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Patriots Rally For America San Francisco version 4/20/02
21 April 2002 | CounterCounterCulture / Photographer: Syncro

Posted on 04/21/2002 9:36:20 PM PDT by CounterCounterCulture

Patriots Rally For America – San Francisco version – 4/20/02

Today the main Freepers rally to counter the Palestinian/Anarchists/”Peaceniks” /whatever was in Washington D.C. There was a west coast version in the Baghdad-by-the-Bay (San Francisco).

The total attendance on our side was about 14-15. Freepers included…


And others not associated with FR that was disgusted with the leftist hate-mongers such as Mary, Darren, Carol, Ron, Joseph, a veteran, and my friend Pat. There were a few others whose names I didn’t write down.

Deeel-me-in (David), Pat, and myself commuted up from San Jose to voice our disgust with the opposition. Perhaps it was an omen, but we barely escaped getting sideswiped by a pickup truck that spun out of control on the I-280 freeway and ended up facing the other direction without rolling over by the time he or she stopped.

We arrived the civic center parking lot at about noon, our rally start point. Drango and mac_truck were all ready for us and somehow our patriotic garb gave us away. :-)

By about 12:20, we had our signage and bullhorn all set for Freeping in front of City Hall. The other side was doing a 2-mile march from Dolores Park to the Civic Center Plaza, across the street from City Hall. But there was already a large contingent of Palestinians and supporters across from us who weren’t doing the march. We could see many Palestinian flags as well as the various left-wing booths, soundstage, and of course buses.

Soon we caught them off guard with our pro-America/pro-Israel group that was about ten strong at this point. Once American Preservative and Syncro (a.k.a., Dr. Zoo) arrived, we gave them a good showing.

Our signs were decidedly pro-American, pro-Israel, and anti-terrorist/Arafat. The other side had the typical offensive signs equating or superimposing the swastika over the Star of David.

The media, KPIX-5 and Spanish language station KDTV-14, along with the San Jose Mercury News, covered and interviewed our unexpected group. Other stations had coverage too but probably followed the parade of fools and were too late by the time all hell broke loose at City Hall.

Early in our rally, the police captain came over to strategize with our group, fearing for our safety with our small numbers compared to their thousands in what the news coverage had described as the “largest march in twenty years,” which is saying something in lefty demonstration friendly San Francisco. The captain was friendly to us and we were equally concerned about our safety. He said if the other side was to get out of hand, which of course was probable, then our group would retreat inside City Hall until things calmed down.

By 1:45pm, the Paleswinians were about halfway across the street chanting inane and hateful slogans toward us and then the parade of fools veered left and headed for City Hall instead of the park. At that point the police officer gave us the sign to move back and then inside City Hall for our own protection. So the leftists trumped our First Amendment rights, not too unusual.

While we were huddled inside near the doors, there was a wedding inside the central part of the building, so we had to keep the noise down in the echoing building. The members were, I think, Japanese, so the police were able to use a little racial profiling to know which ones to let in the building in which ones to keep out.

We looked around and noticed Syncro was missing from our group but were relieved to see him outside playing the part of photographer, documenting the insanity close up.

After a while, the head of security inside City Hall was uncomfortable with our presence at the front and gave us options of either hanging out in the cafeteria downstairs or leaving out the back. About half of us split and the other confabbed downstairs. The catch was that we had to leave our signs off to the side at the front of the building, not being allowed to carry them inside.

So in the cafeteria, a.k.a., The Bunker, myself, Joseph, Pat, deeel-me-in, American Preservative, and eventually Syncro. Also in the bunker were other cops on break before they headed out to join the insanity outside. We could hear over their radios that an Israeli flag was being burned, which Syncro was able to catch on film.

After a while when it seemed too risky to go back out to finish our protest, we gathered back our signs and headed out the side door and stored them in Syncro’s Dr. of Phenomenology vehicle and, except for Joseph, went out for lunch at a Japanese restaurant and shot the breeze. By the time we got done, about 5pm, the leftist swine were taking down their soundstage and stuff, with the park looking like a mess, as usual. And so we live to fight another day against the hateful left in our closest call thus far.


