KPOO radio host Chelitz Lopez is attacked by a man who attempted to disrupt the Cancel Kavanaugh march in San Francisco.

Chelis López, KPOO’s radio host for Pájaro Latinoamericano and Andanzas, attended the Cancel Kavanaugh march in San Francisco’s downtown on September 28 and ended up in an altercation with a man rolling a suitcase.

“What we are protesting against is violence, patriarchy and machismo. We just saw how a guy attempted to push his suitcase (toward protesters) to try to stop this small march,” said López.

About 60 protesters gathered at Powell and Market Streets at around 5:30 p.m. with posters, banners and megaphones in hand. At the forefront of the march were four women wearing red capes and white hats, in reference to Margaret Atwood’s dystopian world as portrayed in A Handmaid’s Tale.

Throughout the march, López filmed the proceedings with her mobile phone.  As the march advanced towards Union Square, amid chants of “no pussy-grabbing, no patriarchy, no fascist USA”, López captured an altercation on video.

The incident begins at the 6:49 mark, when a white man with a suitcase, backpack, and cellphone appears to find himself caught up in the march.

At 6:55, the man with this suitcase appears to refuse to move his suitcase out of the way of the woman with the megaphone. The two exchange words. Another woman from the contingent forcibly moves the suitcase out of their way.

At 6:59, López begins walking toward them, filming. At this point, the lady with the megaphone decides to continue marching. A protester holding a Refuse Fascism banner yells at the man with the suitcase to “Move your shit,” and keeps walking. The man with the suitcase is visibly annoyed and continues to provoke the protesters by violently jamming his suitcase towards them.

At 7:04, a male protester confronts the man with the suitcase and they appear to get into a verbal argument that ends up with the man with the suitcase being pushed.

At 7:11 López begins narrating in Spanish: “This is how some people are reacting against this march, people who are clearly against this march. This is a perfect example of men who are machistas.” By then, the man with the suitcase has reached out his arm towards Chelis to stop her from recording. He knocks against her phone and the recording stops.

After this, López says she reached out her arm to block him from attacking her. Another protester intervened to defend López. Lucas Thorton, a photographer, captured the moment:

Chelis López (in yellow) after the run-in with the hoodie-wearing passer-by. Photo taken by Lucas Thorton.

In a third video, López’s narration continues: “We continue broadcasting from San Francisco, California, after the incident that happened. This is precisely what we are protesting against: violence, patriarchy and machismo. We just saw how a guy attempted to push his suitcase (towards protesters) to try to stop this small march. A photographer got near them and began taking pictures of him. (The man with the suitcase) did not respond. When I got near him to film, he attacked me in an attempt to take my phone. At the end, he left. In any case, I mention this for people who were watching the video and were wondering what happened. An altercation in which a man aggressively pushed his heavy suitcase at us, and then later on, attempted to prevent me from recording with my phone’s camera. We continue on with the Cancel Kavanaugh march.”

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Andrea was born and raised in Mexico City, where she graduated as a translator/interpreter. She has been working with Mission Local since 2009 translating content for the Spanish page. Also lives in the Mission, does some reporting, social media and enjoys taking photos and training people that want to contribute to Mission Local.

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9 Comments

  1. What I saw in that video is the guy with the suitcase clearly moving back a few steps when the protestors come towards him, but when he is unable to make himself completely disappear, rather than walk around him, two protestors start trying to take his suitcase away from him. While he tries to hold onto it, a big white man comes in, yelling at him, and pushes him, which is assault. When Suitcase Dude realizes he’s being filmed, he tries to block himself from being filmed, because he doesn’t want to be the next guy pilloried in a viral video because tensions are high, and he’s a white male, so that makes him prone to losing his job due to this type of video. He shouldn’t have gone after the camera, which can also be considered assault. In the heat of the moment, after he’s already had people yank his suitcase away and been pushed by a complete stranger, it’s hard blame him.

