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As Meteor Blades wrote in last night's Night Owls thread and the SF Chronicle is reporting today in Thousands protest Keystone XL pipeline, yesterday's turnout at the Forward on Climate rally in San Francisco was quite impressive, and the about 4000 people (5000 according to 350 Bay Area) who showed up were quite spirited, considering that it was just one of many side dishes to the main course taking place in Washington D.C.

Put together by 350 Bay Area and 350 Silicon Valley on pretty short notice, over 80 organizational partners signed on and helped make this event a huge success, and as always with these things in SF, a great party.

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Of course, thanks to the great navajo, SF Kossacks got together for a meetup to bring up rally numbers and have a fun day together. After snacks at the MarketBar in the Ferry Building, ten of us walked over to the State Department Building at 1 Market, where we bumped into a few others Kossacks during the course of the rally.

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SF Kossacks showed the colors at the Keystone XL protest in San Francisco. Left to right, TLO™, remembrance, patg, Lorikeet, Meteor Blades, dharmasyd, navajo, kimoconner, Glen The Plumber.

This being San Francisco, having a rally means having just as many compost bins as protest signs, which as some of you may know makes me happy.

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The obvious winners for best signs in our group were TLO and remembrance...

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with Glen the Plumber coming in a close 3rd...

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But really, you should check out this family's letter to Michelle Obama... if only all family's were as enlightened as the remembrances...

When we got to the sidewalk everyone was gearing up already, none the least the raging grannies...

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and other folks tired of the way we treat fossil fuels as if we had an endless supply of them...

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Then the walk around the block started, and while Meteor Blades and navajo hung out in one spot to count people, the rest of us started marching.

The signs were so creative. I love the "draw a line in the tarsands"

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and "stop hitting snooze"

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but I bet nobody was using this particular medium in Washington D.C...

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Even the pre-made signs look really good, or is it because of kimoconnor's glow?

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This being SF, there are the intellectual signs...

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and the Zen reflections, which turned out to be DK's very own freewayblogger (check more pics in navajo's comment here)

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There are always the larger than life puppets (I was trying to get navajo to pose for me in front of "Diva International" but she was nowhere to be found)...

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Amandeep bringing on the tunes on his boombox bike..

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And your rally is never complete without a Frank Chu sighting...

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It was a really diverse crowd. Lots of young ones...

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and from all cultural and religious backgrounds...

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There was a lot of interacting and talking to each other, one of the greatest things about these rallies. It's like we're bringing the town square back, which I think goes into some of the deeper problems and solutions of the climate crisis. We cannot rely on high tech machinery for every interaction, so we'll have to rediscover the joy in talking to our neighbors and fellow citizens right in the street.

Glen the Plumber was engaging in great civic work by handing out the fliers I had made for the upcoming Bike the Math action I'm organizing with 350 Bay Area and was interviewed about a couple of days ago.

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It wasn't just signs, but bottles full of tar sands with all the dirty info on the labels were being passed around. I like the creativity...

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At 2 pm, Idle No More lead our march to Justin Herman Plaza for a Round Dance, a dance of friendship and to show respect, where Ohlone and First Nations tribes kicked things off with a touching opening prayer.

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The Plaza was pretty packed, looking at the stage...

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and behind me towards the Embarcadero...

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There were a lot of great speakers, from SF Supervisor John Avalos who was talking about getting SF divested from fossil fuel to a representative from Idle No More, whose impassioned account about the fight against the tar sands development started by 4 native women was really inspiring and got the crowd fired up.

Then, the Grande Finale. It so happened right where I was standing, the rolling out of the parachute...

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Before we knew it, it was covering the middle of the plaza, and all of us along the edge were in charge of parachuting...

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Up it goes...

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and the kids start playing...

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Wheeeee, forward on climate!

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So that was our day. I think it was as much about protesting Keystone as it was about building community, bringing people together for a the ultimate common cause to sustain that little round ball we all share for future generations.

I'll leave you with the final impression of inter-generational activism in the making.

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Originally posted to Climate Change SOS on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:11 PM PST.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots.

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