The primary long term goal of this site is to document protests around the San Francisco Bay Area, particularly in comparison to some of the older stuff I have in my archives.
I find protests interesting for a few reasons. It's been very interesting to see how the media covers them (badly), how they interact with the police and what the police will and won't let them get away with (you can do almost anything in San Francisco as long as you don't block a sidewalk or use amplified sound without a permit), who shows up and why (it's mostly social/they're trying to get laid), what they hope to achieve (often very vague or "raising awareness"), and more importantly the whole cargo cult nature of it all. We've been taught that Gandhi and MLK and the Vietnam-era anti-war moment affected change via protest. We don't hear much about the times it didn't work. So we go through the ritual of protest and then don't understand why the people don't rise up, or more generally why nothing changes. It's been very interesting to me to see which organizations really expect to change something and have a plan, and which are clearly just going through the motions because this is what the organizers do for a living.
I was covering anti-war stuff a lot in 2008 simply because that's where the action was. In 2009 due to some health issues I wasn't very active - the only new development was the rise of tea parties on the right and I would have liked to have made it to more of them but only managed one. In 2010 we'll see - I'd like to do some stories in a couple of new areas if my health and the protesters schedules cooperate. As I write this in late 2009 groups like Code Pink are already gearing up to start protesting Obama in earnest (because of his inability to push through healthcare while gearing up in Afghanistan. So the old standby of Berkeley people protesting as a social activity is still an option.
Do please check back - there should be updates now and again. If you're a feed person, I do have a feed set up and even if you don't use feeds you can subscribe via email by clicking on the little orange icon.
Please note the donation button, below. My expenses aren't too bad so far but it would be nice to not have to shoulder them alone (as it is I expect I'll never be compensated financially for my time or gear - we're talking gas money, parking, hosting fees, that kind of thing. I'm a couple of hundred bucks in the hole as of late 2009.). If you can afford something in the $5 - $20 range without missing it too much that's perfect. You're welcome to donate any amount of course, but that's a range that I suspect a lot of my readers wouldn't miss and it adds up quickly enough on my end.
You can contact me at info (at) ProtestShooter.com