09 April 2008

I love the smell of napalm protesters in the morning.

Protests, parties and parades – three things San Francisco does really well.

And today was no different; even the weather cooperated with crisp blue skies and a brisk wind, thus ensuring that various flags supporting various causes could display their brilliant colors with ease.

From my vantage point (looking down on the Embarcadero from three floors off the ground), the morning was calm. Only the metal SFPD barricades stacked and waiting at the street corners gave a hint of the day’s activities yet to unfold. As the morning progressed, groups of protesters (or supporters – depending on your point of view) made their way down the Embarcadero, underneath our windows.

Singing. Shouting. Cheering. Drumming. And flags – so many flags – passing below us.

The torch route was right outside of our un-reinforced masonry building walls. Key word there being was.

Over my lunch hour, I went out into the fray to snap some pictures. And wait. And wait some more. For the torch that *sniff* never came. I went back up to my office and my coworkers, watching streaming live coverage, said that though the relay had started, the torch had temporarily disappeared into a warehouse further down the Embarcadero.

A few minutes later, we saw the torch pop up on the screen, in front of the 1960s Holiday Inn on Van Ness….and it was back on track. But not coming this way at all. The whole route changed! It was like a big trick played on all the protesters. It was also a big trick played on all the supporters, too, some of whom had waited for hours to catch a glimpse of the torch.

I wanted to see it all – the protests, the torchbearers (I found out today that I know one of the torchbearers – wacky), the crowds. The excitement was palpable, and made working this afternoon next to impossible.

Alas, finding out that the torch was not going to end up near us was a letdown. If the protesting had not gotten “out of hand” down near the Ferry Plaza, things might have turned out differently.

Oh well. There’s always next year.

I’ll post my protester photos tonight after I get home from rehearsal.

1 comment:

Wyldth1ng said...

That fucking sucks. Sorry.