The Smallest Rally on Earth

On April 21st, 2004, San Francisco braced itself for yet another massive street rally -- this one held to to celebrate the release of Mordechai Vanunu (the Israeli nuclear technician who was convicted of revealing top-secret information about Israel's nuclear industry to a British newspaper in 1986; sentenced to 18 years in prison for espionage, Vanunu was released just a few hours before this rally was held).

This is the story of that momentous day.

These flyers were pasted up all around the Bay Area. Looked like a big protest was brewing.

I show up at the appointed hour, camera in hand -- and find a grand total of three protesters.

They're having a little trouble generating any excitement in the local population.

This is what happens when you sign up for Blind Date.
(Actually, the gentleman on the left is just a bystander who had been given a brochure.)

A fourth protester (with the red hat) takes his place in line -- he had been fiddling with the newspaper racks.

The ranks are swelled when two Marxists show up. Add in a few unwitting passersby and we've practically got enough to fill a decent-sized elevator.

More reinforcements arrive -- an elderly lady in a kaffiyeh shows up with a "Free Palestine" sign. But what's that on the back?

The secret message on the back of the sign.

The rally reaches its climax -- all seven protesters protesting at once!

But the new arrivals seem less concerned about Vanunu than they are about peddling copies of Workers Vanguard, a Marxist newspaper.

The original four protesters were handing out these brochures.

Inside one of the brochures was a poem by Vanunu called "I Am Your Spy."

Here's a close-up of a passage in Vanunu's poem.
File this one under "Delusions of Grandeur."

And so our story comes to an end. A sunny day, seven protestors, one universally despised traitor, and a zombie with a camera. Only in San Francisco.