I work in the Financial District of San Francisco. The antics of the demonstrators yesterday was absolutely appalling. Blocking building entryways, yelling epithets at people, working people like me, who tried to gain access to their buildings. There was some sporadic violence, and one chilling scene, during the early evening commute, of protesters surrounding a young woman in her SUV. She was only trying to inch through the throng of people, ostensibly to get home (or just to get the hell out of there) when a group of these yahoos, many with bandanas or handkerchiefs around their faces, started to pound on the vehicle windows and hood with their signs. One idiot actually got up on the hood and was driven forward a few feet. According to a news crew on the scene, the protesters were debating whether to forcibly remove the driver and have her walk home, leaving her car behind. Luckily, it didn’t get that far; a smaller group of protesters prevailed upon the idiots, saying it wasn’t right to do, and the woman was then allowed to drive off.
But that’s not the worst of it. SFPD confiscated from backpacks of those arrested items such as: knives of various types and lengths; a few crowbars; some bolt-cutters, cans of spray paint; and cans of what appeared to be accelerants of some kind. This morning, the website for one of the local tv stations reported that the police also found a cache of Molotov cocktails. Some peace demonstration.
I consider myself to be a moderate liberal (I know, the “l” word makes your skin crawl) who happens to be a hawk on defense/security issues (where have all the Democratic hawks like Acheson, Truman, JFK, Scoop Jackson, et al, gone?). I’m no fan of either the extreme right or left. But the left is really marginalizing itself (if it hasn’t already done so). The intellectual dishonesty (“dude, it’s not about Iraq, it’s about an unrestrained United States!”) makes me want to, well, vomit. Check out sfgate.com to see an opinion piece written by a Silicon Valley venture capitalist about yesterday’s protest and protesters. Spot on, as the Brits like to say.