Every year in San Francisco on Valentine’s Day, thousands of people gather to confront each other with the softest weapons known to man. Many of my friends have joined in this battle, wielding pillows of all shapes and sizes. This year I decided that I would lay down my pillow and take a neutral stance as an embedded journalist. I went into Justin Herman Plaza alongside the The United Nations Commission on Costumes & Holidays (UNCCH), who were there to try to defuse the tense situation that seems to happen every year. The UNCCH inspected pillows to make sure they all conformed to international standards, while continuing to insist that they should seek other forms of conflict resolution.
The pillow militants surrounded us on all sides, and we all knew what was coming. There was no stopping a movement as strong as this one.
The clock struck 6:00 and the feathers flew. The carnage was far and wide as an estimated 2,500 people swung pillows, battering others left and right. We stayed around the outskirts at first, but then decided that the story had to be told from the front lines. Along with my trusty cameraman, Steen, we braved feathery weapons to make our way through the battlefield. It wasn’t pretty, but then again Valentine’s Day isn’t always pretty either.