Posts Tagged ‘arrests’

Photos – Huge Crowds in San Francisco React to Proposition 8 Being Upheld

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Just minutes after the news came down from the California Supreme Court this morning, a crowd of hundreds on McAllister Street started marching past City Hall towards Van Ness Avenue. (Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Minister of Information Nate Ballard can be seen Twittering the scene camera left):   

“Prop 8 – A Modern Day Witch Hunt”:

The marchers ended up at Grove and Van Ness to block the intersection with the intent of some them doing whatever it takes to get arrested. Supervisorial candidates Debra Walker and Rafael Mandelman linking up to block the street:

After a while, the people blocking the intersection started to sit down…

…under the pouring sun

Interestingly, all the cops in with the crowd blocking the normally busy intersection were “liason officers” familiar with the Castro area and the No on 8 movement. That’s quite a different approach compared to the way the SFPD handled the White Night Riots of three decades ago.

Non “liason officers” standing guard outside of the scrum: 

The California Highway Patrol was up in the sky – there’ll be no embarrassment for them today, unlike this situation from last year when they didn’t know what was going on at first. Orbiting low and slow with the flaps extended a bit. It’s a living…

All the while, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera was hosting a news conference inside City Hall:

The names of same-sex couples adorn this sculpture in the South Light Court:

Dennis Herrera with Chief Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart:

See what they, and others had to say about today’s decision, after the jump


The Rule of Three: Counting People at an International ANSWER March

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition organizes a lot of protests here in the Bay Area, as is their right. And they seem to consistently exaggerate the number of souls who participate in their marches, as is their right. O.K. fine. But Saturday’s march down Market Street on the sixth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War had such small numbers compared to the big antiwar marches of 2003 that a person could have easiy tallied up an accurate estimate, if only to see how much the ANSWER Coalition exaggerates.

The “answer” is this: they overestimate by 200%. It’s the Rule of Three, just like in the movie American Pie 2. So, take the “official” estimate of 4000 marchers, divide by three to get 1333 and there you have it. Bingo bango.

Here’s Saturday’s march from above. The 440 or so people marked with white circles represent a third of the total number. (It took about 4 minutes to tally this shot and another ten minutes to tally folks in other photos.) Click to expand:

(Of course lots of people want to give President Barack Obama some time to have a chance to deal with matters, and it was raining, and yada yada yada. The point is that it shouldn’t be so hard to say that the crowd was slightly bigger or smaller than last year – there’s no reason to lie about it, is there? Moving on…)

Kudos to the Socialist Worker, which came a bit closer with an estimate of 2500 people. Perhaps they use the Rule of Two.

Double kudos to local journalist and photographer Josh Wolfe, who came in with “maybe 1000 people” as his honest estimate. Bay City News kept it conservative with “hundreds,” which is literally true, but that word could also suggest 200 or so. Oh well. The San Jose Mercury News played it safe with no estimate at all.

And SFGate / San Francisco Chronicle? Well, they originally went with “massive” as a description of the masses (which was particularly inappropriate given that similar marches six years ago had numbers about 50 times greater), but then pulled back a bit later to just talking about the “crowds.” All of this is ably documented by Robert B. Livingston here on the IndyBay.

Check it, before:

And after:

Originally posted by Mr. Livingston, I presume.

Robert Livingston is also correct in stating that writers Heather Knight and Steve Rubenstein produced a bit that was “well composed, accurate, and captured much of the essence” of the event, so that’s a good thing. It’s not clear who came up with the boner “massive.”

Chronicle Editor-at-Large Phil Bronstein has recently opined on these kinds of issues – here’s a re-hash of a count controversy back in 2003.

Anyway, the correct estimate is 1330 marchers, mas o menos, depending whether you include the cops, the undercover cops, the people who didn’t have the chance to march because they were setting up in Civic Center, the people who left early, the people who arrived late, the marchers without signs who happen to be on the sidewalks, the photographers, the videographers, etc.

The Rule of Three has been tested and proven. Would certain people have more credibility if they didn’t spin so much? Yes, yes they would.

