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Valentines RTS in San Francisco

fun n games | 15.02.2004 13:19 | Free Spaces | Globalisation | Social Struggles | London

San Francisco: Reclaim the Streets and Desires: The RTS Valentine's Day Street Party began at 12 noon at Haight & Stanyan streets on Saturday February 14th. A ship of about 300-400 pirates marched from Golden Gate park and eventually took over the block of Haight & Ashbury and the party was in full swing with a full-on sound system with rotating djs, a pirate marching band, street theater, couches, mattresses, paint splattered on GAP, and an impromptu soccer game in the middle of the street. There was also a breakaway solidarity action that marched to the nearby Safeway.

Feb 14th: Pirates and dancers sail through the Haight in a Valentine's Day celebration.

The pirate vessels of Reclaim The Streets docked on Haight street between Ashbury and Stanyan this afternoon at approximately 1:20PM. Numbered between 200 and 300, the marchers, many dressed in Valentine's Day pinks and reds as well as frilly-shirted pirate outfits decamped mid-way between Ashbury and Masonic streets, setting up two separate pirate ship dance areas. One area featured a booming techno sound system which attracted a throng of marchers and spontaneous particpants. The other mini-camp featured a pirate marching band and live dance performances and street theater. Police on foot, motorcycle and cruisers flanked the event on both side. Police had also gathered in numbers at Masonic and Waller. Police presence also included at least one paddy wagon and a helicopter in addtiton to some 10 cruisers cars.

The marchers were peaceful and festive, waving banners and flags that featured hearts with anarchy symbols, to signs calling for Safeway supermarkets to honor striking workers and "have a heart." No violence was witnessed, although aparently a "latte" or some other liquid was splashed or bumped on to an on looking bystander at the corner of Haight and Cole St while the march was in progress.

Marchers encouraged onookers to join in the dancing, chalked messages on the pavement and generally spread cheer and joviality. One got the feeling that about have the normal shoppers were thrilled by the event, while a smaller number grumbled disapprovals and insults. The amount of public dialog and discussions on neighboring sidewalks and cafe reinforced the potency that smaller, art-based demonstations can weild.

More reports and pictures at:

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Great Art Stuff

15.02.2004 13:34

Some of the SF RTS crew did a selection of cool handbill promos for the party, some shown here, the rest at:

Also some good subvertsising ;-)
(before and after shots here: )