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Breaking News; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: arafat; firstamendment; hate; hitler; israel; law; mob; nazis; palestine; peaceniks; sanfrancisco; terrorism; war
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To: American Preservative
AP, you are right on the money. Frankly, that episode scared me….not for our safety, I had confidence in the police to do their best. What scared me is the fact that there were what seemed like hundreds of FOREIGNERS burning flags, challenging the police, rushing City Hall, openly behaving like the terrorist cockroaches who inspire them. When I saw them, I thought about Pat Buchanan. The enemies of freedom have arrived on our shores and they no longer believe they need to obey the laws or show ANY RESPECT. And all the while, there are the leftists, right behind them, selling out their nation. By the time they wake up, they’ll be dead. You saw the people I spoke to...the two teenage girls, and the so-called “peaceful Muslim” in the photograph. You did not see these people on September 12. To my knowledge, NO Muslim Cleric or lay person of any kind came out and spoke against Bin Laden, and none spoke against Palestinian terrorists while they were sending a bomber every day into Israel. But let the US or Israel retaliate, and the Islamic kooks squeal like the pigs they are. I pointed out to them that Muslims are involved in every conflict in the world today except one…..Ireland-England. You name it, Kosovo, Bosnia, Taliban, Palistine, Phillipines, …..on and on. And it is always Arafat who breaks every cease-fire, starts every war, attempts every takeover, wherever he goes. The Palestinians are the stray dogs of the Middle East….nobody wants them, not even the other HUGE Arab states. On Saturday, we found out why. One thirty-ish Palestinian man I spoke with actually played the race card on me. He suggested that as a Black Man I might better understand their plight. I said to Hell with that. I’m supposed to buy the crap that Arabs give a damn about blacks. I told him about the enslavement, murder, starvation, land mining, bombing, maiming, impoverishment of black Christians in the Sudan by the Muslim government. He had no idea about it. I pointed out that there is no Muslim-led Democracy anywhere in the world—that every Muslim led nation is a tyrannical, racist, misogynistic, violent, hateful regime. How in the Hell does the Left Wing in America fail to understand this? How stupid can the socialists in this country be? What happened Saturday is a microcosm of the nation. It has been happening slowly for thirty years. The mud people, the Barbarians, the violent hordes are advancing on us, and they’re planning to back us up against the wall. Meanwhile, the traitors and muttonheads on the Left are too stupid to see it-even when it happens right before their eyes. They’re so busy hating America that they just don’t care. Even President Bush doesn’t seem to care anymore. And the Democrats never did. The lies go on, and the masses have been put to sleep with Political Correctness gas…..they’re just waiting for their next Government freebie. When will we wake up as a nation? Will it be too late to fight back?
51 posted on 04/22/2002 9:02:39 AM PDT by deeel-me-in
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To: CounterCounterCulture
I've e-mailed Melanie Morgan...

I'm deeply thankfull for the support that KSFO gave us. Yet, I can't help wonder what the response/attendance would have been if their talent had been there with an open mike. I wonder if Capitan Fagan would have nonchalantly let the scum overrun us if sweet Melanie had been there. Perhaps Ron, OV, or the Savage one himself...

Well I can dream.

52 posted on 04/22/2002 9:03:59 AM PDT by Drango
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To: mtngrl@vrwc
And if you noticed, you inspired one of my signs (The track of the American chicken sign) :-)
53 posted on 04/22/2002 9:07:34 AM PDT by CounterCounterCulture
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To: deeel-me-in
Amen and amen.
54 posted on 04/22/2002 9:11:28 AM PDT by CounterCounterCulture
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To: American Preservative; Drango; mac_truck; deeel-me-in; Syncro; Rogue Yam
BTW...

Tune in to KSFO tomorrow!

