Wednesday, June 9, 2010

San Franciso demonstrates

A regular commenter on Gubu World known to readers as Confucius but known to me as my long time friend Bruno, kindly emailed me some images from San Francisco where he now lives, of a demonstration in protest at the siege of Gaza. The US like Ireland and the rest of Europe has many demonstrations against Israel's actions in Palestine. However the difference is as I see it, that in the US the demos are usually accompanied by a counter pro Israeli presence (as above). Not all of these protesters are necessarily Jewish. You might just as likely find a Jew across the street with a sign equating Israel to Nazi Germany. Many who show their support for Israel tend to be conservative Christians who believe that Israel is in the front line of the war against eastern Islamic values that are incompatible with the Judea Christian democratic values of the west. I certainly would not stand behind these people on issues such as Jewish settlements as I have no desire to see any biblical prophecy fulfilled. However it is a refreshing change to see Israel's supporters demonstrate so vocally in favour of the Jewish states right to self defence, and as one poster illustrates to achieve "peace with security".

Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit as been in held in captivity for over 3 years now.

A very wise message I would say.

And from across the street.

Israel is a Nazi state apparently.

Above is a short video of the duelling protesters. Thamks again Confucius.


Gary said...

You're right. In this country it is very common to see protests and counter-protests in close proximity. I think that is actually a good thing.

These pictures bring back memories. I am from San Fransisco originally and was there 30+ years ago when a protest march turned into 3 days of riots (the "White Night Riots"). That started peacefully in front of those exact same buildings. The organizers and the police had been prepared for 3 to 5 thousand marchers and were simply overwhelmed when nearly 100,000 angry people showed up. The police in those days were far less professional and not well trained. They made the mistake of over-reacting and trying to use brute force. It was a very frightening experience on many levels.

Ted Leddy said...

Its interesting to see this style of demonstration. It makes sense to challenge a group you are opposed to although I'm sure it is a head ache for the police as scuffles will inevitably break out.

It is clear that whenever a demonstration turns into a riot it is because the police underestimate the numbers that are going to turn out and are themselves under strength. I have seen this happen before. The more militant among the protesters will sense the weakness of the authorities and start looking for trouble. Something similar probably happened during the White Night Riots.