Protesters & The Rule of Law in San Francisco
I walked through the Iraq War protest march on my way home from work tonight. It was great to still see so much passion about ending the war after 5 years of Bush and Cheney not listening. I was walking a bit faster than the parade and that led to an interesting experience. The police were all around... on foot, on motorcycles, monitoring the protesters but also monitoring car traffic which was being heavily backed up and re-routed. There was a group of policemen out in front of the parade that kept moving forward a block to make sure the streets were clear for the protest march. They were doing their best to support the march as much as keep it under control. What made me take notice of this was what I saw after I left the route of the march. About 2 blocks up on Upper Market, there was a whole collection of policemen... in vans, on foot and on motorcycles, all ready to go in a moments notice. They were there in reserve in case things took a turn for the worse. The potential was there for problems on both side but I came away thinking the police were doing their best to be ready but be out of sight. Most were carrying a bunch of plastic zip ties that replace hand cuffs in these situations. Again, a sign that there could be problems but much better than hands on holsters or tear gas canisters. I left the area feeling that both sides were doing a much better job dealing with their differences than Bush has with the Middle East.