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A slice of San Francisco

What do you get when you cross the Love Parade, thousands of anti-war marchers, a guy in a red satin shirt singing for Jesus, some young anarchists with kerchiefs on their faces, and fifty police in riot gear?
 
 
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Those of you who were somewhere else besides San Francisco's anti-war march on Saturday, missed a classic San Francisco moment.

The march itself was well-attended and, like it's big sister in Washington, D.C., full of relatively diverse people with a unified message against the war in Iraq. But the real excitement started after the exceedingly long march ended and people wandered into the Love Parade, a DJ/dance love fest with no particular politics besides cool music, cool clothes, and major sponsorship by a beer company and a computer company.

Those two groups seemed to mingle pretty well together, until it was indistinguishable who had started out at which event, but then a small group of the mostly white black block tried to join the party and the boys and girls in blue uniforms got upset, pulled out their batons and surrounded and arrested our hapless friends in black. At this point, the love paraders started shouting "let them go" and a very skinny man in a very shiny red shirt (the devil?) came over and started preaching to the whole assembled crowd about the need to let Jesus into your heart.

Thank you to the two guys in matching houndstooth plaid shirts from Calgary, Canada who came up just wanting to know what was going on. Once they'd gotten all the players figured out, they walked away shaking their heads and saying, "this wasn't in the tourist brochure."

No, my Canuk friends, it wasn't but it certainly should have been.

Rachel Neumann is Rights & Liberties Editor at AlterNet.