SF's Tax Day protests: Progressives 300, Teabaggers 4


For all the hype about Tax Day Tea Parties, include two in San Francisco this afternoon, it was progressive causes that put the most protesters on the streets today. In fact, at a 1 p.m. Tea Party outside City Hall, the teabaggers were way outnumbered by journalists and satirical “teabaggers” doing street theater.

For awhile, 70-year-old Al Anolik – clad in his American flag shirt and NRA hat – was the only teabagger present, although he was joined by 23-year-old Odell Howard (wearing his American flag on his hat) at about 1:20 p.m. Another pair arrived later, making it four in all.

“It is San Francisco,” Anolik offered by way of explaining the anemic gathering.

Contrast that with two other rallies going on at the same time: Service Employees International Union fielding about 200 protesters on Mission Street near the federal building demanding immigration reform and respect for immigrants, and about 100 people who turned out for the Mobilization for Climate Justice, protesting a conference on carbon offsets.

“Nobody should be given credit for creating greenhouse gas emissions,” Ana Orozco, an organizer for Communities for a Better Environment, Richmond, told the gathering.

CBE was one of several groups demonstrating on Fourth Street outside the Marriott, which was hosting New Direction for Climate Action, put on by Navigating the American Carbon World, a group that promotes a cap-and-trade market for pollution credits.

The protesters said that system would only legitimize pollution and delay the strong actions needed to avert the worst impacts of global warming. “Keep the cap, nix the trade,” the group chanted at one point.

I asked one conference attendee (who wouldn’t give his name) what he thought of the protesters and he called them, “watermelons – green on the outside and red on the inside.” Longtime progressive activist Chris Carlsson said accusing someone of being a communist has always been tactic capitalists use to shut down real debate on important issues.

Anolik and Howard were also quick to play the red card, accusing the Obama administration of plotting to take away people’s guns and instituting a government takeover of the health care system, and neither would listen to arguments that their claims were demonstrably false.

But the progressives on the street today were all about sparking debate, including two members of the Raging Grannies that were at the climate event and then headed over to the Tea Party, where they satirically advocated for a health care system run by wealthy corporations.

“Billionaires for Wealthcare,” was the sign one held, while the other’s read, “Blue Cross, Palin, 2012,” advocating that we cut out the middle man and elect Blue Cross as the next president, with Sarah Palin as its running mate.

And then they broke into the song “We shall overcome,” but with a modified chorus: “We shall overcharge.”


Interesting that you posted this "story" at 3:54 and claim that tea party people were vastly outnumbered by progressives. The Tea Party is from 4:00 to 7:00. I guess you blew it stupid.

Posted by Guest Happy Patriot on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 4:39 pm

We knew they would lie in their reporting about the Tea Party. It is only because they are terrified to report that we are gaining in popularity and our message is resonating with everyday American citizens who work, pay taxes and VOTE.

Posted by Mary on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 8:00 pm
Posted by ODELL HOWARD on Apr. 16, 2010 @ 8:22 pm

there was a separate tea party announced on several websites at Civic Center from 1 to 4 pm. The few who showed up they were outnumbered by the journalists and counter protesters. Oh and they thanked the "Billionaires for Wealthcare" who arrived to protest them...silly teabaggers, it was satire!

Posted by Guest on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

Look it " Guest Happy Patriot ", any minute now Tim is going to set you straight!

Posted by Guest on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 5:09 pm

to Guest Happy Patriot:

Agreed. Keep spreading the propaganda SFBG. I was at the one in Pleasanton and It's pretty sad state of affairs when a civil, flag waiving group of citizens band together and ask for more control over their own lives, less taxes and less government control, while the majority of the country calls them kooks.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

It seems there were several tea party protests today. One was announced to be starting at 1pm in front of City Hall...but when only a few tea party-ers showed up, they were outnumbered by counterprotesting Billionaires for Wealthcare mocktivists....Hoo-whee!

