Medea’s Response

We never intended to snarl traffic nor obstruct the bridge, only to march quietly across the bridge to commemorate the dead, as they did in 330 places around the country--without incident. The fault was not with us, but with the overreaction of the police.
Medea Benjamin

Do you REALLY think snarling traffic on the bridge does anything to endear you to like minded people such as myself who have been against the War inIraq from day 1?

Its pretty clear that the majority of the people you and your organization inconvenienced are also against the War in Iraq. Why don't you take the dog and pony show to Charleston SC, Salt Lake City Utah or some such place. You know... places that supported the war and goober up the traffic there. At least then you will be punishing people that voted for Bush and Co.

Medea--Just wanted you to know that I rode my bicycle from my place in Mill Valley through Sausalito, Fort Baker and up to the Golden Gate Bridge to join your protest march/action--even wore a pink t-shirt!

The authorities—quite a few CHP officers and a couple Bridge District patrols had closed off the pedestrian and bicycle access areas, and wouldnt let anyone on the bridge starting around 12:10 or so. They had a variety of excuses—there was a police action going down on the bridge—there were hundreds of protesters blocking crossing access—there was a security threat—people had gathered (without a permit) and were blocking traffic.

A few Code Pink supporters were allowed off the bridge to the north and reported that they had been respectful and well-behaved, had walked in a single file line, did not disprupt any traffic, and had a permit.

I asked one CHP officer who had made the decision to close the bridge to walkers and cyclists and was told it was Department of Homeland Security. All of the officers in line tried to blame everything on the protesters, called them kunckleheads for not having a permit and for disrupting traffic. Many of the dozens of angry bicylclists (many were on day long rides i.e. from Sonoma to San Mateo, and their whole trip was thwarted--awwww). They were diverted to a place where there were supposed to be shuttle buses, but there were hundreds of walkers and bike riders and I never did see a bus come. Many of the frustrated riders started to agree with the cops and yell at a few of he protesters who had exited the North bridge. The majority didn't even seem to know what folks were protesting. I explained that they were protesting the against the Iraq war, supporting the troops and demanding that they be sent home. I also explained that we have First Amendment rights to dissent in a peaceful manner, and that we had developed a police state, as exemplified by this event, whereby all dissent is stifled, and the authorities continue to vilify those who might want to excercise their first amendment rights to express an opposing view. Several arguments ensued. Finally after more than an hour 1/2 of waiting (they would not provide any updates of what was happening, or when they would re-open the walkways) I left and returned back to MV. It was most unfortunate. I was looking forward to joining you guys in solidarity.

What actually happened? Is their a blog or website with the details.

All the best for a better '07.


--Larry Fahn, Executive Director, As You Sow