Jessica: “If a guy tells you how many girls he’s hooked up with, it’s not even close to that. You take that number and divide it by three, then you get the real total. OK, so if Kevin is saying it’s been three girls it’s more like one or none.”
Vicky: “None?”
Jessica: “The rule of three. It’s an exact science. Consistent as gravity.”

What If They Called a War Protest and Nobody Came? Sixth Anniversary of Iraq War

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Well, of course, it wasn’t actually like nobody came, but the crowd at today’s International Day of Action on the 6th Anniversary of Iraq War had an unexpectedly low turnout, even considering the spates of rain. Was the crowd massive,” as indicated by the San Francisco Chronicle? No, not at all. Do some people at the Chron have a “massive” problem estimating crowd size? Yes, apparently.

Did 4000 people march? No. Did at least a couple thousand march? No. Not to belabor the point, but you don’t need to hire a helicopter to accurately estimate the size of a march. Moving on… 

Where’s Waldo? Sadly he wasn’t there. But, where’s Code Pink and the Black Block? Click to expand and you’ll find them. This was the bulk of the crowd just after the speakers stopped speaking, with the insular International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) camera left, out of frame.

So yes, there were other groups around the Ferry Building area but they were much smaller. Oh, here’s Code Pink:

One of the speakers was a San Francisco Chronicle employee(!) From her, the crowd learned that “health care is free and will always be free in Cuba.” She urged listeners to defy the current ban on travel to Cuber by visiting this year, specifically July. O.K fine.

Heading up Market Street in light, on-again-off-again rain:

And here’s el bloque negro:

The 911 Truth crowd was there as well – it handed out varying denominations of Truth Bucks, sadly disintegrating in the wet.

A terrorist is “what the big army calls the little army.”

“Jail Greedy Bankers”

“Queer Israeli” vs. “Queer Palestinian”

Speaking of which, you had a good 50 or so counterprotesters with Israeli flags penned in right in front of City Hall.

The Green Line of Polk Street. There was a scuffle between these groups later on, resulting in a handful of arrests. See the “Footage of Chaos,” if you want.

This green-hatted NLGobserver,” avec “Specs” brand goggles, was briefly enthralled by an exchange between the blonde and the cop, who wanted her to stay on the sidewalk. She could probably get the Lieutenant for battery and maybe even false imprisonment, if he weren’t an on-duty, uniformed peace officer. See? There’s always a catch…

So there you have it.

Craigslist Strikes Back Against the Sheriff of Cook County, Illinois

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Illinois Sheriff Tom Dart‘s ridiculous lawsuit against craigslist inspired a press release today from craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster. Read it below.

While the the lawsuit from Thomas Dart, Esq. was getting laughed at across the country, founder Craig Newmark himself found time to note the issue on his personal blog. On it goes…

The message of day – Craig Newmark is NOT a pimp:

The press release, after the jump:


Chicago Politician Tom Dart vs. Craigslist: Frivolous Lawsuit of the Week

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

What’s the deal with Chicago lawyers filing lawsuits against the Craigslist? Sometimes it seems every problem that Cook County has can be traced to San Francisco’s famous 25-employee private corporation. For example, a few years back the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, Inc. got slapped back by the court system. (Listen to the black box tapes of their lawsuit going down in flames here.) But today brings news of another Midwestern pettifogger going after the CL.

Comes now career politician Tom Dart, who is using his elected position as Sheriff of Cook County to file a ridiculous lawsuit against craigslist over prostitution advertising. Did Chicago prostitutes use other kinds of media before the creation of craigslist? Why yes. And as a matter of fact, the Chicago Reader newspaper (a free weekly like the Bay Guardian and SF Weekly) is making money right now today with erotic services ads (as are the aforementioned Bay Guardian and SF Weekly, of course). Let’s take a look at a few of today’s ads sitting in newsboxes right outside the Sheriff’s office:  

Click to expand.

So what’s the difference between the Chicago Reader and craigslist?

Is Thomas Dart still promoting his craigslist boycott? Good luck with that and all. I mean, that stands a better chance of working than this lawsuit. I mean really, is Craig’s list “a source” of prostitution?

