This was the scene last night in Chinatown, where people turned out with their candles to mark the 20th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre.
Portsmouth Square, San Francisco:
The Goddess of Democracy:
There doesn’t appear to be a whole lot going on to mark the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre (aka June 4 Incident, aka “6-4“) around San Francisco today so far.
Appears as if there’ll be a candlelight vigil in Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square at the Goddess of Democracy statue around 7:30 or 8:00 PM tonight.
“Candlelight vigil 4th June at 8p at Portsmouth Sq, Chinatown, San Francisco re: Tiananmen Square”
Here she is, the GoD, being ignored last year by Mayor Gavin Newsom in all the excitement leading up to the international Olympic Torch Relay fiasco of 2008. (Don’t look forward to any more of those international relays – they’re cancelled forever by the International Olympic Committee due to actions from the Sacred Flame Protection Squad, etc.)
June 4th is being remembered in San Francisco, but it doesn’t seem to be that big a deal at this point. Here’s one account from Tiananmen, in the virtual pages of SFGate:
“Our eyes locked. He was attractive in a stern sort of way, with wide-set eyes and a strong, dimpled chin. He was probably four or five years my junior. We looked into one another’s eyes for a few seconds, our limbs locked in this aggressive parody of a dance. I had an absurd memory of senior prom…” On it goes.
Anyway, it looks like Chinatown will be the venue for the biggest 6-4 observation in town today.
Well that’s the news of the day – in light of the fiasco that was the 2008 Olympic International Torch Relay, the International Olympic Committee has just announced that there aint going to any more of those anytime soon. So, it’s going to be host-country relays only. Per the New York Times:
“The I.O.C. hopes to avoid the ugly scenes that erupted in San Francisco, Paris and London last year.”
O.K. then. Here’s how the torch relay on the Streets of San Francisco looked last year, when official torch bearer Andrew Michael, seen seated in a wheelchair below, managed to get some attention by displaying a Tibetan flag:
But, OMG, he signed a contract saying he wouldn’t express hisself like that. OMG, HE SIGNED A CONTRACT with Coca Cola or somebody and then when against it. Can you imagine? If only the Sacred Flame Protection Squad had been at full force that day, they could have pushed over his wheelchair, or given him a beatdown, or manhandled him the way they did with fellow torchbearer Majora Carter…
Anyway, there’s your Chinese Olympic Legacy.
Of course last year‘s Olympic protests around the Chinese Consulate at 1450 Laguna near Geary really livlied up the Western Addition / Japantown area in 2008. Let’s review and then see what’s coming up for 2009.
Did this really happen last year? Yes it did. It’s U.C. Davis grad / protest artist Nyendak Wangden hanging off the side of the gosh darn building. It’s supposed to look like she was hung by the neck, but she was safe under the robes in her climbing harness. Safe until somebody on the roof hacked at the red rope causing her to fall. Ouch. Click to expand:
Source unknown This could be a one-of-a-kind photo
How long a fall to the balcony would you say that was? 15 feet or so? Note the absence of the flagpoles in this later photo – those poles got nubbed shortly after the rope cutting incident.
The mise-en-scene from before the rope thang. (NB: The next time you illegally suspend yourself from a building to make a political point, do it above a balcony – it can be a long way to sidewalk otherwise:
But that was then, this is now. More recently, “serial package thrower” Aaron Bassler made the news by throwing items containing wacky stuff (something to do with the “Martian military”) over the fence of the consulate. These objects were treated as bombs by the SFPD. Thusly:
That crime wave is over. What’s coming up in 2009? Well, stuff to do with Tibet – read on after the jump.
And of course, the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square is coming up on June 4, 2009 as well. Just saying.
Concertina wire up on the roof and a decrease in flagpoles are two of the more obvious changes the past year. A recent photo:
Are you ready for this? It’s the “AVP Crocs Tour San Francisco presented by Fuze Beverage, Part of the AVP Crocs Cup Shootout presented by Bud Light“!
Per the AVP, Piers 30 and 32 “will be rocking” Friday Through Sunday, courtesy to the sponsorship of those Crocs shoes. Check out this earth-toned pair recently abandoned in Golden Gate Park during Power to the Peaceful 2008. Click for the full horror:
Anywho, check the schedule and then get your tickets.
Of course they hit you with a $23.50 “order processing fee” for a pair of three-session Front Row Courtside tickets, but you’re rich because you live in San Francisco. Right?
C’mon you richers, you want to see Kerri Walsh, Misty May-Treanor, Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, fresh from winning gold at the Genocide Olympics in Beijing, China, don’t you? Watching this is probably much better than playing Hooverball with a medicine ball in the park.
