A West Coast reader e-mails that there was a small anti-Chavez rally in San Francisco civic center on Saturday too. He sent this first-hand account:
when I arrived at the Civic Center
(the site of the rally) there was already assembled
a sizeable (100 – 200 people) anti-Chavez contingent
off to one side. They were great; all festooned in
colorful outfits, waving Venezuelan flags, banging
on drums, and singing this wonderful song/chant
about how “He must go!” I went over to talk to
them and was happy to see that several of their
signs said things like “Chavez = Communist,” etc.
Just then the main anti-war march arrived at the
plaza led, of course, by the hard-core Socialist
Worker Party types who were the main organizers of
the event. As they passed in front of the laughing,
singing Venezuelans I saw some of the dour communists
recoiling as they read the anti-communist signs of
the anti-Chavez crowd. The Venezuelans, on the other
hand, surged forward in warm solidarity with the
marchers causing the SWP drones to go quite a bit
out of their way to avoid contact with the
ideologically un-clean. This deformation of the
march only ended once the true-believer vanguard had
passed and the marchers became more ordinary Bay Area
lefties who were only too happy to greet and enjoy
the Venezuelans. I don’t think the Anti-Chavez folks
ever understood why they were at first shunned by
their fellow demonstrators.
The Socialist Workers Party (behind their front-group
A.N.S.W.E.R.) have gone to great lengths to place
themselves in the middle of the anti-war movement.
It must pain them to yet be so marginalized.