55 posted on 04/22/2002 9:13:53 AM PDT by CounterCounterCulture
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To: CounterCounterCulture; all
WOW, great work! Thanks for making the effort to go down and have your voice heard.
56 posted on 04/22/2002 9:18:26 AM PDT by diotima
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To: American Preservative; Drango; mac_truck; deeel-me-in; Syncro; Rogue Yam
I've also e-mailed Brian Wilson about the SF and DC rallies.

Feel free to call in with your thoughts. :)

57 posted on 04/22/2002 9:30:48 AM PDT by CounterCounterCulture
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To: CounterCounterCulture
Good for you guys!! Accept these pats on the back from the D.C. Freepers.
58 posted on 04/22/2002 9:50:15 AM PDT by FreeTheHostages
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To: American Preservative; countercounterculture
So, that's my opinion. : ( If anyone has any suggestions of what to do.....

Stay diligent, observant and ready. If you add up the various factions in this country who want to destroy it, the numbers could be scary - Astlan'ers, Radical Islam, Anti-semetics of all variety, inner city uneducated youth, the extreme left, etc...

My fear is that there is currently an organized psy-op in progress that we are watching unfold in the pro-Palestinian rallies, the money from Saudi Arabia coming in to setup radical Islam mosques, and the terror attacks on the world.

The media is playing right along with this orchestration of American dis-unity with it's left wing reporting. In fact this morning I thought I could stomach KFOG's liberalism long enough to listen to some classic rock...I just about choked on my OJ when the DJ reported that the SF RALLY WAS ENTIRELY PEACEFUL WITH NO ARRESTS!!

...why am I shocked?

59 posted on 04/22/2002 9:58:56 AM PDT by thunderdome
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To: CounterCounterCulture
Some Jordanian Arab has been stalking my daughter who lives in San Jose...Went up from San Diego to confront him on 19th of April....Wasn't there, now I know why.
60 posted on 04/22/2002 10:27:09 AM PDT by purereason
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To: CounterCounterCulture; Syncro; All
Thanks for standing up to the pro-terrorists for our freedoms. I believe knowing when to retreat is important in any war. Your report and pictures were awesome.
Our Rallies in Fresno are not near as frightening as what you faced. Thanks again.
Just
61 posted on 04/22/2002 10:44:31 AM PDT by JustAmy
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To: CounterCounterCulture; American Preservative; Syncro; All
Thanks for the ping and the report CCC. Thank God you came out of that throng of hate-mongers unscathed. To all of the SF FReepers and American patriots, you are a courageous bunch and I admire you all so much.

FReep on, but please, stay safe.


62 posted on 04/22/2002 11:25:24 AM PDT by Mama_Bear
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To: purereason
Whoa, a stalker? What's the story?
63 posted on 04/22/2002 11:42:56 AM PDT by evilsmoker
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To: CounterCounterCulture
Eagles up, Triple-C and Company! You've done us proud!
64 posted on 04/22/2002 12:35:51 PM PDT by bootless
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To: CounterCounterCulture;American Preservative; Drango; deeel-me-in; Syncro; Rogue Yam
After we split up inside city hall, Ron, Carol, Darren and I were led through the basement then back upstairs to the Van Ness side of the building. As a precaution, we removed or covered clothing and items which might distinguish us as patriotic americans. Darren was ready to give up his american flag, but Carol said no, she would carry it. As we were leaving a well meaning officer from SFSD said to Carol, 'you might want to hide that flag', to which she retorted 'I'm an american, I will NOT hide this flag!'.

after seeing Carol cross the street to her car, Darren, Ron and I proceeded to the parking garage underneath the 'civic'center. Ron gave me a lift to Market & 3rd where I stopped to toast the entire event with a pint of Sam Adams. I wonder what old Sam would say if he were alive today?

