1:21 PM Chris Roberts notes that the street preacher (pictured above) is Rev Chauncey Killens of Prunedale, CA.
1:16 PM I just asked all the main protesters who that guy was, all anyone knows is that he is a “pastor.” People are mad we never got to hear what he had to say because harmonica woman was in his face
1:14 PM Harmonica woman got into a fight with another, older lesbian.
Harmonica woman: I’m not a nice gay, I won’t negotiate with you bitch, if you were here for the same reason I was you would know what free speech means
Older lesbian: it’s because of people like me that you’re even here, so learn how to speak without swearing
1:09 PM People keep taunting him, trying to get him to hit them. All he says is “one man one woman look at all this love.” Cops had to restrain everyone from him, especially harmonica woman who has now started chanting “Jesus was a faggot, just like me.”
1 PM The anti-gay street preacher has his own loudspeaker and is now arguing with this crazy harmonica playing woman and girl in a bra w rainbows painted all over her. Harmonica woman is yelling “Jesus loves faggots” in his face. He is literally surrounded by people yelling at him.
12:56 PM All of the sudden the peaceful atmosphere is broken by one of those crazy conservative street preachers. Everyone starts freaking out and yelling “you are not welcome here!”
One guy making from of the priests sign that has a peace sign on it “lol, hi here’s a peace sign, but you’re not equal, bye.” The crowd is mobbing the tall, african american street preacher. He’s being forced to leave and people are cheering and booing and surrounding him. I don’t know who he is but I’m trying to find out. People yelling ‘go home bigot”
People are still following him and harassing him. “You better pray that we forgive you, shame on you, fucker!” African American guy on the street just asked someone what was going on and a white guy responded “He’s a bigot…isn’t that weird to call a black man a
bigot?” Awkward tension.
12:54 PM Things are kind of dying down now, there are still dozens of people sitting in the circle waiting to be arrested but most of the bystanders are slowly leaving. Still a fair amount of people, though. The band is still playing. Cops are standing around talking to one another, just saw one texting on his cellphone.
12:38 PM One cop just came up and started hugging some supporters, saying “How are you? Thanks for the support.” A band just set up and is starting to play, full band with an accordion, trombone, etc. Everyone’s starting to clap along.
12:37 PM Cop: These people wanna get arrested!
Civilian: That’s the only way to get anything done
Cop: Ehh, they say just one more resolution and you guys will be able to marry, it’s finished. I mean. I don’t care, I’m getting paid, you guys are respectful.
Civilian: shouldn’t we be putting this money towards education?
Cop: Well, I’d be getting paid regardless of what I did today.
12:33 PM A rabbi just walked out, lots of clapping. Another rabbi (I’m assuming, two females wearing yarmulkes) also arrested. General consensus from crowd around me about people getting arrested is that “they’re awesome”
More chanting is starting up, but in general everyone seems pretty cheerful right now, people getting arrested are grinning widely. Someone “Do you know how much money this is costing us?”
12:26 PM Some people are questioning the cop in front of me about how long it’ll take, how many cops are in the city taking care of business if so many are here. The cops like, there are plenty of cops don’t worry about it, and this will be done in an hour, this is all political theater, most of these people won’t go to jail unless they have a
warrant, in his experience the DA kicks “all the gays out”
People are thanking the cop for being professional but friendly, he said “we’re all human.”
More people are getting arrested…this seriously seems like it’ll take forever though, since there are a ton of people in the street
12:20 PM Sidenote – Ha! The cop blocking my part of the sidewalk off is talking to some sort of journalist about the future of print journalism.
A pastor was just handcuffed and led out, people are yelling “thank you pastor!” and clapping.
Everyone who is getting arrested, which isn’t many people yet, is smiling and people are clapping for them
12:14 PM They’re starting to arrest people, first the priests, etc, in front with those fake white handcuff things. Everyone’s pretty calm now, before it got intense with people yelling and singing, but now people are just clapping and cheering in solidarity.
12:12 PM People in neon green jackets — not sure what organization they’re with, all in marriage equality t-shirts — are singing over loudspeakers “we shall overcome.” The cops are coming in, priests and other congregational type speakers are standing in the front of the circle. Other people on loudspeakers: “Shame on you, Harvey Milk died for you.” Still no arrests yet.
12:09 PM “We will not be moved, repeal prop 8.” The police keep talking on the loudspeaker about how it’s causing a traffic jam. I’m standing in the
street outside the circle and just got told kind of patronizingly that I was going to get arrested if I didn’t move. He called me sweetie so I kind of feel like staying and being arrested now but suppose I will step back.
