These photos were taken at the post-election anti-Bush rally in San Francisco on November 3, 2004.
The rage and frustration of another Bush victory was more than many San Franciscans could take. As soon as Bush's re-election was confirmed in the middle of Wednesday, November 3, people started gathering at Powell and Market streets. By 5pm the crowd had swelled to several thousand.
The photographs below were taken at the rally and at the march that followed. Captions are provided only where needed.
Many protesters there simply could not accept what had happened. They paraded around with their election messages calling for Bush's defeat. I call them "November First people."
Still living in denial.
One group carried signs depicting famous revolutionaries and communists.
The most incomprehensible sign of the evening.
After night fell, around 6:30pm, the rally turned into a march to Mission and 24th streets. I heard murmurs that it might degenerate into a riot.
I fell in with the "Black Bloq," a group of anarcho-fascists whose only goal is to commit violence and incite chaos. I marched with them for hours as they chanted, "Tonight, We're gonna, Fuck! Shit! Up!" and "Hey hey, Ho ho, this civilization's got to go!" and "Shoot Bush, not dope!" and "No Bush, No Kerry, Revolution's necessary."
The Black Bloq folks hate San Francisco's touchy-feely leftists as much as they hate George Bush.
Luckily, the police came prepared, with officers lining the entire route, so the riot never materialized -- until the end, at the intersection of Mission and 24th, when the Black Bloq could no longer contain themselves. One of them threatened to attack a policeman, and was immediately arrested. The rest of the crew surrounded the cop in an angry mob.
Other cops swooped in and drove back the crowd. Here, the arresting officer drags the offender backwards toward the safety of the adjacent BART subway station.
As soon as the police descended the stairs into the station, the Black Bloq swarmed over the railing and rained firecrackers, rocks and traffic diverters down on the officers.
The BART staff panicked and decided to close down the station entirely. I ran to the other station entrance and saw that all the passengers were being quickly evacuated.
After a while the main entrance quieted down -- all that was visible were three traffic diverters that had been hurled at the cops.
Still frustrated, the Black Bloqers cried out, "Get the McDonald's!", but again the police were waiting for them. After seeing this row of cops protecting the building, the Black Bloqers backed off.
Their blood lust was satiated when someone started burning George Bush in effigy.
The crowd howled and screamed in excitement.
After the effigy was burnt to a crisp, the evening came to a shattering conclusion as the protesters ignited an upside-down American flag and cheered in ecstasy while the flames leaped into the night sky.