But why would this elected sheriff/lawyer want to go out of town to pick on cragslist? Perhaps he wins even if/when his lawsuit fails? Anyway, his press conference is starting now, noon Central Standard Time. Let’s give him a chance to make his case and pretend it has a ghost of a chance of succeeding.

Make sure to pay attention to him – he really enjoys all the attention.

UPDATE: Valleywag just posted a bit along the same vein.

UPDATE #2: Per Mr. Dart, craigslist is not passive, but is actually “actively involved” with prostitution.

Like this? Artist’s conception of how Mr. Dart views Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist:

How far will Mr. Dart, Esq. push this? Will he end up getting sanctioned by the courts?

Stay tuned.

San Francisco Halloween: Official Vs. Unofficial

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

If you want the short version of what happened last night, take a look at Dave Golden’s great high-ISO photos with his Nikon on Flickr (which would not be possible to produce with Nikon digital equipment even just a few years ago) and this early report on SFGate and this rather negative take from KPIX. And see street party suppressor David Perry’s point of view here.

Or you can have the long version:

First, let’s travel back in time to San Francisco Halloween Past. It looked like this, with huge crowds in the Castro District:

Click to expand.

See the huge crowd?

Even crosstown rivals the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders managed to get along:

But the word crowd starts with the letter “C” and that rhymes with “T” and that stands for Trouble.

So now in 2008, Halloween in San Francisco is officially cancelled, or not, depending you look at it. Last night we had this, a police effort to keep traffic moving through the Castro. At this, the SFPD generally succeeded. Because the spice must flow, you know:

Read all about it here, which reads like the official blog of the City and County of San Francisco. Now, of course you can still see what the old Halloween looked like, before the NIMBY homeowners of the Castro got their way, but just not as much of it.

Honoring the late Yves Saint Laurent:

Credit cards! Now, those can be scary, especially these days.

And speaking of scary, how does evidence of falling gas prices scare potential alernative vehicle investors?

Per reports, about 30 people were arrested in the Castro are for being drunk in public.

Anyway, that was unofficial San Francisco Halloween in the Castro. Some people didn’t show because they listened to the white men here.

As for Official San Francisco Halloween in Parking Lot A:

You could watch Godzilla for free with a handful of others…”

…or listen to a perfectly viable Latin jazz band with a couple hundred of others.

Turnout was about what you’d expect to get in a dark parking lot with heavy police presence.

Speaking of which, the city’s official free party is a magnet for young people and all the assorted trouble young people get into to. You can’t sneak in, so you have to go through a Super Bowl style security cattle chute. So the criminal element circles around the parking lot, attracted and yet repelled.

Add it all up, and the Castro area comes out ahead as far as personal safety is concerned. Next ranked would be inside the perimeter of Parking Lot A. Last ranked would be the area surrounding Parking Lot A. If you charged a cover, then you’d keep out the riff raff, but then why would people come?

A brief police detention on 3rd Street, just outside the official party near AT&T Park.

Possession of eggs on Halloween is not yet a crime, at least not yet, anyway.

Akit brings it all home for us on his blog.

On it goes.

Happy Halloween. See you next year in the Castro!


Nakba vs. Israel Independence Day in San Francisco

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Let’s compare two recent events in San Francisco. This was the plan for the San Francisco Jewish Community Center the other day, but here was the result: Protests mark Israel’s 60th Anniversary at San Francisco Jewish Community Center.

Here’s what it looked like when people got hauled away. This was the scene a little later with dozens of cops settling in for the afternoon:


Management at the JCC was still uptight after the arrests, actually sending a security guard to threaten to call the cops on a photojournalist standing 25 yards away across the street. Bad form.

Compare that with the mellow Nabka at 60 Years, Free Palestine Peace and Solidarity Festival in Civic Center yesterday:


Things were just getting started, but it looked to be more like a street festival what with the smooth jazz stylings of Steely Dan on the P.A.


This more open approach would appear to be superior, if your goal is to get your point across to the general population.