We got a mention on the local ABC news, and the sunday SF Chronicle put the Israeli flag burning photo on page one. They also got the names of some of our antagonists (the guy with the SF Giants shirt and the picnic cloth wrapped over his head for one). Many thanks to all who attended, let me know the next time you're going out

65 posted on 04/22/2002 12:42:57 PM PDT by mac_truck
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To: evilsmoker
She bumped into the guy at the pool in her apt. complex. She's a science teacher in elementary school and they started talking about science. He volunteered to give her some props for her classroom. Next thing she knows, he tells her he got a lot of money sent to him from Jordon buys himself a Mercedes Sport Coupe and starts trying to give her all kinds of expensive gifts.

When she tells him to keep his gifts and go away, he starts calling her at all hours of the day and night. Even goes to her school and had to be put off the property by police. Police aren't much help, though, told her she should move.

A reliable source, who met the guy, said he appears to be a manic depressive. GET THIS, he's a bio-safety officer for the V.A. Hospital in San Francisco in charge of hazardous materials.

66 posted on 04/22/2002 1:02:28 PM PDT by purereason
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To: CounterCounterCulture
HAHA! Great job SF FReepers! Nice work on a couple days notice!
67 posted on 04/22/2002 1:51:25 PM PDT by Bob J
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To: mac_truck
I admire her courage and spunk! GO CAROL GO!
68 posted on 04/22/2002 1:56:00 PM PDT by CounterCounterCulture
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To: Syncro
Hey Sync! Getting close to flame again, eh? Heheh...
69 posted on 04/22/2002 1:57:51 PM PDT by Bob J
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To: Bonaparte; gaijin; Mediaqueen
To my Freeper mentors ;-)
70 posted on 04/22/2002 1:59:13 PM PDT by CounterCounterCulture
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To: purereason
Leave it to the federal govt. to hire a psycho to work in our bio-hazard department. And as far as not getting help from law enforcement, I wouldn't be surpised if the politically correct cops in the Bay Area will end up going after YOU for a hate crime. Don't those idiots realize somebody who holds his position could easily track down your daughter if he really wants to??

Have you tried contacting the VA to inform them they have a loose screw in their midst? You might also want to alert the FBI, I'm sure they'd be interested in money flowing in from Jordan.

71 posted on 04/22/2002 2:32:38 PM PDT by evilsmoker
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To: mac_truck;all
mac_truck here you are just as the hateful "peace" crowd was rushing city hall.

_mac_truck in the center with backpack

Quote from mac_truck:
"I was focused on the pali couple just to the right and also the other arab breaking to my left. I had words with them until I started getting jostled from another direction."

Good job, buddy...glad to see you made it inside...I was locked out.LOL

72 posted on 04/22/2002 4:21:56 PM PDT by Syncro
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To: American Preservative; deeel-me-in; Drango; mac_truck; Rogue Yam; Syncro
MY PICS!


73 posted on 04/22/2002 5:48:37 PM PDT by CounterCounterCulture
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To: Syncro
you do a good job of incognito. I actually had doubts you were on our side!
74 posted on 04/22/2002 7:06:10 PM PDT by mac_truck
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Two years ago, Elian Gonzalez was taken away at gunpoint and eventually flown back to a Cuban dictatorship. Meanwhile these pro-terrorist hatemongers stay. Unreal!
75 posted on 04/22/2002 7:51:22 PM PDT by CounterCounterCulture
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To: bootless
Brian Wilson just reported on my report.

BRIAN ROCKS!

76 posted on 04/22/2002 8:11:57 PM PDT by CounterCounterCulture
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To: mac_truck
They also got the names of some of our antagonists (the guy with the SF Giants shirt and the picnic cloth wrapped over his head for one)

That is this guy here:

He and his masked friends came over and tried to intimdate us but were too much of cowards to show their faces.

The young one on the left would probably be being brainwashed to strap explosives to his body if he were living in the Middle East. Now because of the freedom we enjoy, he was able to have a picnic and then cover his face with the ground cloth.

