March 20, 2003


Powell and Market is currently gridlocked due to a mob of peaceful protesters pulling an impromptu sit-in in the intersection.

The crowd grew quickly. Two busloads of police arrived. With amazing effectiveness and minimal baton jabbing they cleared the intersection. The crowds are pushed back to the sidewalk and out of the intersection now.

The protesters have regrouped further down Market Street. The crowd remains peaceful and vocal. Police are poised to control the crowd.

The Chronicle is covering the protests in San Francisco.

Some of the protesters have been isolated. About a kajillion plastic handcuffs are being prepared. The police and the protesters have shifted positions several times. The protesters are chanting for the police to release the detained protesters.

I snapped more photos while walking through the crowds. The police came and went twice, each time collecting a small batch of protesters to arrest. The intersection seems much calmer now. More activity is happening up the street but it’s a bit too far away to describe.

[Also: I’m compiling a set of protest photos I’ve taken yesterday and today. I’ll be adding to it as I collect more photos.]

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Scott Yager

Last night on the news I saw some protesters in San Diego that were trying to block Broadway downtown. If you want to protest, fine, but stay out of the freaking street. You can be just as visible on the sidewalk, don’t keep the rest of us from getting where we need to go.

Walt Dickinson

I don’t know. People in the middle of the street can be a tad more noticeable than the ones on the sidewalk. I think that’s the whole point.

Derek Gomez

What’s this all about? Stinky messes always seem to change people’s minds though, so I understand the intent…

Walt Dickinson

I’d heard about that. Yuck.

Thomas Mertz

We did the same thing in Copenhagen. Started out with a massive demonstration at the city square, with music, singing, jugglers, speakers and dancing. All in all very cool.

Then we moved on into the streets and did sitdowns in virtually every intersection we encountered, stopping traffic. It was all very peaceful and sober, the way a good demonstration is supposed to be.

Scott Yager

From Derek Powazek’s blog, this is what I meant. He said it much better than I did.

“And here we see the socially-conscious people of San Francisco keeping other people from going to work, because we’re bombing Iraq.”