The Bay Area wasn’t going to let San Francisco, our jewel of a city, become another Charlottesville and so counter-protesters organized events to drive out the hate with the only weapon ever known to be successful: LOVE.
My husband, a few friends, and I traveled on BART up to City Hall for a day of protest. Although I don’t think our numbers rivaled Boston’s from a week ago, there were plenty of us out there. Counter-protesters were scattered around the City — not just at City Hall, but at Alamo Square and even at Ocean Beach.
At City Hall there was a DJ, singers, and comedians. There were children playing on the play structure in front of City hall — and food trucks lined up at one end of the mall. And there were lots of signs — signs of protest, love, and resistance. Police were out in force, but they were carrying water bottles in their riot gear helmets (and I wish I’d gotten a picture of that). It felt like a party!
The organizer of the “Prayer Rally” — which was really a guise for hate groups to convene and wreak havoc — kept changing his plans when he found out that his permit came with restrictions: no sticks, no weapons, no helmets, no shields. Eventually, he canceled his plans, scattering his dozen-or-so followers, and gave a Facebook interview from inside a home, with the blinds drawn shut.
SF message: Hate is not welcome here.