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article imageWhat's the beef? Protest against meat clogs S.F. waterfront

By Nathan Salant     Jul 5, 2016 in Environment
San Francisco - Dozens of impassioned protesters and tourists armed with cameras and cell phones clogged the San Francisco waterfront Monday as a noisy animal rights protest marched from Market Street to Pier 39.
Protesters snarled traffic along the Embarcadero and disrupted the usual routine at Pier 39, a popular tourist mecca known for restaurants and live outdoor performances near Fisherman's Wharf.
Animal rights activists shouting slogans for "pig independence day" marched north from San Francisco's iconic Ferry Building and swarmed into Pier 39, where a line of security guards tried and failed to keep them out.
At least one performance for children was interrupted, according to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.
"I guess it gets the message out," said Thomas Aristede of San Diego, a tourist visiting with his family who was surprised by the protest.
"it's the Fourth of July," he said.
Aristide did not seem too disturbed by the inconvenience, even though his Lyft ride was delayed by the traffic jam along the Embarcadero.
But Timika Broadus, 34, of Dallas apparently found the street hubub distasteful.
“I don’t know — I like bacon,” said Timika Broadus, 34, who was visiting from Dallas.
“I don’t think they should be doing this,” she said.
Protest leader Samer Masterson, 22, of Direct Action Everywhere who exhorted the crowd through a bullhorn, said the march was intended to call attention to the Berkeley-based group's recent investigation of alleged animal cruelty at a Hormel food farm in Kern County.
Masterson said he snuck onto the facility and rescued a sick pig.
“The pigs on that farm are no different than our dogs and cats,” said Masterson, 22, a vegan who does not eat meat, fish or any other products derived from animals, including dairy.
“We have no right to kill them," he said, "it’s not normal to eat other animals.”
San Francisco was not the only California location visited by animal rights protesters over the July 4 weekend.
Anti-pork protesters reportedly interrupted a Los Angeles Dodgers-Colorado Rockies baseball game in the ninth inning on Sunday.
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