Friday, September 12th: SESSION 1 10:30 AM – 8:30 PM (12 total matches on 2 courts)
Saturday, September 13th: SESSION 2 8:30 AM – 8:30 PM (12 total matches on 2 courts)
Sunday, September 14th: SESSION 3 11:15 AM – 5:00 PM (4 total matches on center court: men’s and women’s finals)
Will this sport’s “Perv Factor” (its popularity due to the competitor’s sex appeal) fill the stands in San Francisco? Only Time Will Tell.
See you there!
This was the scene yesterday in the Western Addition, where hundreds of protesters blocked traffic in front of the Chinese Consulate. Drivers on the Geary Expressway, already wary of dangerous all-electric supercars, should experience a similar gauntlet today.
And then the action heads over to the East Bay.
This was yesterday’s schedule from Team Tibet SF:
In San Francisco
11:30-12:00 PRESS CONFERENCE
12:00-1:30 Peace Rally, Concert at Union Square
March to City hall
2:00-2:30 Rally at City Hall
March to Chinese Consulate
3:30-4:30 Protest at Chinese Consulate
4:30-5:15 Walk back to Union Sqaure
5:15-7:00pm Break. Food and Beverages provided by SF TEAM TIBET
7:00-9:00pm Candle Light Vigil w/ Cultural Show at Union Square
Here is today’s
12:00-3:00pm Protest at the Chinese Consulate
Evening event at Finnish Brotherhood Church in Berkeley on University Ave and cross
street at Chestnut Ave.
Program: 6:00-10:00pm Dinner, Annual Report, Film, Short Presentation
As promised, the Beijing Olympics has cheerleaders, and plenty. But sadly, the expected “sunshine boys” are nowhere to be seen, per the Huffington Post’s Ph.D on the scene:
What is interesting is that in last year’s test events, there were boy cheerleaders who were called yangguang nanhai (sunshine boys). They were received well by the audiences. This year, for whatever reason, only girl cheerleaders will be there.
What is unnecessary and rather bizarre is that women’s volleyball has scantily dressed female cheerleaders excitedly hopping about and wiggling…
Unnecessary? Bizarre? As always, you make the call. Click to expand:
Kobe Bryant was there Monday morning. Famous as an NBA star and infamous as a womanizer, Bryant was pursued by a flock of barefoot, bikini-wearing, off-duty cheerleaders as he left the stadium.
Is this some kind of hoedown on the basketball court?
Extended coverage, after the jump
Driving 3000 miles over an intense eight days, incorporating the cultural diversities of East and West civilisations; flying all cars and participants between Continents; witnessing the Mass Games in North Korea, the Olympic Games in Beijing; and partying each night fuelled only by adrenaline, amusement and amity, the 2008 route will undoubtedly be a real once in a lifetime adventure!
There was nothing politically correct about this event today. People saw all manner of products from Ferrari, Porsche, Bentley, etc… Check these photos from BERDERP / kap$hure / kapsure, why don’t you?
Good clean fun in San Francisco. A Ford Mustang, click to enlarge:
Taylor Street in Nob Hill:
Pirelli Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico 30 inch wheels. Yes, they’re 30″ in diameter. Each 315/30 tire (just the rubber) costs $2200. You want.
This Porsche Carrera GT was obscenely loud even before getting amplified with a bullhorn.
A Camaro RS entertains the crowd. Sargeant Colla of the SFPD put an end to this kind of smoky burnout right quick.
An all-electric Tesla Roadster just before it crashed. Oops, just kidding. The driver of this car carefully put it into position. But seriously, the kinds of drivers this car attracts are prone to go too fast so they have more than their fair share of accidents. Who will be the first to die in a Tesla Roadster?
Isn’t illegal to have flashing red and blue lights on your car? Anywho, this SFPD officer turned away from the scene.
Baby’s first Gumball Rally:
More after the jump!
The Opening Ceremonies are going on right now in China, but this is how it looked on the Streets of San Francisco yesterday as a couple hundred marchers made their way to the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco’s Western Addition area.
You can read about what happened today at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco here – did somebody cut the rope of dangling trespasser Nyendak Wangden causing her to fall 15 feet or so? Well, it could have been worse of course.
But maybe these gentlemen here saw what happened and could help clear things up. You see, they like to hang out on the roof of the consulate when protests are going on. The State Department is looking into things right now. Click to enlarge:
Perhaps they just hang out there to enjoy San Francisco’s excellent air quality?
No matter. These are the same people who recently denied Bay Arean medal-winner Kendra Zanotto a visa to go to Beijing. Why? It seems her interest in Team Darfur played a role.
Sorry Kendra, no soup for you!