77 posted on 04/22/2002 9:07:44 PM PDT by Syncro
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To: deeel-me-in
Eloquently and succinctly put! Thanks for putting your neck on the line for America.
78 posted on 04/22/2002 9:25:11 PM PDT by thunderdome
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To: Bob J; all
Hey Sync! Getting close to flame again, eh?

Yer never too close if you just get singed...

When they started to burn the Israeli flag in the middle of the street, I didn't realize what they were doing; I was watching the cops make them move out of the street.
I started back to the "safe" area and then heard a commotion caused by the flag burning.

This pictures isn't very closeup, but you can see the flames from the Israeli flag:

It's interesting that this morning on the radio they mentioned a flag burning at the terrorist rally...but didn't mention it wasn't an American flag.

79 posted on 04/22/2002 9:25:18 PM PDT by Syncro
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To: CounterCounterCulture
Saluting West Coast FREEPERS/PATRIOTS who bravely faced the uninformed, unAmerican and unwashed USA haters in SF.
80 posted on 04/22/2002 9:44:21 PM PDT by Militiaman7
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To: American Preservative; deeel-me-in; Drango; mac_truck; Rogue Yam; CounterCounterCulture; JustAmy...
Thanks for your pics CCC.

Here is what they did to the US flag to show wht they really are promoting...

JustAmy, Mama_Bear, bootless...Thanks for the comments...and Justy and Lori thanks for your faithfullness in Fresno every Friday.

81 posted on 04/22/2002 9:45:01 PM PDT by Syncro
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To: Syncro
Lori thanks for your faithfullness in Fresno every Friday.

Well gosh, Syncro, as you know, our FResno rallies are a cakewalk compared to what you people faced up there in SF. As mtngrl said, it is one thing to wave a flag in "conservative" Fresno, and quite another to face down a huge crowd of radical hate-mongers and terrorists.

You people are the heroes. :-)


...

82 posted on 04/22/2002 9:55:47 PM PDT by Mama_Bear
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To: Syncro
BTW, you're a grate photo journalist! Thanks for the pics.


83 posted on 04/22/2002 9:59:10 PM PDT by Mama_Bear
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To: mtngrl@vrwc; Mama_Bear
Thanks for the comments mtngrl...

I know for a fact you folks in Fresno have had a few tense moments...some just a couple of weeks ago.These low-brained terrorists supporters can be trouble anywhere.

And Mama_Bear...me a grate photojournalnist..LOL thanks.

84 posted on 04/22/2002 10:10:58 PM PDT by Syncro
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To: deeel-me-in
It's true what Michael Savage has said. Ultra-tolerance will kill us and kill our nation.
85 posted on 04/22/2002 10:12:12 PM PDT by stratman1969
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To: deeel-me-in
Fantastic essay, deeel...You articulate the Patriotic position well... I enjoyed seeing you give the straight talk to those people.

I was standing on a wall next to the young woman that was with the "peaceful Muslim" after you "scary" Patriots were let inside. I was wondering where Kary was (reporter wasn't he?) so I tapped her on the sholder to ask her and she almost jumped off the wall!

She was safe from the American Patriots; surrounded by her people... and was still jumpy! LOL

It was grate meeting you and Pat and the others I din't know from before.

86 posted on 04/22/2002 10:21:25 PM PDT by Syncro
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To: mac_truck
you do a good job of incognito. I actually had doubts you were on our side!

Thanks...I think...lol

I must say I ws supprized the commies didn't remember just minutes before I was across the street from them yelling facts to them with the bullhorn...But their vanity got the best of them because of the camera I guess.

It was grate meeting you, hope to see you and the others again soon.

87 posted on 04/22/2002 10:27:21 PM PDT by Syncro
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To: Syncro
I take it you left your lab coat at home... ;-)
88 posted on 04/22/2002 10:32:29 PM PDT by LurkerNoMore!
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To: LurkerNoMore!
I am even wondering if I was there, I saw no pictures of me...LOL
89 posted on 04/22/2002 10:34:40 PM PDT by Syncro
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To: LurkerNoMore!
I got there early and did a number of Brain Marrow Transplants on the Palistinian Terrorist Supporters and the Lab Coat got spattered with some Psychic Lyposution material, so it could not be worn for the rally...

thanks for asking...

