"Where are we going?"
We heard it over and over on Saturday as we marched along with the procession -- about 4 hours, and nearly 10 miles of walking. "Where are we going?" people kept asking each other. The answer turned out to be (with linked photos): Civic Center to Octavia> and the Castro and then back up Market to Union Square, Chinatown, North Beach, along the Embarcadero to Market and then back to Civic Center. We'd estimate that there were a thousand people at one point; and by the end, as the most ardent protesters dragged their way to Civic Center, it was probably down to 100. We left the crowd at that point and went home; later, we were in the Castro, and spotted the protesters again in the middle of the street until around 10pm.
So who was steering the crowd? It varied. Like Canada geese, various folks wandered in and out of the lead, with a few superstars generally taking charge. We observed Shirtless Orange Flag Guy, and Determined Tank Top Dude, and HRC Flag Man and Captain Megaphone, and for a while a bunch of Socialists -- all more or less making it up as they went along; and in general, we'd say they did a pretty good job.
But then. There was that crazy march back to the Castro to sit in the intersection for hours. What was that about, and what should they have done instead? Answers after the jump.