Posted by Dish on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

What is so funny about this tea party protest is that most, if not all of the protestors' taxes have been reduced because of NOBAMA TAXCUTS. I mean THAT is not up for debate. So why are they even out there, plus this "tea party" is nothing but a perversion of the true boston tea partiers who were protesting taxation without representation, not TAXES!! Anyways read this article on how the republicans have manipulated the tea party and rewrite history, the blog is pretty resourceful too, check it out


Posted by republicanblack on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

I think you should do a little more editing; this line could come across as you thinking the American Flag is shit
"clad in his American flag shit "
I am sure that is not what you meant. but it does make you sound a little desperate and pathetic

Posted by Chris Pratt on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 6:17 pm

The comment was SHIRRRRRRT not SHIIIIIT.Cant you read?Reactionary about something you misread.Wow.Then post about it.Dumb.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 19, 2011 @ 7:57 am

The comment was SHIRRRRRRT not SHIIIIIT.Cant you read?Reactionary about something you misread.Wow.Then post about it.Dumb.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 19, 2011 @ 7:58 am

Have u any thoughts of your own, I can post a link where it shows my "lad" is 14" long, but in fact it is only 13.5" long. (pre erection, i might add)

Posted by Guest on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

I think that the irony about this whole thing is that the Republican leadership (who are also somewhat alarmed) may be our saviors if they manage to co-opt this thing before it takes on a life of its own. Some, like Newt Gingrich, have taken the initiative and encouraged Tea Partiers to work with the establishment and not create an independent party. I think that some people misinterpret the Tea Party movement as being an entirely conservative astro turf campaign. Actually, it has made some very populist stands, particularly against the bank bailouts and banker bonuses, etc.

Posted by Matt Stewart on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 6:43 pm

I was one of the satirical group, Billionaires for Wealthcare at the Civic Center gathering. I observed that the "tea party" people mostly took a long time to catch on that we were doing satire and some of them never got it at all. No matter what outlandish political or economic statement we made, someone in their little band would agree with us.

As for the claim that they are just patriots expressing their patriotic views, when the TV journalist showed up, one of their small number immediately gave her the finger while he shouted "F...the liberal media." Another tea party sympathizer did a rant at us full of sexual language which I am too embarrassed to repeat here. Note that we are elder women very properly attired. These behaviors were unpleasant, but not a surprise, as we have shared the street with these "patriots" on several occasions.

In my experience, such louts, while not a majority, are not just a few bad apples. They are a constant presence among the tea party gatherings and I have never seen any one in their group try to bring them under control.

Posted by Guest Granny G on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 7:13 pm

Isn't 'Teabaggers' a filthy word used to describe those who perform a certain action??
Do you really want that word coming out of your mouth??
Your visual is disgusting as is your article.

Posted by Mary on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 7:53 pm

Well, no one forced you to come here and read the article, did they? And a credible sex therapist could help you with your sexual hangups.

[I'm probably responding to and feeding a troll, but...oh well.]

Posted by Sam on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 11:56 pm

It's a sad day when people actually argue for more taxes. It's like arguing to pay more the next time you go shopping. Even if you love these inept and failing government programs wouldn't you want to pay less for them? Why argue to pay more for anything? We should all be supporting the idea of maximizing efficiency and paying less for things. This is what happens in the market place. It's a great illustration of how bad government really is when we have to protest to try and drive prices for services down. I never have to protest my local electronics store because competition drives prices down for me and raises quality.

Economics can be a counter intuitive thing to understand sometimes but this sort of ineptitude is naive at best and dangerously stupid at it's worst. It's sad that so many people have lost any understanding of what freedom and a liberal economy really are. Bankruptcy and economic collapse will be the best teacher. :(

Posted by fr33dom m0nk3y on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 9:57 pm

American Flag Shit. Right-on! That tells it like is.

I wish people would stop mindlessly waving flags and start waving the US Constitution.