90 posted on 04/22/2002 10:37:51 PM PDT by Dr. Zoo
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To: Dr. Zoo
heheh

*note to self: buy the good doctor a tripod*

91 posted on 04/22/2002 10:41:12 PM PDT by LurkerNoMore!
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To: Syncro;American Preservative; deeel-me-in; Drango;Rogue Yam; CounterCounterCulture;
He and his masked friends came over and tried to intimdate us but were too much of cowards to show their faces.

according to SFChronicle that mutt would be Khalil Habash and his little buddies Rame and Peter Quare. To their credit the Chronicle put the Israeli flag buring on page one of their Sunday edition, and named the perps responsible.(both from the S. bay) I have to wonder how many pointy headed liberals spilt their decaf lattes when they turned to read about the 'peace' rally, and got a dose of islamo-facism instead.

92 posted on 04/22/2002 10:54:17 PM PDT by mac_truck
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To: Dr. Zoo
"Brain Marrow Transplants on the Palistinian Terrorist Supporters"

Brain marrow? LOL!!!

Seeing as how I don't have a degree from the Institute of Phenomenology, I have no idea what you are talking about, but I do know that it couldn't have happened to a more deserving bunch of people, Dr. Zoo. :-)

93 posted on 04/23/2002 12:06:27 AM PDT by Mama_Bear
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To: CounterCounterCulture
Better late than never! Heck I'm responding 2 days later! Confronting idiots on the loose sure can give you a migraine.

Thanks for all the pics though, looks like you guys did do a good job.

94 posted on 04/23/2002 12:59:18 AM PDT by gracie1
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To: CounterCounterCulture
Here is todays letters to the editor section of the Chron:


Marchers for peace should be peaceful

Editor -- What does it say when a group of people need to be protected from "peace" demonstrators ("Thousands march in S.F. protest," April 21)? Is someone unclear on the concept of peace?

The threatening "peace" demonstrators were Palestinians, Arab immigrants and their supporters. The endangered persons carried Israeli flags and were dispersed by the San Francisco police "for their own safety."

No one was ever imperiled by Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. Those leaders based their movements for social justice on the principle of nonviolence and were recognized for holding the moral high ground.

If the Arab Muslim world were to produce a leader who could persuade with the principles of nonviolence, the moral equation would be turned upside-down to its favor. However, that possibility is unlikely, given a culture that glorifies the terrorist Osama bin Laden as a great hero.

People who say that they are for peace, but intimidate with violence, are merely unprincipled thugs who are probably too benighted to recognize the hypocrisy of their own actions. Persons who demonstrate in the name of peace should act in peace.

DANA GARCIA

Berkeley


A PEACEFUL CROWD

Editor -- While I appreciated The Chronicle's coverage of stories this Sunday on historical atrocities in South America, I was disappointed with the cover photo of the rally held last Saturday portraying it as extremist and hateful.

I was at the rally all day -- I'd set up a place for people to paint their own signs and it was wonderful: teenagers cautiously approached and painted, people needing more tape came over, people adding peace symbols to signs they already had, even a homeless person painted his own sign -- and I never saw anything as full of hate as your photo made it out to be.

I really worry about our city, our home, when the truth of our rally is subserved by profit or bias through a photo of one burned flag in a peaceful crowd of more than 20,000.

VICTORIA ASHLEY

Oakland


A SENSE OF FAIRNESS

Editor -- I am glad to see that readers' representative Dick Rogers acknowledged the serious oversight of The Chronicle (Opinion Pages, April 21) to provide equal coverage to a pro-Israeli rally (received no coverage) and a pro-Palestinian rally (received front-page coverage).

