San Francisco anti-war march goes off
'without a hitch'
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
October 6, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - About a thousand anti-war protesters,
from infants strapped to their mothers' chests to elderly banjo
players, braved the season's first rain yesterday and marched
through downtown San Francisco.
The rally, organized by World Can't Wait, moved slowly up Market
Street and then snaked around the Earl Warren federal building
and the federal courthouse where protesters screamed and demanded
the resignation of President George W. Bush.
The rally was one of around a hundred coordinated throughout
the country. Participating Bay Area cities included Mill Valley,
Monterey and Oakland, according to event organizers.
Stacy Samuels played his banjo while he walked slowly down Market
Street in a soaked T-shirt and a multi-colored propeller beanie.
"I'm against the war in Iraq," Samuels said. "I
can't stand this war. It's made me mad, frustrated, unhappy."
Police Lt. Colleen Fatooh said the marchers were peaceful and
cooperative during the protest, and police spokesman Sgt. Steve
Mannina agreed that it went off "without a hitch."
But World Can't Wait's spokeswoman, Reiko Redmonde, said the
group ran into a problem once it reached Justin Herman Plaza where
a rally was scheduled.
"They pulled the plug on us," Redmonde said of the
speakers set up for speeches and music.
Mannina said police would restore power at 7 p.m. when the group's
permits allowed. According to a spokesman with the city parks
and recreation department, the permit for amplified sound was
good only between 7 and 9 p.m. and 9 to 11 a.m. Friday.
But besides the group's issues with obtaining permits, the protesters
remained happy and plan to stay through the night for a vigil
at Justin Herman Plaza.
Lana Touchstone, 60, said she was too old to stay the night,
but she was more than happy to take the day off work to march
"I was reminded of how the Germans allowed fascism to take
over before World War II and I don't want that to happen today,"
As the protesters passed the newly remodeled Westfield San Francisco
Centre, several shoppers stood outside and gawked.
Tom of Sonoma County, who didn't want to give his last name,
stood with his wife holding a Nordstrom bag after making a special
trip to the city to check out the mall.
"What do you expect? This is San Francisco," he said.
"At least they're not all naked."
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