[Hpn] "I don't see anything in the near future that's too bright to me,"

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Sun, 21 Jan 2001 15:13:29 -0700

15.000 people protest an election and it doesn't even make the front page,
unlike Patty Hearst's (whose family owns the Chronicle) presidential pardon.

It was a pretty good party, however.

And I gotta remember that it's the folks like 14 year-old Caitlin Sargent
who give me hope for the future of this country.

peace (for now)



Protests Amid the Pageantry
BAY AREA: Inauguration day brings out angry anti-Bush crowds
Tyche Hendricks, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, January 21, 2001
©2001 San Francisco Chronicle



In San Francisco and elsewhere in Northern California, the streets filled
with thousands of protesters banging drums and waving signs yesterday after
George W. Bush was inaugurated president.

As many as 15,000 demonstrators in San Francisco -- including doctors and
nurses, postal workers and software engineers, teenagers and grandparents --
spoke out against what they called a stolen election. Some were die-hard
activists, others had never joined a protest march before.

Standing alone on Market Street with a sign that read "Hail to the Thief,"
Jean Mullen, 55, said she was angry that Bush had been declared the winner
of November's contested election.

"I'm protesting because he was not chosen by the people but by the Supreme
Court," said the San Francisco resident. "I don't think we should take this
lying down. We can't come together as a nation if people's votes were left
out. " 

Mullen later joined a rally at Civic Center Plaza where speakers included
San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano and San Francisco Labor Council
Secretary- Treasurer Walter Johnson. From there, protesters marched to
Jefferson Square Park in the Western Addition.

Police estimated the crowd at 10,000 to 15,000; protest organizers agreed
with the latter figure. The rally was spirited but peaceful, and police made
no arrests. 

Late in the afternoon, however, several hundred protesters split off from
the rally and marched down Market Street, through the Financial District and
back to Union Square, turning the heads of tourists and shoppers and
bringing forth a wary phalanx of police officers on horseback, motorcycle
and foot. 

At 5 p.m., roughly 100 remaining demonstrators stood drumming and chanting
"Gap slave labor" in front of the Gap clothing store at Powell and Market
streets. Several protesters entered the store shouting, "Think more, shop
less, " but were chased out by store security guards.

Street signs up and down Bush Street had been plastered over to read
"Puppet" instead of "Bush."

The main rally included colorful political theater, including a 15-foot-
tall puppet of George W. Bush putting a sign reading "DEMOCRACY" into a red,
white and blue toilet, and a float with Bush reclining in a four-poster bed
with several U.S. Supreme Court justices.

Signs said: "If Gore got 500,000 more, how did Bush win by 5 to 4?" and
"What part of 'counting' don't you understand?" and "Supreme Coup."

"I oppose his views and I don't think he won the election," said Caitlin
Sargent, 14, who took the bus down from San Anselmo for her first-ever
political demonstration.

"Even though we can't vote, we wanted to at least try to be heard," said her
brother Jake, 13, who accompanied her.

"I haven't protested anything since Vietnam," said Elizabeth McCarthy, 75, a
San Francisco artist. "But I'm furious that George Bush is being declared
the president. He was half a million votes short. And the Supreme Court was
extremely partisan (in its handling of the vote count)."

In Oakland, a crowd estimated by police as "150 peaceful demonstrators" and
by rally organizers as 1,000 people protesting the "disenfranchisement of
Florida voters" rallied in front of the Federal Building. In Sacramento, a
crowd of roughly 300 protested at the State Capitol.

Those who watched yesterday morning's inauguration but did not take to the
streets included a group of homeless people lined up for breakfast at the
St. Vincent de Paul Society in South San Francisco.

Many there expressed doubts about the plight of the poor under the Bush

"I don't see anything in the near future that's too bright to me," said John
Redmond, 52, a former Vietnam veteran living in a nearby homeless shelter.

Chronicle staff writers Ryan Kim, Marianne Costantinou and Charles Burress
contributed to this report.

©2001 San Francisco Chronicle   Page A4


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