[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:
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:
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.
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.
So maybe somebody will give you a novelty pill bottle today – this is the reason why.
And, from the pro-B people, here’s something they put together that didn’t cost a dime:
(Actually, I didn’t know that these free text-to-computer voice characters could be made to dance.)
(Or maybe the Prop B people spent $20k on it – I can’t really tell.)
O.K., back to today’s event.
This is a big deal covering many supervisorial districts. See?
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Thank Gaia the Hawaiian Surfers Union was there as well:
And here are your Prop B props:
All the deets:
“Hundreds Of Anti-Prop B Volunteers To Mobilize Saturday After Panhandle Gathering, “Pill Bottle” Giveaway In S.F. Neighborhoods
Massive mobilization of hundreds of volunteers against Proposition B, which will double the cost of children’s health care. Throughout the day, volunteers will be tabling in neighborhoods with “pill bottle” giveaways to symbolize that Prop B is “bad medicine.” Other volunteers will spread out around the city and knock on doors to educate voters about the bad effects of Prop B.”
[UPDATE: Writer Joe Eskenazi has the deets on the prospects for F. Warren for getting a $50K refund from the Prop B people. The chances don't look good at this point. And further explication comes from Heather Knight. That will have to do for now...]
The Question of the Day is this:
How do you get a strong-willed (and is there any other kind?) billionaire to change his or her mind?
No matter, San Francisco’s #1 banjo playerwants out of the pro-Proposition B campaign. Get all the deets, plus reaction from San Francisco Labor Council President Tim Paulson, below.
(This is seismic, baby.)
(This is unprecedented, baby.)
Click to expand. His head’s not really blue – it’s just the way the lighting was.
(Hello, MSM, are you there? It’s me, Margaret. Can we get a little follow-up, please? Show us what you can do with this one. Starting…now!)
Statement from F. Warren Hellman:
“I’m leaving the Yes on Proposition B campaign for the same reason I got involved in the campaign in the first place – we need a meaningful dialogue in San Francisco between business and labor to solve long-term problems threatening the city’s future without name-calling and fingerpointing.
“We must address the issue of spiraling public pension and health benefits costs. They’re like an iceberg floating beneath the surface that threatens to sink cities like ours. At the same time, I’m not willing scapegoat police officers, firefighters and other public workers to do it.
“We got into this situation together and we must work together to solve it in the interest of a city we all love.
“I was reminded of this spirit at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival this past weekend. We pulled off a massive free concert in Golden Gate Park without one major injury, disruption or arrest, which is a testament to the professionalism of San Francisco’s public workers and our City’s spirit of cooperation.
“I believe that organized labor appreciates that it is in San Francisco’s interest – and the interest of its members — to head off a looming pension and benefits crisis before it cripples public services and leaves police officers, firefighters and other public workers without retirement security.
“And I also believe that San Francisco business must understand its responsibility to pay its fair share to fund quality public services. And that begins with workers who are properly trained, fairly paid and able to retire with dignity.
“We have a history of working together in this city and settling issues without expensive and divisive political fights at the ballot box. I’m going to focus my attention and resources on restarting those discussions.”
Statement from Tim Paulson, San Francisco Labor Council
“On behalf of the Labor community, we are very pleased that Warren Hellman has withdrawn his support from the Yes on B campaign. Many of us in organized labor have worked closely with Mr. Hellman in recent years to rebuild San Francisco’s schools and fund public education and we were disappointed to be at odds on this measure.
“We share Mr. Hellman’s legitimate concerns about rising pension and health care costs and commit to work with him and other likeminded leaders in the business community to address them. We want to find sustainable and affordable ways to attract and retain the best public employees, compensate them fairly and allow them to retire with dignity. In short, we acknowledge and respect Mr. Hellman’s goals, even if Prop B is not the vehicle to achieve them.”
Ever more deets, from the Anti-Prop B people, after the jump
This was a fairly large event, this NO ON B rally. State Senators Leland Yee and Mark Leno, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, Board President David Chiu, and Supervisors Bevan Dufty, Carmen Chu, Eric Mar plus a couple hundred city workers were all on hand this afternoon in front of The Pavilion at the renewed Laguna Honda Hospital.
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Avuncular Leland Yee went on the attack against Prop B proponent Jeff Adachi:
“Jeff Adachi you have slighted this city.”
“How dare you take this from the backs of our workers?”
Today’s rally coincides with the website lauch:
“The No on Proposition B campaign today launched its website, www.nobadmedicine.com, a resource to learn the facts about Proposition B, a November 2 ballot measure that will double the cost of health care for over 20,000 people. The new site features a fact check of the “Yes” campaign’s claims and the stories of real people who would be directly impacted by the passage of Prop B.”
That’s your Prop B update for the day…
And second up – District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty will campaign against B this afternoon in the Castro.
A wolf showed up at the last No on B event, but there’s no word on the chances of another appearance:
All the deets:
SUPERVISOR BEVAN DUFTY, PROP B OPPONENTS TO CAMPAIGN AGAINST PROP B
Prop B: Bad Medicine
“San Francisco has been a leader in providing universal health care for all of its citizens, but Proposition B will take health care away from many hardworking families. Prop B will also cost the city millions of dollars in federal funding for health care. Prop B is a step backwards and is wrong for San Francisco.”
—Supervisor Bevan Dufty
Who: Opponents of Proposition B including Supervisor Bevan Dufty, San Francisco firefighters, nurses, teachers, and LGBT community leaders
What: Supervisor Bevan Dufty and Prop B opponents campaign against Prop B
Where: CASTRO AND MARKET, San Francisco
When: Wednesday, September 29, 1:00 PM
Why: To campaign against Prop B, distribute No on B signs and literature to neighborhood merchants, and talk to voters about the health care impacts of Prop B
Now, just a few days ago, this crowd was describing Proposition B as a “Trojan horse,” but that just got switched to ”wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Read on.
Ninth and Lincoln this AM - a dreaded sunny day:
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Lots of press and about ten union guys holding signs…
…in front of pharmacy, hence the term “bad medicine.”
And oh, here’s Prop B personified:
NB: There’s NB on the scene:
Two thumbs up from the wolf.
And then they were off down Irving:
Here’s some of the lit:
And here’s the pitch, after the jump
Steve Rhodes has all the deets about this rally coming to town, the one that features Ron Paul, Matt Gonzalez and some Republican guy going after Nancy Pelosi’s job.
Now, after the rally, you’ll have three events to choose from. Shall it be:
The Cocktail Hour at $150;
The Exclusive Dinner at $1000; or
The West Coast Liberty Party at $25?
I’ve got to say that this one’s a shocker.
See you there?
Here are ever more deets, via Steve Rhodes:
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