The Red (White and Blue) Squad
"Thank God for Fox News"
Leo Lacayo, a writer for ChronWatch,
pronounced. The assembled crowd, of maybe 500, gave a wild cheer. "And
God Bless CNN" he continued, but the cheer was a bit more subdued
the second time around.
The rally had started around
noon and was in full swing by 1:00, though using the word swing was a
being a bit charitable as the music that had been playing was a dreadful
combination of 80's power ballads and patriotic post-911 knockoffs of
It would have all been quite
humorous if not for the fact that the SFPD seemed too be palling around
with the crowd in a rather inappropriate way considering they were in
Shooing Away the Riffraff
The officers on hand, when
not wearing flags on their head, shooed of various riffraff and antiwar
protesters for exercising their free speech. I overheard them telling
several of the pro-peace people that they should go to the counter-protest
staging area (whatever that might mean.) As one of the signs put it "Freedom
isn't Free", though I wasn't entirely sure what that meant.
At one point, while a was taking
pictures of a heated discussion between a pro-peace protester and a pro-war
rally attendee, someone approached me at spat out "How is it that
the media always finds the one violent thing going on." It was a
good question, really.
At this point, someone else
started to harangue me for something or other, but I stopped paying attention.
They seemed to think I was with CNN (Apparently forgetting about the blessings
given to the 24 news channel earlier.)
While most of the people seemed
vaguely reasonable in their support for the war, some of the people were
a bit nuts. My favorite was the Revelations spouting Les Erekson who proclaimed
" When Jesus comes back he is going to kill the Satan worshiping
baby-killing leftists." Oddly, when he wasn't yelling, he seemed
like a pretty nice guy, and would hug people good-bye (even people on
the left) after giving them a rather large piece of his mind.
More disturbing was the somewhat
ill-considered signs that people were carrying about such as the one to
the left. I will let you judge this deeply compassionate and Christian
insight on your own.
There was only a small number
of visibly pro-peace people at the rally. They had either prudently stayed
away, had been escorted to the "staging area", or had been shouted
down by various gaggles of pro-war types who would descend on anyone who
audibly said anything antiwar. Some pro-peace messages got through, nonetheless...
Peace at the Pro-war Rally
Peace for Iraq
... still, a deeply distasteful
feeling pervaded the whole event.
pro-war rally photos]