Teabaggers On Parade
One speaker, a blonde woman of about 40 or so, was particularly scary. She ranted and raved, building to a frothing crescendo with these words: "We'll beat them next time with our ballots! And if that doesn't work, we'll beat them with our bullets! We'll have a real revolution! WE WILL NOT STAND FOR SOCIAL ANARCHY IN THIS COUNTRY!!"
I swear, she said that. Seriously. Irony is completely lost on these people. At another point, they began chanting "Dissent is patriotic! Dissent is patriotic!" Now, I can agree with that sentiment -- as can a million other progressives and liberals who still have bumper stickers left over from the Bush administration days on their cars saying just that -- but I seriously doubt that few, if any of them knew that they were chanting a phrase that had been co-opted from the left. And I have no doubt at all that they did not feel that way a few years ago when we were protesting the wars and excesses of the previous president and his evil cohorts.
This being San Francisco, at one point a local eccentric who calls himself Starchild, and who has run for City Supervisor numerous times, came to the microphone. He got a smattering of applause when he paid lip service to some of their concerns about government intrusion into their lives, but he was booed off the stage when he began talking about immigration reform.
The whole scene was just bizarre. Local hate talk radio KSFO had a tent set up selling T-shirts, pins and other paraphernalia, and there were plenty of media people recording the event as well. I saw only a few counter-protesters there -- one was a skittish guy with a very small sign who skirted the crowd briefly and then took off; the other was a brave young woman who had a number of signs that she kept holding up high. One of the security people kept standing next to her with a sign reading "Infiltrator" and an arrow pointing in her direction, but otherwise she was not particularly hassled that I saw (and thank goodness for that). The crowd was overwhelmingly white and definitely skewed towards the middle-aged and older. Still, I don't think we should take these people lightly.
Below you'll find some of the pictures that I took while I was there, fearing for my life and my country.