Charles Martel just got back from the San Francisco Tea Party and filed this report:
I just returned from the San Francisco tea party about 20 minutes ago. It went far better than I hoped.
I’m an old newspaperman, so I learned long ago how to estimate a crowd size within 10 percent accuracy. I’d say the turn-out was about 700 people—three or four times what you would have expected in a socialist burg like S.F. Some people said they though it was around 1,000, but the crowd just didn’t look that big.
The very good news, besides the large number of participants, was that there were no attempts by leftist thugs or provocateurs to crash the party. I didn’t see even a single incident of outright hostility or counter demonstating.
A news helicopter arrived right as the festivities got underway in the park that fronts City Hall and hovered about 1,000 feet above us for maybe 15 minutes, later following us one block over to the Federal Building where Nancy Pelosi occasionally shows up for work. It seemed that the helicopter news crew was waiting for something to break out—Klu Klux Klan sheets, a confrontation with cops, bad manners, whatever—but it was a very civil crowd.
At the Federal Building there was a lot of speechifying through a bargain-rate bullhorn, which drew the usual hurrahs and applause from people who were enjoying what was being served. Speaking as an old peace march demonstrator from the 1960s, it got boring pretty fast so I spent a lot of my time schmoozing with the very amusing former head of the Marin County GOP.
The cops were cool and I think impressed that we actually stayed on the sidewalk when they asked us to. There were dozens of people taking photos, most of them sympathetic to the cause from what I could see. There was some horn honking in supprt from people driving by. Although there were some folks in cars who gave us long and grave faces, they didn’t shout out anything against us or make any rude gestures.
I think there was a lot of genuine surprise among passersby not only at seeing several hundred conservatives in the middle of Little Cuba, but at how civil and polite they were. No public defecation, no really bad haircuts or crappy cliched-looking black clothes, no pissing on the U.S. flag or exulting in Jew hatred.
A highlight was comments by Melanie Morgan, a former morning talk show host on the local conservative radio station who for years was called “The Babe in the Bunker.”
I could see why. I casually offered to escort her home and wash her car or pick fleas off her dog, but she politely declined.
UPDATE: Here are photos of the San Francisco event.