Here’s how things look on Geary during our recent rains…
…and here’s a 14 year old San Jose Mercury News report on the same group at the same location:
They’ve become part of the landscape on Geary and Laguna. Every morning they wave and say, “Good morning,” to the San Francisco police officer on duty, Xu said. Every evening, they say, “Good night.” They are so familiar with the postal carrier they know when a substitute is walking the route and greet both warmly.
Across the street, a San Francisco police officer sits in his vehicle, reading a paper. The cops hardly think a dozen old people and mothers with kids in tow are a threat to the People’s Republic of China, but as a matter of policy, the police dispatch an officer whenever there is a demonstration in front of the consulate.
The officer on the scene may change, but one keeps in contact with the protesters and the consulate: officer Jeff Roth, the event coordinator at Northern Station, which handles more than a few consulates because the district straddles the Western Addition, Pacific Heights and the Marina.
“They aren’t happy about it, but they don’t really have a say in the matter,” Roth said of the consulate officials.
Other protests — over Tibet and the like — have brought requests from the consulate in the past for police to stop protesters, Roth said. “We’ve explained, ‘Yes, the consulate is Chinese property, but this is America — the protesters have their First Amendment rights.'”
I’ll tell you, it’s not my habit to repost SJMN articles, but this one appears to have gone missing. If somebody can find an official link, please send it my way, by all means. (I hope it’s archived somewhere – it’s a bit surprising to me how it’s been lost in the sands of time after just 14 years.
In the meantime, this is my best guess as to how this article appeared back at the turn of the century: