Whilst shopping at my favorite little corner store at 16th and Mission, I saw out of the corner of my eye some people run by in the street. Then said people were suddenly awash in red and blue lights. And there was yelling on a bullhorn and big signs and more people. A protest against something or other had materialized in front of my eyes in a matter of seconds.
Strangely, the protesters converged on Wells Fargo holding a 5′x5′ sign that said, “No Police in Greece,” or something like that. I might have remembered more specifically what the sign said had any aspect of the protest- like, at all- made any sense.
After watching for a few minutes and listening to the guy with the bull horn yell (again, not exactly, but basically), “We’ll burn your face off,” I headed across the street to ask some questions. I started with a kid who was holding one side of the aforementioned giant sign.
Me: So what’s the deal?
Him: We’re protesting.
Me: Against what?
Him: Against a police state.
Me: glances around at the dozen or so police officers protecting the protesters and their right of free speech. Wow, it’s really nice of these police officers to protect you while you protest against them.
Him: blank stare.
Me: What’s this about Greece?
Him: It’s about the killing of Alexis Grigoropoulos. He was killed by police in Greece.
Me: Why Wells Fargo?
Me: Why are you protesting in front of Wells Fargo?
Him: We don’t like banks.
Me: This bank, or just all banks?
Him: All banks. We’re going to be stopping at a few others.
Me: Ok, that’s cool. So who organized the protest?
Feeling even more confused than when I started talking to this kid, I moved up the street a little and questioned a police officer who was waiting dutifully on his motorcycle.
Me: So what’s the deal?
Police Guy: I don’t know, they’re protesting all over the place. Their last stop was New College. You know the one on Valencia Street?
Me: Yeah. What are they protesting against?
Police Guy: They’re mad at us police. We wouldn’t let them occupy some building earlier.
Me: So why are they protesting outside Wells Fargo?
Police Guy: I don’t know. Earlier they took a vote and everyone voted to just go drink at a bar, but the guy with the megaphone over there, he vetoed that. So they’re here.
I walked away thinking how much I love this ridiculous city.
They don’t fuck around in Athens on Unburying the Lead.
Laser war in Athens on Danger Room.