However, if The Chronicle is weighing the opinions of the readers in its decisions as implied in Rogers' article, The Chronicle will continue to lose a sense of fairness. That is because of a simple fact; Palestinians and many Arabs are taught hatred from childhood and do not possess a sense of fairness and will always say that the news is biased against them.

Jews, on the other hand, are taught fairness, tolerance and compassion. That is why some Jews speak out against Israel. That is why Jews fought for the cause of civil rights for American blacks. You don't see any Palestinians condemning terrorism. What you see is rationalization.

RICK KOHL

Los Gatos


INSIGHT ON POLICY

Editor -- Saturday, thousands of protesters with anti-Israel and anti- American sentiment marched in San Francisco. Their pictures and story dominated the front page of The Sunday Chronicle. Last week, a similar number of pro-Israel, pro-American demonstrators rallied in San Francisco. The Chronicle gave that rally not one word, not one picture of coverage.

One reason for this, Chronicle readers' representative Dick Rogers suggests,

is that the pro-Israel rally was not violent. I guess that was our mistake: Perhaps we should have attacked police or tried to burn some buildings. Thank you, Mr. Rogers, for such illuminating insight into Chronicle reporting policy.

SCOTT ABRAMSON

San Mateo


95 posted on 04/23/2002 6:53:19 AM PDT by Drango
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To: Mama_Bear;Dr. Zoo
Dr. Zoo 'splained to me that Brain Marrow transplants can only be done on boneheads. In some the end result is even some detection of Patriotizm but that is rare for Anti-American terriorist supporters.

It's a hard job but somebody has to do it...

96 posted on 04/23/2002 8:10:23 AM PDT by Syncro
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To: Drango
I was puzzled by the reference to Dick Rogers, who apparently is the apologist for the Chron. (I boycott the Chron due to its bias). In any case here's what he said...
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/04/21/ED35579.DTL

********************

When my phone rings these days, it's a good bet I'm about to hear one of two things: The Chronicle's Mideast coverage is pathetically pro- Palestinian, or The Chronicle's Mideast coverage is pathetically pro-Israel.

One reader demands to know: "Why do you call Hamas a militant group when President Bush says they are terrorists?" Another reader, equally fervent, can't abide the fact that we refer to Israeli soldiers as soldiers at the same time as we call rifle-carrying Palestinians "gunmen."

In the superheated atmosphere of the Mideast crisis, every word, paragraph, graphic and image comes under a microscope. The placement of stories on a page is seen as evidence of the paper's tilt, or worse, its campaign to twist public opinion.

The other day The Chronicle carried a front-page story under the headline "Sharon says 'terror' justifies assault." An East Bay reader, angered by the single quotation marks around the word terror, scolded us for reporting that "harmonizes well with Palestinian propaganda, which tries to divert attention from the terrorist campaign against Israel (which enjoys almost unanimous support among Palestinians, all the way from Yasser Arafat to the 10-year-old who dreams of blowing himself up one day), and instead describe Israel's military moves as groundless, evil bullying tactics."

The explanation that the headline writer used quotes for the conventional reason -- to signal that Sharon used the precise word -- carried no weight.

Here, as in newsrooms across the country, one person's neutrality is another person's bias. So, while we can listen to the hundreds of calls and read the hundreds of e-mails that have come in during the past two weeks, it's not likely that The Chronicle will satisfy each of its readers no matter how it alters its coverage, its use of language and its selection of photos.

But before you come away thinking that this is just a sanctimonious defense of my employer, here's a confession:

The paper made a bad call last week.

Last Sunday, thousands of pro-Israel demonstrators from San Francisco to the Salinas Valley gathered at Justin Herman Plaza here to rally peacefully. The event was news (just a week before we carried a report on a pro- Palestinian demonstration with far fewer people). Yet last Monday, the paper didn't have a word on the pro-Israel rally. This wasn't fair and balanced coverage.

