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Friday, December 12, 2014

San Francisco Police Bracing for Heavy Weekend of Protest

Posted By on Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 2:32 PM

click to enlarge A big weekend approaches... - MICHAEL BARBA
  • Michael Barba
  • A big weekend approaches...
Cops fear demonstrators may go after Union Square Christmas Tree

The so-called Stormpocalypse did little to wash away the rage or concern or fear or opportunism or whatever it is that's compelling thousands of Bay Area residents to take to the streets as of late. San Francisco police officers have had their scheduled off-days canceled this weekend in anticipation. 

The San Francisco Police Department is anticipating a full weekend of protest events, with no fewer than three scheduled for Saturday alone. At 12:15 p.m. tomorrow, police are expecting a "March Against Racist Police Brutality" to convene at Union Square. Within the department, SF Weekly is told, the worry is that marchers will assail the large Christmas Tree.

Complicating matters, at noon a horde of drunken, red-suited revelers are scheduled to begin trickling into Union Square for the yearly SantaCon bacchanal. This year's event is the 20th and, per organizers, "last" SantaCon. It will be a funeral procession featuring Santa-in-a-box.

Union Square figures to be quite a memorable scene.   

At 2 p.m. at the Ferry Building, demonstrators will gather for both the Millions March and a flash mob demonstrating against the exoneration of police officers who killed Missouri teen Michael Brown and New Yorker Eric Garner. 

Finally, on Sunday, Brown's father, Michael Brown, Sr., is scheduled to speak at the Third Baptist Church on Fillmore and McAllister at 4 p.m. The Rev. Amos Brown says the subject of Michael Brown's speech will, likely, be "the sickness of race in America, which we have been ignoring like drug addicts." 

Police sources told SF Weekly they do not plan to hover nearby the church: "There's no reason to do it and that would really look bad." 

The Rev. Brown urged protesters to take a larger view about how to obtain lasting racial justice. After the murder of Emmett Till in 1955, "I did not break into a store, I did not throw a Molotov cocktail ... Violence is like a forest fire. Once it gets started you don't make the judgement over who it's going to hit. The time is now to move from protests to principled, purposeful programs. You need to deal with policymakers."  

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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