Action Report: San Francisco “Free Bradley Manning” Rally & March to Obama Campaign Viewing Party
In San Francisco Thursday night, about 80 people met up tonight in the Mission District at a BART (subway) plaza, lofting colorful banners and signs. We came from different movements – antiwar, Occupy, veterans – and people were feeling fierce. A short rally brought up speakers from the Bradley Manning Support Network, Courage to Resist, Code Pink, World Can’t Wait, and Veterans for Peace.
We were not a huge crowd, but our energy was focused and bold, including our cheering and chanting, and at this community crossroads at top commute time, a lot of people stopped to watch and listen.
We marched out into the middle of crowded Mission Street to begin a short march, chanting and calling to people on the sidewalks as we made our way to a large union meeting hall a few blocks away. There, the main watching party for local Obama campaign forces was gathering for Obama’s DNC acceptance speech, which was raising funds to open an Obama campaign office in SF. We lined the street outside, and spoke to as many arriving Democrats as possible. Pressed up against the windows of their party room, just as Obama’s speech began, we coordinated a huge unified chant on two sides of the building:
Obama! Obama! Free Bradley Manning! Stop the Wars Now!
And – passing bullhorns around, up and down the fence and banging on the windows -- we kept this chant up for the entire length of Obama’s speech.