    Here’s the thing. I’m a survivor of assault, I protested Kavanaugh, and I’m HORRIFIED that he was confirmed to the SCOTUS…but I don’t think what happened here is right. A lot of local protestors think they can bully people off of sidewalks because they believe their just cause is more important than the rights of anyone else around them. As a wheelchair user who literally can’t get off the sidewalk at a moment’s notice, I’ve experienced this type of bullying before. But these protestors were on busy sidewalks, and rather than walk around someone who was clearly just standing on the sidewalk, not encroaching on them, unlike what this article implies, they decided to physically and verbally hassle him. Honestly, he could legitimately make a complaint to the police about the guy pushing him, but I doubt he will.

    It is irresponsible for this news magazine to actively misrepresent what happened during this altercation, especially since anyone who views the video can see what really happened with their own two eyes. It is misplaced self-righteousness that caused these protestors to accost this guy and his property because he had the audacity to be on what they thought was THEIR sidewalk. Ms. López is completely misrepresenting what happened in an attempt to scapegoat this guy because he’s white, male, and didn’t completely disappear when her group, which was taking up the entire sidewalk, came upon him.

    There are a LOT of white men to hold accountable for Brett Kavanaugh’s ascension to the highest court in our land. There are a LOT of horrible atrocities happening in this country due to the GOP and the current White House administration. But as evidenced by the video I just watched (several times!), this guy is NOT the devil you’re making him out to be. Please don’t ruin this guy’s life because of an invented slight.

    1. Agreeing with Frankie. This video seems to show someone with a suitcase being pushed and assaulted on the street for no reason. A big bummer to watch.

    2. I just watched the same video you did and that is NOT what I saw at all. The guy stayed where he was thinking the procession would just go around him and they didn’t. He had plenty of time to move out of the way. This is what is wrong with San Francisco right now, this guy probably lives here with his self centered, no manners stupid ass.

      1. It’s a public sidewalk. He doesn’t have to move, whether he’s white black or brown.
        Grabbing his suitcase is wrong, and tan jacket pushing him is assault.
        Way to go?

      2. Seriously? So a San Francisco progressive has the right to bully people just standing on the sidewalk, and if the person doesn’t scurry out of the way to meet their demands, it’s OK to yank his suitcase away from him, and another person to come and assault him? Yes, the guy was standing there, and stayed where he was standing — in fact, he didn’t really have anywhere to go. Is the new rule of the public walkway that a stationary person has to move out of the way of someone walking right toward them who is too entitled to step around him? Or does that rule only apply to stationary white males?

        And shame on Mission Local for this racially divisive and uncalled for line: “The incident begins at the 6:49 mark, when a white man with a suitcase, backpack, and cellphone in hand…” If he were a person of color, would he have the right to stand there without moving out of the way?

        Is the point here that the marchers bullied him out of the way because he’s a white male standing there? Or is it more to somehow make this guy who, as Mission Local rightly points out “appears to find himself caught up in the march,” into some kind of aggressor in the situation, which he clearly is not.

        Interesting.

    3. I have to agree as well. By 6:55, very angry looking women are trying to grab the guy’s suitcase, after he had done nothing, just standing there as the march approached. Then he gets shoved by big green shirt/brown jacket guy, and surrounded. As pablo says below, “Assault is a crime, period.” To state “This is how some people are reacting against this march” is absurd. This is how some people react to being shoved and intimidated.

  2. Thank you Frankie for the post … I watched the video a number to times, each time expecting to see evidence that the person in question was willfully attempting to ‘disrupt’ the march, and clearly that is not the case (as evidenced by others who have posted). Its obvious that they were protesting in an area known to be busy (Powell and Market), and yes it does appear that he backed up to the wall, and that while his bag was in front of him, it clearly was not enough accommodation for Ms. Lopez, and she in turn interpreted in a way that at best is mistaken, and at worst disingenuous. I am also taking to task Ms. Valencia for penning an article that assumes Ms. Lopez and group to be without responsibility. The level of entitlement that we see manifesting itself in wall walks of life is disturbing but then to have Ms. Lopez ‘railing’ against this man is equally disturbing. Quite frankly, while I do agree on some level with her issue/argument, I might not have ‘gotten out of the way’ myself. If she wants to protest fine, but do it in a way that engenders support, not forcing people out of the way or perhaps off the sidewalk!

  3. To all the idiots who defended that scumbag: Who cares if he had the right to be on the sidewalk, or not; He assaulted a woman whose only mistake was to record a coward. Assault is a crime, period.

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