As the war on Gaza claimed more than 1,000 Palestinian lives, activists in San Francisco joined in increased international outrage and despair. A little have 8am, a small group of protesters entered the Israeli Consulate building to lock the front entrances and chain themselves to them. Organized principally by ANSWER SF, the lockdown lasted for two and a half hours with police arresting by my count eight of the demonstrators.
I arrived on the scene just as the SF Fire Department was finishing removing the protesters chained to the doors. They had locked the doors with large bicycle locks and themselves with chains, setting up a barrier humanity in front of the glass and steel frontage. A paddy wagon was full of half the raucous lot that engaged the civil disobedience, screaming “Stop killing children!” while rocking it back and forth.
The small crowd protesting beside them were mostly young Arabs, leading chants over a megaphone and shouting cries of “We’ll be back!” as the paddy wagon took those arrested away. Some forty cops were deployed with a fire truck to remove the protesters and their locks. It finally took a large gas powered concrete saw to get the last locks off the doors. The crowd dispersed shortly thereafter.
Organizers made it clear to me that more was yet to come. Those within the Consulate building looked on, some disgusted, some fuck scared -- but all now fully aware of the outrage their nation had sparked.
Our footage is on YouTube -- Civil Disobedience at the Israeli Consulate.