Police and Protesters Clash on Market Street in San Francisco

EmotionlessGuarding the PrisonersAbove Us Only SkyIt's Easy If You TryPeace Cop

About 150 anti-war protesters clashed with about 80 police officers in riot gear at the intersection of Market Street and New Montgomery Street in San Francisco at lunch today. Today marks the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War.

The protesters completely blocked off Market Street for about 2 hours. Most of the time the protesters blocking the street were surrounded by a circle of police in riot gear. On the sidewalks surrounding the intersection many other protesters protested the war. Loudspeakers were set up with anti-war songs and chants. A marching band of protesters showed up playing as well.

One string of protesters called “Act Against Torture” dressed entirely in orange prison style jumpsuits with black hoods and chained themselves together across the street. They came as part of a second wave of protesters after the police began arresting the first group which sat peacefully in the center of the intersection.

There did not seem to be much violence or scuffles best I could tell. The police seemed very accommodative of the photographers there shooting the protest, myself included. One senior police officer spent some time arguing with some of the protesters, but that was about it as far as conflict as far as I observed.

To see my entire set of images from today’s protest click through here.

More information from the SF Chonicle on the protest here, and from San Francisco Metblogs here. More from Indybay.org here.

A video of the very start of the protest can be viewed here.

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  1. Derek Matias says:

    My friend from SF was telling me about this.
    These are some really nice photos.

  2. William Beem says:

    So many people want to protest the war and all they do is yell “Get out now!” Yeah, real helpful. Although I’m a Republican, I was against the war in Iraq. Not that I didn’t believe about weapons of mass destruction, one way or another. I opposed it merely because I felt that America should not be invaders without immense provocation. Most definitely, I supported the war in Afghanistan and still do.

    However, we’re there and in the war. How we got there is fine for a debate, but it doesn’t have anything to do with how we get out. Just screaming that we should pack up and quit is childish and irresponsible.

    Whether we agreed on the decision to get in Iraq or not, we still have responsibilities because of our previous actions. We still have repercussions to bear for our actions, past, present and future. What are the repercussions for just walking out now? I certainly don’t know all of them, but I would hope that the protestors at least consider the possibilities and make some suggestions that go deeper than screaming “Get out now!”

  3. Brandon Howe says:

    The cops seemed to have handled it pretty well… I REALLY want to start going down to DC for protests with my camera but I’ve heard about mixed responses from the cops. Although Baltimore protests would be easier for me, I see how they handle skateboarders, i cant imagine how they handle a protester.

  4. jth says:

    Nice photos Tom. I don’t get your focus on the guy in white, but whatever.

    clash: (v)
    1. To collide with a loud, harsh, usually metallic noise: cymbals clashing.
    2. To come into conflict; be in opposition: factions that clashed on a tax increase; an eyewitness account that clashed with published reports.
    3. To create an unpleasant visual impression when placed together: colors that clash.

    This is not a clash. (Well, technically perhaps in the second definition above, but your use of the word clash doesn’t fit well here.) This is police doing their job to make sure this doesn’t become a clash. That’s why they selectively cut off certain individuals. It’s a tactic to ensure no one, on either side of the issue, goes too far and becomes violent.

    But again, very nice photos.