Many (most?) people don't seem to give a damn about the US Constitution (what remains of it). They never mention it. Shallow people seem to be hung up on some flag, some cloth or plastic symbol, and how someone talks about it.

The US Constitution is the law of the land and without it we don't have a nation.

When I see the flag, I think: Corporate Fascism, because that's what this nation has become. Meanwhile, the US Constitution is continuing to be shred, particularly by Bush/Cheney's USA "Patriot" Act which was just extended by the D and R congress and Mr "Change we can believe in" for another year.

Posted by Sam on Apr. 16, 2010 @ 12:11 am

SHIIIIIIIRRRRRRRT shirt shirt not shit.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 19, 2011 @ 8:01 am

How much the concept of "money" has gotten entangled with the concept of "freedom" in this country. Somehow you're "more free" if you "pay less"? Where did that come from? Good lord.

Posted by marke on Apr. 16, 2010 @ 5:49 am

to the product of another's labor equates with freedom.

Posted by glen matlock on Apr. 17, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

Considering Steve's anti sit lie post and its dozen protesters that Steve said were changing the debate and putting the brakes on the sit lie laws, this post is just hilarious.

Tin foil hat day at the Guardian?

Posted by glen matlock on Apr. 16, 2010 @ 6:41 am

While I think it works equally well as "American flag shit" (I've been disgusted by these people shoving flags in my face since the first Gulf War in 1990), I must confess that it was a typo for "American flag shirt," and I'll correct that now.

As for the late afternoon SF rally, I was aware that it was happening (I even mentioned it in this and a previous post), but the 1 p.m. rally was also on the official Tea Party website, so it seemed valid to use that as a gauge. And frankly, the last thing I was going to do was spend my whole afternoon listening to the teabaggers' drivel. Does anyone have an estimate of how large the afternoon event was?

As for the substance of the stand, our tax rate is lower than most of Europe's, and our schools, infrastructure, and public services (from transit to public health) are suffering as a result. Sure, we all want to pay less taxes, but that's just not an intellectually defensible stand for us all to pay less taxes and steal the resources of future generations to pay for our selfishness. And that's the real difference between yesterday's protests: the global warming protesters weren't acting out of self-interest, but a desire to heal the planet, while the teabaggers are just throwing a temper tantrum and shouting bogus claims.


Posted by steven on Apr. 16, 2010 @ 10:36 am



Posted by ODELL HOWARS on Apr. 16, 2010 @ 8:15 pm



Posted by ODELL HOWARD on Apr. 16, 2010 @ 8:20 pm

I need to correct Steve on one thing. I was apart of the media not the Tea Party. I'm the guy in the picture with two other guys(I have a blue shirt with an American flag in the middle, sunglasses and a camera bag).

Posted by Nick Rose on Apr. 16, 2010 @ 8:30 pm

That's a pretty funny video, Odell. You play the dumb bigot with excellent comic timing. Nice work. BTW, the scariest line from your video is the Tea Party speaker who said, "We will use ballots and if we fail we'll use bullets in a second revolution."

Posted by steven on Apr. 19, 2010 @ 11:33 am

lol if you lefty tards think anyone is actually falling for this shit

300 people counter protesting the tea parties, while thousands turned out for actual tea parties, in SF of all places! I guess now that Obama is in power there is no need for grassroots leftism. It's "trickle down" socialism hahaha

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2010 @ 11:14 pm


Posted by Guest on Apr. 19, 2011 @ 8:03 am

Where are these "thousands" of tea partiers in SF? (as stated by previous poster) History will show what the tea parties were really about...ideological roots in the John Birch Society. Can't wait to tell my grandkids I lived through these historic times. And what fun it was to mock the tea party people! You are great Odell. We are forming a fan club. Your video is one for the history books... classic!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQp1rwzREZY And thanks to Steven for writing about the Rashomon experience in Civic Center.

Posted by Dish on Apr. 24, 2010 @ 12:18 am