There isn't a good explanation for the decision. The event was judged by the usual standards in a city where demonstrations are as common as coffeehouses. The city desk mistakenly decided that it wasn't all that big. And there was no violence. Those may be valid criteria in some cases, but not this one.

At least one reader cites the lapse as evidence of deeper bias. She goes so far as to accuse the paper of fomenting anti-Semitism. (It should be noted that The Chronicle also did not cover a smaller pro-Palestinian rally that same day.)

I understand the emotion, but I don't buy the argument. From my corner of the newsroom, The Chronicle has tried to present as many aspects of the story as possible. Most often it succeeds. A few weeks ago, in response to allegations that our photo coverage was one-sided, I invited five readers to take a deeper look. The readers had diverse backgrounds and starkly differing views of the Mideast situation. We asked them to look at 79 photographs published between January and March and tell us whether they thought that the pictures reflected sympathy toward Palestinians or Israel, or whether they were neutral.

One reader saw a big pro-Palestinian tilt. Another saw the opposite. Two detected a slight shading toward the Palestinian side. The fifth considered the photographs largely neutral.

But added together, the individual judgments came out almost exactly equal - - one-third pro-Palestinian, one-third pro-Israel and one-third neutral.

There was nothing scientific about our experiment. But it shows that five people can look at the same things and come away with very different reactions.

And it shows something else: If the paper is trying to mold public sentiment on the Mideast, it's not doing a very good job of it.

So let us know what you think. But understand that sometimes we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Dick Rogers is the Readers' Representative at The Chronicle. If you have comments on The Chronicle's coverage, standards or accuracy, please e-mail readerrep@sfchronicle.com.

97 posted on 04/23/2002 9:11:45 AM PDT by Drango
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To: CounterCounterCulture
AWEsome! I missed it (Little League game). What did he say?
98 posted on 04/23/2002 10:42:31 AM PDT by bootless
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To: bootless
Brian essentionally read my e-mail which was a condensed version of this thread, including our chants, our confab with the police captain and how the hatemongers and so-called peaceniks took over with their hateful presence. He also encouraged people to check in to FreeRepublic.
99 posted on 04/23/2002 7:35:15 PM PDT by CounterCounterCulture
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To: thunderdome; Carry_Okie; CounterCounterCulture; deeel-me-in; Drango; Mama_Bear; mac_truck; Dr.Zoo
#44-It's like all that my grandfather and his peers worked and died for in WW2 is gone.

It sure felt that way out there. : ( I'm glad you saw deeel-me-in's #51, thunderdome. (And, did you see #65?!) Thanks for your support from afar! Sending good wishes to your and your family. ; )

#46,47-Good questions, Carry_Okie.

Hi CCC, thanks regarding Melanie! I didn't hear anything this morning....did you? Brian was great last night, and made a brief mention tonight in reply to a caller. Thanks for all the pictures!

deel-me-in - #51!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!EXCELLENT UNDERSTANDING!!!!!!!!
A MUST READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Thank you for being out there!!!

#52-Good question Drango.

#62-Thanks Mama_Bear. : )

#65-After we split up inside city hall, Ron, Carol, Darren and I were led through the basement then back upstairs to the Van Ness side of the building. As a precaution, we removed or covered clothing and items which might distinguish us as patriotic americans. Darren was ready to give up his american flag, but Carol said no, she would carry it. As we were leaving a well meaning officer from SFSD said to Carol, 'you might want to hide that flag', to which she retorted 'I'm an american, I will NOT hide this flag!'. mac_truck, thanks for telling us. WOW! Unbelievable!! : (
Thank you for being there mac_truck! : ) (And thanks for the info in #92 - for those of us who don't bother reading that paper any more.)

#95-Thanks Drango! (See above regarding #92 comment) : )

#96-"Dr. Zoo 'splained to me that Brain Marrow transplants can only be done on boneheads. "
Dr. Zoo, ya got a grate way with words! : ) And, your photos were phenomonol too! : )

100 posted on 04/23/2002 9:48:19 PM PDT by American Preservative
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