Sunday, June 06, 2004

When Protests Collide . . . . .

Try not to get confused with all the pros and antis in this article on a clash of messages yesterday in San Francisco.

Pick a side, any side . . . apparently there's a right way and a wrong way to oppose the war. I'm not sure anyone knows for sure which is which . . . .

As they neared the Embarcadero, the protesters ran into about 500 pro- Israel demonstrators, waving Israeli and American flags, and protesting what they see as an anti-Israel message from the anti-war protests.

The opposing groups started out at opposite ends of the walkway between the foot of Market Street and the Embarcadero, but verbal exchanges became increasingly heated as the afternoon wore on, and police were forced to step in and keep the groups apart.

The pro-Israel group that protested Saturday's protest was formed about a month ago as a response to what Israel supporters say is an anti-Israel stance presented during International ANSWER rallies and protests. Many in Saturday's march carried pro-Palestine and anti-Israel signs. Some said they oppose Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.

"I'm anti-war. I don't agree with almost anything George Bush does," said counterprotest organizer Dan Kliman of Oakland. "But I'm here to support Israel. We want to educate people that ANSWER has hijacked the anti-war movement to advance its jihadi agenda."

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