12:06 PM The police are moving in, both cops and marriage equality supporters are telling people to move to sidewalks if they don’t want to be arrested. A bunch of priests/other congregationsl type people are standing at the front of the circle and the police are starting to surround the entire circle as well as stand inside it.
11:51 AM Everyone is chanting “We will not be moved repeal prop 8”. People w/ first aid signs on their arms are handing out water. Police keep talking on loudspeaker, some have started walking around in the circle, people are booing. No one is moving
11:49 AM 20 or so cops in a tight group are slowly walking in, led by a backwards police van. Everyone is waiting around kind of tense seeing what the cops will do. They’re setting up barricades and made everyone not on the street move
off of the sidewalk.
More vans are coming and more and more police are mobilizing. A man in an office suit with his two year oldish daughter on his shoulders just said “okay, honey see this is people protesting but you can’t see this part so we’re going to take you back to class now.”
Cops are talking over loudspeaker can’t hear exactly but gist is that they’re gonna take them down. People are booing.
11:14 AM Cops look like they’re going to arrest everyone, putting out barricades. I spoke to two visitors from Texas, a lesbian couple who wants to move here:
I was here right before the vote, went to a bunch of rallies, just want to support. We’re lesbians we want to move here and get married. So sad, we look to CA for where things will happen – Janna Divila, Texas
If it can’t happen here it’s not going to happen in Texas – Brittany Buchanan, student from Texas
Brittany: Glad that there’s no violence, but don’t know how proactive this seems
Janna: At least people who are married are still married. Coming from another state, to me that’s a step, that’s a foot in the door.
Brittany:: I’m glad its acknowledged but doesn’t seem to make sense they can
acknowledge some but no more
11 AM There’s a traffic jam starting at this point, and everyone in their cars is on cellphones or getting out of their cars completely. One car is actually trying to reverse like 200 feet back in the left lane…some cops are trying to direct traffic so more cars and leave. Some quotes from the crowd:
Did you expect this to happen?
Hoped otherwise but expected this. I listened to the hearing last may and it felt really good, like they were on our side. And, we won. I listened to this one and got a bad feeling, they’re now all completely against us. One justice, the woman she was solidly on our side and now she’s not, and it’s all the fear of being recalled other side made that threat early on. I’m a huge supporter and have talked to many justices, they’re all “supreme court bitches” fear of being recalled, the court is their entire life. — Alan McWongahey, software engineer and avid supporter who worked every weekend to defeat prop
8 last fall, married in canada in 2005
They (the justices) should be recalled, their job is to interpret the law and see if it’s fair there’s no reason they should have any job in gov anymore, so hypocritical” — David York, chiropractor and software engineer
Now that we’ve been established as second class citizens I think I should be exempt from taxes. Charge me second class fare, don’t ask me to pay for straight marriages, don’t ask me to pay taxes to subsidize churches” – Tom Lucas
What are the next steps? Do you think this civil disobedience is a good form of protest?
Alan: Well, there’s a march at City Hall tonight that will probably be more crowded
Tom: Marching at City Hall is useless, they’re on our side. If you ask me we shouldn’t block intersections like this one that will mostly affect supporters. We should go to areas like Chinatown because they overwhelmingly voted for prop 8
Alan: big question of the day is whether to push for change in 2010 or 2012. There will be more voters on our side in 2012 but we also don’t want to wait that long, right now we have momentum nationwide but there is no right choice or wrong choice. One thing I think we should do soon though is try and get rid of how churches can get tax exempt status for donating to prop 8 groups
10:14 In the middle of the circle two men are hugging, and a woman
draped in a rainbow flag is running around the circle. Lots of people around me talking about Obama “if you”re going to be a real leader you have to lead.” More and more people are joining the circle, many holding roses, myriad of diff signs proclaiming gay marriage support from Jews, workers union, godfathers
Again, while more and more people are showing up this is no harvey milk esque atmosphere…feels like many people knew this would happen and had already accepted it.
10:13 At the corner and a group of people are holding hands in a circle blocking the van ness and gough intersection. “Gay straight black white same struggle same fight” lots of police revving their motorcycles but nothing happening yet. People on loudspeakers on street handing out flyers on how to get support if you get arrested for standing in the street
10:10 So they didn’t even really announce it, but a bunch of people walked out of civic center and as they came out they held their thumbs down, so from that and disappointed cries from the front of the crowd we all got the message. Everyone started yelling “shame on you,” but the people around me seemed kind of resigned like they expected it. A bunch of people around me said “figures” and kissed each other and called their loved ones. Then some people came over with loudspeakers and said come to Van Ness and Gough for immediate civil disobedience.