There are a few rules in life one must abide by if one is to "do it right." If you're in the mood for good surf, you head on down to Hawaii. If you're looking for deep dish pizza, you find the cheapest flight to Chicago. And if you want to see a protest done right, you head to San Francisco.
The prolifically passionate bunch turned up in full force on Saturday for the Bay Area's chapter of the worldwide March Against Monsanto. (While the actual number of participants will surely be debated, I eyeballed at least 500 protestors, and if you wanted to twist my arm to say there were another 500 that straggled in late, I wouldn't fight you on it.) The group joined up on the San Francisco side of the Golden Gate Bridge at 11 a.m. for an hour of rabble-rousing before taking the bridge itself by storm.
Some marched because they fear a world in which their children have access to only genetically-modified foods, while others chose to participate for more personal reasons. Eric Eberman, one of the local San Francisco march organizers, got involved after one of his family members died last March after a bout with colon cancer. "He had been exposed to agricultural chemicals as a child when he worked on a farm in Mexico," said Eberman. "I was seeking some way to express my anger at his premature and painful death and found a creative way to do so via March Against Monsanto."
Led by a four-piece band, the Brass Liberation Orchestra, the protestors relayed their disgust at the GMO giant by marching across the nearly 9,000 foot bridge, showing their solidarity with the millions more protesting all around the world. Here are a handful of snapshots from the afternoon.
Passionate speakers took the impromptu stage in front of the ever-growing gathering area. A quick sampling of the various protest chants that, at some point, were introduced to the crowd: "Hey-hey! Ho-Ho! GMOs has got to go!"; "When I say 'organic,' you say 'food'! Organic! (Food!) Organic! (Food!)"; and "The people! Together! Will never be divided!"
Every age and sign type were represented.
Some protestors took the opportunity to test out some make-up designs before Halloween.
Before the walking portion of the march, those dressed as bees performed a short photo-op one-act play, dying on the ground due to Monsanto's poisonous GMOs.
The omnipresent Guy Fawkes mask even made a cameo appearance.
On the bridge, with the wind blowing a bit too hard and the crowd too spread out and sparse for proper chanting, cars supplied the noise with their melodic honking and occasional fist bumps in the air.
And the march goes on...
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