US Military 1 — Occupy Movement 0
And then the show began -- the Blue Angels!
The F/A-18 Hornets thundered over the picturesque San Francisco harbor...
...and then shot skyward over the tall ships and souvenir shops.
And the obligatory "F/A-18s over the Golden Gate Bridge" shot.
How they manage to fly in such a tight formation (18 inches separating planes going nearly 700mph) is beyond me.
I didn't actually go to the event just to see the Blue Angels -- I went to witness protesters attempting to "shut down" Fleet Week's military recruiters:
Shut Down the Military Recruiters at Fleet Week!!!
The Department of Defense and the city of San Francisco have the audacity to host this year's annual fleet week event on the same weekend as the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan. Fleet Week is used as a propaganda tool to bolster the United States war-machine; aiding in the destruction of people and their communities abroad through oppressive, colonial, and genocidal occupations. Simultaneously, money is being leached out of our communities while we are left destitute, becoming unable to access or afford our basic needs. Now the military wants to use this event to recruit our youth and children into their war-waging organization. Military recruits are likely to experience emotional and financial hardship, sexual assault, disabilities, homelessness, PTSD, Suicide and/or Death during their enlistment.
The United States wars of global economic expansion, and the continued growth of the military-industrial complex, benefit the same 1% of elites which a growing number of people are now taking action against by occupying Wall Street and numerous cities around the country (including right here in the San Francisco Bay area)! The banks, Wall Street, Washington DC, the military, etc., are all part a political and economic system that is to the detriment of us all, the 99%. Its time to make some real change happen. Let us now occupy the recruiting tent @ Pier 41 (on the west lawn) this Saturday and Sunday starting at 11am and shut it the fuck down!
The Occupiers were going to occupy Fleet Week! What could be more exciting than that??
But alas, I must have missed the whole thing, because by the time I showed up, there was no trace of any occupation; maybe the Occupiers got a gander at the one million military-lovers and decided discretion was the better part of valor. All that remained was this booth for the Iraq Veterans Against the War, which everybody studiosly ignored.
A lone protester tried to hand out anti-military flyers, but didn't have many takers.
The U.S. Navy patrolled the waters for terrorists and hippies.
Above all this, the Blue Angels careened overhead locked in perfect formation.
As two of the F/A-18s prepared to make a "knife-edge pass" (hurtling toward each other at near the speed of sound), a hapless seagull (barely visible in this photo) flapped directly into the midair point where the two jets would pass within inches of each other. I imagine that was an experience the seagull won't soon forget!
In case you think that perhaps the Saturday crowd at Occupy SF was smaller than on previous days: I actually received a few photos from the Friday (October 7) occupation as well, from contibutor Chicken Kiev, who estimated the Friday crowd at slightly over 100.
I can only pray that this guy is unfamiliar with the old joke, "Why does a dog lick its balls?"
"End All Wars! now". Hey, great idea -- why did no one ever think of this plan earlier?
At night, some real hardcore radical groups showed up and tried to start a mini riot.
But the cops, who monitor the occupation night and day, were already waiting for them, and a brief march on Market Street quickly fizzled out.
And no Occupation report would be complete without this devastatingly brilliant satire from Reason's TV's resident bard "Remy":